Quad 50 Gun Trucks

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historyfanatics

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My info came from the unit S2 and from some of the Air Defense guys that actually put everything together before it was shipped out. The trucks with all components were "assembled" at Fort Bliss (actually Orogrande Range) before being shipped over to Vietnam as a unit.

Once they got to Vietnam, trucks were portioned out as needed.

Not trying to step on any toes here, but the Quads were in Vietnam in '65. This came from one of the vets who went over with the first batch. He was there from '65 to '67.

Originally, the quads were to be towed by the trucks. If they needed to be moved faster, they would get winched into the truck beds, and then driven to their destination. However, common practice in Vietnam was to just leave them bolted down (or welded) in the truck bed. Some were transported as a sling load under a helicopter.

Also, one of the vets informed me that his truck, The Widow Maker, was the FIRST truck in Vietnam with that name. All the others are copies. His truck was named in 1965. That's his emphasis, not mine.

As the gun truck community knows, the "standard" gun trucks were "manufactured" by their crews in Vietnam. That's why they don't all look the same. The quad trucks were built to a standard in the States. They were "upgraded" during rebuilds in Vietnam, but all are essentially the same.

In the northern section of Vietnam, where Third Marines was located, the quads stayed on the 2-1/2 ton trucks. The bridges wouldn't handle the weight of the 5-ton trucks with quad, armor, ammo, etc. The 5-ton quad trucks (upgraded from 2-1/2 ton trucks) were further south where the bridges were better.

The vets told me that they upgraded to 5-ton trucks after breaking axles, etc. Much like the regular gun trucks upgraded.

I know you asked a simple question, and I didn't mean to write a book in answering. But, I just wanted to share some of the remarkable history of these vehicles, as well as answer your question.

I've learned quite a bit talking with the vets. And, I appreciate all the sacrifices made as I learn more.
 

vtdeucedriver

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My info came from the unit S2 and from some of the Air Defense guys that actually put everything together before it was shipped out. The trucks with all components were "assembled" at Fort Bliss (actually Orogrande Range) before being shipped over to Vietnam as a unit.

Once they got to Vietnam, trucks were portioned out as needed.

Not trying to step on any toes here, but the Quads were in Vietnam in '65. This came from one of the vets who went over with the first batch. He was there from '65 to '67.

Originally, the quads were to be towed by the trucks. If they needed to be moved faster, they would get winched into the truck beds, and then driven to their destination. However, common practice in Vietnam was to just leave them bolted down (or welded) in the truck bed. Some were transported as a sling load under a helicopter.

Also, one of the vets informed me that his truck, The Widow Maker, was the FIRST truck in Vietnam with that name. All the others are copies. His truck was named in 1965. That's his emphasis, not mine.

As the gun truck community knows, the "standard" gun trucks were "manufactured" by their crews in Vietnam. That's why they don't all look the same. The quad trucks were built to a standard in the States. They were "upgraded" during rebuilds in Vietnam, but all are essentially the same.

In the northern section of Vietnam, where Third Marines was located, the quads stayed on the 2-1/2 ton trucks. The bridges wouldn't handle the weight of the 5-ton trucks with quad, armor, ammo, etc. The 5-ton quad trucks (upgraded from 2-1/2 ton trucks) were further south where the bridges were better.

The vets told me that they upgraded to 5-ton trucks after breaking axles, etc. Much like the regular gun trucks upgraded.

I know you asked a simple question, and I didn't mean to write a book in answering. But, I just wanted to share some of the remarkable history of these vehicles, as well as answer your question.

I've learned quite a bit talking with the vets. And, I appreciate all the sacrifices made as I learn more.
Nope this is exactly what I wanted. Years ago I had been talking to some Arty guys who did not have the deuce quads but 5 tons. I did know they went over with the dollys as from what they told me, were a bitch to move in the mud from the Monsoon season. That this was the reason for just leaving them in the back of the trucks. To hear they left the states installed, is new news to me.
 

historyfanatics

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From what I have learned, when they first got to Vietnam, everybody had the wheels, etc. Those were "lost" or "misplaced" during rebuilds. That's also when armor started getting added on. The bat-wing armor protected the loaders, but made movement in the truck bed difficult. The 5-tons had more room, carrying capacity, etc. So, they could add armor to the sides, as well.

The vets said that the mounts were originally held down with all-thread on the four corners (like I have done). But, the rough roads in Vietnam would break the mounts. So, they started welding them in place, and using angle iron, etc., to help hold them there. I didn't want to do that as I don't want to damage the quad mount.

I have some photos (somewhere) that show some of the original trucks with a winch system in the front of the bed, and ramps stored on the sides. But, that took up room that could be better used - ammo.

Thanks for asking the question. I learn stuff myself every time a question is asked.
 

historyfanatics

New member
115
1
0
Location
Houston, Texas
From what I have learned, when they first got to Vietnam, everybody had the wheels, etc. Those were "lost" or "misplaced" during rebuilds. That's also when armor started getting added on. The bat-wing armor protected the loaders, but made movement in the truck bed difficult. The 5-tons had more room, carrying capacity, etc. So, they could add armor to the sides, as well.

The vets said that the mounts were originally held down with all-thread on the four corners (like I have done). But, the rough roads in Vietnam would break the mounts. So, they started welding them in place, and using angle iron, etc., to help hold them there. I didn't want to do that as I don't want to damage the quad mount.

I have some photos (somewhere) that show some of the original trucks with a winch system in the front of the bed, and ramps stored on the sides. But, that took up room that could be better used - ammo.

Thanks for asking the question. I learn stuff myself every time a question is asked.
 

historyfanatics

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Location
Houston, Texas
Each of the gun trucks, whether transportation units or artillery units, contributed to the job. Each had different functions in the convoys and perimeter security. But, it's everybody working together that achieves the common goal.

That's what I appreciate about everybody on here who are interested in keeping the memories of the gun trucks alive.

I know this probably sounds a bit sappy, but I couldn't do what I do if all y'all didn't do what you did.

I don't want any of my comments taken the wrong way (I've been accused of that before). I ask questions because I don't know the answers.

I'll continue to update this thread as I get everything completed. I have complete photos on my website.

I am always looking for new ideas and ways to display, as well.
 
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