V-100 Crew Member Vietnam 71-72

Steel Soldiers is supported by:

V-100 Commando

New member
26
1
0
Location
Madera, CA
DeuceDriver- Great Web Site, the combat truck drivers are some of the most underrated soldiers in history. Glad to see that you're getting the story out. When you think of all the hazards they faced while only armed with a single rifle while carrying anything and everything from gasoline to ammo to people, you have to give them the respect they deserve.
 

V-100 Commando

New member
26
1
0
Location
Madera, CA
On The Ground

Here is a picture of myself and our driver "Buck" Owens off our V-100 and visiting a couple of MPs on town patrol (can't remember which town). You can see the one MP giving the "short" sign holding his finger and thumb close together to indicate that he had a "short" time before he went home. Don't know why me and Buck didn't have our shoulder holsters & .45 on. We generally didn't leave home without them. We also had no MP hat because we wore the aviation helmet in the V so we could communicate. I don't have to tell you how loud it was going down the road in a V with all the hatches open (or closed). Even setting on top of the gunners hatch (99% of the time) or the radio man in the back next to the 361 was deafening.
I'm also going to try and post a picture of my Jungle shirt with the "Combined Police Patrol" patches on the front pockets. The Vietnamese police also wore these patches if they worked with our town patrols. As you can see, the Momma-sonn tailor who freehanded our names and ranks on our shirts couldn't tell a "H" from a "U". And in case you're wondering- no I can't fit in that shirt anymore.
Jeff
 

Attachments

lilreddodge

New member
37
1
0
Location
Ashland, Ohio
Here is a picture of "Proud Mary" with me and my sister around 1980. My dad owned this V-100 then. It was demilled and re-welded. My dad sold it to someone in Oklahoma in the early 80's. I was wondering if any one knows of the where abouts of this one now. I always assumed since it was named that it probably was used in Vietnam. I always hated seeing this one go and would like to see if I can get it back.

Thanks
Lance
 

Attachments

V-100 Commando

New member
26
1
0
Location
Madera, CA
Proud Mary

With that name "Proud Mary" it sure fits the time, place, and atmosphere of Vietnam. Glad to see that one made it back with the nose art intact. The "amateur" look of the art reflects the fact of the lack of quality paint/brushes/supply and talent that most of us had to work with.
I often think of how many Vs were left over there during the "orderly" withdrawal and what the NVA did with them. Thanks for passing that info on.
Jeff
 

madsam

New member
1,106
2
0
Location
M
That is grate that two people, the one with the history and the one with the equipment found each other. I have always wondered how my m816 got from Wisconsin where it was issued to Mississippi where I bought it from GL, with tones of what I think is middle east desert storm sand in everywhere. Anyway cool thread.
 

V-100 Commando

New member
26
1
0
Location
Madera, CA
My Avatar

Thought I'd let you know a little about the avatar I have. A few years back I was looking for some info on V-100s and found this picture on a Google search. Needless to say, it was a pleasant surprise to find my old V with my crew at the Bob Hope Show at Camp Eagle, home of the 101st Airborne. I have no idea who took the picture, but thank you. Bob Hope had Dean Martin's Gold digger girls, Jim Nabors and somebody else. We got to park right next to the stage and it sure was nice to see some American girls.
I'll post the picture so you can make it larger. One thing of note that we did different then the other Vs was our front machine gun mount. I think you can see in the picture it is mounted directly in front of the driver and comes up in a "Z" type arrangement, whereas the other ones have the driver's machine guns mounted one on each side (those pipes sticking up). The single mount worked well for the driver to stand inside and sweep 180 degrees. The M-60 you see in the picture was not the one that was usually there (ours was in for maintence). The regular one had the "Butterfly" grips like the 50 for better control and you could keep a lower profile while operating the gun.
Unfortunately, that's all the pictures I have so I'll have to re-post the old ones as I talk about some of the different features of the V.
Jeff
 

Attachments

M813rc

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
3,430
107
63
Location
Near Austin, Texas
Well Jeff, we will gladly look at the pictures again if you will tell us about them! :-D

Did y'all use the turret guns much? It seems a lot of effort went into mounting other weapons on the vehicles and I see a lot of pictures of V's with the turret guns covered. I understand the obvious increase in firepower from mounting a .50 and the extra gun up front.

Attached is a picture captioned as being 560th MP V100s at Phu Tai in 1971. The one on the far right is Proud Mary II, so I would guess this was Dave's Proud Mary's successor and his would have been there earlier.

Cheers
 

Attachments

V-100 Commando

New member
26
1
0
Location
Madera, CA
Good Picture Rory

Thanks for posting that picture Rory, wish I could read all the names on the Vs. When we would pass off covoys or go on temporary cover duty at another unit we would remember the name (or picture) of thier V but not the crew.
I'll post this picture because it most clearly shows the V. You asked about the gun covers on the turret. They are plastic/rubber foul weather covers. During Monsoon season, which was 2-3 months of non-stop (and I mean non-stop) pouring down rain, we would just barely screw them on over the electric 73s to keep the rain (or dust/dirt) out. When the action started the muzzle blast would just blow them off. You have probably already heard that the turret guns (electric 73s) were not the most dependable or effective weapon around. They were subject to jamming and awkward to operate. You could easly move them up and down while firing, but side to side required turning the turret by operating the hand wheel. Our SOP was to keep moving, at least a little when under fire to prevent a wheelwell shot from an RPG. The 73s had a tendency to misfire (one or both) and if you're too hasty to open the chamber of the gun, you might find a round that was "cooking" and it would explode in your face. If you had a fixed target to fire at like a bunker, you could put down a level field of fire but then again, how effective is a .60 cal round, so you're back on top with the .50 anyway. One nice thing about the 73s was that we used mini-gun ready round boxes which held a ton of ammo, so if they worked right, you could go a long time without grabbing another box. Not sure how much this board will allow in one reply so I'll post and go on to the next box.
 

Attachments

V-100 Commando

New member
26
1
0
Location
Madera, CA
Continued From Last Post

We welded the .50 mount on the turret because without a doubt, the .50 is the most dependable, multi-use weapon in the history of weapons. It can take down a concrete block wall without a problem. We would mix the ammo on the chain alternating from armor piercing to WP, to ball to tracer. Just ask anybody that served on a gun truck about thier love affair with the .50. Anyhow, I think you can see the row of ammo along the top of the V behind the turret. It was in easy reach for reload when you were firing the 50 while setting on the turret hatch, or standing inside the turret. We sat on the turret hatch most of the time on the road. It was easy to swing that 50 any direction from that position, with the downside being your exposure to fire.
The radio man in back had a .60 machine gun on each side with "butterfly" handles. The one over the 361 also used a mini-gun ready round box, and again, most of the time he sat on the deck so he could see. It was rare to ever have the hatches closed, even during monsoon, which would fill the V with water, but the bilge pump would get most of it out. During monsoon, you went to bed wet and went back out the next day wet, clothes dryers were not an option. We did try a "Honeywell" granade launcher and a mini-gun on the turret, but they were not up to the exposure and beating the road duty gave them, so it was back to the .50. There was a foul weather cover for the .50, but we rarly used it. The one time I can remember having the hatches closed was during a riot on camp (unhappy locals) and people were throwing rocks at us. Feel free to ask any questions and I hope I can answer. I'll go into some of our missions in the next post.
Jeff
 

Attachments

M813rc

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
3,430
107
63
Location
Near Austin, Texas
Thanks, that answers a lot of questions. I had heard the M73s were troublesome.
My turret traversing gear isn't in yet, but I did get to spend some time in another restored V. I had wondered at the time how much practice it would take working that wheel to get coordinated enough to be good with it. And I imagined it would be a tad difficult to keep your eye close enough to the periscope sight when bumping around for it to be of much use.

I too am a fan of the .50, having spent some time hanging off the back of them, we used them as door guns on the -53s.

For those not familiar with the V100 turret, here is a picture in the restored vehicle (belonged to Earl). The traverse is the silver wheel on the left side (the wheel above is same thing, different gearing), the sight is the white part in the top middle, and the elevation handle is the horizontal tube above the spent round hose, upper right.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

M813rc

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
3,430
107
63
Location
Near Austin, Texas
Okay Jeff, here is two thirds of your wish granted!
The one on the far left is "Unexpected", the one second from the right is "The Grim Reaper".
I haven't found the the one second from the left. I thought picture 3 was it, but looking closer I see it isn't. I can't make out the name, Armageddon II maybe? That's a guess based on the length of the word and what looks like A R at the beginning.

I will give credit to the website(s) I got those from as soon as I find it again. I used to be real good at gathering pictures, but not so good at noting where from. :oops:

Cheers
 

Attachments

Last edited:

V-100 Commando

New member
26
1
0
Location
Madera, CA
Great Photos

Thanks Rory- I don't recall ever seeing them, but I was up north with the 504th (commomly called the five oh Joe) Co. A in Phu Bai, so I guess our paths didn't cross.
The one V I've been trying to find out information about was the "IRON WORM". My memory isn't worth a crap anymore but I do remember that it was dragged into our motor pool one day and had been pretty much destroyed. It wasn't from our unit and was gone the next day, so we never found out the story. Somebody said it was hit by an RPG and then went off a steep embankment, but not sure if that's true.
It's a very humbling experience to see one of them destroyed, brings you back to reality real quick. If you ever find any info on The Iron Worm- please pass it along. Are you going to put any nose art on your restored V (hint hint)? Take care.
Jeff
 

M813rc

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
3,430
107
63
Location
Near Austin, Texas
Here is one from the 504th that I have as wallpaper on my computer. Date on this one is 1970, always liked that dragon. The little windshield added for the driver is interesting too.


Jeff, I will email you about two damaged V's. I don't want to post the pictures of those.


Earl, I am really looking forward to seeing your V, you have the rarest of the rare with that one.

Cheers
 

Attachments

Last edited:

M813rc

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
3,430
107
63
Location
Near Austin, Texas
As regards nose art on my V, I am still struggling with myself over final paint job, ie what point in my vehicle's history do I want to represent?
I do know that the beast in the attached picture is going to be painted on the turret hatch. My younger son spotted this on the nose of an Apache at a show and really wants it on the V (which I am apparently restoring for him..:wink:). It will be visible when the hatch is open, and I have seen several V's with art work there. The white in the picture is just the surround to the beast part from when I cropped it off the helo photo, it doesn't go on the finished project.
The example in the other picture is from the 504th MP, c. 1965, some kind of mean critter with "Sat Cong" on the hatch.

Cheers
 

Attachments

cobmw

New member
10
0
0
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
Rory: You've got some good ideas for artwork. Your vehicle will be great fun to see. Our purchase is a father/son deal also. Good to have kids to get us moving on some hobbies.
 
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website like our supporting vendors. Their ads help keep Steel Soldiers going. Please consider disabling your ad blockers for the site. Thanks!

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks