Tanks 1967 - 1968
     
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Long Binh 1967-1968

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Tanks 1967 - 1968

Long Binh

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Tracked Vehicle Detail
As I left Fort Carson, Colorado I had to go to the Motor Pool and get my form 314, Drivers License information. The Sergeant in the Motor Pool pointed out to me that if I wanted anything else on my drivers license all he had to do was write it on my form 314 and initial it an everyone would think that an officer had signed it. I had a license for a M151 (Jeep) and M52 (5 ton Tractor). I asked him to add M37 (3/4 ton Pick-up). He asked what else I would like and I said an 8" self propelled howitzer. He added it and we all had a good laugh, since I had never driven one but had sat in one once to have my picture taken. And so it was that I found myself in Vietnam, standing in formation one morning and the Captain announces that we need to begin moving tracked vehicles out of Saigon. He tells us that we have 6 members of our company licensed and experienced to drive tanks. He calls out the names and as I look around to see who is called I hear my name. The feeling was 50/50 excitement and panic.
We got to drive APCs, Tanks (M48, M42), (Guns 8" self propelled howitzers, 155mm Canons, Dusters), RT Forklifts, Ambulances and Fire Trucks

Me
This is an APC which we picked up at Newport and took up to Long Binh. An APC weights 11 tons will go 70 MPH on the open road. They are controlled by two levers. Push forwards and it accelerates. Pull back and it breaks. Interesting things happen when you push one forward and pull the other back hard.
Calvin
This is an M48. This will also go 70 MPH on the open road. Going 70 miles per hour in something that weights 54 tons is interesting. It steers with a small wheel that is shaped like a bow tie and looks like it belongs in a go cart. We got to drive everything except Tank Retrievers. Lt Dye save them for himself.
Crushed Jeep
We were delivering M48 Tanks to Long Binh. We came up Rt 1 then right on the Vung Tau cutoff and first left into Long Binh from the south side. As we turned in here we were looking right up the hill to MACV. On a plateau just below MACV is where we left the tanks. Below that was a reservoir. Coming in the gate was a causeway across some wet ground. At each end of the causeway was a gate. The causeway was just 2 cars wide, maybe two trucks wide but not a tank and anything else. An Lt2 was coming out and did not want to wait at the inner gate. In a break in the tanks he pulled on to the causeway and stayed to his right. The driver ahead of me wanted to get as close as he could to the jeep but got a little two close. The officer went out the other side. No one ever said anything to the driver of the tank.