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GunTruck questions regarding Nancy Gun Truck
ArmouredSprue
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Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 07:55 AM UTC
Gunnie!
I saw your pics of Nancy, and I got a few questions:
1) What model did you use?
2) The colour for guntrucks arent black?
3) All markings were handpainted?
4) The quads, what .50s did you use? And the amunnition boxes? Could I use the round ones?
5) lol! Its amazing! Congratulations for the excellent job.
Cheers!
cfbush2000
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Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 08:32 AM UTC
Gunnie,
While yer answering questions, I got one.
I'd like to do a guntruck with an M113 on the back. Am I correct in assuming that those were all 5 ton trucks?
TreadHead
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Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 10:02 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Gunnie,
While yer answering questions, I got one.
I'd like to do a guntruck with an M113 on the back. Am I correct in assuming that those were all 5 ton trucks?



Howdy cfbush2000,

I believe one of Gunnies projects is a Guntruck called the 'Big Kahuna'. It was one of the first, if not the first Guntuck to have incorporated the M113 upper hull mounted onto the back of a U.S. cargo truck. I'm sure Gunnie can elaborate. I for one am really looking forward to seeing pics of it!

Tread.

GunTruck
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Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 11:42 AM UTC
Oooh, more gun truck fun!

1) "Nancy" was made from the original AFV Club M35A2 Deuce. I first backdated and converted the A2 to an A1 and then "Nancy" back in 1996. Over the years I gathered more information on the vehicle and in 2000 I disassembled this model and rebuilt it into what's shown here, with a new M55 Quad 50cal Trailer, because of new information I found on the gun truck. My original configuration (as presented in the new AFV Club kit) was not correct. So I took the opportunity to restore the entire model instead of just replacing the Quad Turret.

2) All gun trucks were not black. The early vehicles were left OD Green. As the armored convoy escort concept evolved, so did the colorful nicknames and paint schemes. The second generation Deuces and M54 5-ton trucks were typically painted black overall. The color photos of "Nancy" from 1968 shows she remained OD Green. Photographs of specific vehicles are critical to get those details down.

3) All the artwork was handpainted - do you mean my artwork on the model - or the real vehicles? The real vehicles were done by the crews themselves - a testament to their talents. Also pay close attention, as when the trucks return from their convoy runs, often battle damage necessitated replacement of parts and equipment - and paint schemes changed too. When trucks transferred to another unit - the name was often changed too. If you meant my miniature, I created the artwork by hand, scanned it into my computer, processed the image with Adobe PhotoDeluxe, and printed it on decal sheet for application to my model. There was no decal sheet for "Nancy" prior to the AFV Club release.

4) The M55 Quad Turret is Tamiya's older M16 MGMC turret with a scratchbuilt Trailer based on Kirin's resin example designed by Chris Mrosko. The Kirin M55 Quad Trailer is really, really, difficult to find today, as it has been out of production almost 10 years now. The 40mm Ammo Cans were Verlinden parts with scratchbuilt cradles. To model "Nancy" you can't use the old drum canisters - she wasn't equipped with them.

5) Yes, all third generation gun trucks (M113 APC Hulls) were based on M54 5-ton trucks. They asked a lot of the Deuce - but not THAT much . The M54 quickly took over the convoy escort role as they could carry the weapons, ammo, and sufficient armor plating to protect the crew without wrecking the vehicle in the process. However, the powerful anti-aircraft trucks equipped like "Nancy" kept the Deuce in the mix too. Anti-Aircraft vehicle conversions were done on both the Deuce and M54 5-ton trucks - and both participated in the convoy escort role when the threat of North Vietnamese air attack subsided. These were standard AA trucks as used in artillery units - and not specifically modified for a gun truck convoy escort role. The AA trucks got nicknames and flash paint schemes because the Artillery guys didn't want to be outdone by the Truckers. When the MP's joined the convoy escort role, units supporting the 8th GP added a little flash to their V-100's too with nicknames and a yellow "cheater stripe" down the sides of the armored cars matching the yellow hood bands on the noses on 8th GP assigned gun trucks.

As Tread pointed out - "The Big Kahuna" was a special truck in that he was (I believe too from accounts of the Veterans who were there) the first of the third generation gun trucks - the first vehicle to mount the M113 APC Hull in his cargo bed. Of all the named gun trucks - I think his was the most appropriate. "Kahuna's" markings were really subdued and understated - contrary to the flashy trucks like "King Cobra" - probably the only thing that stood out on it was the number "1" he carried for a brief period of time signifying him being the first of a new breed.

Hope I hit on all the questions above. Gun Trucks really interest me because they are the armor modeler's equivalent to the aircraft modeler's famous fighter plane. No two gun trucks are alike. All are individual creations, and all changed and evolved during the War. Armed with enough photos, you'll be able to notice the changes to a particular truck, and this is the fun part of the research. A fantasy truck is a cool expression of the art of armor modeling, but there is so much on the real vehicles that it would be a shame not to select one and build to keep the memory alive...

Gunnie

Gunnie
ArmouredSprue
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Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 07:07 PM UTC

Quoted Text

4) The M55 Quad Turret is Tamiya's older M16 MGMC turret with a scratchbuilt Trailer based on Kirin's resin example designed by Chris Mrosko. The Kirin M55 Quad Trailer is really, really, difficult to find today, as it has been out of production almost 10 years now. The 40mm Ammo Cans were Verlinden parts with scratchbuilt cradles. To model "Nancy" you can't use the old drum canisters - she wasn't equipped with them.


Great Gunnie!
Do you still got the plans that you used to make the Quad trailer? If so, could you send me some copy? Did you use the original .50's or did you replace it for another (I notted the flash supressors)?
If you have some material you could share with me I'll really appreciate, I'm planning building it soon, as I've told you.
Cheers! and Thx!
GunTruck
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Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 10:23 PM UTC
Sure Paulo, I believe Artoo Detoo (my file cabinet) has the Plans you seek. Let me coax him into giving them up. I'll send it to you as soon as I pull it out of the files...

The 50cal are the original Tamiya parts (yuck, but I cleaned them up well) but I did cast some flash supressors in resin from the AFV Club Deuce to add to the Tamiya machine guns.

Gunnie
HunterCottage
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Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 11:34 PM UTC
Gunnie,

Not to pay any disrespect to you and your modelling, no one can slap your fingers there (especially me;) ), but the title of this post made me think of the British expression of what a "Nancy" is... :-)

Oh by all means it's not a bad thing or anything completely derogatory like that, it just means "sissy" or ridiculous or stupid. In that light it's quite contradictory...
Sabot
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Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 12:20 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Gunnie,

Not to pay any disrespect to you and your modelling, no one can slap your fingers there (especially me;) ), but the title of this post made me think of the British expression of what a "Nancy" is... :-)

Oh by all means it's not a bad thing or anything completely derogatory like that, it just means "sissy" or ridiculous or stupid. In that light it's quite contradictory...

Yes, we use that term in the US, usually with the word boy as in "Nancy-boy" meaning a sissy.
ArmouredSprue
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Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 03:40 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Gunnie,

Not to pay any disrespect to you and your modelling, no one can slap your fingers there (especially me;) ), but the title of this post made me think of the British expression of what a "Nancy" is... :-)

Oh by all means it's not a bad thing or anything completely derogatory like that, it just means "sissy" or ridiculous or stupid. In that light it's quite contradictory...



Guys;
I really didn't know that (thx my school english ) But I just mentionned the name of the vehicle he did (sorry Gunnie ), try to be more specific nest time.
Thx Brian and Rob;
Cheers!
GunTruck
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Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 07:12 AM UTC
Actually guys - I have a theory about the origin of the nickname "Nancy" as applied to this gun truck. I discussed this with a couple of veterans, and they thought it reasonable too.

Gun trucks were often named after rock groups or songs from the 60's. However, "Nancy's" origin was more than likely an Artillery unit, since she is an AA truck. There are early AA trucks that were pressed into the convoy escort role, another one of them was named "Andrea". Seems reasonable to think these trucks were named after a loved one.

On "Nancy" AFV Club missed an additional armor plate behind the Quad Turret Gunner. In the 1968 photos I have, there is a picture painted on this armor plate, with "NANCY" arched above it. I rendered my impression of this artwork and placed it on my model. It appears to be a woman or girl, wearing a red dress - butterfly-shaped. When I first saw the logo, I thought of the legend of the Okinawan Princess.

The Okinawan Princess wore a dress of seven robes - all made in the colors and patterns of the seven families on Okinawa. She also wore a short sabre in the hair (not to be confused with Sabot - pronounced SAY-BO for you wild-ones out there ). The sabre was golden in color. No man could look upon the Okinawan Princess - for we weren't pure enough (Jim's wife Kirsten might like this ). If a man encountered her in the village, he was to avert his eyes and look away - lest she lopped his head off with the sabre in her hair. I brought one of the dolls of the Okinawan Princess back home when I returned to the US.

The logo painted on the real truck reminded me of it instantly when I saw it. "Nancy" could have been a GI's wife, girlfriend, or sister - and the legend of the Okinawan Princess could have been what made her a fierce weapon and their "banner" so to speak. Historical accounts paint "Nancy's" crew as pretty formidable in the convoy escort role - they weren't "sissy boys" in the least - and "Nancy" was dubbed as NO LADY when it came to defending the convoys.

Gunnie

ArmouredSprue
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Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 08:55 PM UTC
lol Gunnie!
Good story to dream with!
Ill wait for the plans! Cheers!
HunterCottage
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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 01:20 PM UTC
My reflection on the name of the post was not directed at the personnel who used the truck or the inherant use of the vehicle, it was a mere play with words.

But it turned out to be a great history lesson!
GunTruck
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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 11:25 PM UTC
Brian - you've gotta tell me if I'm getting longwinded in a response. I'm passionate about favorite subjects, and can go on and on.

Probably the best reason why I never pursued a credential to teach in school

Gunnie
HunterCottage
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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 11:54 PM UTC
No Gunnie,

Long answers and intricate insight into modelling pieces like this make this site all that much more interesting and living!!

No Gunnie, on the contrary, bring it on!!

Sabot
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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2002 - 12:42 AM UTC
I also assume that the name "Nancy" applied to a woman associated with a crew member. I did not imply that the crew members were sissys. I just informed HC that I have heard the name "Nancy" as a synonym for the word "sissy". I understand why someone unfamiliar with the gun truck named "Nancy" would raise an eyebrow at the term "Nancy Gun Truck" thinking it may mean some wussy gun truck.
sas
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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2002 - 10:54 PM UTC
hello everyone;
This thread is excellent, well worth reading over and over! The questions and answers are most enlightening, enough so to inspire me to want to try a guntruck. The one I have my eye on is Sir Charles. The m113`s commanders armoured turret is a nice touch.
A couple of new albums comming your way for Guntruck and all you guys contemplating on trying your hand at doing a guntruck! I`d like to dedicate these albums to all the good men who took part in the Guntrucks and to everyone who contributed to this thread. In case you haven`t already guessed , the Vietnam conflict is one of my favourite theatres of war to model. Most excellent guys, enjoy the albums.
sas
GunTruck
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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 12:07 AM UTC

Quoted Text

hello everyone;
This thread is excellent, well worth reading over and over! The questions and answers are most enlightening, enough so to inspire me to want to try a guntruck. The one I have my eye on is Sir Charles. The m113`s commanders armoured turret is a nice touch.
A couple of new albums comming your way for Guntruck and all you guys contemplating on trying your hand at doing a guntruck! I`d like to dedicate these albums to all the good men who took part in the Guntrucks and to everyone who contributed to this thread. In case you haven`t already guessed , the Vietnam conflict is one of my favourite theatres of war to model. Most excellent guys, enjoy the albums.
sas



Post Away SAS!

Gunnie
TreadHead
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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 01:26 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Gunnie,

Not to pay any disrespect to you and your modelling, no one can slap your fingers there (especially me;) ), but the title of this post made me think of the British expression of what a "Nancy" is... :-)

Oh by all means it's not a bad thing or anything completely derogatory like that, it just means "sissy" or ridiculous or stupid. In that light it's quite contradictory...

Yes, we use that term in the US, usually with the word boy as in "Nancy-boy" meaning a sissy.



Another british term for the same thing is ' puffter'.....
HunterCottage
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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 02:25 AM UTC
Judging from Gunnie's and Rob's answers Gun Trucks were usually named. Is that correct or was it more the exception to the rule that they got named.

Then again what then is the actual definition of a Gun Truck? Aren't most armor subjects trucks with guns?? Or is there more differences?? I think if I am going to try and learn anything I better stick my neck out and ask...
Sabot
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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 02:49 AM UTC
During wartime, just about every wheeled vehicle has the ability to have a ring mount and M2 .50 cal added (including the HEMTT). Gun trucks are distinguished by the having their use as a cargo carrying vehicle ended and then receiving the dedicated mission of convoy protection by adding armor plating and additional machine guns. Also the normal truck crew is 2 (driver and assistant) and a gun truck will have a larger crew with additional personnel on the weapons. Note that because a cargo truck is hauling troops and they have their M-16s hanging out the sides, does not make it a gun truck. Use of a like truck is preferred since both the gun truck and cargo trucks will have the same speed, performance, etc. so one does not have to slow down for the other.
GunTruck
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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 03:02 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Judging from Gunnie's and Rob's answers Gun Trucks were usually named. Is that correct or was it more the exception to the rule that they got named.

Then again what then is the actual definition of a Gun Truck? Aren't most armor subjects trucks with guns?? Or is there more differences?? I think if I am going to try and learn anything I better stick my neck out and ask...



Rob is correct in his reply. There were early vehicles modified for convoy escort as the concept evolved that were not named. These trucks evolved into the better known "named" variety familiar today.

Amongst the truckers in Vietnam - there is a distinct difference between their modified trucks and other combat vehicles that supported the mission there. Like Rob pointed out, just because a truck came armed with a weapon - that didn't make it a gun truck. V-100's are not considered gun trucks, nor are Dusters or M113's that participated in convoy defense missions. The Artillery unit trucks are counted amongst the gun truck breed - even though they were already armed - because their crews were integrated into the convoy defense mission. The larger part of the vehicles called "gun truck" came from the transportation battalions.

"Gun Truck" is as much an attitude and camraderie as it is a heavily armored ex-cargo truck. That is why these vehicles were nicknamed and carried the flashy epitaths and paint jobs. It was the ultimate expression of resolve - and they didn't just count anyone into their ranks. Don't confuse nicknaming a truck with a vehicle that was part of that special effort and mission in Vietnam. Yes, the later generation gun trucks carried nicknames - some more than one, reference THE UNTOUCHABLE - ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE. Most early vehicles were adorned with nicknames, but not all.

Gunnie
HunterCottage
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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 03:09 AM UTC
Would it be incorrect to visualize this concept as a line of Deuce's for example and say the begining Deuce and a few in-between would guard a shipping/supply line? And these would be behind the front lines, but close there to??
GunTruck
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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 06:32 AM UTC
Well, there weren't really "front lines" for the truckers - the enemy ambushed them all along their convoy routes.

Initially, convoy escort was provided by armed M151A1 MUTTs. The MUTTs carried the M60 machine gun on a pedestal - a la Tamiya's M151A2 MUTT model kit. Tim Kutta stated in his book that the planned ratio of armed escorts to cargo trucks was one "gun MUTT" (my term) for every ten cargo trucks, but there were never enough MUTTs to meet this parameter. And, most importantly, it became obvious that the lightly armed MUTT could not be effective against a serious enemy ambush - even if they could get quickly on the scene of an attack.

To set the context of this for you; the 8th Transportation Group in supporting combat operations in their area logged some one million miles a month on the roads, hauled about 3000 tons of supplies each day with around 450 trucks. The Red Ball Express of WW II is famous - but what these guys did is incredible. A typical convoy run could have 40 cargo trucks in it (and more - even up to 100 cargo trucks), carrying fuel, food, clothing, and just about anything else you can imagine.

In response to VC attacks on the lightly defended truck convoys, a Hardened Convoy Concept came into being where "gun MUTTs" would lead and trail a convoy element, with a section of five cargo trucks, followed by a Quad 50 gun truck, leading another section of five cargo trucks, followed by a gun truck (first, second, or third generation as would evolve) and the rear "gun MUTT". The trucks in the cargo section would be spaced 100 yards apart and travel in a single line. Naturally, to supress an enemy ambush, the gun trucks would break out of the formation - and the cargo truck sections would haul @ss ahead maintaining their 100 yard separation intervals on to their destination. They would drive single-file, following in each other's tracks to prevent detonation of road mines. If a cargo truck was hit and unable to keep up, or was disabled, it would pull to the side of the road to let the others by.

As the concept evolved towards the end of 1967, the ratio of gun trucks per convoy was standardized at one gun truck to ten cargo trucks. The armor plating and armament itself increased as well. The truckers developed their own - effective - tactics and as the VC attacks intensified, so did the skill and abilities of the gun truck crews.

Naturally, the gun trucks themselves became the target(s) of the enemy attacks - which was a side benefit of their introduction to the convoy defense mission. It's reported that the VC put up bounties on all the gun trucks and their crews. I surmise this is when the truckers really went all-out to mark their fighting vehicles as bright as they could - in defiance to this. It is also interesting, because the gun trucks began to take the brunt of the enemy attacks instead of the cargo trucks. Most of the gun trucks were shot up or destroyed outright during their tour of duty - example; in a single week Satan's Little Angel was hit by five rocket propelled grenades (RPG) in three different ambushes. That gun truck's crew lost three men, and five others were wounded. Needless to say NO cargo truck was built to sustain that kind of punishment. It's a testament to the skill and ingenuity of the truckers to actually have gotten Satan's Little Angel out on that route all that week.

The gun trucks would accompany the cargo convoy all the way from depot to the front lines - and then the convoy would load up with damaged equipment and material from the front for the return trip to depot. This is where the truckers got the bulk of their steel for armor plating and weapons to arm their gun trucks - from wrecked fighting vehicles they were returning with.

The gun trucks came into being in 1967, with the enemy attack ferocity peaking at the end of 1967. By the Spring of 1968, the attacks subsided in frequency and intensity, but didn't go away. Between September 1967 and September 1968, the 8th Transportation Group was ambushed 36 times. They lost 38 men, and 204 were wounded. Confirmed VC losses were 116 dead and 15 wounded. During this time, the Group delivered 4 million gallons of fuel and 597,572 tons of cargo - driving some 7,331,924 miles in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

Gunnie
TreadHead
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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 06:52 AM UTC
What would we do without you Gunnie. That was an excellent post! Read it twice, and loved it. It's obvious you're passionate about the GunTrucks, and you are also effective at making the rest of us passionate about it to. I hope Tim Kutta is listening because you do him and all of his comrades a great service by heralding their exploits and courage.

I have been looking for his book so I can 'catch up' a little with the gun truck legend. You mentioned you colaborated with another gentlemen who has recently written a GunTruck book. Do you have any information on its release?

Tread.

P.S. I recently saw a picture somewhere (forget where) that was a slight overhead shot down into the cargo area of a gun truck. It showed, I think, the floor of the guntruck actually being ammo boxes. Is that right, or did these old eyes feed me lies?
GunTruck
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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 12:40 PM UTC

Quoted Text

What would we do without you Gunnie. That was an excellent post! Read it twice, and loved it. It's obvious you're passionate about the GunTrucks, and you are also effective at making the rest of us passionate about it to. I hope Tim Kutta is listening because you do him and all of his comrades a great service by heralding their exploits and courage.

I have been looking for his book so I can 'catch up' a little with the gun truck legend. You mentioned you colaborated with another gentlemen who has recently written a GunTruck book. Do you have any information on its release?

Tread.

P.S. I recently saw a picture somewhere (forget where) that was a slight overhead shot down into the cargo area of a gun truck. It showed, I think, the floor of the guntruck actually being ammo boxes. Is that right, or did these old eyes feed me lies?



Thanks Tread! If I'm any good at conveying information about these trucks it's because you guys bring it out! I didn't actually collaborate with James Lyles on his upcoming book - I was a cheerleader on the sidelines. Jim was the first gun truck veteran I met on the internet. His book is at the publishers - undergoing that mysterious thing publishers do. It got there last fall, so I think layout is being done on it. I hope it hits the stands this year - he worked hard on it.

Tim Kutta's book is great for early gun trucks of the 8th Transportation Group in the Central Highlands. I believe Jim Lyles' reference will expand on this beginning. Transportation Battalions in the South of Vietnam also fought on the roads - a whole other story to tell that hasn't been yet...

Gunnie

P.S. Nope, your eyes aren't letting you down. Ammo Cans did often line the floors of the fighting compartments in gun trucks. One, to carry extra ammo, but more as additional "armor" plating on the floor in case the truck ran over a mine. Sometimes the cans were filled with sand, sometimes sand bags were used, and a combination could be expected too - anything to give the crew a little more protection.