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The less obvious US AFV in Korea and Vietnam


KRK4m
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We all know the M4, M26 and M46 in Korea, and the M48, M551 and M113 in Vietnam.

But are there pictures of the pre-series T41 Bulldogs of their testing in Korea in 1953?

Are photos of the M59 and M114 from Vietnam known?

Did M41 # 30169845 (3CAV HQ) and M109 # 12A5365 (9-IF84) really fight in Vietnam?

There could be many more questions, but I asked the most interesting ones from my point of view.

Cheers

Michael

Edited by KRK4m
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  • KRK4m changed the title to The less obvious US AFV in Korea and Vietnam

I think the T41 was too early for Korea, being developed in 1949 and committed to production in August 1950 because of Korea, yet the M41 was too late to see service in Korea because it was rushed and flawed and most of those built were embargoed in Tank Depots pending rectifications.

 

It seems that some M59s were initially deployed to Vietnam but didn't last long as it was a cheap, poor, underpowered and unreliable design and the superior M113 was available from 1960.

 

M114s were in Vietnam in small numbers but identifiably Vietnam images are rare.  Here are a couple.  These might both be ARVN.

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Thanks Kingsman, but these M114s don't have white stars - that's not what I'm looking for.

I would like to find definitive confirmation or denial for the US Army use of even a small number (squadron?) of the early M41 and M47 in Korea in 1953 and the M59 and M41 in Vietnam. And also pictures of M114 with white stars (we know for sure they were there) from Indochina.

Why does every AFV diorama from Korea have to be limited to the M4, M26 and M46, and from Vietnam to the M113, M551 and M48?

Cheers

Michael

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Because that is what was photographed and therefore definitive and not speculative.  The M41 story is that the initial shipment only got as far as depots in Japan before the cease-fire.  I'm sure they made it to S Korea thereafter, and M47s too, when the US began stationing garrison forces in S Korea.  And perhaps this is the source of confusion.  Just about every type of US service equipment will have been in S Korea at some point after the cease-fire.  There may well be pictures of them in Korea, but when?  We see pictures of Tortoises and A41 Centurions in Germany shortly after the end of the war but we do not claim that makes them present during the war.

 

Did everything in Vietnam carry the white star?  The M41 was certainly deployed to Vietnam with US and ARVN forces.  There are many photos: white stars notably absent.  The M114 was there for a short time with US forces, but was withdrawn by the end of 1964 in favour of the M113.  So it was only there for a few months, and that would have been the original M114 and not the M114A1 with the commander's cupola.  The M114 proved to be mechanically unreliable and underpowered with poor cross country performance and very poor survivability - especially against mine strikes.  However, ARVN did continue to operate the M114 after the US withdrew it.  I think they had about 80 of them.

 

I think you're on a hiding to nothing with the M59 in Vietnam.  The M113 was in service almost 4 years before US combat forces were deployed to Vietnam and only about a year after the US sent its first "advisers".  It wasn't even worthy of giving to ARVN!  By the time that US forces were sent the diesel M113A1 had supplanted the petrol M113 in front-line units.

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From Vietnam Tracks Armour in Battle 1945-75 by Simon Dustin to your list of vehicles used by US forces you can add M42 Duster, M50 Ontos, M51 recovery, M60 bridge, M67 flame, M88 recovery, M728 engineer,  and XM706 armoured car (USAF),

 

SP artillery Scorpion SPAT, M53 SP, M55 SP, M108 SP, M110 SP 

 

Landing craft LVTP-5, LVTP-6

 

Many of the above are even shown with white stars

 

No US M41, M59 or M114.

Edited by dcrfan
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11 hours ago, Kingsman said:

The M41 story is that the initial shipment only got as far as depots in Japan before the cease-fire.  I'm sure they made it to S Korea thereafter, and M47s too, when the US began stationing garrison forces in S Korea.  

 

Did everything in Vietnam carry the white star?  The M41 was certainly deployed to Vietnam with US and ARVN forces.  There are many photos: white stars notably absent.  The M114 was there for a short time with US forces, but was withdrawn by the end of 1964 in favour of the M113.  So it was only there for a few months, and that would have been the original M114 and not the M114A1 with the commander's cupola.  The M114 proved to be mechanically unreliable and underpowered with poor cross country performance and very poor survivability - especially against mine strikes.  However, ARVN did continue to operate the M114 after the US withdrew it.  I think they had about 80 of them.

 

I think you're on a hiding to nothing with the M59 in Vietnam...  It wasn't even worthy of giving to ARVN!  

Your explanation for the M41 and M47 confusion in Korea seems close to my way of thinking. 

As for the US M41 and M114 in Vietnam you mentioned: would it be possible to identify the units in which these vehicles were (briefly) used? M114s are mentioned in the "Vietnam memoirs" of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, but I can't find the M41 units. Armory (Ukrainian kit maker) describes #30169845 as "Vietnam, 1968", but the markings on the fenders (3CAV HQ) clearly contradict this - the 3rd Cavalry Division was disbanded in 1940, and the 3rd Cavalry Regiment was deployed in Germany, not Vietnam.

As for the M59: reportedly (Arsenal of Democracy, T. Gervasi) ARVN had 866 of them in stock. Do you think they already wore Vietnamese markings at the time of unloading and did not have even a brief period of service in Indochina with US units? In Europe, the US used them until the end of the 1960s, and the national guard in the USA until 1987.

 

1 hour ago, dcrfan said:

No US M41, M59 or M114.

And this opinion is in direct opposition to what we established above. Are we going back to the starting point: I know that I know nothing?

Cheers

Michael

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8 hours ago, KRK4m said:

 

And this opinion is in direct opposition to what we established above. Are we going back to the starting point: I know that I know nothing?

Cheers

Michael

Probably means by U.S forces, although the M114 was used initially it quickly proved unsuitable and was withdrawn by 1964 for U.S forces, the M41 was never used by U.S forces in Vietnam but by the ARVN.

 

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The M75 APC was used towards the end of the Korean War (1953). There are occasional photos that pop up in books and online.

 

In Vietnam, the M76 Otter is largely ignored as is the M56 SPAT. The LVTP 5 gets very little love. Also, in 1972/73, a USMC Tractor Battalion equipped with the (then very new) LVTP 7 undertook three(?) beach assaults, ferrying ARVN Marines. This was after US forces had been officially withdrawn but whilst a USMC presence remained at sea in the area. Way back (early 1990s?), the IPMS USA Journal carried a letter by the former commander of the battalion, refuting the claim that no LVTP 7s were used in Vietnam and describing the raids.

 

Never seen any evidence of M59s in Vietnam with either US or ARVN units.

The only M114s deployed to Vitenam (80) equipped 4 ARVN Cavalry Squadrons and were withdrawn fairly quickly because they had poor cross-country performance in the conditions they encountered in Vietnam. An American 'Army Concept Team' evaluated the M114s used by the ARVN but that may be where the confusion arises (somebody may have assumed that the concept team was evaluating a test batch in US Army service).

 

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