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CONVOY OPERATIONS IN VIETNAM  |  HARDENED CONVOY CONCEPT  |  NAMING A GUN TRUCK
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Convoy Operations in Vietnam

Gun Trucks - The Hardened Convoy Concept

    Convoys are the most efficient way of moving large amounts of cargo by truck. In Vietnam, truck convoys moved thousands of tons of cargo to combat troops and firebases daily. Road travel was always hazardous and strict precautions were taken to ensure the safety of each convoy so that vital food, ammunition and other supplies got to their destination safely.

    Outposts secured vital bridges. Daily, engineers cleared the roads and searched for mines. Artillery at fire support bases along the route stood ready to fire in support of the convoy and helicopter gunships maintained aerial surveillance to ensure a rapid response in the even of an attack. In some cases, fast reaction forces stood by to counter attack enemy units attempting to ambush U. S. convoys.

 

 

8th Transportation Group
(Motor Transport)

    The 8th Group was responsible for line haul transport operations through the Central Highlands of Vietnam from the coastal city of Qui Nhon to Pleiku. Route 19 was the main supply route - about 150 miles of steep, winding, mountainous roadway. Massive truck convoys of 70 or more trucks traveled this route daily, carrying ammunition, food and supplies to tactical units of northern II Corps area of operations. The Highlands along Route 19 had long been a major enemy stronghold. Years before the 8th Group arrived, the enemy had successfully destroyed an entire French unit on Route 19, a fact unknown to the American units at the time.

    The isolated mountain road was bordered in some places by wide-open fields and in other places, heavy woods, making ideal ambush sites. In some areas the grade was very steep with winding hairpin turns, causing the heavily laden trucks to drive even slower. There were two major mountain passes - An Khe and Mang Giang - which quickly became known as "Ambush Alley."

8th Transportation Group Area of Operations map

During an intensive year from Sep 1967 to Sep 1968, the enemy continually ambushed the 8th Transportation Group in an attempt to close Route 19. They failed. By the end of that year, the 8th had delivered 596,572 tons of cargo and over 4 million gallons of fuel, driving 7,331,924 miles.

 

 

 
ORDER OF BATTLE
 
 
8th Transportation Group (Motor Transport) 48th Transportation Group
(Motor Transport)
500th Transportation Group
(Motor Transport)

 

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