Convoy security simply couldn't
meet the intense ambushes from the
enemy. Escort jeeps were too
lightly armed to be effective.
Armored vehicles were few in country,
and engaged elsewhere. If they
were going to protect the crews and the
convoys, they would have to build it
early Gun Jeep, M151, initially
used as a convoy protection
vehicle with a single mounted
7.62mm M-60 machine gun. It was
helpful, but too lightly armed
and had no protection for its
passengers during an ambush.
Colonel Joe O. Bellino, commander
of 8th Group, didn't hesitate to
implement a suggestion by his
maintenance officer to put armor and
machine guns on a few trucks to
accompany the convoys. The
Hardened Convoy Concept was officially
Within days of the decision to harden
the convoys, salvaged armor plate began
to appear on doors and floors of convoy
vehicles. While allowing
crewmembers precious seconds to take up
their rifles, the trucks did not have
sufficient firepower to drive the enemy
away from the ambush.
interior bed of the "Eve of
double-walled steel exterior sides,
extra tires, extra ammunition for
the twin - .50 caliber machine guns.
The trucks needed firepower. Only a few
machineguns were assigned to the base
camp for protection. Truckers
began to cannibalize damaged weapons
from infantry units that were often
their return-trip cargo. They kept
all working parts, built new guns, and
built a sizeable inventory of parts.
Weapons such as the M60 and the .50
caliber machinegun became standard
equipment for a gun truck, and later
mini-guns were added.
Drivers, mechanics and
administrators became gunners, training
on base camp ranges. Crews were
formed and assigned to one truck,
providing all its maintenance. The
ambush SOP was changed to reflect the
newest asset - the Gun Truck.
By the end of November 1967, the
hardened convoys were in business.
of the "Misfits" crew, at a
makeshift range, firing cannibalized
weapons from the bed of their truck.
of Destruction" being loaded
onto a cargo ship for her trip
from Vietnam to Fort Eustis,
Virginia, home of the Army
Transportation Corps. The
"Eve" was selected for return to
the states for the U.S. Army
Transportation Museum, and is
believed to be the only gun
truck to survive, all others
being left behind in Vietnam.