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M54 Gun Truck – Improvised Armored Vehicle

  • ¥25,600
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About the M54 Gun Truck – Improvised Armored Vehicle:

The M54 was a 5-ton all-purpose 6x6 cargo truck. It was the workhorse of both the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. It was primarily used to move troops and cargo through the maze of paths and roads throughout South Vietnam. However, as the Viet Cong (VC) proliferated south of the DMZ, convoys presented easy targets for ambushes—especially on the infamous Route 19. As many things did in Vietnam, the M54 went through field modifications to offer convoy protection. The “Gun Truck” has become a mythologized vehicle of the war with personalities that fit its crew.

The M54 Gun Truck and its little brother the M35 were upgraded with steel armor plates—welded on in the field—beefier tires, and of course machine guns—lots of them. There is no standard loadout for a gun truck; they really are scrapped together from whatever its crew could scrounge up or “borrow.” Weapons included Browning M2 .50 Caliber machine guns, 7.62 NATO M60 machine guns, quad fifty antiaircraft guns, and, perhaps the favorite, the XM 134 minigun. The trucks were often painted black and given nicknames and artwork to put fear into the VC. These names included: Cold Sweat, Ace of Spades, Deuce is Wild, Pandemonium, and many more. More importantly, the presence of these trucks offered a sense of security to convoys. In all, between 300 and 400 trucks were converted for convoy protection.