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Armor/AFV
For discussions on tanks, artillery, jeeps, etc.
Gamma goats in Nam?
VenomOrca
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Illinois, United States
Joined: June 20, 2003
KitMaker: 205 posts
Armorama: 165 posts
Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 - 09:06 PM GMT+7
Were the Gamma goats used in Vietnam?
Got the Tamiya kit kicking around...want to know if I can place it in the jungle.
If they were there... Can anyone lead me to images?
RobinNilsson
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Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: November 29, 2006
KitMaker: 2,478 posts
Armorama: 2,202 posts
Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 - 09:35 PM GMT+7
Wikipedia says:
"The Gama Goat was a six-wheel drive semi-amphibious off-road vehicle originally developed for use by the US military in the Vietnam War. "
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gama_Goat
The Olive Drab site says that it was developed for the rugged terrain of south-east Asia (same same, different name ...)

Didn't find any images showing M561's in Vietnam though.

/ Robin
young_sven
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Skåne, Sweden
Joined: May 14, 2010
KitMaker: 712 posts
Armorama: 706 posts
Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 - 10:55 PM GMT+7
Hello Jon,

I am no expert on the Gama Goat so cannot vouch for their use in Vietnam, but I have noticed that the Tamiya kit has a later configuration of the lights on the fenders which as far as I can tell from references I have seen would not be suitable for a Vietnam-era (or even Grenada-era) vehicle. There might be other differences as well, hopefully someone with more knowledge than me can chime in.

Early configuration fender lights:

https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2010/03/22/march-military-campaign-1971-m561-gama-goat/

Late configuration fender lights (a la Tamiya):

http://data3.primeportal.net/trucks/hans-hermann_buhling/m561_gamma_goat/images/m561_gamma_goat_02_of_87.jpg

Cheers,
Sven
sdk10159
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Oregon, United States
Joined: December 08, 2005
KitMaker: 494 posts
Armorama: 402 posts
Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 - 11:06 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Hello Jon,

I am no expert on the Gama Goat so cannot vouch for their use in Vietnam, but I have noticed that the Tamiya kit has a later configuration of the lights on the fenders which as far as I can tell from references I have seen would not be suitable for a Vietnam-era (or even Grenada-era) vehicle. There might be other differences as well, hopefully someone with more knowledge than me can chime in.

Early configuration fender lights:

https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2010/03/22/march-military-campaign-1971-m561-gama-goat/

Late configuration fender lights (a la Tamiya):

http://data3.primeportal.net/trucks/hans-hermann_buhling/m561_gamma_goat/images/m561_gamma_goat_02_of_87.jpg

Cheers,
Sven



I wouldn't put too much credence in the accuracy of that second picture. On the windshield, it has the symbol for a US armored divsion wih a #4 indicating the 4th AD. Yet the bottom of the symbol says "Old Ironsides". Old Ironsides was the nickname of the 1st AD. i think this picture is from someone's private collection and has been made "Street Legal".
young_sven
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Skåne, Sweden
Joined: May 14, 2010
KitMaker: 712 posts
Armorama: 706 posts
Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 - 11:14 PM GMT+7
Hi Steve,

Thanks, that is very good to know. I am using these pictures as references for my build, so this is valuable information.

Having said that, there does seem to be at least two different configurations of the lights as far as I can gather from various pictures.

Frenchy
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Rhone, France
Joined: December 02, 2002
KitMaker: 10,604 posts
Armorama: 10,402 posts
Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 - 11:55 PM GMT+7
AFAIK, the closest it came near Vietnam was Thailand

Some XM561 test rigs were sent there for trials in 1962 and 1965 :



http://www.vought.org/special/html/sgamaa.html

H.P.
RobinNilsson
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Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: November 29, 2006
KitMaker: 2,478 posts
Armorama: 2,202 posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 12:32 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

AFAIK, the closest it came near Vietnam was Thailand

Some XM561 test rigs were sent there for trials in 1962 and 1965 :



http://www.vought.org/special/html/sgamaa.html

H.P.


Very interesting historical summary
The bit about buying what you have tested was amusing.
/ Robin
VenomOrca
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Illinois, United States
Joined: June 20, 2003
KitMaker: 205 posts
Armorama: 165 posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 05:11 AM GMT+7
Well that narrows it down I guess.

Since I am building the 70s version as per instructions...I guess I will have to model a US base sentry or something from an unknown unit.

Or just put it on a plain toast base and let viewers decide.
alchemymike
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Texas, United States
Joined: December 14, 2011
KitMaker: 78 posts
Armorama: 73 posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 05:46 AM GMT+7
I was stationed for a while in Ft Lewis WA... in 76.... I saw Gama Goats used there when we were on maneuvers
metalhead85
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New York, United States
Joined: March 24, 2006
KitMaker: 158 posts
Armorama: 113 posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 06:51 AM GMT+7
We had them in Germany in 1985, 2/6 Inf, 2nd BDE, 1st AD, Erlangen...I left in 1987 to go back stateside, but can't remember if they were still there when I left. I guess they belonged to HHC ??....



Rich
trickymissfit
Joined: October 03, 2007
KitMaker: 1,136 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 07:23 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

AFAIK, the closest it came near Vietnam was Thailand

Some XM561 test rigs were sent there for trials in 1962 and 1965 :



http://www.vought.org/special/html/sgamaa.html

H.P.



Now I never saw one, so I can't prove it by my eyes alone. Yet DaNang was supposed to have a couple of them. There is even talk of a guy getting killed on one when he got pinned in the middle. I would check the Marine and Seabee inventory in DaNang or even Chu Lai / Phu Bai areas.
gary
GFReasor
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 29, 2009
KitMaker: 12 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 10:12 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

We had them in Germany in 1985, 2/6 Inf, 2nd BDE, 1st AD, Erlangen...I left in 1987 to go back stateside, but can't remember if they were still there when I left. I guess they belonged to HHC ??....



Rich



I was in 6-14 FA, 1st AD, in Zirndorf, West Germany from 1984-87. We used Goats in the recon/survey section and RATT rigs used them as well. When I left in '87 they were still there, but waiting to get replaced by HUMVEEs.
sgtreef
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Oklahoma, United States
Joined: March 01, 2002
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Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 10:23 AM GMT+7
I was in Korea 1977-78 we had a few and the Grunts did also.
Lost one from Battalion on a river crossing.

Cheers
Bruiser
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New York, United States
Joined: August 08, 2013
KitMaker: 2 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 10:56 AM GMT+7
We had goats in 1973 with C Btry 1st 59th ADA in Mainz and
Wackerheim Germany. used to replace the 715s PU. Cargo and troop transport only. I think we only got one (C-27) that was assigned to motor pool.
panamadan
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Minnesota, United States
Joined: July 20, 2004
KitMaker: 735 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 12:09 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

We had them in Germany in 1985, 2/6 Inf, 2nd BDE, 1st AD, Erlangen...I left in 1987 to go back stateside, but can't remember if they were still there when I left. I guess they belonged to HHC ??....

I was in 1-35 AR at the same time. Small world.
Dan

Rich

210cav
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Virginia, United States
Joined: February 05, 2002
KitMaker: 6,094 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 12:21 PM GMT+7
There were no Goats in "Nam. They entered the inventory in probably '73. Replacing the 3/4 ton truck. Last time I saw one it was a target on Tank Table 8, Dona Ana Range Camp 1980...good riddance to the darn thing!
Kenaicop
#384
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Nevada, United States
Joined: August 23, 2005
KitMaker: 982 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 12:36 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

There were no Goats in "Nam. They entered the inventory in probably '73. Replacing the 3/4 ton truck. Last time I saw one it was a target on Tank Table 8, Dona Ana Range Camp 1980...good riddance to the darn thing!



Dona Ana, I remember it well! We actually had them in HHT 1/3 ACR until at least 1986. I have a scar on my right forearm from being bounced around in the back of one. Memories, lol
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 15, 2009
KitMaker: 1,291 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 01:56 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

I was stationed for a while in Ft Lewis WA... in 76.... I saw Gama Goats used there when we were on maneuvers



We had them in the 11th ACR when I got there in 76-77, but they were on the way out of that unit at the time-- I was responsible for turning in the last one in 2nd Squadron in the spring of 1980, as one of the last things I did before leaving Europe as the acting Squadron S-4. The GG was really a maintenance nightmare, and we hated them. The funniest thing I ever saw though when it came to the GG was in the summer of 1982 when I was commanding a Smoke Generator Company at Fort Lewis, Washington. My company had been assigned to screen a drop zone for an air drop, with the intent of keeping the "enemy" from seeing the airdrop assembly area. A flight of three C141's flew over, each one carrying two GGs for airdrop. My driver and I had positioned our M151 so we could see the DZ. As the 141s came over, the GGs were rolled down the ramp-- being articulated, they all bent in the middle, on two pallets coming off the ramp, and the parachutes deployed perfectly except for the last one-- which shot straight out into the slipstream of the last 141-- tilted downward, and with only only one chute (of three) deployed as a streamer, dove right into the ground nose first at max velocity. There was a huge cloud of dirt and dust, but the wheels, complete with tires flew up out of the cloud in various directions and bounced away. My driver, who was a maintenance NCO, turned to me and said "well sir, that will be a helluva report of survey, but it's a good thing it was a Gamma Goat, so it's no real loss! He then added perhaps the unit motor sergeant saw it as a way to get rid of a "lemon"-- implying the 1000 foot drop might have been intentional! We were the closest to the impact, so we drove over and saw the crater-- there wasn't anything identifiable-- it was about 5 feet deep and wreckage was scattered about 100 yards in every direction. Thinking back over the years, I've often wondered if anyone lost thier job over that incident, which would be a shame given the Gamma Goat was such a piece of junk-- and they don't bounce well either!
VR, Russ
metalhead85
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New York, United States
Joined: March 24, 2006
KitMaker: 158 posts
Armorama: 113 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 05:44 AM GMT+7
Wow..yeah small world indeed Dan. That was my first duty station, I loved it...miss that place sort of. Great time for an 18 year old kid at the time
VenomOrca
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Illinois, United States
Joined: June 20, 2003
KitMaker: 205 posts
Armorama: 165 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 09:53 AM GMT+7
I'm loving these stories I'm hearing from you guys, and by the way thank you all so much for your service. Oh well...I guess a basic landscape vignette will do for my little goat...and I'll try to get pics up once its finished.
I can't really compete with these soldier stories...but if I can relate a few-.
I was in the CAP when I was a teenager, maybe the greatest thing I ever did with my life just for the experience.
Remember being at Camp Douglas, Volk field Wisconsin attending common school. Got my first ride in a KC-135 and watched them refuel a pair of A-10s and a pair of A-37 Dragonfly's. Then the next day we hoof it to the bombing range to observe but find nothing but overcast and rainy Sky's. So the pilots...flying in A-10s treated us to some low level "attack runs".
And my final icing on the cake was an orientation flight in a UH-1 Huey with a couple of hot dog pilots who I think served in nam by the way they took us on that rollercoaster flight at treetop level that day. Side doors wide open and everything looking straight down to the ground.
I even think I remember a couple of gamma goats roaming around that base at the time.
Quite possibly this is the reason for my fondness for military equipment and modelling in general.
My thanks to all of you for listening to my silly rants and replying to this post.
It is appreciated.
beachbm2
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United States
Joined: December 21, 2002
KitMaker: 381 posts
Armorama: 148 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 12:21 PM GMT+7
Yes the Gamma Goat was a pile of dog doo doo! noisy prone to breakdown maintenance nightmare and only sometimes amphibious. hated them!
Kenaicop
#384
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Nevada, United States
Joined: August 23, 2005
KitMaker: 982 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 12:29 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Yes the Gamma Goat was a pile of dog doo doo! noisy prone to breakdown maintenance nightmare and only sometimes amphibious. hated them!



I distinctly remember having to wear hearing protection, the big ear muffs, when driving those things. So freaking loud!
beachbm2
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United States
Joined: December 21, 2002
KitMaker: 381 posts
Armorama: 148 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 02:18 PM GMT+7
Stenciled on the dash and Engine hump was "Hearing Protection Required" they were garbage!
Bravo36
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Arizona, United States
Joined: January 11, 2002
KitMaker: 116 posts
Armorama: 102 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 02:20 PM GMT+7
We had a Goat in each mech infantry company in 1/11 infantry (mech) in the 4th Inf Division at Ft Carson in 1971. They hauled supplies for our M113A1s. Terribly loud. All drivers and passengers were required to wear hearing protection. All of our vehicles were still painted in solid OD.
Bravo36
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Arizona, United States
Joined: January 11, 2002
KitMaker: 116 posts
Armorama: 102 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 02:23 PM GMT+7
And each company still had an M114. Now that was an underpowered piece of junk. It never left the motor pool.