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US Army use of the M1955 Flak Vest in Vietnam


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#1 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 03:59 PM

Just some things I have noticed and thought were interesting.

 

 

 

On 31 October 1968 1st Battalion, 40th Artillery, 108th Artillery Group wrote in their Quarterly Operations Report-Lessons Learned:

"(1) Body Armor, Fragmentation. Protective, with 3/4th collar FSN 8470-823-7371

 

(a) OBSERVATION. US Army Body Armor FSN 8470-823-7371 appears to be less durable and to provide less protection than the USMC body armor FSN 8470-576-4193.

 

( B) EVALUATION. Under normal wearing conditions in this battalion the US Army body armor begins to deteriorate in approximately four months. The seams of the exterior covering tear and the inner protective webbing begins to roll and mat. The US Army body armor clings to the body preventing adequate air circulation around the upper body, thus greatly contributing to heat casualties. The USMC body armor, worn by many of the men in this battalion, does not have nay of these faults. It is also believed that the fragment stopping power of the USMC body armor is greater. An EIR concerning the durability faults of the US army body armor was submitted by this organization on 30 April 1968. 

 

© RECOMMENDATION. That armor, body armor fragmentation protective, FSN 8470-823-7371 (US Army) be reevaluated and compared with armor, fragmentation protective FSN 8470-576-4193 (USMC) for durability and fragment protection and that the better armor be adopted for use by both services."

 

HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, VIETNAM responded:

 

"2. Comments follow: a. Reference item. concerning body armor, fragmentation, protective, with 3/4 collar FSN 8470-823-7371, page 6, paragraph 2b(l): nonconcur. The unit submitted an EIR on the Army's body armor which will result in a reevaluation of the vest. Through an interservice supply stockage agreement, USMC body armor could be requisitioned by the Army. Meanwhile, a new variable type body armor is undergoing evaluation by selected USARV units. The new vest was developed by Natick Laboratories and is designed to provide protection against fragmentation and small arms fire with the addition of ballistic plates in chest and back pockets."

 

 

Some soldiers of 1st Battalion 6th Infantry, 198th Infantry Brigade (Light), 23rd Infantry Division wore M1955 Flak Jackets

198th LIB 1986.JPG
198th 2.JPG
These two were filmed on 15 February 1968. There are not very good screen shots but the first has some rank on his helmet, I think it may be Major. Both men have color 23rd ID SSI (not visible in these screenshots)
USArmyM1955_1.jpg
They are also seen in this picture. The man center left is the same as the 2nd man from the video. The man center back appears to be wearing an M1955, he looks similar to the 1st man in the video but doesn't appear to has insignia on his helmet. I am unsure if he is the same man. The RTO in both the pictues in the video is the same. Also of note is this unit wore a good number of handmade ammo vests.

 

101st Airborne, Camp Eagle 1970.

15032842_1324683027553642_8871396086208284810_n.jpg

 

 

 

If you have any info on the Army wearing M1955 or other USMC vests please share.



#2 patches

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 05:18 PM

interesting, it's also significant that these Army troops are in units located in I Corps, the Americal and the 101's base Camp Eagle are co located with the 1st Marine Division, I would gather these were acquired from their stocks.



#3 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 06:56 PM



interesting, it's also significant that these Army troops are in units located in I Corps, the Americal and the 101's base Camp Eagle are co located with the 1st Marine Division, I would gather these were acquired from their stocks.

Good observation. One member of 1st bn 40th Arty said "I  was probably at Con Thien more than any other fire base"  Con Thien was a USMC base.

 

1st Bn 40th Arty was part of XXIV Corps which was under the operational control of 3rd MEF. 1st Bn 40th Arty frequently supported Marine units. 

 

larrys9.jpg

Picture taken by Larry P Shaff Svc. Btry, 1/40th Arty. Feb. 8th - Nov. 19th 1968.  It's not captioned so I'm not sure who it's of, but I assume it's a member of 1st Bn

 

resize.png

Jim Haring Svc Btry 1/40th Arty. Mar. 68 - Oct. 68.

 

both from: http://www.willpete....tbn40tharty.htm



#4 patches

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 07:42 PM

Then there's hollywood :lol:

 

Micheal Dudikof in the 1988 movie Platoon Leader.

 

286104_full.jpg

 

 

 



#5 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 08:07 PM

haha, guess platoon was trying to make up for all the marines in FMJ wearing 3/4th Collar Vests

 

 

1224509764_3583e91735_o 3 5 cav.jpg

XO of 3/5 Cav some time between Feb. to May. 1970.

from Edd Rutherford: https://www.flickr.c...57601639224305/

 

Another I Corps unit.



#6 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 08:43 PM

bob.jpg

Taken by Bob Mahmood. 2nd Bn 94th Arty. April 1967 - April 1968,

from: http://willpete.com/...h_artillery.htm

 

VNf2.jpg

VNf3.jpg

Vnf10.JPG

Vnf9.JPG

By James R. Fullenwider. A Battery 2nd Bn 94th Arty Dec. 1970 - Nov. 1971.

from: http://willpete.com/...h_artillery.htm

 

CKelley.JPG

Charles W. Kelly. Hq Btry, 2nd Bn 94th Arty. Sep. 1967- Sep. 1968.

from: http://willpete.com/...h_artillery.htm

 

All at Camp Carroll I believe. 


Edited by Cap Camouflage Pattern I, 02 January 2019 - 08:44 PM.


#7 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 08:49 PM

Capture.PNG

Taken by Alan Lammi. March 1970 - jan 1971. At LZ Sharon.

He also served with Marines. So either this image shows a soldier with an M1955 or a marine with a 3/4 collar vest.

from: http://willpete.com/...h_artillery.htm


Edited by Cap Camouflage Pattern I, 02 January 2019 - 08:52 PM.


#8 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 08:52 PM

loconti5.JPG

Taken by Dan Loconti E battery 2/94 Dec. 1970 - Dec 1971

from: http://willpete.com/...h_artillery.htm


Edited by Cap Camouflage Pattern I, 02 January 2019 - 08:52 PM.


#9 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 08:56 PM

JJCTP01 (1).jpg

Barry "Bear" C DeVita HHQ Battery 2/94 May 1966 - 9 April 1967

from: http://willpete.com/...h_artillery.htm

 



#10 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 08:57 PM

Bennett and buddy01.jpg

RTO Dave Bennet 

 

Taken by Barry "Bear" C DeVita HHQ Battery 2/94 May 1966 - 9 April 1967

from: http://willpete.com/...h_artillery.htm

 

 



#11 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 08:57 PM

Americans in RVN01.jpg

 

CPL Hicks

 

Taken by Barry "Bear" C DeVita HHQ Battery 2/94 May 1966 - 9 April 1967

from: http://willpete.com/...h_artillery.htm

 



#12 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 09:31 PM

rt7a.jpg

rt5.jpg

by General Trefry 

from http://www.2ndbattal...hartillery.com/

 

Sims.jpg

by LT Sims McKnight of C and Service Battery 2/94 1966

from http://www.2ndbattal...hartillery.com/

 

2-94Couvi.jpg

Lynden "Couvi" Couvillion  Service Battery 2/94  Camp Evans December 1969 or January1970

from http://www.2ndbattal...hartillery.com/


Edited by Cap Camouflage Pattern I, 02 January 2019 - 09:32 PM.


#13 patches

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 09:47 PM

haha, guess platoon was trying to make up for all the marines in FMJ wearing 3/4th Collar Vests

 

 

attachicon.gif1224509764_3583e91735_o 3 5 cav.jpg

XO of 3/5 Cav some time between Feb. to May. 1970.

from Edd Rutherford: https://www.flickr.c...57601639224305/

 

Another I Corps unit.

3/5th Cav located in I Corps at this time.



#14 patches

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 09:53 PM

2/94th Arty was also located in I Corps, Dong Ha and was at first under the command of III Marine Amphibious Force after it's arrival till March 1968. Other  I Corps locations, Camp Carroll, Quang Tri, Da Nang and Phu Bai.


Edited by patches, 02 January 2019 - 09:56 PM.


#15 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 05:42 PM

Capture.JPG



#16 capa

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 07:09 AM

Great thread!



#17 Justin

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 07:09 AM

Cool photos, the m1955 definitely gives a stronger feeling of safety vs the army soft armor.

#18 conn

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 05:24 PM

god bless the Corps




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