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M17 Gas Mask - Were they worn by USMC at Hue City Vietnam?


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Im thinking the M17.Dont know if the M9 would have still been issued to them at this time.I know here our local guard units had the old M9s in the 60s and early 70s.

 

RD

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I seem to remember that we had the M-17 version.....the same mask I was issued when I got to Nam in early 1967. I don't recall any of them having a mask with the fancy drinking tube attachment.....I think they were a later refinement.

 

As an interesting aside; in early 67, our recon team (we were still RT Dutch Oven at that time) our insert was delayed by the emergency extract of another recon team and we didn't get inserted until early afternoon. We crossed part of a side valley of brush and Elephant grass and climbed a low hill in Happy Valley where we set up. Within short order we were hit by a squad of NVA that had been following us up the trail. We engaged the ones to the rear and we were then hit by another group from the other side of the trail.

 

Our platoon leader decided the only way to break the contact was with CS. He was getting ready to order four of us to deploy CS grenades when he noticed the radio operator didn't have his M-17 mask on. He told him to get it on and the R/O held it up to show him the broken out eyepiece.....it was useless. We had to resort to hunkering down and calling in artillery, and later Marine Skyhawks from Chu-lai to get us out of it.

 

Needless to say, the PL was hot about the inability to use gas when needed and, for the next couple patrols, he made everyone pull their masks out for inspection on the LZ before we got on the helos for an insert. As it was, most of our masks weren't in all that good shape anyway. The rubber was OK but almost every ne had eyepieces so badly scratched that you couldn't really see through them well enough to effectively engage the enemy. They did keep the gas out, though.

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