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Questions about the M47 Dragon


MEversbergII

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Hello,

 

I am working on an article about the M47 Dragon ATGM. Information out there is a little sparse (and disorganized, and contradictory...) but I think I've started pulling it together. I have a few things I have not figured out, though.

 

1) Has anyone come across price lists or the like for the day sight trackers? I found references to the original night scope costing some 30k back in 1978, but nothing on the day tracker.

 

2) Coolent bottles - what exactly were in these? Did the late "Super Dragon" take these like the Dragon I and Dragon II?

 

3) Was the weapon itself accurate, issues with keeping it guided aside? Watching a few demos it looks like the thing naturally spirals around your aim point, which seems like a bad thing.

 

4) I've heard if you panned the weapon too fast, it would lose tracking and ground itself (awesome.) - just how fast was too fast?

 

5) If you were a Dragon gunner, what was your experience like? I hear all sorts of stories, but what about yours?

 

6) Also, if you were a Dragon gunner, what made you one in the official sense? I'm told back in the day you learned how to shoot them at Basic (or was it AIC?) but was there some kind of qualification that made you approved to be a gunner?

 

Neat little weapon, if maligned. Also definitely has the best name of any AT weapon we've had in inventory - shame it had to go to this one.

 

Thanks!

 

M.

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I was selected in AIT in say March 1880 at Ft Benning as a Dragon Gunner, a like three course, fired Sub Cailber rounds to qualify, after which my official MOS was 11B10-C2. When I got to my first duty station in the 1st Cav Div's 2/12th Cav, never really trained with the weapon, only twice in the year I was there I can recall, and this wasn't at a range, just outside the barracks on the lawn to the rear of it, a Hands On as it were. I imagine if the balloon went up, we C2's would of been given the weapon with a refresher crammer before going in.

 

I might add that because I held this MOS Qualifier I and the other C2's in the company were instructed on the M202 Flash, here again it was not a range, but off a ways across the road from my battalion area, in some low wooded area behind the local NCO Club, and was a one day block of instruction, probably no more than 3 hours really.

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riflegreen297

1) Has anyone come across price lists or the like for the day sight trackers? I found references to the original night scope costing some 30k back in 1978, but nothing on the day tracker.

 

2) Coolent bottles - what exactly were in these? Did the late "Super Dragon" take these like the Dragon I and Dragon II?

 

The coolant bottles were used for the night sight. The night sight was issued with it's own rucksack as it took up a whole one. Not sure what was in them (Freon I suppose).

 

 

3) Was the weapon itself accurate, issues with keeping it guided aside? Watching a few demos it looks like the thing naturally spirals around your aim point, which seems like a bad thing.

 

The weapons was accurate if you were either shooting super close targets or had a gunner that had a lot of trainer experience. The slightest breath could send it off course and which would cause the adjustment panels to fire to correct the missile's course. The missile only had three adjustment panels which had 90 adjustment rockets each (if I remember correctly). The slightest movement of the tracker while the missile was in flight would cause these to be used up pretty fast. After the adjustment panels were all expended the missile could not be corrected if off course. The other issue was the height of the guidance wire, once fired the wire was only shoulder high of a sitting Soldier from the ground, if it hit anything while inflight it could break the line which would cause loss of control. The max range was only a 1000 meters and the missile was extremely SLOOOW (I believe time of flight was like 10 seconds to reach max range). In Desert Shield when we were on the border in defense our biggest concern was that we would actually have to use the Dragon. While you might get a shot off and maybe hit a tank, his wingman would see your huge back blast and probably kill you before you could relocate to your secondary firing position.

 

4) I've heard if you panned the weapon too fast, it would lose tracking and ground itself (awesome.) - just how fast was too fast?

 

A natural breath could send the missile way off course.

 

5) If you were a Dragon gunner, what was your experience like? I hear all sorts of stories, but what about yours?

 

I have fired 3 live Dragons during my 26.5 in the Army. I can gladly say thank God that I never had to fire one in combat. It is a POS weapon. Thank God for the Javelin.

 

6) Also, if you were a Dragon gunner, what made you one in the official sense? I'm told back in the day you learned how to shoot them at Basic (or was it AIC?) but was there some kind of qualification that made you approved to be a gunner?

 

 

Some went to a one week course in the AIT part of OSUT. I went to a one week course at Ft. Bragg while in the 82nd. You also suppose to attend a jump course (consisted of jumping it from the 35' towers) before you could jump it. I actually watched two Soldiers fight it out one time over who had to jump one, being that the loser took it. It was not something anyone wanted to do.

 

 

 

Neat little weapon, if maligned. Also definitely has the best name of any AT weapon we've had in inventory - shame it had to go to this one.

 

The M202 Flash now there was another bad idea for a weapon. I remember we went to a range in 1990 and had these. There was one old crust SFC that knew how to load and fire the thing. Those rounds were super dangerous to the gunner before even being out in the launcher. But it looked cool on Commnando.

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riflegreen297

The missile only had three adjustment panels which had 90 adjustment rockets each (if I remember correctly).

 

Actually I believe it was 3 panels with 30 each for a total of 90.

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The missile only had three adjustment panels which had 90 adjustment rockets each (if I remember correctly).

 

Actually I believe it was 3 panels with 30 each for a total of 90.

I don't think I was even taught that :lol:

 

As an aside, the Dragon wasn't used in Alaska, heard tell it's use in extreme cold rendered the weapon non functional, the guide wires would snap from the cold (Which I later thought was odd given the Dragon was used in West Germany and South Korea, two places that can get mighty cold in the winter too :lol:) . So we used the M67 90mm Recoiless Rifle, I was a 90 gunner for a spell, not that I was given this postion in my squad because of my holding the C2 MOS, it's just that every newbie in a rifle platoon got to be the squad 90 as his first position :lol:

 

Unlike my days in the Cav in regards to the Dragon, on this one, we trained, several times, and at ranges, HEAT and Beehive rounds, the ranges which in reality were secluded impact areas at Ft Greely and or Eielson Air Force Base, the two maneuver areas we trained at.

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Like Patches, I too was a dragon gunner but I was selected when I got to my first unit and duty station. I was in 3rd Bn 187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Divison at Fort Campbell in 1984. I went to a 2 week course on the dragon gunnery and fired subcal rounds and the last week we fire live rounds at dumpsters on the firing range. Upon completion of the training we were awarded the additional skill identifier as C2, so like Patches my MOS was 11BC2. I was only a dragon gunner for about 1 year then I became an assistant M60 machine gunner until we went to the range and I outshot my gunner and I became the gunner and he became my assistant.

 

The Dragon was a nightmare to carry, and we carried them on Air Assault missions, road marches, field problems,, it really sucked. To get the full appreciation of the Dragon, we carried both the day tracker and night tracker (which was carried in a large rucksack on the front of your body (kind of like a reserve parachute) as well as an empty tube. In some cases the tube we carried was weighted down with the sub caliber firing device. The bipod legs out front would always deploy when we were humping through the brush and the wait a minute vines so familiar in the back woods of Fort Campbell would get tangled in the legs of the bipod and many times I would lose my balance and fall over due to the vines..

 

Carry the dragon on an air assault mission was probably the worst. I had to carry this thing to a helicopter and then when the helicopter landed I had to kick the dragon out the door and jump after it. Someone else in the chalk would push my rucksack out and I had to grab both my rucksack and dragon and move away from the helicopter.. (Luckily during these air assault missions we did not have to carry the night site. That met up with us later in the company jeep.

 

The night tracker was a huge piece of equipment that we would use at nighttime while on guard duty, but it was loud, since the cooling system had to run. It was good training but I am glad that I was not a Dragon gunner for too long.

 

The biggest problem that I recall was trying to keep the sights trained on the target for the required time for the missile to hit the mark. You had to wrap your arms around the tube to control the day tracker and to pull the trigger. It was uncomfortable sitting with your legs stretched out pushed against the bipod legs trying to maintain a steady straight picture in the tracker. You had to be a tall person to operate the system. I was 6'0" tall and even for me it was awkward.

 

On the live fire range, I do recall seeing one rocket hit the ground about 200 meters to the front after it left the tube and then it shot straight up into the air. I think the wire broke because shortly after it went airborne it started spiraling like crazy into the impact zone. I remember one of the officers watching the show comment that he just saw $250,000 wasted. Not sure if the round cost a quarter million bucks, and I wasn't about to ask...My round took out the dumpster that was about 850 meters to the front.

 

 

I think I still have my M47 Dragon TMs somewhere in all my manuals and stuff..

 

I am grateful that I never had to rappel out of a helicopter with the dragon strapped to my back, That would have probably put me in my grave.

 

I also recall that the dragon gunners had requested that we be given CAR15's to carry instead on M16A1 rifles, because the dragon was so clumsy to carry, but our requests were ignored and we also had to carry M16 rifles with the dragons...

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr  - US Army (Retired)

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I'm curious now on how our 11Hs did back then in the 2/12 Cav, we had them in our weapons platoon, and there was a platoon I believe in CSC, you know did they fire live rounds a lot etc, because after all that's there whole reason for existing in the Army, that of being a TOW Crewman.

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Lots of good posts here; glad for that!

 

I was selected in AIT in say March 1880 at Ft Benning as a Dragon Gunner, a like three course, fired Sub Cailber rounds to qualify, after which my official MOS was 11B10-C2. When I got to my first duty station in the 1st Cav Div's 2/12th Cav, never really trained with the weapon, only twice in the year I was there I can recall, and this wasn't at a range, just outside the barracks on the lawn to the rear of it, a Hands On as it were. I imagine if the balloon went up, we C2's would of been given the weapon with a refresher crammer before going in.

 

I might add that because I held this MOS Qualifier I and the other C2's in the company were instructed on the M202 Flash, here again it was not a range, but off a ways across the road from my battalion area, in some low wooded area behind the local NCO Club, and was a one day block of instruction, probably no more than 3 hours really.

 

So officially at the time (80s?) 11B10-C2 (I know 11B is an infantryman but that's all) got you both the Dragon and the FLASH. I had wondered who was theoretically in charge of those (my guess is whomever is usually given a LAW) - it's another weapon that shows up in my writing projects (eventually).

 

1) Has anyone come across price lists or the like for the day sight trackers? I found references to the original night scope costing some 30k back in 1978, but nothing on the day tracker.

 

2) Coolent bottles - what exactly were in these? Did the late "Super Dragon" take these like the Dragon I and Dragon II?

 

The coolant bottles were used for the night sight. The night sight was issued with it's own rucksack as it took up a whole one. Not sure what was in them (Freon I suppose).

 

 

3) Was the weapon itself accurate, issues with keeping it guided aside? Watching a few demos it looks like the thing naturally spirals around your aim point, which seems like a bad thing.

 

The weapons was accurate if you were either shooting super close targets or had a gunner that had a lot of trainer experience. The slightest breath could send it off course and which would cause the adjustment panels to fire to correct the missile's course. The missile only had three adjustment panels which had 90 adjustment rockets each (if I remember correctly). The slightest movement of the tracker while the missile was in flight would cause these to be used up pretty fast. After the adjustment panels were all expended the missile could not be corrected if off course. The other issue was the height of the guidance wire, once fired the wire was only shoulder high of a sitting Soldier from the ground, if it hit anything while inflight it could break the line which would cause loss of control. The max range was only a 1000 meters and the missile was extremely SLOOOW (I believe time of flight was like 10 seconds to reach max range). In Desert Shield when we were on the border in defense our biggest concern was that we would actually have to use the Dragon. While you might get a shot off and maybe hit a tank, his wingman would see your huge back blast and probably kill you before you could relocate to your secondary firing position.

 

4) I've heard if you panned the weapon too fast, it would lose tracking and ground itself (awesome.) - just how fast was too fast?

 

A natural breath could send the missile way off course.

 

5) If you were a Dragon gunner, what was your experience like? I hear all sorts of stories, but what about yours?

 

I have fired 3 live Dragons during my 26.5 in the Army. I can gladly say thank God that I never had to fire one in combat. It is a POS weapon. Thank God for the Javelin.

 

6) Also, if you were a Dragon gunner, what made you one in the official sense? I'm told back in the day you learned how to shoot them at Basic (or was it AIC?) but was there some kind of qualification that made you approved to be a gunner?

 

 

Some went to a one week course in the AIT part of OSUT. I went to a one week course at Ft. Bragg while in the 82nd. You also suppose to attend a jump course (consisted of jumping it from the 35' towers) before you could jump it. I actually watched two Soldiers fight it out one time over who had to jump one, being that the loser took it. It was not something anyone wanted to do.

 

 

 

Neat little weapon, if maligned. Also definitely has the best name of any AT weapon we've had in inventory - shame it had to go to this one.

 

The M202 Flash now there was another bad idea for a weapon. I remember we went to a range in 1990 and had these. There was one old crust SFC that knew how to load and fire the thing. Those rounds were super dangerous to the gunner before even being out in the launcher. But it looked cool on Commnando.

 

So, most people did not train on it, then? Just the guys sent to do so specifically?

 

Interesting bit on the night tracker bag - I found a reference to a carry bag but wasn't sure what tracker it was for. Did the day sight have one as well?

 

About breathing sending it off course - wouldn't the whole fact there's a bipod negate that? I had heard it was "easy" to send off course due to the user, but the thing is on a bipod. Is it more of a left-right problem?

 

What was up with the FLASH? That's another one I plan to have in this project (much larger than just the Dragon, though that is the subject at hand). Did the missiles tend to be sensitive? I've seen some videos of it firing and it looked (from the video) kinda unimpressive for a flame-rocket launcher.

 

For coolent bottles, I was wondering if the last iteration - the Super Dragon - still took them for its night sight. That seems to have been a Marine weapon, though. Evidently the Army took until 1991 to even adopt the Dragon II (which the Marines were supposedly using in 1985).

 

 

The missile only had three adjustment panels which had 90 adjustment rockets each (if I remember correctly).

 

Actually I believe it was 3 panels with 30 each for a total of 90.

 

One shot per rocket?

 

I don't think I was even taught that :lol:

 

As an aside, the Dragon wasn't used in Alaska, heard tell it's use in extreme cold rendered the weapon non functional, the guide wires would snap from the cold (Which I later thought was odd given the Dragon was used in West Germany and South Korea, two places that can get mighty cold in the winter too :lol:) . So we used the M67 90mm Recoiless Rifle, I was a 90 gunner for a spell, not that I was given this postion in my squad because of my holding the C2 MOS, it's just that every newbie in a rifle platoon got to be the squad 90 as his first position :lol:

 

Unlike my days in the Cav in regards to the Dragon, on this one, we trained, several times, and at ranges, HEAT and Beehive rounds, the ranges which in reality were secluded impact areas at Ft Greely and or Eielson Air Force Base, the two maneuver areas we trained at.

 

Now, Beehive rounds for it I had not heard of. Just the M222 (and later Mk 1 Mod 0) HEAT round.

 

Also, about the new guy being given less desirable weapons (can't imagine anyone wants the 90mm), how do higher ups not notice you are doing what is officially Not Your Job?

 

According to my understanding, the Dragon will operate down to -25F.

 

Like Patches, I too was a dragon gunner but I was selected when I got to my first unit and duty station. I was in 3rd Bn 187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Divison at Fort Campbell in 1984. I went to a 2 week course on the dragon gunnery and fired subcal rounds and the last week we fire live rounds at dumpsters on the firing range. Upon completion of the training we were awarded the additional skill identifier as C2, so like Patches my MOS was 11BC2. I was only a dragon gunner for about 1 year then I became an assistant M60 machine gunner until we went to the range and I outshot my gunner and I became the gunner and he became my assistant.

 

The Dragon was a nightmare to carry, and we carried them on Air Assault missions, road marches, field problems,, it really sucked. To get the full appreciation of the Dragon, we carried both the day tracker and night tracker (which was carried in a large rucksack on the front of your body (kind of like a reserve parachute) as well as an empty tube. In some cases the tube we carried was weighted down with the sub caliber firing device. The bipod legs out front would always deploy when we were humping through the brush and the wait a minute vines so familiar in the back woods of Fort Campbell would get tangled in the legs of the bipod and many times I would lose my balance and fall over due to the vines..

 

Carry the dragon on an air assault mission was probably the worst. I had to carry this thing to a helicopter and then when the helicopter landed I had to kick the dragon out the door and jump after it. Someone else in the chalk would push my rucksack out and I had to grab both my rucksack and dragon and move away from the helicopter.. (Luckily during these air assault missions we did not have to carry the night site. That met up with us later in the company jeep.

 

The night tracker was a huge piece of equipment that we would use at nighttime while on guard duty, but it was loud, since the cooling system had to run. It was good training but I am glad that I was not a Dragon gunner for too long.

 

The biggest problem that I recall was trying to keep the sights trained on the target for the required time for the missile to hit the mark. You had to wrap your arms around the tube to control the day tracker and to pull the trigger. It was uncomfortable sitting with your legs stretched out pushed against the bipod legs trying to maintain a steady straight picture in the tracker. You had to be a tall person to operate the system. I was 6'0" tall and even for me it was awkward.

 

On the live fire range, I do recall seeing one rocket hit the ground about 200 meters to the front after it left the tube and then it shot straight up into the air. I think the wire broke because shortly after it went airborne it started spiraling like crazy into the impact zone. I remember one of the officers watching the show comment that he just saw $250,000 wasted. Not sure if the round cost a quarter million bucks, and I wasn't about to ask...My round took out the dumpster that was about 850 meters to the front.

 

 

I think I still have my M47 Dragon TMs somewhere in all my manuals and stuff..

 

I am grateful that I never had to rappel out of a helicopter with the dragon strapped to my back, That would have probably put me in my grave.

 

I also recall that the dragon gunners had requested that we be given CAR15's to carry instead on M16A1 rifles, because the dragon was so clumsy to carry, but our requests were ignored and we also had to carry M16 rifles with the dragons...

 

Leigh

 

Interesting that yours was 2 weeks and Patches only one week. When you took over the M60 did your MOS change, or were you just a C2 with a machine gun instead?

 

How loud are we talking for the system (and what kind of sound)? First reference I've heard.

 

I had wondered about user height - bipods doesn't look like it is height adjustable. This isn't something you can shoulder fire, either, for sure.

 

A round in the 80s was $4,500 in 1978, for reference (I did find that! Just nothing for day sight cost, ha).

 

 

 

Thanks for the info! I have a bulk of the stuff written, now I'm just chasing after as much detail as I can.

 

M.

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M..

 

I retained the skill identifier of 11BC2 until I became an NCO, then I was just 11B20,30, 40 and finally 11Z (Senior Infantry Sergeant)..

 

The night tracker sound was similar to a humming sound, not too loud, but audible to around 10 meters.

 

Talking about the M202 Flash weapon system we did familiarize with this system at Grafenwohr and Wildflecken Germany in the mid 80's. We had this weapon system in Berlin for use but we only fired it in West Germany. We also carried 90mm recoilless rifles in Berlin. We did not have Dragons in Berlin, we had mounted TOWs and every Soldier carried the M72A2 LAW

 

During the May Day Parade that the Soviets celebrated every year for Victory over Germany in WW2, we used to send our anti-armor specialists to East Berlin to watch the Soviet and East German vehicle parade so they could see up close the vehicles that they would be attacking if we ever went to war with the Soviets..

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr  - US Army (Retired)

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Like Patches, I too was a dragon gunner but I was selected when I got to my first unit and duty station. I was in 3rd Bn 187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Divison at Fort Campbell in 1984. I went to a 2 week course on the dragon gunnery and fired subcal rounds and the last week we fire live rounds at dumpsters on the firing range. Upon completion of the training we were awarded the additional skill identifier as C2, so like Patches my MOS was 11BC2. I was only a dragon gunner for about 1 year then I became an assistant M60 machine gunner until we went to the range and I outshot my gunner and I became the gunner and he became my assistant.

 

The Dragon was a nightmare to carry, and we carried them on Air Assault missions, road marches, field problems,, it really sucked. To get the full appreciation of the Dragon, we carried both the day tracker and night tracker (which was carried in a large rucksack on the front of your body (kind of like a reserve parachute) as well as an empty tube. In some cases the tube we carried was weighted down with the sub caliber firing device. The bipod legs out front would always deploy when we were humping through the brush and the wait a minute vines so familiar in the back woods of Fort Campbell would get tangled in the legs of the bipod and many times I would lose my balance and fall over due to the vines..

 

Carry the dragon on an air assault mission was probably the worst. I had to carry this thing to a helicopter and then when the helicopter landed I had to kick the dragon out the door and jump after it. Someone else in the chalk would push my rucksack out and I had to grab both my rucksack and dragon and move away from the helicopter.. (Luckily during these air assault missions we did not have to carry the night site. That met up with us later in the company jeep.

 

The night tracker was a huge piece of equipment that we would use at nighttime while on guard duty, but it was loud, since the cooling system had to run. It was good training but I am glad that I was not a Dragon gunner for too long.

 

The biggest problem that I recall was trying to keep the sights trained on the target for the required time for the missile to hit the mark. You had to wrap your arms around the tube to control the day tracker and to pull the trigger. It was uncomfortable sitting with your legs stretched out pushed against the bipod legs trying to maintain a steady straight picture in the tracker. You had to be a tall person to operate the system. I was 6'0" tall and even for me it was awkward.

 

On the live fire range, I do recall seeing one rocket hit the ground about 200 meters to the front after it left the tube and then it shot straight up into the air. I think the wire broke because shortly after it went airborne it started spiraling like crazy into the impact zone. I remember one of the officers watching the show comment that he just saw $250,000 wasted. Not sure if the round cost a quarter million bucks, and I wasn't about to ask...My round took out the dumpster that was about 850 meters to the front.

 

 

I think I still have my M47 Dragon TMs somewhere in all my manuals and stuff..

 

I am grateful that I never had to rappel out of a helicopter with the dragon strapped to my back, That would have probably put me in my grave.

 

I also recall that the dragon gunners had requested that we be given CAR15's to carry instead on M16A1 rifles, because the dragon was so clumsy to carry, but our requests were ignored and we also had to carry M16 rifles with the dragons...

 

Leigh

Leigh,

If I am not mistaken, I believe you took over the dragon from me!

 

It was the "newby" weapon and I had the pleasure of humping that thing on several field problems in early 1985 BEFORE you got to Choppin Charlie. I don't remember complaining when it got passed on.

 

Also, I was woefully under trained (only basic training familiarization vice your two week course) and SEVERELY under motivated!

 

Scott

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You know what Scott,

 

I think you are right.. I think I did replace you as the Dragon Gunner...

 

Well, we all have to serve our penance... No ill feelings towards ya Brother....

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr  - US Army (Retired)

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Now, Beehive rounds for it I had not heard of. Just the M222 (and later Mk 1 Mod 0) HEAT round.

 

Also, about the new guy being given less desirable weapons (can't imagine anyone wants the 90mm), how do higher ups not notice you are doing what is officially Not Your Job?

 

According to my understanding, the Dragon will operate down to -25F.

 

This round fired the Fletchetts, ripped to shreds these huge wood panels that were set up down range :lol:.

 

My experience in both Hood and Alaska was Rifleman first AT guy last really, at Hood my first gig was M60 MG gunner (again it's the bitch weapon they give newbies, in this case a real newbie, as it was my first duty assignment after training), I then segued into a Grenadier, then Asst MG, then Auto Rifleman, then back to Asst MG, and then I PCSed. In Alaska, again the 90, the bitch weapon right off the bat, then segued to M60 gunner, then Asst 60 gunner,then Asst 90 gunner then a RTO, a slot I held the longest, March 82 till I ETSed on a Christmas Drop in mid December 82.

 

As to the Non Use of the Dragon n the AK, that's the story I heard, the wires would snap. But that too brings up a some of questions, like why not of used them in the warmer months? In the Cold War like currently, the unit, the 172nd Inf Bde (Sep) was a deployable unit (like during Vietnam it and it's sister Brigade the 171st Inf Bde (Sep) each sent a Inf Battalion to Hawaii then on to the RVN with the 25th Inf Div), If we deployed say to Korea, what then?, we had no Dragons! Then what if the Russians invaded, the units of the lower 48 that would been sent up, like the 9th Inf Div at Lewis, the 7th Inf Div at Ord, the 82nd etc, Marines too from the 1st Mar Div at Pendleton, they had Dragons, if if was winter, would they not use them or bring them, did the have 90s to use instead? Likewise these very same units who came up to train, this was always in the winter, so did they leave their Dragons behind?

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So officially at the time (80s?) 11B10-C2 (I know 11B is an infantryman but that's all) got you both the Dragon and the FLASH. I had wondered who was theoretically in charge of those (my guess is whomever is usually given a LAW) - it's another weapon that shows up in my writing projects (eventually).

 

That's about right. Though my ordes from Benning to Hood lists the C2, my DD214 only lists me as 11B10, but does list my expert badge for the Dragon. When I went to the Clothing Sales Store the one time during AIT, after al of this, I was in a quandary of what qualification bar to buy for there, the only thing I seen that was remotely close was MISSILE, so that's what I bought :lol:.

 

As far as the LAW, in theory every Grunt would carry one, even up to crew served people and RTOs, perhaps even leaders, as it's light, not much of a drag to hump one. Indeed, when I got to Inf basic, every bunk/wall locker for every man had an inert LAW thrown in, signifying that it is a common weapon, as common as the rifle.

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Hm, I may need to revise this fictional combat force I'm writing about a bit, as currently the LAW-carrying guys are specifically trained and designated (everyone is familiar, but only a few in a squad are practiced, per se).

 

Yeah, I had not heard anything on flichette rounds or anything - this must be a later addition. They haven't turned up in any literature so far, including the original operator's manual.

 

Did the day sight have its own bag too, like the night sight? Seems a bit unfortunate to have it on your chest - should you need to hit the dirt in a hurry...no winners there!

 

Thanks for the experiences so far!

 

M.

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Yeah, I had not heard anything on flichette rounds or anything - this must be a later addition. They haven't turned up in any literature so far, including the original operator's manual.

 

That of been the The Antipersonnel (Canister) Cartridge M590 (XM590E1). It looked like a big shotgun shell.

 

Uncertain when it would of came out, we were certainly using it in 1981-82, it's possible it was used in Vietnam under the XM590E1 designation, as when one see's the XM designation, that means it an experimental field trial item, in example the Vietnam War used XM177E2 Commando Submachine Gun and the XM148 Grenade Launcher.

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Yeah, I had not heard anything on flichette rounds or anything - this must be a later addition. They haven't turned up in any literature so far, including the original operator's manual.

 

That of been the The Antipersonnel (Canister) Cartridge M590 (XM590E1). It looked like a big shotgun shell.

 

Uncertain when it would of came out, we were certainly using it in 1981-82, it's possible it was used in Vietnam under the XM590E1 designation, as when one see's the XM designation, that means it an experimental field trial item, in example the Vietnam War used XM177E2 Commando Submachine Gun and the XM148 Grenade Launcher.

 

OH! This is for the 90mm. Somehow I'd confused you talking about the two weapons; my bad.

 

Looks like I've gathered a good few experiences I can include into my article (though to all who come, feel free to add more thoughts on the M47 - bonus points if someone ever finds a cost sheet...). For a weapon that was in service for 25+ years, it's a little surprising at how little clear information there is at the ready - fortunately for me I found what looks like a report written about the weapon and its history from 2001; it manages to present some choice information for the sort of thing I'm up to.

 

M.

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Just for Kicks, here I am with a 90 up there in Alaska, this was taken in late September 1982, but by then I was an RTO and hadn't carried it in several months, just posed with it for old time sake's :lol: as the picture was being snaped, I looked up an the sun came out from behind the clouds and glared me :lol:.

 

post-34986-0-50430600-1508641434_thumb.jpg

 

 

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Now that's one for the ages! Steel pot, but no flak jacket (the one climate you'd actually desire one).

 

One last thing came to mind - how on earth does one cram 1/2 mile (or 1.2 miles in the case of the Super Dragon) of wire into the tube? Never seems like there would be enough room. They come pre-done and all, but it sounds like it would be an awfully thin wire.

 

M.

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Now that's one for the ages! Steel pot, but no flak jacket (the one climate you'd actually desire one).

 

One last thing came to mind - how on earth does one cram 1/2 mile (or 1.2 miles in the case of the Super Dragon) of wire into the tube? Never seems like there would be enough room. They come pre-done and all, but it sounds like it would be an awfully thin wire.

 

M.

I only wore a flak jacket once during my time in, in the summer of 1980, the Cav was to send elmts to Ft Chaffee Arkansas to the Cuban refugee compound, we trained in anti riot stuff, like wedge etc etc. But my battalion never was sent, believe another grunt battalion was sent.

 

The wire, good question, a tight spool I suppose.

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M.

 

The day site did have an OD green rubberized carrying bag for the day tracker. I will see if I can find pictures and my manuals..

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr  - US Army (Retired)

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I did finally pull the trigger and publish my article with everything I could assemble: http://chainlinkandconcrete.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-m47-dragon-anti-tank-rocket-launcher.html

 

 

Mind, this was written with a roleplay game in mind, so a good chunk of it probably doesn't make any sense to anyone not familiar with the system.

 

Thanks for your inputs!

 

M.

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I learned how to be a dragon gunner at Ft Polk in 1981 not long after my arrival. We had about a week of class and then we used the MILES system to qualify with. I never went to the field with it because I lucked out and went to the HQ Platoon as the RTO/113 driver . When I got to Germany I think I carried the Dragon for a few field problems until I lucked out and they gave me an M-60 machine gun to qualify with , scored expert and the dragon went bye bye.. When I got to Alaska I was assigned to a weapons squad and being a buck sergeant helped to lug either the M-60, spare barrel , T &E and tripod or the M-67 recoilless with the sub cal trainer. The only live fire I witnessed in Germany were utter failures from both the track mount and ground fire. The M-67 I only fired sub cal rounds and let a lucky troop fire the live one's. As for a "flak Jacket" we only had a few on our tracks in Germany and the driver and Tc were the only ones to use them during gunner qualifications. You don't need to over heat in the Artic , you'll freeze

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Just for Kicks, here I am with a 90 up there in Alaska, this was taken in late September 1982, but by then I was an RTO and hadn't carried it in several months, just posed with it for old time sake's :lol: as the picture was being snaped, I looked up an the sun came out from behind the clouds and glared me :lol:.

 

attachicon.gifM670002.jpg

 

 

 

It was fun digging those crew served weapons positions in the winter time.

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My only major injury while on active duty was thanks to the Dragon Bipod Legs. I was stuck with humping one strapped across my rucksack and the bipod legs had

deployed at some point during the night while walking....it got caught on a wait a minute vine and out of frustration to get free I turned quickly and the vine

ripped loose. I lurched forward only to have a tree branch stick me in the eye and embed. After very careful maneuvering the branch was cut and a Styrofoam cup taped over the injury. I rode out on a Humvee to Walter Reed and the piece of stick was removed, thankfully it had embedded below just below the eyeball itself.

 

That started my continued disdain for the Dragon.

Unapologetically American.

 

C/505th PIR 82nd Airborne, WWII Reenactment Group, Va./NC/SC. We need members! Contact here or via Facebook

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/C505thPIR/?ref=bookmarks

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My only major injury while on active duty was thanks to the Dragon Bipod Legs. I was stuck with humping one strapped across my rucksack and the bipod legs had

deployed at some point during the night while walking....it got caught on a wait a minute vine and out of frustration to get free I turned quickly and the vine

ripped loose. I lurched forward only to have a tree branch stick me in the eye and embed. After very careful maneuvering the branch was cut and a Styrofoam cup taped over the injury. I rode out on a Humvee to Walter Reed and the piece of stick was removed, thankfully it had embedded below just below the eyeball itself.

 

That started my continued disdain for the Dragon.

 

Wow that's the story. Glad everything turned out OK. What post was this bdale?

 

 

 

UHH! I know how that can be bdale, the potential for that to happen, it reminds me of one time in the AK, on a Sept 82 FTX we where on a evening patrol, having seen the aggressors, we beat a retreat, almost ran into a wicked up ended tree stump, one of it's roots like a spear, I did a quick move to the side of it, otherwise I would gotten impaled, even early on the May 82 ARTEP, our squad Asst 60 gunner, a Mexican American named Hernandez actually did fall on a spear like stump dead fall sort of thing while running, thank god he he was wearing that spare barrel bag across his chest rather then slung on the side or across the back, the bag stopped him from serious serious injury or worse.

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