A few nice m60 machine gun images I found:
ADA in Vietnam – Searchlights
Image by Fidgit the Time Bandit
One display reads:
ADA in Vietnam – Searchlights
From the origins of American Air Defense, searchlights had been an integral facet of the branch’s responsibilities. While the battlefields of South Vietnam were far different from those encountered by air defense units in WWI, WWII or Korea, battlefield illumination remained a necessity to fight at night.
In early 1966, General Westmoreland requested searchlight support to illuminate remote outposts and mitigate the massed infantry attacks practiced by the North Vietnamese Army and Vietcong irregulars against those distant firebases. The first lights in-theater were WWII vintage 60” carbon arc searchlights and slightly newer 30” carbon arc lights. These proved vulnerable to small arms fire and were quickly relegated to duty in or near South Vietnam’s few cities. However, the 23” VSS-1 Xenon Searchlight, normally mounted on the M48 tank was quickly modified to mount in the back of an M151A1 jeep.
Introduced in 1960, the M151 replaced earlier MB / GPW and M38 series 1/4 ton utility trucks (known as “jeeps”) in US military service. While M151s were standard equipment in most Army units, they played a crucial role in Army Air Defense Batteries in Vietnam.
The new searchlight system, designated AN / GSS-14 was powered directly from the vehicle with only minor modifications. A 100-amp regulator replaced the original 25-amp unit, allowing the jeep’s engine to serve as the light’s generator. The 100-million candlepower light had a straight-line range of five miles and nearly twice that if bounced off cloud cover.
Four separate Batteries of the 29th Artillery fielded the M151A1 / GSS-14 in South Vietnam, one per Corps Area. Three of those Batteries (B, G and I Batteries) were attached directly to an Automatic Weapons (M42 Duster) Battalion and worked in concert with Dusters and Quad-.50s, while the fourth (H Battery) was attached to the 164th Aviation Battalion. In addition to the GSS-14, B Battery began a combat trial with the more powerful TVS-3 30” Xenon Searchlight in 1969.
The Vietnam War was Air Defense’s last combat use of searchlights. By the end of the war, night division devices were being used with regularity and the ability to illuminate an enemy position was far outweighed by the ability to see that position in the blackest of nights using a night vision device.
The next display reads:
In 1966, the Commanding General, US Army Vietnam requested a replacement for the 30” carbon arc searchlights then in use with the US Army. While the Xenon VSS-1 used on the M48 tank was readily available and almost immediately pressed into service mounted on M151A1 jeeps, a larger light of 30” was required. The 1.2 billion candlepower TVS-3 searchlight was undergoing stateside testing in the mid-1960s and by 1968 their presence was requested in South Vietnam.
In March 1969, nine 30” Xenon TVS-3 searchlights were sent to South Vietnam for a 60 operational evaluation. Six were assigned to I Field Force Vietnam and one to II Field Force with two spares held as replacements as needed. The six lights sent to I Field Force were situated on mountain tops in the II Corps area. From these mountaintops, B Battery lights could illuminate nearly any point on the II Corps coastline, provide direct illumination nearly 20 miles inland and indirect illumination to support night vision operations at almost twice that distance. While the TVS-3 operational test was only planned for 60 days, the lights remained in-country through early 1971 and were used to great effect in both illumination and firebase defense roles.
H Battery operated in IV Corps, supporting units of the 9th Infantry Division and the 164th Aviation Battalion. It was the only one of the four searchlight batteries not attached to a Duster battalion.
The Xenon 1.2 billion candlepower light had a range of over twenty-five miles, providing battlefield illumination for friendly forces.
M60s were frequently found with searchlight jeeps, allowing the light operators to put a significant volume of fire on enemy positions once detected.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Sergeant Randall W. King, United States Army, for gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force, on 22 February 1969, while serving as a Searchlight Crewman with Battery I (Searchlight), 29th Artillery Regiment, II Field Force Artillery, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date, Sergeant King and his Section Chief were providing illumination on the eastern perimeter of Long Binh Post. Sergeant King monitored a radio message reporting rocket flashes and rounds impacting on the southern perimeter. With complete disregard for his safety, he and his Section Chief headed their open searchlight vehicle toward the heavily bombarded south perimeter moving directly through an intense mortar and grenade barrage. Arriving at a bunker, they discovered several wounded soldiers on the ground. At great risk to his own life, Sergeant King assisted in the evacuation of these men to a jeep in the rear, although the area was under peak mortar and rocket attack and intense automatic weapons fire. After the wounded had been evacuated, Sergeant King took up a fighting position on the perimeter and laid down a high volume of suppressive fire. As he continued in his efforts to defend the searchlight position, a mortar round landed near his bunker and metal fragments knocked the weapon from his hands, temporarily blinding him. With his weapon inoperative and the other men in his bunker low on ammunition, Sergeant King volunteered to go for a resupply. On his third trip, he encountered a wounded man and carried the man to safety. He then returned to the searchlight position and proceeded to place effective machine gun fire on the enemy. Sergeant King’s gallantry and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Private First Class Joey W. Clements, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as a Searchlight Crewman with Battery I (Searchlight), 2nd Battalion, 29th Artillery Regiment, II Field Force, on 14 June 1970, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date, Private First Class Clements and his Section Chief were operating a searchlight on the defensive perimeter of their Base when their element suddenly received heavy enemy mortar and rocket-propelled grenade fire. In the initial moments of contact, his Section Chief was wounded, and Private Clements was forced to engage the advancing enemy with a machine gun until he had expended his ammunition. He then left to replenish his ammunition supply, and as he returned to the defensive position with the additional ammunition, he received severe shrapnel wounds in both legs and his chest. Refusing to be evacuated, he manned the machine gun and continued to provide effective suppressive fire. As he maneuvered to another position, he received arm wounds by a grenade. Still refusing aid, he manned the new position until the enemy broke contact. Private Clements’ gallantry was instrumental in the repelling of the hostile force. Private First Class Clements’ actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Another display reads:
30” AN / TVS-3 Xenon Searchlight
“We Light ‘Em, You Fight ‘Em”
Nine TVS-3 searchlights arrived in South Vietnam in March 1969 and were immediately emplaced in strategic locations across South Vietnam’s Central Highlands. The 1.2 billion candlepower lights enabled battlefield illumination up to 20 miles from the searchlight’s location, allowing for instantaneous illumination of remote outposts along the Cambodian and Laotian borders that were subject to frequent nighttime NVA Sapper attacks.
The TVS-3 quickly proved invaluable in the defense of friendly positions and remained in-theater far longer than its initial 60-day evaluation period. B Battery, 7th Battalion, 29th Artillery (Searchlight) operated the TVS-3 throughout the 1969 – 1971 timeframe.
The final display reads:
Air Defense Units in Vietnam
The US air defense role in the Republic of Vietnam was straightforward: defend friendly ground forces from air and ground attack. The equipment Air Defenders had at their disposal ranged from World War 2 vintage M55 Quad-.50 caliber machine gun turrets to the cutting edge MIM-23 Hawk Missile System.
Arriving in South Vietnam in early 1966 as “Artillery” battalions and separate batteries, Air Defenders served under I and II Field Force, providing convoy escort, firebase defense, battlefield illumination and an air defense umbrella over friendly territory that was second to none.
Three battalions and eight separate batteries covered friendly skies from the DMZ south to the Mekong Delta. Two additional battalions provided medium range air defense for the cities of Da Nang and Saigon from the very real threat of North Vietnamese IL-28 medium bombers.
In July 1968, Air Defense split from the Artillery branch and became an independent branch of the US Army. Although relatively few in number, Air Defenders in Vietnam made an indelible impression on the US experience in Vietnam and those battalions returned home in 1972 as the combat-experienced core of the Army’s newest branch.
Taken December 13th, 2013.
U.S. Forces in Somalia – Department of Defense Joint Combat Camera Center DD-SD-00-00688
Image by expertinfantry
Two Marines sit behind a wall of sand bags about three feet high. They stand Christmas Day watch atop the roof of the old American School in the former Amercian Embassy compound in Mogadishu, Somalia. PFC Mario Munoz, of Glendora, California, is on the right side of the frame and sits next to a M60 Machine Gun. LCPL Conrad Robinson, of Albany, Georgia, is near the top of the frame and holds a portable two-way radio. This mission is in support of Operation Restore Hope.