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AFV Club 1/35 155mm M109 L23 and M109A2 Howitzers

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  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
AFV Club 1/35 155mm M109 L23 and M109A2 Howitzers
Posted by Sergeant on Sunday, May 10, 2020 11:24 AM

This is my new project for the Spring and Summer. The AFV Club 155mm M109 L23 and M109A2 Self-Propelled Howitzers. I served with a mechanized artillery battalion of M109 L23 during the Vietnam War although I was not a crew member. My job was Battalion Radio Teletype Team Chief 05F40.

Ever since I became involved in armor modeling 3-years ago I have wanted to build an M109, so I will start the M109A2 #AF35109 first since I have the kit already and later this month I should receive the M109 L23 #AF35329 I ordered yesterday.

For the M109A2 I plan to use the Black Dog interior kit and AFV Club T-136 workable tracks. I am not sure what aftermarket kits, if any to use with the M109 L23 since it is a brand-new kit from AFV Club. Wow, I just noticed the new M109 L23 box art has the same numbers on the vehicle as my photograph. Presumably AFV Club used the same picture to do their kit.

Harold

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Far Northern CA
Posted by mrmike on Sunday, May 10, 2020 1:03 PM

Your Ontos build was outstanding - looking forward to this one! 

  • Member since
    July 2008
  • From: Co.Kerry, Ireland.
Posted by Est.1961 on Sunday, May 10, 2020 3:11 PM

Enjoy your builds Sarge, I'll be throwing a like in here and there. 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, May 10, 2020 3:30 PM

Oh yeah!

 

Redleg this is Oscar Papa one fife. Fire mission. Troops and tanks in the open, moving west, Tango Romeo Papa two Alfa, down two hundred, right three hundred, over...

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Sunday, May 10, 2020 3:49 PM

stikpusher

Oh yeah!

 

Redleg this is Oscar Papa one fife. Fire mission. Troops and tanks in the open, moving west, Tango Romeo Papa two Alfa, down two hundred, right three hundred, over...

 

Hello again MrMike, EST.1961 and my radio operator mate Carlos. I still love the way it sounds, it is that special language that attracted me to radio watching my Uncle Vern and listening to shortwave in his radio shop when I was a little kid. While other boys were making engine noise, or shooting noise with their mouth I was making radio static and repeating call signs.

Every job in combat is important, some are more dangerous than others. The life expectancy of a radio operator in the Vietnam War ranged between five to six seconds all the way up to a slightly more optimistic thirty seconds, depending on your source. The enemy knew where the radio operator was if they could see his antenna. They also knew the radio operator was never far from the person in charge.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Sunday, May 10, 2020 6:00 PM

These should be fun to watch.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: East Stroudsburg, PA
Posted by TigerII on Sunday, May 10, 2020 6:55 PM

stikpusher

Oh yeah!

 

Redleg this is Oscar Papa one fife. Fire mission. Troops and tanks in the open, moving west, Tango Romeo Papa two Alfa, down two hundred, right three hundred, over...

 

It's been awhile since I called in arty on a target. Nice call Stik, but I guess things have changed from my time. In the Corps we NEVER used 'down' unless it was for an elevation correction; and with troops and tanks in the open, I want an Immediate Suppression Fire Mission. MASOC-0861 Nov-76 USAFAS Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. 

Achtung Panzer! Colonel General Heinz Guderian
  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: East Stroudsburg, PA
Posted by TigerII on Sunday, May 10, 2020 7:01 PM

Looking forward to these builds Sarge. I remember seeing them rumbling down the roads in Camp Lejeune. They were assigned to the 'Force Troops' at the French Creek Area.

Achtung Panzer! Colonel General Heinz Guderian
  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Sunday, May 10, 2020 7:14 PM

TigerII

Looking forward to these builds Sarge. I remember seeing them rumbling down the roads in Camp Lejeune. They were assigned to the 'Force Troops' at the French Creek Area.

 

I'm glad you and Gino are interested in the M109. I believe Gino served as company commander on M109A6. It has been my goal to build one for some time.

The hardest thing to teach a radio operator in war is to stay calm and stay down. It is very easy to get excited or angry when someone is shooting at you and the adrenaline is flowing. To make things worse the NVA would intentionally wound a man on the perimeter knowing Americans would try and rescue him.

A commander will decide what effect fire support must have on a particular target. There are three types of artillery fire: destruction, neutralization, and suppression. Suppression of a target limits the ability of the enemy personnel in the target area to perform their job.

If you are in-charge or on the radio and you make a mistake calling in fire support with the NVA one klick away, you could endanger your entire company with 'friendly-fire'. This I believe is why many Vietnam veterans don't like to talk about the war because it happened a lot.

I believe the U.S. Army and Marine Corps have done an outstanding job training their combat personnel to avoid the mistakes of Vietnam. 

 
  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Sunday, May 10, 2020 7:26 PM

Hello Sarge!

I'll be watching this one - it sure would be good to see you tackle that A-nothing. I suppose it will be a Vietnam track?

Good luck with your builds and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Sunday, May 10, 2020 8:04 PM

Pawel

Hello Sarge!

I'll be watching this one - it sure would be good to see you tackle that A-nothing. I suppose it will be a Vietnam track?

Good luck with your builds and have a nice day

Paweł

 

Hello Pawel, I haven't decided what track (environment) yet, but the M109 L23 is definitely Vietnam era design. It's good to hear from you.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, May 10, 2020 9:36 PM

TigerII

 

 
stikpusher

Oh yeah!

 

Redleg this is Oscar Papa one fife. Fire mission. Troops and tanks in the open, moving west, Tango Romeo Papa two Alfa, down two hundred, right three hundred, over...

 

 

 

It's been awhile since I called in arty on a target. Nice call Stik, but I guess things have changed from my time. In the Corps we NEVER used 'down' unless it was for an elevation correction; and with troops and tanks in the open, I want an Immediate Suppression Fire Mission. MASOC-0861 Nov-76 USAFAS Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. 

 

Well I’m rusty as hell myself. And calling for fire was one of my far less frequently done commo tasks... so while the basic idea is still in my head, the fine details are not anymore...

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Sunday, May 10, 2020 10:11 PM

Yeah, after as well as the ONTOS turned out, this should be awesome. Looking forward to this!

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Monday, May 11, 2020 4:56 AM

stikpusher
Well I’m rusty as hell myself. And calling for fire was one of my far less frequently done commo tasks... so while the basic idea is still in my head, the fine details are not anymore...
 

Carlos and TigerII, I too have a hard time remembering most of the protocol from my military days. In fact I have trouble remembering my online passwords. The basic function of tactical radio is clear, but the detail of how to do something (brevity code, etc.) is very fuzzy.

Thank you Gamera, you are a real encouragement and source of information for me.

Harold

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Monday, May 11, 2020 7:18 AM

I started assembly today by laying out all the parts, inspecting their condition and taking inventory. As you can see in the first photograph there are a lot of parts in my 33" paint booth.

The first fifteen steps out of 31 involve assembly of the lower hull; however, the first 5 steps will be my focus for the next several days. They include the suspension arms, road wheels and drive sprockets. I cannot go too far on the assembly until I receive the Black Dog interior kit because there are parts in that kit that need to be added before the lower hull is completed. PLease see Black Dog photograph below.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Monday, May 11, 2020 7:19 AM

TigerII

Nice call Stik, but I guess things have changed from my time. In the Corps we NEVER used 'down' unless it was for an elevation correction... 

A call of "Down two hundred" is still a height of burst/elevation correction.  For distance it is still add or drop.  A direction correction is still right or left.  

 I believe Gino served as company commander on M109A6. 

I was actually a Battery Commander of a Target Acquisition Battery (TAB), Firefinder Radars, in an MLRS Bn during the invasion of Iraq.  I was a Co FSO, Battery XO, and Bn FSO in M109A6 Paladin Bns though.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, May 11, 2020 7:38 AM

Well, I try to be moral support but I'm not sure I'm much of a source of accurate information! Embarrassed

In any case this does look really cool! I've only built a few kits with interiors and that with the one included in the box. I've never added an aftermarket one so I'm really interested on how this goes.  

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, May 11, 2020 11:31 AM

HeavyArty

 

 
TigerII

Nice call Stik, but I guess things have changed from my time. In the Corps we NEVER used 'down' unless it was for an elevation correction... 

 

 

A call of "Down two hundred" is still a height of burst/elevation correction.  For distance it is still add or drop.  A direction correction is still right or left.

Like I said, I’m rusty there. Wink Thanks for the correction. Call for fire was something that we practiced, but only rarely. Good thing it wasn’t for real that I boned up drop vs.down. In commo I spent far more time sending or receiving unit reports on burst devices or doing voice comms  with Aircraft while performing Pathfinder Ops on DZs than any other types of messaging.

 

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, May 11, 2020 11:33 AM

[quote user="Sergeant"

 

 

[/quote]

Oh that interior looks nice! This is gonna be quite an involved project.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Monday, May 11, 2020 5:13 PM

Oh that interior looks nice! This is gonna be quite an involved project.

Gino, it is really great to have an Artillery Officer who knows his AOC in our Forum. You provide knowledge and experience valuable to our interest in this field of military Armor.

Carlos, I received confirmation the Black Dog Kit will arrive May 15th and the M109 L23 Kit was pushed out to July 7th. It's just as well because like you indicated above I will be busy with the M109A2 for quite a while.

Harold

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: East Stroudsburg, PA
Posted by TigerII on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 11:55 AM

You're correct, but a "down two hundred" would mean you are calling fire on or near a mountain and want that air burst to be a minimum of 20ft above the enemy. For distance its always been "add or drop". Luckily Iraq was mostly flat ground. BTW Gino, very nice resume. Question Gino: Are artillery forward observers still taught how to call in fire WITHOUT using a computer or radar? Enquiring minds want to know.

Achtung Panzer! Colonel General Heinz Guderian
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 12:51 PM

TigerII
You're correct, but a "down two hundred" would mean you are calling fire on or near a mountain and want that air burst to be a minimum of 20ft above the enemy. For distance its always been "add or drop". Luckily Iraq was mostly flat ground. BTW Gino, very nice resume. Question Gino: Are artillery forward observers still taught how to call in fire WITHOUT using a computer or radar? Enquiring minds want to know.

Yes, "Down 200" would not be a common correction.  As to the resume, that is only about the first 10 years of my carreer.  In 23 1/2 years as an active duty Artillery officer, I had a bunch of jobs.  Most of the second half was spent in MLRS Bns; from an LNO to DIVARTY to Bn XO, some time at Divisions and the Pentagon too.

FOs are still taught voice calls-for-fire.  Digital doesn't always work.  

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 1:53 PM

stikpusher
I’m rusty

And I feel fully oxidized.

This ought to be a good build, though.  109 deserves to be open, unless it's parked in a motorpool or lashed to a railcar.

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 2:10 PM

TigerII
I want an Immediate Suppression Fire Mission. MASOC-0861 Nov-76 USAFAS Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. 
 

TigerII, I believe you may have received some of your artillery training at Fill Sill based on your reference material and it must have been just after I was there in 1973-74?

Harold

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 2:30 PM

CapnMac82
109 deserves to be open, unless it's parked in a motorpool or lashed to a railcar.
 

CapnMac82, It's good to hear from you. After the ONTOS build I think open hatches and doors is the way to go too. What's the point in spending time and money on an interior if it can't be seen.

In the Army my radio shop was located in the motor pool building and I had coffee with the Master Sergeant every day. He really knew these vehicles well and could answer any question I had about the M109.

Harold

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 3:13 PM

HeavyArty
Most of the second half was spent in MLRS Bns; from an LNO to DIVARTY to Bn XO, some time at Divisions and the Pentagon too.

FOs are still taught voice calls-for-fire.  Digital doesn't always work.

 

Gino, I think MLRS would be a natural progression for an Artillery man, after all a rocket launcher by any other name is just a very big howitzer with an attitude.

Harold

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: East Stroudsburg, PA
Posted by TigerII on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 4:08 PM

Hey Sergeant, yes I did get my training at Ft. Sill. Then I spent my time in the Corps with 3rd Bn/10th Marines, 3rd Bn/12th Marines, then 2nd Bn/10th Marines. My resume is not as extensive as Gino's but I was a Forward Observer, then went up to NCOIC of BLT-2/8(Rein) FSCC where a Lt. and I coordinated supporting fire for the infantry with 105mm Arty, 81mm & 4.2(106mm) Mortars, Close Air Support (A-4's, F-4's & A-6's) with an ALO and Naval Gunfire(Spruance Class Destroyers & Oliver Hazard Perry Frigates) with an NLO.

Achtung Panzer! Colonel General Heinz Guderian
  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 4:42 PM

TigerII, I just received an email from Captain Seely advising me that he had been in contact with Corporal Bosquet's Gunnery Sergeant. Apparently their was a mistake made on the ONTOS dedication plaque. Corporal Bosquet was in 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, 3rd Anti Tank Battalion, but attached to BLT 2/4 when he was killed August 18, 1965.

Could you help me get the organization identification correct? Is 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, 3rd Anti Tank Battalion attached to Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines the correct way to identify his group so non-Marines will understand?

Harold

 

17–24 August 1965
Operation Starlite was the first offensive military action conducted by the U.S. Marines during the Vietnam War and the first purely American operation. 

  • Member since
    April 2016
Posted by GlennH on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 8:53 PM

Be fun to watch. I think one of the units I was with switched over to that SP some years back.

Here's a radio you might rememeber.

 Rest stop by Glenn Hanson, on Flickr

A number Army Viet Nam scans from hundreds yet to be done:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwestdreams/albums/72157621855914355

Have had the great fortune to be on every side of the howitzers.

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 12:04 AM

GlennH
Here's a radio you might rememeber.

 Rest stop by Glenn Hanson, on Flickr

 

Glenn, it looks like an AN/PRC-77. Can anyone imagine dodging bullets and snakes climbing in and out of rice paddies and streams with this anchor weighting you down. What were our leaders thinking when they issue this radio in Vietnam?

 
 
Soldier using a PRC-77 (top) with the KY-38 "Manpack," part of the NESTOR voice encryption system that was used during the Vietnam War.

 

 

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