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Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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SFC_Jeff_Button
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:39 pm
Post subject: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

[img][/img][img][/img][img][/img][img][/img][img][/img]
The plaque says these were used in SEA. Albeit only three, but I was curious to see if anyone had first hand experiance or witnessed this item in action? I climbed under the rubber cushion to take the belly shots. I was surprised to see that only the edge cushion is what holds these up. I didn't exactly know what was underneath or how it worked, but I was rather surprised, I thought there would be additional "cushions in the middle some where.

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:20 pm
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

Probably one of the three vehicles tested as part of the "39th Cavalry Platoon"..."so beset by maint. problems the test ended inconclusively."

D. Starry-"Armored Combat in Vietnam"

I did not witness any of their action...before my time.
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SFC_Jeff_Button
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:31 pm
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

Thats a quote by D.Starry? Would you know the area of operations that the 39th was in?

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Jens_O_Mehner
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 11:09 pm
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

Hmm,

isn't that also known as the PACV in Navy service? Google PACV and you should come up with further info, there's also a chapter in one of the Squadron Viet Nam volumes, possibly "Riverine", but I'm not sure.

I'll upload some photos of USN PACVs in Viet Nam tomorrow.

Cheers,

Jens O.
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 12:46 am
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

- SFC_Jeff_Button
Thats a quote by D.Starry? Would you know the area of operations that the 39th was in?


Yep, Starry (footnote on page 142). They operated, briefly, in the Delta (MR IV)....as you would expect. I've seen some film of these operations on occasion...comes around on TV now and again.
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Jens_O_Mehner
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:43 am
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

OK,

here are some photos of the USN PACVs in use in Viet Nam, some details are different from the SK-5.






The images are either from NARA or Corbis, CRAFT syndrom kicking in again, I'm afraid. Crying or Very sad

Cheers,

Jens O.
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Maple_Leaf_Eh
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:40 pm
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

- Jens_O_Mehner
OK,

.... CRAFT syndrome kicking in again, I'm afraid.

Cheers,

Jens O.


CRAFT syndrome? Is that from sniffing too much styrene plastic model glue?
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sapper141
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:43 pm
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

Hi Guys
I guess I should stop lurking and participate. Jeff the vehicle you are showing here is I do believe the army version of the Navy's PACV known as the AACV (Army Air Cushion Vehicle). I'd love to see more pics of this thing as there wasn't alot of them even used in Veitnam. It was sort of experimental like the PACV.
Just my 2 Canuck cents
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:19 am
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

Hi Folks!

There was an article in Armor Magazine that listed a lot of details about the Army test. The unit had a lot of problems with NO spare parts and mine damage. I will try to remember to check my files and see if I can find that article.

Sgt, Scouts Out! Smile

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:36 am
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

Do you remember the month/year? It may be online.

Neil
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:38 pm
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

Here is a webpage on the 39th Cavalry Platoon-Air Cushion, with pics.

I believe the name was a contrived, unofficial nickname because they were attached to the 3rd Bde., 9th Infantry Division...hence, the 39 Cavalry, which, while unofficial, is how history records them.

Click Here:
www.gingerb.com/vietna...am_acv.htm

"ACV #901 was taken out-of-service when an ARVN soldier tragically went through the lift fan with his equipment"

....Eeeeewwwwww! Shocked

(this vehicle is pictured, after, in view #2 at the website)

Relation to PACV(Navy):
" The Army ACVs differed from the three US Navy PACVs in that they were an improved design better suited to support infantry operations. The ACVs were designed with flat decks to carry 12 troops, more powerful engines, and twin machinegun turrets in a wider cabin. Both the US Navy's PACVs and the Army's ACVs had been civilian craft manufactured by the British Hovercraft Company in England and refitted for military use in the USA by Bell Aerosystems. Although the Army test concluded that the ACVs were successful in their combat roles, their initial purchase price of $1,000,000 and subsequent high maintenance costs did not warrant further expansion of the fleet."
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C_Sherman
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:39 pm
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

- Maple_Leaf_Eh
- Jens_O_Mehner
OK,

.... CRAFT syndrome kicking in again, I'm afraid.

Cheers,

Jens O.


CRAFT syndrome? Is that from sniffing too much styrene plastic model glue?


C = Can't
R = Remember
A = A
F = $^%&**#
T = Thing

It's a memory disorder. Normally age-related, but sometimes caused by stress, fatigue and lack of sleep, or simple too-damn-many-irons-in-the-fire. Often found in military folks, or those with past military experience or affiliation. A related and more common syndrome is known as CRS.

C = Can't
R = Remember
S = $%&*

HTH!
C

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will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
-Herm Albright

Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc!
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Jens_O_Mehner
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:14 pm
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

Well Chuck,

you nailed it down Wink I claim all of the above reasons (OK, I'll tread lightly on the age thing) plus glue fumes plus all the engine oil and hydraulic fluid fumes I was exposed to when working in AOAP...

Cheers,

Jens O.
(often too busy right-clicking and saving to note the source)
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:28 am
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

Hi Folks!

Follow up spot report.

The article I was thinking about is titled "Cavaltry Afloat: The 39th Cavalry Platoon in the Mekong Delta" by Captain Kevin Keaveney, Armor Magazine July-August 1993.

Until I had read that article, I never knew the Army had tried air cushion combat vehicles.

Some notes from the article.

Late 1960s, three Army SK-5 Air Cushion Vehicles (ACV) were evaluated as weapon platforms in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam.

Navy test ran from 1966 to 1969 under Patrol Air Cushion Vehicle (PACV) Division 107, later Coastal "Division 17 with three SK-5s.

Major Donald G. Moore first platoon commander
Staff Sergeant Ronald Crosby was first platoon sergeant

Vehicles manned by 11D cavalry scouts for Ft. Knox
(My note: today 11Ds are called 19Ds.)

unit formed in January 1968 at Aberdeen Proving Ground

1st Army SK-5 rolled off the production line in February 1968
Two versions, a weapons-heavy version known as Assault Air Cushion Vehicle (AACV) (two build) and a logistical verion, the Transport Air Cushion Vehicle (TACV) (one build).

Differed from the earlier Navy SK-5s
Passenger windows replace with an armored crew compartment.
Non-load bearing decks replaced with weight-bearing decks.
Carried 1,000 pounds of armor which some crews removed later to save weigth.

Each ACV could carry 13 infantry soldiers at a time.
Weight 8.5 tons, could be airlifted by CH-53 which was used to recover damaged ACVs a number of times, like after the soldier fell into the lift fans.

Armament, originally two M2 HB .50 cal.s on the ACVs. The TACV had a third M2. Two side door M-60 machine guns. On the front left deck was a M5 40-mm grenade launcher.

August 1970, ACVs replaced one M2 HB with a GAU-2 minigun.
The TACV front door M2 was replace with twin M-60 mount.

First mission, after Tet, was on June 7, 1968. Ceased combat operations on August 31, 1970.

As reported in another post, the platoon was part of the 3rd Brigade of the 9th ID. When the 9th ID left Vietnam, the 3rd BCT along with the 39th Cavalry Platoon was placed under the operational control of the 25th ID.

One ACV lost to mine, or possible a dud 500 pound bomb, on January 9, 1970. Of 17 personnel on board, 14 were hurt and all but one guickly returned to duty.
August 3, 1970 second ACV destroyed by, possible a command detonated, mine. Major Barry F. Garham, SP5s Kent C. Wolf and Larry Joe Meador KIA, others seriously wounded, to include SP4s Jack Kavanagh and Tommy Macauley.
Third Vehicle returned to the states, that should be the one Jeff has photos of.


Mission ready rate of 55.7 percent. Not Operationally Ready for Supply rate of 21.5 percent. manintenace rate of 1.14 hours for every hour of operation.

Larger unit plans,
USARV requested 12 ACVs for a MTOE Cavalry troop of 124 troops and ten SK-5s and two SK-6s. Nothing came of this request.

Epilogue
There is little documentation on the 39th in Army or Bell arachives. Only about 100 people actually served in the unit, and the overall impact of the three ACVs on the Army was slight. Locating former unit members was nearly impossible. Jack Kavanagh, the only one to be found, graciously provide this time and memorabilia to help record the unit's history.

Footnotes

During its existence there were several titles for the Army ACV unit: Air Cushion Vehicle Test Unit, 9th ID, Armor Paltoon Air Cushioned (Provisional), and Air Cushion Vehicle Unit.

Armor on the ACV roughly equal to the protection of a M113.

Spot report!
Sgt, Scouts Out! Smile

_________________
"You can never have too much reconnaissance."
General G.S. Patton Jr.
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:43 am
Post subject: Re: Anyone ever seen these Hovercraft in SEA?

Hi Neil! Hi Folks!

- Neil_Baumgardner
Do you remember the month/year? It may be online.

Neil


Sorry, the on line copies only go back to the last two issues of 1994. The article I have a copy of was in the July-August issue of 1993. It sure would be nice if the staff at the magazine could find the time to upload ever issue of the magazine. I guess between limited or no funds and limited staff, we are lucky to have the few issues that are there now.

Sgt, Scouts Out! Smile

_________________
"You can never have too much reconnaissance."
General G.S. Patton Jr.
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