The Bounty Hunter

By John T Brown III

I was Shop Officer of Main Support Company, 5th Maintenance Battallion from November 1967 to May 1968. CW2 Spangler, who was a company maintenance officer in the 8th Trans, and I built the first 5-ton gun truck in Vietnam utilizing a quad 50 mount. It was named "Bounty Hunter". None of the vehicles used prior to that time put out enough firepower and something new was required. We scrounged through the depot and found a quad fifty mount which we mounted on a 5-ton truck. We used coil springs from a junked M-48 tank to mount the quad fifty to the bed. The sides and rear of the bed were hardened
with armor plate and we bolted a piece of armor plate across the front of the cab and attached it to the top of the windshield with a piece of rope over a pulley. In case of engagement the driver yanked on the rope and pulled the armor plate up. There was a slit about 3 inches wide cut in the plate for the driver to see through. We replaced the side windows with armor plate that rolled up just like the window glass. On the shotgun side we mounted an M-60 on a ring mount. We had limiters on the quad 50 to keep the gunner from shooting through the cab. Our first try had some problems which were discovered after the first trip. It took us a couple of trips to work out all of the bugs but we had it pretty well perfected in about ten days. The truck ran flawlessly on virtually every convoy to Pleiku through November 68 when I DEROSed. I don't remember it being brought back to my company for any major maintenance that entire period. The Bounty Hunter was used as a model to build several other 5-tons with quad fifty mounts. There was at least one other built for 8th Trans while I was there. A picture of the Bounty Hunter was featured in a 1st Log Magazine published in late 1968.
    It wasn't long before Charlie learned to leave any convoy with the Bounty Hunter in it alone and he began to pick on smaller convoys. We solved that problem by loading a junk APC on the bed of another 5-ton. We cut three slots in each side, mounted six gun pylons inside with M-60's on each and used it for convoy security. It also made many trips up and down Highway 19.
        John T. Brown III
Captain, US Army Ordnance Corps
Shop Officer and Company Commander
5th Main Support Company
November 1967-November 1968