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Showing posts from February 13, 2016

Tank Gunnery 1976, Part 6, Moving Truck, Coax Machine Gun

The second to last target on Table VIII is a moving truck panel.  As with the moving tank target, we had practiced tracking moving targets more than anyone else in the battalion.  We were ready to perforate the track mounted panel as soon as we saw it.  But the real preparation for this engagement was done by my loader, Gene Pierce.  The M73 coax machine gun was a reliable weapon in general, but in my experience was finicky about dirt and ammo feed.

The night before Table VIII Pierce cleaned our coax to whatever coax perfection can be.  By the time we reached the moving truck target, we had fired the coax twice in engagements one and four, firing 100 rounds at each firing point.  We had 100 rounds to hit the moving truck, which is plenty, unless the gunner gets interrupted and has to re-acquire his sight picture.

We were tense rolling from the .50 cal. engagement looking for the moving panel.  We also knew pretty much where the panel would be since the moving panels are in roughly …