The M60 Gunner was a crital member of the squad. He had the ability to lay down a large volume of fire. He usually has an Assistant Gunner somewhere very close by to help with the ammo and laying of the gun. The Assistant Gunners job also included protecting to some degree the Gunner who is, needless to say, attracting a great deal of attention when he opens fire. Many members of the squad would be humping ammo for “The Pig”, so it is always good to have a few belts of ammo scattered amoung your men in the squad. Remember to carry the belts like bandoleers and the bullets point out away from your neck, not inwards so they can jab you. Given the weight of the M60 machine gun your gunners were often of larger build or muscular in nature. You did not see a lot of 100 pound troops humping the Pig!
The 60 Gunner was issued an M1911A1 pistol, so he would have the magazine pouch on his web gear along with the pistol holster (black not brown). He would be carrying at least two spare belts of ammo. These might be carried in the small canvas bandoleer pouches which had a carboard box inside containing 100 rounds of ammunition, or they might be removed from the pouch and clipped together into a loop and worn that way. The gunner would also have the larger sized bottle of LSA lubricant handy. The Assistant Gunner would also be carrying the spare barrel bag which contained one spare barrel, an asbestose mitt to handle it with and various cleaning rods and tools.
13 responses to “M-60 Gunner”
What is the word on m60 gunners wearing a combat knife of some sort like the usmc ka-bar for cutting of the sling an flinging out jammed rounds….its just I was reading a book/biography of a vietnam vet and he talked a bit about this during a fire fight I think. (air cav unit by the way)
(sorry if i have left this twice…had to subcribe)
What is the word on air cav m60 gunners carrying a combat knife eg the USMC Ka-bar. I was reading a story/biography of an air cav vet and he talked about the “pig” gunner using a ka-bar to cut away his sling to drop the weapon and unjaming a stuck round with the blade tip during an exciting but dangerous fire fight.
Knifes were a personal choice. How big or small and what type depended on availability and personal taste towards blades, etc. As long as it is not some fantasy blade or something equally silly it ought to be good.
(as seen in the 2nd photo down, m60 gunner on the left) When were the tropical rucksacks worn?
and were they worn over the buttpack and webbing? lastly what type of backpack is the rifleman/radio operator on the right wearing?
Rucksacks were used when troops were going to be out several days, covering a lot of ground, carrying extra ammo or mission specific items. The butt packs were for short term patrols and stuff.
The RTO is using a tropical rucksack and frame to carry the radio. RTO were prime targets and they often put the radios in packs or covered them in other gear to try and hide them to avoid drawing fire.
You can use the tropical ruck over your web gear and butt pack, but I honestly do not know if this was done. It is not very comfortable when worn that way.
Dave, on a personal note, I found this site while looking for an old friend. Aaron Dauner made comments about the pink flashlight, not recently, and mentioned his dad. I believe his dad to be Dean Dauner, combat medic same as me. Can you provide any help in helping me make contact? Direct reply to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will spread the word as far and wide as I can.
Did grunts usually wear the Tropical nylon jungle boot, or was that special forces? I can never get a good look at the boots
Most all of the troops had access to the jungle boots. I think even the REMF’s had them.
In the second picture down the m60 gunner has an M56 ammo pouch on his belt. was this common and would it be appropriate to have m56 ammo pouches on m60 gunner impression?
There may have been ammo pouches for the M-16 on his belt, but he would have cleaning stuff in the pouch. Maybe one pouch for that. He would have a .45 sidearm, but not an M-16.
Both of the M-60 gunners were riflemen and assistants before they became gunners. Just leaving the ammo pouch on only made sense, it held frags and a belt of ammo would fit where the mags went. Then when a long belt of 60 ammo was wrapped around the waist it was supported by the ammo belt. I didn’t carry a 45, it was enough to handle a 60 and it’s ammo. Remember if you can’t solve the problem with a 60, there is not much a 45 will do to help.
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