A Troop 4/12th Cav

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  • CONCERTINA WIRE: Coiled razor wire used in Night Defense Position, Base Camps, etc. Coop

  • GSR (GROUND SURVEILLANCE RADAR): GSR was short-range surveillance radar that was designed using 1950Ős technology to detect a target.  Webpage on GSR  Coop

  • LITTLE JOE: was an auxillary generator used to provide power to operate the tank's systems and keep the battery charged when the engine was not running. it was used in the M-48 series tanks. I believe it was only used in that series which had gasoline engines and was not installed in those with diesel engines the M-48A3 series. Matt Spruill 19 Jul 2002 21:52

    20 July 2002 0808 hrs: "You are right. The Little Joe was about the only thing I missed when we got the A3's. I hated having to start the engine to run the infrared spot light. The little joe made a whole lot less noise :) John/okie/hogpen

    19 July 2002 1136 hrs: "Little Jo was a 10 HP engine powered generator to charge the batteries on an M48 tank but only the gasoline powered ones." Wright

    18 July 2002 2200 hrs: "You got my mind smokin on that one. I do believe it is an aux motor on the gas engined M-48's...used to charge the batteries."Mills

    18 July 2002 2121hrs: "I was just wondering how many of you tankers remember what a Little Joe was??? :) John/okie/hogpen

  • mermite mermite
  • MERMITE: One of the most prized items was the mermite cooler; all of these items were acquired by various means and none were strandard issue. No track was complete without one or two; as you notice in the pic (Go to our web page on Mermite) sometimes a paint job was required making it hard to ID the previous owner. Coop

  • PSP
  • Pierced Steel Plates (PSP): Used by engineer units to make temporary runways for aircraft up to the size of C-130s, and for other general construction projects in the combat zone. The steel planks were about 2 feet wide, and 8 feet long, with slots and notches formed in the side of each so that they could be connected together. A do-it-yourself tinker toy airport, parking lot, or whatever else you wanted to build. Useful in allowing airplanes to land and vehicles to roll over the otherwise swampy ground. Good   Photo of chopper on PSP  Duffy

  • piss tubes  piss tubes in use
  • PISS TUBE: Two definitions. First were the real piss tubes which the preventive medicine guys had installed around the firebases for GI's to urinate in. Since there was no running water, or indoor toilets, these metal tubes buried down to a depth of 2 or 3 feet allowed the urine to soak in well below ground level, and prevent the entire basecamp from smelling like a bar room toilet. The other use of the name Piss Tube was as a nick name for the mortars, drawn from the similar size & shape of those weapons to the tactical urinals in the firebases.Good

  • RPG Screen RPG
  • RPG SCREEN: An RPG Screen was roughly a 12 foot long section of chain link fence supported by 2 or 3 "U" shaped engineer stakes. The engineer stakes were essentially 8 foot high steel fence posts. The stakes were usually placed in a very shallow "V" shaped pattern, rather than in a straight line, in order to provide more stability for the chain link fence, which was then wired or hooked to them. This provided a screen about 10 feet in front of the armored vehicles while in a night defensive position, to protect the vehicles from an enemy fired RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade, actually a shoulder fired, light antitank missile). The intent was to either deflect the RPG so that it missed the vehicle altogether, or to cause it to detonate far enough away that the shaped charge explosive blast would not penetrate the vehicle's armor. Good

  • starlight
  • STARLIGHT SCOPE: Image intensifier using reflected light to identify targets at night.Coop

  • TRIP FLARE: An illumination device that is set off by a trip wire pulling a safety pin (same same as a frag). Trip flares were used outside the perimeter in hope that Charlie would trip the flare and this would locate his position. Mills

  • PSP
  • WATER BUFFALO: A 500 gallon water trailer. Also GI slang term for the roast beef which we often ate while in base camp.Good

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This site is in no way connected to, or sanctioned by, any official Army or Government entity. This is, and will be a work in progress; we apologize now for any errors and/or mistakes. Information for this site has been and will continue to be gathered from many different sources. It is intended as a place for fellow troopers, family and friends of A Troop 4th Squadron 12th Cavalry (Vietnam Era) to visit, seek contact with, gather information or some insight into the history, language and jargon of the people who were part of A Troop, then and now. A Troop 4/12 Cav (Vietnam Era) invites and encourages trooper's family members to participate in the troop's reunions, memorial services, remembrances of our fellow troopers who have passed on to Fiddler's Green, and to continue the camaraderie of the BROTHERHOOD....Long Live the Cav and its BROTHERHOOD!!