January 14, 2014

Anecdote From an Old Tanker

Anecdote from an old tanker. Call it an urban legend if you want, as I don't recall the source. 

M60A2 armed company in Germany on the autobahn, on a roadmarch back from live-fire exercise at Graph (A2 had the same 152mm main gun as the Sheridan, in a really weird looking turret).

Crew was bored from the slow roadmarch, and dissatisfied with their overall performance at the exercise, so the TC began doing some impromptu dry-fire drills with his crew using approaching vehicles on the other side of the autobahn as 'targets.' However, he neglected to check to see that the main gun was in fact unloaded and 'safe.'

On the third 'practice' engagement, he woke up the loader and told him to execute his role. The loader knew better than to throw a real round in the breech, but he had been asleep and was drowsy, so executed his primary duty when there is already a battle-carry round loaded, and when the TC announced the fire command he cheerfully armed the gun and yelled 'up!'

Imagine everyone's surprise when the gunner announced 'on the way!!!' and instead of 'click!' the main gun actually fired the training HEAT round that had been inadvertently left in the breech! The training HEAT was roughly equivalent to a flying coffee can filled with concrete. It struck a rapidly approaching Mercedes Benz in the left rear quarter panel, spinning the hapless vehicle and driver like a top. The car came to rest in a crumpled mess against the center rail of the highway. The driver was substantially shocked, but otherwise uninjured. He tremblingly accepted an offered cigarette, muttering "crazy Amerikans!" and taking several tries to actually get it lit.

LTC Scott Coulson

No comments:

Post a Comment