Vietnam Veteran's Day, March 29th!
The Wartime Museum Motor Pool Winter Updates

We have been busy with restoration and maintenance over the winter. The Dodge command car is now finished with new paint, a new canvas top, and the radio installed. We decided to check out some of the smaller vehicles in the collection to take a break from the heavy lifting.

Maintenance was pulled on the USMC Desert Storm era Kawasaki KLR 250, the British MT 500 Harley and the Chinese Chang Jiang 750 which is a copy of the BMW R 71. We are still working out a few bugs on one of the S tanks with the help of Stefan Karlsson of the Swedish tank museum. The M 36 tank destroyer restoration will be picking up the pace as we recently received the gasket set for the GAA motor from our friends at BAIV in the Netherlands.

Since Vietnam Veterans Day is March 29, we thought we would highlight a vehicle from the collection that is from the Vietnam War period. We will take a brief look at the M 42 Duster SPAAG.

The M42 40 mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun, or "Duster", is an American armored light air-defense gun built for the United States Army from 1952 until December 1960, and was in service until 1988. Production of this vehicle was performed by the tank division of the General Motors Corporation.

Starting in the fall of 1966, the U.S. Army deployed three battalions of Dusters to the Republic of Vietnam. Each battalion consisted of a headquarters battery and four Duster batteries, and each augmented by one attached Quad-50 battery and an artillery searchlight battery. After the Vietnam War the Duster’s remained in National Guard service until the late 80’s. Below is a photo of a Duster in Vietnam and a photo of the Duster from the museum collection. 
A Voices of Freedom Spotlight:
Henry "Rocky" Colavita, United States Army (Ret.)
Rocky was inspired by his families long history of military service and knew at an early age that he wanted a career in the Army. After finishing college, he entered Officer Candidate School. In January 1963, Rocky received his commission.

As a 1st Lieutenant and a member of the 82nd Airborne, Rocky volunteered to go to Vietnam. In the summer of 1965, he served as an adviser to a South Vietnamese airborne unit. After being in country for only six months, he was wounded and evacuated back to the United States to recover.

In 1968, then Captain Colavita returned to Vietnam with the 1st Calvary’s Air Mobility Division. During his second tour, he and his unit became very good at destroying the enemy by employing large scale ambushes. Rocky says that killing the enemy was their business, and they got very good at it.

Rocky retired in 1983. It was only after he retired and began attending reunions that he heard the first hand stories of abuse that his soldiers and peers received upon their home coming. For his service in Vietnam, Rocky received the Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars.

To Rocky, and all Vietnam Veterans, welcome home!
Henry "Rocky" Colvavita is on the left
National Medal of Honor Day, March 25th
Did you know that March 25th is National Medal of Honor Day? It is fascinating to learn about the history and the sacrifices made behind each of those who have earned the highest military honor. We've hosted several Medal of Honor recipients at the Tank Farm in the past and we look forward to hosting more hopefully this month on the 25th. Be ready to read more about that next month. Join us in celebrating our Medal of Honor recipients!