History of the 720th APC's In Vietnam
~ 720th Military Police Battalion Reunion Association History Project ~
This Page Last Updated   16 March 2008
18th Bde.
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1 February 1968 At 1700 hours [5:00 PM], The 720th MP Battalion received the first 6 of 12 expected Armored Personnel Carriers (APC's).

1900 hours [7:00pm] 18th MP Brigade Headquarters telephoned Battalion Operations (S3) and informed them that they had only one instructor for APC's and that they should set up classes as soon as possible because the instructor was due to leave.

        Since the MPs lacked experience on the operation and maintenance of the new tracked vehicles they had to use their initiative and in some cases improvise.

And I Didn't Run Down Any Buildings   SGT Philip J. Beaver, A Company, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade, August 1967 to August 1968.
SP/4 Phillip B. Lutz of C Company, who had four months experience operating V100 Commando Cars picked up pointers from an NCO at the Battalion Motor Pool. He in turn taught SP/4 Milton Johnson, also of C Company.

SP/4 Leroy A. Hayes of A Company, used his civilian experience in operating a caterpillar tractor and instructed SP/4 George Gillespie, also of A Company.

SP/4 Wesley J. Busman of A Company, used his previous six months of experience with the 1st Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas.

        That solved the basic operational aspect, maintenance was another problem. At the time the first APC's were delivered to the Battalion they had no trained mechanics or parts on hand to repair the newly received tracked vehicles.

No Track Mechanics  SSG Peter A. Dedijer A Company, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade, August 1967 to August 1968.
Sometime in 1968 all the Battalion APC's were assigned to C Company where operational maintenance was consolidated.
        C Company obtained a Minigun from the 199th Light Infantry Brigade and had it installed in one of their APC's for testing for convoy escort duty. The test showed that the amount of ammunition needed would casue a space and weight problem for long runs.
        An ammunition carriage was designed to carry the extra ammo needed and allow for an open crew compartment. Use as a convoy escort vehicle was scrapped and its mission was changed to perimeter defense duties on Long Binh Post.
        The M113 Armored Personnel Carrier became one of the most successful armored vehicles of all time. It served the 720th MP Battalion well and saw action in throughout the III & IV Corps Tactical Zones until it was finally replaced as the primary convoy escort security vehicle by the V100 Armored Commando Car.
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