Nomenclature of the Armored Personnel Carrier
~ 720th Military Police Battalion Reunion Association History Project ~
This Page Last Updated   16 March 2008
18th Bde.
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M113 Armored Personnel Carrier The APC became one of the most successful armored vehicles of all time. It saw action in Vietnam throughout all four tactical zones from the highlands to the Mekong Delta.


        The M113's first arrived in Vietnam in 1962. They were powered by 209HP Chrysler 75M gasoline engine. By 1964 the M113 had been replaced by the M113A1 that was fitted with a General motor's 215HP Diesel engine which gave it improved performance and lessened the chance of a fuel explosion if hit by RPG fire.

        Originally the crew commander on the .50 cal machine gun had an exposed position. The problem was later corrected with combination shield and turret which became standard in later years.

        The hull of the APC armor thickness varied from 3/4" to 1 1/4". It provided protection from small arms fire and shell fragments, but was vulnerable to Rocket Propelled Grenades and land mines.

Photo G0278: APC, M113 without gunshields
Photograph Courtesy SGT Phillip J. Beaver, A Company, 720th MP Battalion, August 1967 to August 1968.

Weight (loaded) 22,615lb

Weight (unloaded) 19,755lb

Length 191.5"

Width 105.75"

Height 86.5"

Clearance 16"

Speed 44mph

Radius 200 miles

Engine GM 215hp Diesel

Fuel capacity 95 Gallons

        The crew of an APC consisted of a commander, a driver and two crew. It could carry eleven men and their equipment however their primary use for MP duty was added firepower and protection for convoy escort duties. Troop transport was secondary.

        The drivers primary function was the operation of the APC, the commander doubled as the machine gunner (50 cal.), the crew members also acted as gunners on the M60 machine guns.

        The M113 was constructed as a watertight unit, and could operate as an amphibious vehicle. In water the the M113 was propelled by it's tracks, this was further enhanced by the rubber track shroud on each side of the hull. Its top speed was 3 mph through water.

25th Infantry Division APC, M113 (ACAV)

        Some of the M113's were converted into ACAV's (Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicles) by fitting them with side mounted M60 machine guns and shields.

        ACAV's, were often used as route security support for the Tay Ninh and other convoys.

        Sandbags were placed on the inner floor of the troop compartment to absorb some of the blast from land mines.

        Photograph Courtesy of SP/4 William L. "Moe" Mohollen, B Company, 720th MP Battalion, September 1968 to December 1969

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