Hobby Master HG5502 US M48 A3 Patton Medium Tank - "Wild One 3", 919th Engineers (Armored), 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, South Vietnam, 1966 (1:72 Scale)
"We will carry out a campaign characterized by shock, by surprise, by flexibility ... and by the application of overwhelming force."
- CENTCOM commander General Tommy Franks commenting on the conduct of Operation: Iraqi Freedom, March 21st, 2003
When the Korean War began, the US military had no medium tanks in production. The M47 appeared as an interim measure but work immediately began on the M48. The first 'Pattons' were completed in July 1952. Unfortunately, the speed of development resulted in numerous teething troubles for the early Pattons, including poor reliability and a short operating range. The A3 was a highly modified version designed to rectify these failings, and the M48 has been used as the basis for flame-thrower tanks, recovery vehicles, and an AVLB. The A5 was an upgraded version produced in the mid-1970s, which extended the M48's shelf life considerably.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a US M48 A3 Patton Medium Tank nicknamed "Wild One 3", which was attached to the 919th Engineers (Armored), 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, then deployed to South Vietnam during 1966.
Length: 2-3/4 inches
Width: 1-1/2 inches
Release Date: August 2013
Historical Account: "Red Devils" - On August 5th, 1966, the first elements of the 919th Engineer Company (Armored), Regimental engineers of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, departed Fort Hood, Texas, via Bergstrom Air Force Base for the Republic of Vietnam. By 8 August, the entire company 0f 154 combat ready engineers had arrived at LONG BINH, the temporary home of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment 20 kilometers northeast of Saigon.
With the beginning of combat operations in the first part of October 1966, the men of the 919th "Red Devils" found themselves in the unique position of being the only armored engineers fighting in Vietnam. In essence, they had to write the textbook for the armored engineer operations in a counterinsurgency environment. The 919th Engineers also had the distinction of being the first element of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment to inflict casualties upon the Viet Cong.
Missions tasked to the Company are numerous. Building timber trestle bridges, searching booby-trapped tunnel complexes, destroying Viet Cong tunnel and bunker fortifications, constructing ford and culvert sites, conducting river crossing operations, clearing landing zones, constructing fighting positions, detecting removing, and destroying Viet Cong mines on road sweeping operations, procuring and delivering barrier material for the upgrading of ARVN Regional Force and Popular Force outposts, and fabricating aircraft revetments are only a few of the missions assigned to this versatile unit. The heavy workload has not prevented the 919th Engineers from foiling Viet Cong plans. in the night of November 16th, 1966, the Viet Cong launched a mortar and recoilless rifle attack against Blackhorse Base Camp. The first rounds had hardly struck when the alert tank crew of the First Platoon spun their 90-mm. gun in on the flashes and returned fire. The attack abruptly halted, and further investigation revealed that the timely, accurate counter-fire delivered by the "Red Devils" had forced the enemy to flee and abandon unexpended mortar and recoilless rifle rounds as well as personal equipment. The Regimental Commander personally award the Tank Commander of the First Platoon a Bronze Star.