“The Most Important Tactical Field Item” in the Vietnam War


Shortly after 11 a.m. on July 1, 1970, Capt. Invoice Williams, commander of Bravo Firm, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, one hundred and first Airborne Division, and two radio phone operators with AN/PRC-25 radios jumped from their Huey helicopter. They instantly drew fireplace. The North Vietnamese Military positioned a excessive precedence on destroying the radios or killing their RTOs.

Developed within the late Fifties as a substitute for the Korean Warfare-era AN/PRC-10, the AN/PRC-25, or “Prick 25,” integrated pioneering solid-state circuitry. Moreover, it was water-resistant, easy to function and simple to take care of. Its 50 Hz “squelch characteristic,” muting routine background noise when a robust sign wasn’t detected, simplified tuning.

The radio had two antennas, a 3-foot normal antenna for many missions and a 10-foot long-range antenna carried in a canvas bag hooked up to the radio’s facet. U.S. Particular Forces and long-range reconnaissance patrols developed improvised “jungle antennas” that prolonged the vary even farther.

The AN/PRC-25 pack consisted of two steel cans. The decrease can contained the battery pack; the higher the transceiver. The radio proved to be nearly “soldier-proof” within the subject. The handset, nonetheless, was susceptible to moisture.

Most RTOs pulled the battery pack’s clear plastic wrapping over the handset, securing it with a rubber band. The batteries had been good for 2 to a few hours of heavy use and will final for a number of days if used sparingly. The radios additionally may run off a automobile’s energy provide. The battery packs needed to be destroyed when expended for the reason that NVA used them in booby traps.

The “Prick 25” entered Vietnam in 1965 and was carried on nearly all land automobiles, riverine craft and plane. Gen. Creighton Abrams, deputy commander after which commander of Navy Help Command, Vietnam, referred to as the Prick 25 “the one most necessary tactical subject merchandise in Vietnam.” Adopted by greater than 30 U.S. allies, the AN/PRC-25 remained in service effectively into the Eighties. V

This text appeared within the February 2022 subject of Vietnam journal. For extra tales from Vietnam journal, subscribe and go to us on Fb.

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