M151a1 ROMAD's jeep

2deuce

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I know so little about this subject that even posting a title for this thread is uncertain. I know what ROMAD stands for, what I'd like to know, is more about is the radio equipment, and the M151a1 jeep that carried it. They were USAF jeeps that I think were designated 65Kxx with the x's being numbers. I'm not sure if this was a hood number or a serial number for the entire unit of jeep and radio pallet together. How many of these jeeps were there? The radio equipment probably evolved, and I'm mostly interested in what was used in Vietnam. Thanks for any info.
 

maccus

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The radio gear was a AN/MRC-108. The radio maint. van for the equipment was a AN/GRC-32. At FT. Benning in 64-65 we had 2 M38A1 jeeps with that gear in them. Same equipment exactly as the M151A1s had in them at that time. In July 65 we did get a M151A1 equiped unit. I was the NCO in charge of the AF TACP troops PCS assigned to 2ID/ALO/G3/ AIR/ TACP at Fort Benning at that time.

There is a lot of information on the net on the AN/MRC-108 equipment. Do a google search and you will find lots of info.

The M151A1 did not have the right suspension in the rear for the heavy load of the equipment. We prefered to use the the two USMC purchased M38A1s as they were more stable. The M151A1 was AF purchased. The two Marine units radio gear data plate on the dash called the outfit a "VC-104" radio jeep.
 
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2deuce

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Appreciate the info.
About 8 years ago a friend and I bought a bunch of military radio equipment from an estate. I didn't know what some of it was and that stuff got stored at my friends house. The radio equipment that I bought was what I thought was period correct for the Korean war or earlier, I had a CJV-35/u jeep and had no idea what radio equipment it carried, so took a chance. About 2 or 3 years ago, I got a M151a1, I think my M151a1 might have carried the AN/MRC-108 in it's past and that stored radio equipment that I got long ago turns out to be parts of a MRC95.
I've been looking for info about the Air Force jeeps that carried the AN/MRC108 but so far I have not found much. I have seen some reference to those numbers posted above, but what they mean, I don't know yet.
Thanks
 

maccus

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The 65Kxxxx markings were the Air Force assigned vehicle identification registration and were not the vehicles VIN. The VIN numbers were on the data plate and on the frame. Both the M38A1 and M151A1 and later M151A2 units were used in VN. Also there were AN/MRC-108 equipped Dodge crew cab pickups . The operator could sit in a special rear seat and operate the radio equipment located in the front of the box thru the special sliding window in the back of the cab. Most of those units pulled a small trailer with a small diesel 24v generator behind the truck.

The TACP troops assigned to armored units often had their own M113s and other tracked vehs with the radio gear installed. They needed to keep up with the units that they were supporting. This policy continues today.......as the AF TACP troops assigned to stryker units have AF stryker vehs with the current needed gear in them.

The support we got from our assigned units Army/Marine Corps/Special forces/Korean Marines etc. was outstanding.
 
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M813rc

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As Maccus said, the 65Kxxxx is the registration.

65 means the Air Force took that vehicle onto its inventory in 1965. It is not necessarily the year the vehicle was built. For example, if they took on 25 former Army 1964 build jeeps in 1965, while awaiting their own new ones, the old Army jeeps would still get a 65.

K means it is a tactical vehicle

xxxx is the inventory number for that year. 65K0001 would be the first tactical vehicle the Air Force put on inventory in 1965, 65K0199 would be the 199th, and so on.

Cheers
 

2deuce

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I always thought someone made up the serial number on my jeep because it begins with 65K. Until I got these MRC95 parts home, I never heard of 65Kxxxx M151's and thought it was a random number. Where on the frame is the actual serial number stamped? I want to look for that. For some reason I always thought it was a 1967, but my title says 1964 so I don't know why I thought 1967. The data plates are fastened with little screws so adding a new one would have been simple. Somebody did go to the trouble of putting a contract # on the current plate. I don't know why someone would choose 65KXXX when they made out the new plate. Was that number on the hood? I have owned Air Force deuces, and their serial # was the year a K then another 4 digits or so. The Air Force never did that with the M151a1? I bought this jeep as a package with a HMMWV. I really wanted the HMMWV and never really looked in depth at the M151a1. It looked good and I thought it was uncut. I sold the HMMWV, now years later I'm trying to figure out what this MUTT really is. lol
Another thing on the data plate lists it as a Ford, but then I read that Ford didn't start making the M151a1 until 1/65. Mine says 5/64.
Thanks for the help!
 

2deuce

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I did find some info that Ford did have a contract for the M151a1 in 1964 and that they used the hood number as the serial number or visa-versa.
 

2deuce

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That page is what started all my questions. I found info that said Ford took over for Kaiser in 1965, then I found more info that Ford had a small contract in 1964 and at least some of the M151a1 had the 64Kxxx number as the frame number. I haven't found out yet where that number is on the frame, but that number is on the data plate. I suppose the plate could have been changed, but how would they know to pull the 64K# out of the air? and why would anyone? It has that contract # on it too. The motor has a rebuild tag on it so the special equipment was probably removed then, if it ever had any.
 

2deuce

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I have heard that the serial # for the M151 is on the frame. I have done some looking, but can't find it. Is it visible? It looks like the AN/GRC 106 would be the easiest to install. I don't have a teletype. Would there be a dash plate making it a radio jeep with the 106 or 106a or could they have it in any M151 with a 100 amp gen?
Thanks
 

Jericho

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I have heard that the serial # for the M151 is on the frame. I have done some looking, but can't find it. Is it visible? It looks like the AN/GRC 106 would be the easiest to install. I don't have a teletype. Would there be a dash plate making it a radio jeep with the 106 or 106a or could they have it in any M151 with a 100 amp gen?
Thanks
 

Jericho

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As a rule AF tactical vehicles did not come with standard Army BII . any equipment radios beacons ect was installed at the gaining unit, i never saw any tactical vehicles come thru motor pool with any radios installed in 20 years They would have been installed by comms guys or the user, We installed all VHF stuff for flightline operations our self's and as you can imagine no two were exactly the same lol Radio Operators, Maintainers and Drivers ( ROMAD ) could be testy lol
 

2deuce

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I was looking at a few sites about M151 radio jeeps, (one of them that is good is linked to this thread) and some jeeps were plated with the specific radio system that was to be installed or plated after installation. Sounds like after? It just seems like... where would that system plate come from if it wasn't made for that specific jeep? and it seems unlikely the cranky ROMAD would care to install it. I don't doubt you, but wonder how these jeeps got their special parts. Did somebody in maintenance install the larger generator and associated parts or did the jeep come as a special purpose vehicle that was meant for radios from the factory? Still wondering where the serial number is on the frame. That may shed some light on my jeep.
 

Jericho

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They weren’t grumpy. Training for a Romad was extensive. Both mental and physical. Vehicsl Operations. ( af motor pool had a special group of guys that did tactical vehicsl maintenance. ) If the Jeep was purchased specifically as a radio Jeep it may have come with up graded generator ect from factory. We usually just piggy backed off army purchases or drew from them in a interservice transfer . Other than that the gaining unit simply identified what they needed to the supply TACLO Ordered it then it was installed at the unit level. Either by COMMS. Troops or the end user. Units had wide disgression what they installed. The eguioment came off the TA. Table of allowances. But many times installs were slightly different from unit to unit If they needed brackets or cables made the wentbto the Cable shop. When we used to have them. All gone really now compared to then. Or they went to the aviation side maintenance guys. We had full machine. Welding. Sheet metal. Paint. Electronics shops. For aircraft. So the unit just did a “ local fabrication 349 work order “. Processed it thru Job Control and the items would be made for them.
 

2deuce

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Thanks for sharing that info.
I looked at my M151a1 a little bit closer and I can't tell what the rating is on the generator and there are no holes in the dash where a plate may have been to identify the system. If I knew where the serial number location is I could see if it matches the plate serial number. Just can't figure out the reason for the dash plate serial that points to a radio jeep.
 

maccus

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I bet you have found this web page as it has a very good set of pictures of the M151A1 with the MRC-108 equipment setup. We did not have the trailers as we were not a fixed operating outfit. I do not know how the radio equipment got installed but it looked very much like a factory install not a GI install. During my time we were first assigned to the 507th Comm Group at Shaw AFB, TAC where we did our TACP training. And then PCS to ground combat units of various branches of the military. About 99% of us were AFSC 304X4 ground radio electronics maint techs. Someone way up the food chain figured that seeing how we would be pretty much out there by ourself we need to be able to repair our equipment plus operate it. Hence Radio Operator, Maintence and Driver (ROMAD).


AN/MRC-108 Communications System > National Museum of the United States Air Force™ > Display
 

2deuce

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RO(MAD).... I was tongue in cheek when I said cranky. It must have been a highly technical, complicated job.

I'm leaning away from my M151 being one of these jeeps, except for that 64Kxx serial number that I haven't been able to disqualify.
 
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