Changing a Tube on a 175mm Gun

The M-107SP, 175-mm Self Propelled Gun -  (CANNON, 175 MILLIMETER GUN: M113 (T256E3) with MOUNT, GUN-HOWITZER: M158, RAMMER AND LOADER ASSEMBLY ORD No. 10898300, AND MECHANISM, FIRING, CANNON: M35, provides the armament for GUN, FIELD ARTILLERY, SELF-PROPELLED: 175-mm, M107 (T235E1), was a formidable weapon.

First produced by Pacific Car and Foundry Co. in 1962 and later by FMC Corp. and then by Bowen-McLaughlin-York the M-107SP had a maximum range of 20.38 miles.  Shooting a 147 pound projectile up to those distances soon wore out the tube.  The average tube life for 175mm gun at first was 300 full service rounds as opposed to its cousin, the 8 inch howitzer, which was 7500 full service rounds.  Later the tube life was extended to between 700 and 1200 full service rounds.  In 1967, however, once near 700 rounds had been fired it was necessary to replace the tube or risk a tube explosion.

In 1967- 68 maintaining the two 8 inch guns and the two 175mm for each of the 6/27th batteries, (excluding Foxtrot Battery) including changing the 175mm tubes every 700 rounds for Alpha Battery, was the job of the 3rd Maintenance Co., 610th Maintenance Battalion based in Dian.  Considered by many to be one of the worst maintenance details to perform in Vietnam the men of the 3rd Mn. Co. were known as one of the best at the job.

Lt William Carr & Sgt Curry

The 538th Crew Jun 67 (Top Middle, SP5 Bainbridge, Right, Sgt Curry)*

(Click to Enlarge)  

Replacing the 34+ foot tube weighing in at 13, 800 pounds was not a job for the faint at heart.  It required heavy equipment and old-fashioned mechanical know-how in order to insure the job was done correctly with no crew injuries.  The following photo gallery illustrates the process required to replace a tube on an Alpha Battery gun in May-June 1967. 

Click Here To View the Photo Gallery

*Help us identify the soldiers in this photo.  If you know any names send them to the address below.

Here are some links if you are interested in learning more about the 175mm SP gun:                               

  Link One           Link Two          Link Three            Link Four 


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