M102 105mm Howitzer paddy platform

I can only assume that this is Vietnam and the guns are on these platforms to keep them dry during the heavy rains and flooding. I have never seen this before. Ingenious idea.
Took a while but found this

Firing platforms for 105mm howitzers, riverine artillery, on a body of water during the Vietnam War

Found this Operational report covering the Period Ending 15 July 1969 in Vietnam and contains the information as below

With the onset of wet weather, greater use was made of the Airmobile Firing Platforms (paddy platforms) in order to maintain flexibility. There war no significant curtailment of maneuver operations because of wet terrain or shortage of artillery fire units

During the period 5-11 June, extensive use was mad of the "paddy platforms" when Battery B, 1-11 Artillery made three airmobile moves while supporting 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry in the Plain of Reeds

To provide responsive fires for these tactics, 3-34 Artillery made numerous echelon moves and conducted split battery operations. The majority of the moves were made by Batteries A and B which were the barge mounted batteries while Battery C continued operations on paddy platforms at Fire Support Base Klaw with occasional displacement of two howitzers to provide additional support for operations in central Kien Hoa Province.

The requirement to load 3000 pounds of ballast for an externally helicopter-transported firing platfom can be turned into an asset, The weight of the leaded platform (10,000) exceeds the lift capability of a CH47, but is much less than the max capacity of a CH54 hence, properly loading the platform to the capacity of the CH-54 will significantly improve the reaction time required to close a battery Into a position requiring paddy platforms.

Ten platforms were used to airmobile a firing battery to its positions in the Plain of Reeds. To satisfy the ballast requirement and make efficient use of air assets, the six platforms were airmobiled with the 102 howitzers an A-22 beg of section equipment and an A-22 bag of ammunition on each . The CH-54 is capable of transporting these platforms which weigh approximately 16,000 to 17,000 lbs. The remaining four platforms were loaded with ammunition. A gun platform thus rigged provides the same reaction time, if not less, as that of a normal airmobile operation with the ammo and section equipment piggyback.

Two,20-foot tie-down straps with ratchets were required to secure the two A-22 bags. The bags were secured on each flank of the howitzer adjacent to the wheels. The howitzer was secured using the mounting base provided an the platform and b securing the firing roller to the platform. Care was taken to ensure that the A-22 bags were equally loaded and placed so that the original center of gravity of the platforms would not change. The entire load was then rigged using twelve,20 ft. 2-loop strap.s and a large cleats. The gun platforms were brought into position and then an ammo service platform positioned between each pair of howitzers. Positioning the service platforms in close proximity to the firing platforms requires a very experienced ground guide. After positioning, solid steel planking was placed between the platforms as walkways. Two howitzer sections shared a service platform upon which was stored their ammunition, section equipment, and personal equipment The tenth platform was used by the battery fire direction center.

The A-22 bags described in the report are likely the bags seen in the original photo
To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.

To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.

Media information

Added by
Date added
View count
Comment count
5.00 star(s) 1 ratings

Share this media