Dragoon Base

Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.

I was asked by an Old E. German about our Spot Lamps on the M-60. He wanted to know why the light was Pink and what kind of Lamp it was, Mercury or Sodium.

I don't know, 

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I recall it being called a Xenon searchlight...but not sure if it was sodium or mercury bulb.


As best as I can remember our spot light had two modes, we called it white light or pink light, white light was the spot light mode, that you could see, it lit up the night I don't remember how many candle watt power it was, but it was a lot. Pink light was the infrared mode that you could not see with the naked eye, you had to have a infrared viewing device to see it, binoculars or some kind of IR sight, the down fall of that was anybody with IR Binoculars or a IR viewing device could also see it, including the enemy thus giving away your position. I can not remember what kind of bulb that it used.

An article I found on a discussion board from 1996....

VSS-3 1kW Tank Searchlight, applicable to M551 Sheridan Light Tank. 28VDC @ 80A input power. Includes power supply/control unit, commander's remote control, cables, and 240 vac to 28vdc@100A switching PSU. Just the thing for setting-up your very own BAT-SIGNAL! Infrared, and Visible light modes, with flood/spot control as well. I believe this very light was discussed here on the board last spring.... $1350 plus freight. Estimated shipping weight 150 Lbs.

And yes Frank, it was a Xenon searchlight. Very good memory!

I would have dug out my Sheridan manual and given you all the specifics, but I just sent it to Chris Golden to donate to the Armor museum.

Thanks Everybody, Now that i remember the question (Cuz I forgot after Gettman posted the photo)(and thank you Dave, my nephew saw it and wants to sign up immediately) Did we keep those to put on the M-60A1, are was I seeing the Old Sheridans' we kept after '84 before they were adapted to air droppable?  I hit Bindlach in June '84 and I may be mis remembering, but I though each Cav Troop Plt had one Spot Lamp. I KNOW I saw them in use on the border in 84-86.And Dave please send all the necessary photo documentation you deem required.

Tou Jour Pret

Thanks again 

Had a brain fart on the vehicle type, Mark. Although I trained on the M60, I spent all my Cav time on the Sheridan.

I think somewhere on the turret wall there is the switch to turn the searchlight on.

That's my TC, Major Hooters.

If you haven't already, you really should print up a Girls of the 2d ACR Calender/Iron Curtain Edition.

Hey Mark,


I don't recall mercury or sodium but I remember when I went to that three week crash turret mechanic course at Vilseck they said we had to wear gloves when changing out the bulbs.

You had to wear gloves because the oil on your hands could cause a hot spot that would burn out the bulb. We were also cautioned in turret school that the bulbs could explode and we had to wear some sort of eye and face protection when handling them. I only  changing only two or three during my whole time in service.

The bulb was Xenon I believe and I was always told it had 1 Million Candlelight of power.

In Basic Training / AIT I remember the Drill Sgts marching us at night, we approached a barn and they had us stand along side of the barn. Then we heard tanks approaching, then BAM! they hit us with the search lights, we were being BBQ'd

In Germany on reforger, one night we were in a AA. One of the crewmembers on our LT tank was pulling radio watch, He had

all of us traverse our turrets, when the LT was standing on the back deck taking a bitch bath, he gave us the call and we all started the tanks and blasted his naked ass. There he was exposed to the whole German country side.



Colonels of the Regiment

8th Colonel of the Regiment Nelson B. Sweitzer 9 Jun 1886 – 29 Oct 1888



This was the third design of the 2d Cavalry DUI, worn from 1924-1931. The sharp points on the ends of the bottom scroll again called for a redesign.


Machine Gun Troop, 2d Cavalry; Adjutant General.

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