Dragoon Base

Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.

In my time in K-troop, we had both. We used the old 151 jeeps with hard-tops, and also the Hummers.

I remember when we were learning about the Hummers, Sgt Dean (motor Sgt-Cool guy) took us out to the LTA to learn how to drive the Hummers. We found a "little" mudpuddle, and of course, we sunk the thing in it up to the mirrors! That was a nasty surprise. We didnt think that little mudpuddle was that deep. But overall, I found the Hummer to be an excellent vehicle. It worked best with chains in the mountains in winter-time. But it was still good.

The old 151s were really showing thier age by the late 1980s, but they were sturdy little things. I found that we could drive between trees in the 151 where the Hummer would have gotten wedged in tight. The 151s always ground the gears going from 2nd to third, and they used a lot of grease. They would roll over easily, as some of our guys found out, but you didnt have to worry about welding the glow plugs by not waiting for the little light.

So, what do you guys think? Which was better for patroling the grenze? Was it the 151...or the Hummer?

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Replies to This Discussion

Never had Hummers(at least the 4-wheeled ones) but I loved the 151's. They could go just about anywhere and were easy to work on.and if you got one stuck,which was pretty hard 2 or 3 guy's could get it out. Hard-tops?? We had rag-tops ans crappy heaters if they worked at all. Freeze your ass off in the winter up at the Border, but I've returned to base with snow up over the hood,plowing down the road using those blue and white road markers to stay out of the ditches. I also used to scare the crap out of my Lt. at Polk when we would come back from Peason Ridge flyin' down the trails going round corners in a 4-wheel drift!
Thought the 151's were great in the 1962-65 period - not too big or loud; hard to get stuck, and when you did on patrol there was enough manpower and the other 151 to solve almost any problem. Had a number of them flip when we first got them, usually from going too fast on a curve with a muddy or icy surface. The machine gun mount kept some from going all the way over. Tops? We didn't even have the top mechanisms in the 3rd Squadron. Troop commanders were told they'd be relieved if they had them in the troop; one nearly was when the Squadron CO found one in his attic, but it turned out to be a leftover for the earlier model 1/4-ton. The plywood doors helped a bit in cold weather, especially if you had a heater. Some of us had tonneau covers that the troop tailors made from poncho material; the front was split, so that the driver could keep the front passenger seat covered when he was by himself and trap more of the heated air. By the way, some of the 151's had been modified by us with wood framing around the sides of the back seat area; the wood was attached to the metal at the top and painted, and the tonneau was attached to that. The few inches of wood increased the cargo area. I had learned the hard way that a trailer really limited your mobility and helped you get stuck repeatedly, so stopped using one. The enlarged cargo area gave my driver and me plently of room for a case of C's, our tanker's rolls, duffle bags, etc. The tonneau did a good job of keeping rain and snow out of the cargo area.

When the M114's replaced the scout 151's, the Border camps received issues of 151's "for Border use only." There were times, however, when it became necessary to use the 114's. They didn't handle well on icy roads, so under those conditions we welded a bolt to every fifth section of track and that helped, but wasn't very good for the road surface when you hit ice free areas.
I don't have any experience with the Hummers......But I can tell you from lots of experience with the 151, it was a good vehicle. I had my jeep, E-40, in some seriously deep mudholes in Graf and Hohenfels, and NEVER once got stuck. If you had chains on the 151 you could pretty much handle deep snow with out much problem. It seemed to me, the harder you drove the 151, the better it performed. As long as you kept up the maintenance, which was easy, you had very few problems.
Like STEVE-O said, it was a simple vehicle to maintain.
And "hard-tops"......There was no such critter in the Regiment when I was with E 2/2. Even the Dueler and Cowboy6 had rag tops.
Me and Top (1SG Charles W. Hickey) did have a heater (make no mistake....it was TOPS heater. LOL) in our 151, plexi-glass windows and handmade wooden doors. Hell, we even had a cassette player mounted to the interior roof. The roof was just a piece of particle board squeezed into the top frame, but the plexiglass and doors and board top did keep the weather out.....Most of the time.
I remember putting my 151 through holy hell......Literally leaving the ground over the crest of hills on tank trails, making our own trails through the bush, getting through some really tight spots in the bush, flying down the autobahn....Or at least as fast it would possibly go.
The vehicle would roll on you in a second, so you had to keep your mind on what you were doing. The best way to keep from rolling was to go as fast as possible through the slant....Rely on speed to overcome the urge to roll.
I thought it was a good vehicle that always got the job done.
I am too old to have experienced the Hummer also. When I was there we transitioned from the -151 to the -151A1. the A1 had electric wipers instead of the old style vacuum type that stopped when you stepped on the gas, larger turn signal lites and that was about it. Hard-tops on a jeep? Never saw one in 21/2 years on the Rock . Not even the Regt. CO. he a had a rag -top. I can recall going on patrol with all four tires chained up too. It made a hell of a racket when one of those chains broke. really beat the hell out of the fender until you stopped. They could go most anywhere. We had to push one up really steep inclines in the field sometimes usually with 113 or Sheridan. Just ease up to the spare tire and give it a steady push. The A1's still had the same heater as the old ones did.


Recoilless Rifle Troop, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 1949.
All my exp was with the 151 Jeep driving E-1 Capt. Horton in Bamberg, and a CSM in Ft. Hood Tx.

I did get to drive a Hummer in Tx. during transition, but I was processing out and my exp. was short.

On the comments of the 151; every one was on point about the nimbleness through the thick German forest, its light weight for rescue and low noise.
I do remember always having issues with 2nd gear and or asking to pull a range tower around and later have to get a new trans. I went through two transmissions in Germany during my six months with Capt. Horton.

As for the heater; Capt. Horton used a blanket over the vent to keep him warm, so I didn’t get heat. Even though we did have wooden doors, and saw some jeeps with windows, we couldn’t have Plexi-glass windows to screen the wind. When the unit was rail-heading to a training location, Capt. Horton & I would drive the whole way. Try going down the Autobahn pushing 70 mph as the jeep steering is shaking in the winter with no protection from the wind for 4 hours strait, that was cold!

We did have a patrol jeep tip on the road and that 60 mount did saved the ocupants from getting turtle shelled.

Both had their strengths and weaknesses, but if I had one to pick, I would pick both.

One time my transmission gave out during Capstone at night. The Capt. & I waited about 2 hours before we could get a picker to take us to the mech’s field location which took another hour or so to get to.

The mechanics and I worked through the night on some patch of concrete parked in front of a guesthouse. Doing surgery at night with lights shinning thru the rain, a cherry picker to remove the engine and all the parts laid out on that concrete. We were able to find all the parts, get the thing done with about an hour of sleep to spare before the morning brief/breakfast to continue the games.
I used to think that the mechanics were all talk and no show, as many times I would have to fix my own vehicles because they didn’t have time to work on them. After that night working side by side with them in the open elements, no complaints from them just smooth, effortless work, those guys earned my full respect from then on.
Haven driven both...Hummer...hands down. Nothing could stop 'em.
Except maybe a curb taken at high speed and 'cruit driver.

Better accomodations with the kevlar roof kit too.

The 151 was a tough bastard though.
We had no stinking hummers we used the m151a1 to its limits it humped the border no prob
mtw
B/37
We had HUMMERS when I was there in 89 -90, they where pretty good, heaters didn't work all that great but at least you didn't freeze. They were kind of wide for going through the woods. One time we were told that there was a 1k violator in an area. It was about thrity clicks by road, so we decided to cut through the forrest. We dropped off into a creek and followed it. Cut off about twenty clicks to get to the area. We drove with two wheels in the creek and two on the bank. Came close to turning over alot, pretty much driving on it's side. We had to hang on to keep from falling on the guys on the left side of the HUMMER but we made it. They where prety hard to get stuck. I was in the army in the late 70's also, never seen a jeep with a hard top, don't remember the model numbers, but they would go almost anywhere and when you got stuck they were light made pretty easy to get them out. Boy would they turn over easy.
I wonder where the 151 hardtops came from. Were they converted in Germany, or did they come from the factory that way?
I was also there during the transition between the two (86-89). Purely for the "fun factor", I preferred the M-151 on the border.

the m151 was a great vehicle. It was quiet, small, and a hoot to drive. My old buddy Cary Ley decided to do a couple cartwheels in one on the Border and survived. I think the only injury was to his pride and a couple of Wilkerson,sboot prints on his ass.I have all the memories of "6" bouncin' across some field with the antennas swingin, around. I sure miss those days.

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