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Today in WW II: 21 Sep 1943 In the most bitter combat of the New Georgia campaign [Central Solomons], Japanese lose 600 men in an unsuccessful defense of Arundel Island, withdraw on 22 Sep.   

Husky: Carrier, Cargo, Amphibious, M116 and M116A1 (G299)

The Husky (formally Carrier, Cargo, Amphibious, M116) is a 1 1/2 ton capacity, low ground pressure cargo and personnel carrier capable of operating over all kinds of terrain and under all seasonal conditions in tropical, temperate and arctic zones. The Husky name is sometimes spelled Huskie. It is fully amphibious without preparation or fording kit. Propulsion and steering, both on land and water, are accomplished by movements of the tracks. It is sometimes referred to as a marginal terrain vehicle and has served in that role from the hot swamps and paddies of Vietnam to the snow fields of Alaska.

The Husky was developed to replace the amphibious USMC M76 Otter and the M-28 / M-29 Weasel Amphibious Vehicle. During development, the M116 was known as T116E1 and had a later variant M116A1, standardized in 1976. The M116 was originally designed by Pacific Car and Foundry although actual production of 197 units was by Blaw-Knox Company (Mattoon, IL). It was fielded circa 1960.

The Husky body is made of aluminum. The body is open at top and normally is used with top bows and canvas for cover, but it can be covered with a fiberglass enclosure for colder weather. There is a front mounted winch. The front section and rear section are covered or not using separate enclosure units.

Both the M116 and the M116A1 were assigned FSN 2350-411-2057.

Non-Standard Husky Variants: XM729, XM733, XM755

In addition to the standardized M116 and M116A1, the XM733 Assault Vehicle, Full Tracked, Amphibious (FSN 2320-999-4312) was produced by Pacific Car and Foundry for the Marine Corps in 1966. The XM733 was an uparmored version with an open top, typically armed with a .50 cal. machine gun, used as an amphibious gun-truck escort for M116 cargo carriers, especially useful in the wet terrain and rice paddies of Vietnam.

Several other versions of this vehicle were produced, at least in prototype:

  • XM729: Tank, Combat, Full Tracked, Counter-insurgency, Amphibious, Lightweight (FSN 2350-921-5564) Also called LACIC (?)
  • XM729E1: Variant with gunners cupola. Called Remote Area Counter-Insurgency Vehicle (RACI) by some sources
  • XM733E1: Variant with gunners cupola. Called Remote Area Counter-Insurgency Vehicle (RACI) by some sources
  • XM755: Carrier, 81-mm Mortar: Tracked

The XM729 was a modified M116 with enclosed armor and a dual machine gun turret, but was not produced in quantity. The XM755 was an XM733 with a mortar installed.

Some sources refer to these models without the experimental "X" prefix implying standardization.

M116 Husky Characteristics

EngineChevrolet V8, 283 cid, 160hp, gasoline
TransmissionGM Hydramatic, 4 fwd speeds
Weight, Combat10,600 lbs
Length188.1 in
Width82.1 in
Height79.1 in
Ground Clearance16 in
Track Width20 in
Electrical24 volt
Maximum Speed, Land37 mph
Maximum Speed, Water4.2 mph
Fuel Tank65 Gallons US
Range, Land300 miles

Note: Specifications for the M116 vehicle; other vehicles in the family will vary.

The track width is large for this size vehicle, with low ground pressure as a result. This gives the M116 family excellent performance on sand, mud and snow as well as water propulsion without a propeller.

Manuals and Documents for the M116 and Related Vehicles

Manuals for the M116 will be numbered TM 9-2320-223-xx where the xx represents the maintenance level. The most important documents for operation and maintenance are:

  • TM 9-2320-223-10 Operators Manual
  • TM 9-2320-223-20 Organizational Maintenance
  • TM 9-2320-223-25P Parts List
  • LO 9-2320-223 Lubrication ORder

Other related documents:

  • Aberdeen Proving Ground, "Test of Carrier, Cargo, Amphibious, M116, Arctic Winter 1962," AD 286 828 L, July 1962.
  • Army Transportation Board, "Carrier, Cargo, Amphibious, Ml16, (HUSKY) Phase I: Tropical Evaluation," AD 282 626, Fort Eustis, VA, July 1962.
  • Huskie Platoon, Vietnam, The Real Story, Agent Orange

M116 Husky Internet Resources

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: amphibious m116 OR xm733. Then click the Search button.

Husky:  Carrier, Cargo, Amphibious, M116
Husky: Carrier, Cargo, Amphibious, M116.

Husky:  Carrier, Cargo, Amphibious, M116.  Courtesy eBay seller gpa42colorado
Husky: Carrier, Cargo, Amphibious, M116. Courtesy eBay seller gpa42colorado.

XM729: Tank, Combat, Full Tracked, Counter-insurgency, Amphibious, Lightweight.  Also called LACIC(?)
XM729: Tank, Combat, Full Tracked, Counter-insurgency, Amphibious, Lightweight. Also called LACIC(?).

USMC XM733 Assault Vehicle, Full Tracked, Amphibious.  In Vietnam, circa mid-1960s
USMC XM733 Assault Vehicle, Full Tracked, Amphibious. In Vietnam, circa mid-1960s.

XM755 Carrier, 81-mm Mortar: Tracked, circa mid-1960s
XM755 Carrier, 81-mm Mortar: Tracked, circa mid-1960s.

M116 Husky rolls by during the Oktoberfest vehicle show, Mt. Angel, OR, 19 September 2010
M116 Husky rolls by during the Oktoberfest vehicle show, Mt. Angel, OR, 19 September 2010.

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