Today in WW II: 20 Apr 1945 Northern Italy: US 5th Army breaks out beyond the Apennines, into the broad Po River Valley, forcing retreat across the Po by forces of German Gen. Heinrich Von Vietinghoff.
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
||Chevrolet V8, 283 cid, 160hp, gasoline
||GM Hydramatic, 4 fwd speeds
|Maximum Speed, Land
|Maximum Speed, Water
||65 Gallons US
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
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Husky: Carrier, Cargo, Amphibious, M116.
Husky: Carrier, Cargo, Amphibious, M116. Courtesy eBay seller gpa42colorado.
XM729: Tank, Combat, Full Tracked, Counter-insurgency, Amphibious, Lightweight. Also called LACIC(?).
USMC XM733 Assault Vehicle, Full Tracked, Amphibious. In Vietnam, 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.