Tag Archives: wombat gun

Wombat Gun

Australian War Memorial WAR/70/0105/VN

Official caption:

Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam. 18 February 1970. Section Commander, Corporal Joe Danyluk of Port Kembla, NSW, carrying a mortar gun [M79 40mm grenade launcher] calls a halt during a sweep through bombed-out jungle after a bloody battle in the Long Hai mountains during Operation Hamersley. His company, B Company of 8th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (8RAR), together with other units of the Battalion, supported by armor, fought an estimated company of hard-core Viet Cong (VC) for a number of days in the mountains. The area was pounded by airstrikes including a raid by giant B52 bomber aircraft, naval bombardment from HMAS Vendetta, and artillery fire. Twenty-nine bodies of dead VC have been found to date.

First fielded in 1961 by the U.S. Army, the 6-pound M79 was light enough that you could carry it as a support weapon while still having a primary rifle– note CPL Danyluk’s M16 over the shoulder. In American service, it was often called the Bloop Gun or the Thumper. Meanwhile, the Ozzies referred to it as the Wombat Gun.

Because wombats…

Karen weapons, a living arms museum at work

 

Photo by Jason Florio http://www.floriophoto.com/#/portraits/blackout%20portraits%20-%20burma/1/

Photo by Jason Florio. By the way is that an RPG-2 (made in the PRC of course) or an RPG-7?

Jason Florio, perhaps one of the most talented photojournalists in the business, has traveled the globe in recent years to places like Silafando, Mogadishu, and Makasutu. On a trip to Burma he took a series of amazing portraits of Karen National Liberation Army  freedom fighters.

Photo by Jason Florio http://www.floriophoto.com/#/portraits/blackout%20portraits%20-%20burma/1/  The old M16A1 is great.

Photo by Jason Florio  The old “in the white” M16A1 is great as is the 20-round mag on the AK overfolder.

For those who don’t know, the Karens have been fighting the Burmese government since 1949 pretty much non-stop. Located in the Golden Triangle, their equipment runs the gamut from captured French Lebels left over from Colonial Indochina, to Japanese WWII equipment, 1960s era U.S. gear left over from Vietnam, and (slightly) more modern Chinese kit.

Photo by Jason Florio http://www.floriophoto.com/#/portraits/blackout%20portraits%20-%20burma/1/ Can you dig the Karen Bloop gunner? What is the shelf-life of a 40mm fuse stored at 99% humidity in the jungle?

Photo by Jason Florio  Can you dig the Karen Bloop gunner? What is the shelf-life of a 40mm fuse stored at 99% humidity in the jungle? What that TD though.