When I got to Pleiku in April 1968 Brutus had a gunner named Prescott. Brutus was equiped with a 50 Cal machine gun on the front and two M60 machine gun’s on the back. A few month’s after I got there Prescott and I went to the air force base next to us and struck up a deal with one of his friends to trade a Mini-Gun for 10 cases of C rations. That afternoon we came home with a Mini-Gun. Prescott went to the motor pool and had them make a bracket stand for it in the back of Brutus. He even manufactured a set of bicycle handlebars with a kill switch to be able to make the Mini-Gun swivel in the back of Brutus. Hope I’m not giving away to many secrets. But that was the greatest addition to Brutus that ever happened.

I wonder if Lt Runkle remembers our ambush when our jeep was blown off the road. I got a gash on the head and kept going to An Khe. Have been trying to get the Purple Heart for that one. But no morning report or substantiating evidence for it. Rocket blew up under the jeep and sent us rolling to the right. Not a lot of damage, uprighted the gun jeep, and kept going. An Khe medic’s gave us a tag and of course I threw it away. Later I had to process a Purple Heart for the guy who drove Brutus, who sprained his ankle on the way to the motor pool to get Brutus. Oh well! Water under the bridge and at our age who needs a Purple Heart.

1 Comment

  1. Louis "Pat" Brittingham CW3 USA Ret on February 26, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Just a correction to the post by Jim Hopewell on Brutus. Jim states that when he arrived in Pleiku in April of 1968, that Wayne Prescott was the gunner o Brutus. He further states that Brutus had a 50 Cal. MG on the front and two M-60’s on the back. He further states that “a few months” after he got there, he and Prescott made a deal, and traded for a mini-gun. Then Prescott went back to the Motor Pool and “had them” make a bracket stand . Jim then goes on to say “Hope I’m not giving away to (sic) secrets.” “But that was the greatest addition to Brutus that ever happened.”

    Touching on the last statement first; I state emphatically — “It is no secret to anyone who was there when Brutus was built, that this is the greatest addition to Brutus THAT NEVER HAPPENED!”

    Consider the Official Record. I arrived at the 27th Trans on 1 Nov. 68 and was transferred to the 359th in December 1968, when it was assigned to the 124th Trans. from the 240th QM. Brutus was not even a thought when Jim arrived in April 1968, unless he was transported into the future for a period of more than seven months. To the best of my recollection; the construction of Brutus was begun about March of 1969, primarily by Wayne Prescott, assisted by shop mechanics. Prescott did not have to “have them” do anything.

    As I stated in my “The Birth of Brutus,” the 7.62 Mini-Gun was obtained from my brother, Alvin, who was at MACV Forward in Phu Bai. When I got the gun from him and his Commander discovered that we two were in country at the same time, Alvin was transferred to Okinawa for the balance of his tour. He was transferred to Okinawa in April of 1969. If Jim actually arrived at the 359th in April 1968; then he must have left around march 1969, just when Prescott was beginning construction on Brutus. Jim Hopewell had absolutely nothing to do with the construction of Brutus. Some people tell their “War Stories” so convincingly that after a time, they begin to believe them themselves. However; nothing clouds a phony claim quite like the facts. For him to have made the claims he has written is nothing less than stolen valor from the good men who built Brutus.

    Jim, You need to clear your head and apologize to the good men who built, served, and gave their lives on Brutus.

    Louis “Pat” Brittingham, CW3 USA Ret
    359th Trans. Maint. Tech/Motor Officer
    Dec. 68 – Oct. 69