Oktoberfest 1974
Mark Layport
3/12th Cavalry, 1973 - 1976


"Swing Budingen”, Federal Republic of Germany, during Oct-Fest 74, the CAV normally supplied a M551 Sheridan for a pretty girl to ride on during this local German parade. 


However as this track and crew got into town things "started" to go downhill FAST! *G*

The Sheridan fires both a missile and conventional caseless 152mm round. There is a cardboard tube that holds the propellant charge on the conventional round and this tube is burned up during the combustion of the propellant charge. One danger with this is there could be some burning embers left, so the system has a high pressure air system to blow these embers out of the main tube before you can load another round ...OR anything else in the gun tube! *G* …This track gets in the middle of town and the parade is at a dead stop, with the track square in front of the German band. The track crew decides to do a “fire mission” …with some confetti thru the main gun tube. They crank the turret around and at point blank range engage the tuba player! …It was awful! …When you do this manual release of air it makes a loud noise ...kind of like a big fart! That and with all the confetti concentrated on the tuba player it was too much for the “poor” guy! SO the tuba player decides to “take out” this American track …bare handed! *L* ...And in full costume!!! Leather shorts, feathered hat, and all! Luckily his buddies (with cooler heads) hold him back, after all killing the American crew would be acceptable, BUT in front of the whole town? … Would be bad manners! *L* …Besides “Fate” has other designs for this crew.

The parade is finally over and the crew is heading back to Squadron. Now normally you would drive the track down the back road to the tank park gate and get back in line with the other tracks. Not this crew! They decide to go thru the front gate ...passing in front of Squadron Headquarters! ...With the pretty girl still hanging on for dear life on the loaders hatch.


25 yards pass the Squadron Headquarters, I see the Squadron Commander come out and double timing to the front gate, to see why this crew decides to disobey his standing orders about tracks entering his A.O.! …Unfortunately, I wasn't there to hear their explanation, but I am familiar with the Squadron Commander and his "capabilities"!! *LOL*

This was one of the best Oct-Fest I was ever at!!

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