Operation Desert Storm M2A1 Bradley Fighting Vehicle (D-26/“Delta Two-Six”), 2nd Platoon (call-sign “Charlie Eight-Zero”), Delta Company (“Death Merchants”), 1/41 Infantry (“Straight and Stalwart”), Task Force 3/66 Armor [...]
(Please note that all comment icons in the photos can be toggled on/off to remove description narratives if you want to better-view or copy/paste the photos). This is about as accurate as I could get by "kit-bashing" from both Academy and Tamiya 1/35th scale model components. I even hand-crafted or modified some plastic components that were not "vehicle-series accurate" or not included in either of the combined model kits. For reference, I looked at photos of M2A1 BFV D-26/“Delta Two-Six” before it was destroyed in Iraq in the very early-morning hours on 27 February 1991 after the Battles of both "73 Easting" and "Norfolk". These battles involved the Iraqi 3rd Mechanized "Tawakalna" Division, 1st Corps, Iraqi Republican Guard Forces Command, amongst other Iraqi units. I also looked at many different photos of other BFVs from the Platoon, Company, and Battalion as a whole to try to insure the best cross-section representation of completeness and accuracy for all BFVs and Soldiers in 1/41 INF. NOTHING was "totally uniform" in the entire Battalion between any two BFVs or personnel when not in olive-drab (“OD”) green Chemical MOPP suits-including the Soldiers' uniforms which was a mixture of "Chocolate-Chip" patterned DCUs, "Woodland" patterned BDUs, "Woodland" patterned flak vests, Desert Night Parkas/Trousers, OD Nomex CVC suits, and OD jungle, black leather, or tan suede leather combat boots. We front-line Soldiers were only initially issued one set of DCUs (unlike "The REMFs in the rear with the gear" who had multiple sets of DCUs and other "luxuries" as they have had throughout the history of warfare). I tried my best to capture the most minute details such as our folding aluminum cots with OD nylon webbing, OD duffel bags, OD ruck-sacks attached to the outside of the BFV or to its turret, gray rolled foam-rubber sleeping mats and MRE boxes (which were stuffed anywhere there was room such as in the turret bustle rack or under the Dismount-Troop compartment seats), 5 gallon tan-colored plastic water containers, and 7.62 mm ammunition cans. Naturally, everything was also covered in very thick desert dust. I even included the fluorescent orange nylon-banner panel marker that every BFV had secured to the rear of the turret (or on the top-rear of other types of vehicles) to be properly identified by coalition ground forces and aircraft. Also, although carried, the M231 5.56 mm Firing Port Weapons/FPWs were not utilized (unless there was an emergency) and were stowed internally in the Dismount-Troop compartment wherever room could be found. My ultimate goal was to have every Soldier who served in 1/41 INF, 2AD (FWD) during ODS, remember the constant fine desert dust irritating their eyes, feeling sand crunching between their teeth during sandstorms while chowing down on MREs or "POGey bait", i.e., civilian food sent in care packages from 'The World' (USA), and finally inhaling the perpetual mixture of smelly B.O., long-unwashed DCUs or BDUs, and BFV exhaust fumes for months-on-end since we didn't have FOBs to live in. 2nd Armored Division (Forward), was based in Garlstedt, Germany, and was "Attached" to the 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) as its 3rd Maneuver Brigade during Operation Desert Storm. 1/41 INF lost 6 M2A1 BFVs completely destroyed. HQ: 1 BFV (and 1 M113 APC/GSR vehicle) and 2 KIA; Bravo: 3 BFVs and 4 KIA; Delta: 2 BFVs and 1 KIA. R.I.P. to 1/41 INF's 7 KIA during Operation Desert Storm. Note: 2nd Armored Division ("Hell on Wheels") was the only Division that authorized the Division patch to be worn over the heart (instead of the left shoulder sleeve) on all field uniforms. Rumor has it that GEN George Patton authorized the wearing of 2AD's Patch over the heart on field uniforms as he was the Division's 1st Commander at Fort Benning, GA, shortly before the U.S. officially became involved in WWII. Also, he gave the 2AD it's motto: "Hell on Wheels"!
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