US-Army

“Low flying C-47 transport planes roar overhead as they carry supplies to the besieged American Forces battling the Germans at Bastogne, during the enemy breakthrough on January 6, 1945 in Belgium. In the distance, smoke rises from wrecked German equipment, while in the foreground, American tanks move up to support the infantry in the fighting.”

(AP)

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10

M16 & M16A1

The XM16E1 was first adopted in 1962 for special purpose use by Army special forces, airborne, and airmobile troops with the M14 remaining the standard issue rifle of the infantry.  But by 1965 the M16 was being issued to all Army and Marine Units stationed in Vietnam with the M14 being relegated to troops on home service or stationed in Europe and South Korea.

The problems the new rifle suffered during its early deployment in vietnam are well known and various changes including a forward assist (see images #1, #3 & #4) and better maintenance training were made by early 1967.  The M16A1 was adopted as Standard A in January 1967 and by 1970 it had been decided to issue the M16A1 to US troops stationed in Europe.  Since the Vietnam War the rifle has been refined numerous times and is expected to remain in service for another twenty years, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the M16 being issued generally to troops in Vietnam.  Above are some gratuitous M16 and M16A1 photographs.

Image Sources:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10