Fire Dragon

Captain Roger Hawkins, U.S. Army, 1969

An M42 40 mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun in an open turret provides road security along Highway 19 between Qui Nhơn and Pleiku. Often called “Dusters” by American forces for the large clouds of dust produced by their tracks as they sped across the dirt roads of Vietnam, M42s were nicknamed “Fire Dragons” by the Viet Cong because their high volume of fire and tracer ammunition gave the appearance of a dragon’s breath.