[Would you like to see this in-game?]
TL;DR: An M548 Cargo Carrier equipped with a M55 quad .50 cal AA turret.
America’s prolonged involvement in the Vietnam war meant the supply vehicles were a necessity, however, Vietnam’s terrain was far from ideal when it came to wheeled and half-tracked vehicles. It was becoming increasing clear that a fully-tracked cargo carrier was needed to transport vital cargo to the front. This need led to the development and fielding of the M548 Cargo Carrier. It its most basic form, the M548 is equipped with a cabin and a tarp canopy, however, if the need to lower the vehicle’s silhouette arose both the cabin and the canopy could be dismounted. Additionally, a mounting for an M2 Browning could be installed above the cabin. As the mounting didn’t directly connect to it, this could be done without the cabin as well. The vehicle was also amphibious and could remain so even when carrying 5 tons of cargo. Though the M548’s main purpose was to carry cargo, that didn’t stop some of their crews from improvising in various ways. One of these improvisations was done by Battery G of the 55th Air Defense Artillery Regiment of the 23rd Infantry Division on a M548 nicknamed “Swamp Fox”. This M548 was modified to carry the M55 quad .50 cal AA turret. Because of this modification, the canopy could not be fitted, however, the cabin can and was, along with the extra .50 cal. The M55 turret was an improvement over the M45 turret (seen on the M16), featuring a more powerful generator. The example that Swamp Fox used was fitted with addon shields on either side of the turret. The M55 turret weighs less than 2 tons, likely allowing the vehicle to retain its amphibious capabilities. Not much else is known about the Swamp Fox, however, it’s likely that it was a one-off field modification.
Place In War Thunder:
The M16 and M13 MGMCs in-game are very good AAs, capable of effectively removing any aerial threat at an well above their BRs. That being said, they suffer from the same problem in-game as they did in real life, which is poor off-road maneuverability. The half-track layout can only do so much when it comes to rough terrain, never being able to mimic the capabilities of a fully-tracked vehicle. The Swamp Fox remedies this issue by introducing a fully-tracked SPAAG. In-game the Swamp Fox could give America’s low tier more mobile air coverage as well as act as a gap filler between the 2.3 M16 and the 4.0 M19A1, though it’d likely have to do this as a premium as the Swamp Fox is likely the only one of its kind. Personally, I think the best implementation of this vehicle is as a low-tier event reward. It’s a unique conversion that wouldn’t have too large of an impact on gameplay but would be really cool to have.
Armament: 4x (+1) M2 Browning .50 cal MGs
Dimensions: 5.75m, 2.68m, 2.68m (L,W,H) (Dimensions of the standard M548. The Swamp Fox might be a tad taller.)
Crew: At least 3 (Driver, Gunner, and Loader)
Ammunition: Same as M16 in-game.
Speed: 60kph (land) ~5kph (water)
Colored Side View:
Colored Front View:
The Swamp Fox with the cabin up and the extra .50 cal:
M45 Quadmount - Wikipedia
M548 - Wikipedia
File:M548 Quad 0.50 calibre.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Bradley: A History of American Fighting and Support Vehicles by R.P. Hunnicutt