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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Boalsburg in Centre County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Twin 40mm Self-propelled Gun, M42A1 Duster

Pennsylvania Military Museum

 
 
Twin 40mm Self-propelled Gun, M42A1 Duster Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 23, 2009
1. Twin 40mm Self-propelled Gun, M42A1 Duster Marker
Inscription. By the time the M42 "Duster" anti-aircraft weapon system was deployed in 1953, the Soviet Union had developed high-speed aircraft that were too fast for the Duster to track. The Duster, however, found its role in the dense jungles of Vietnam. Its awesome firepower proved effective in suppressing enemy ground fire on convoy duty and in fixed defensive positions. ACF industries of Berwick, Pennsylvania, built M42 Dusters in the 1950s.

About the M42A1 Duster
First accepted: 1951
Manufacturers: Cadillac Motor Car Division of General Motors and ACF Industries, Inc.
Total Built: 3,700
Crew: 6 men (Commander and Driver in vehicle; Gunner, Sight Setter, and two Loaders in turret)
Armament: 40mm Dual Automatic Gun M2A1 "Bofors" in turret, and .30 caliber M1919A4 machine gun mounted at front or rear of turret
Armor: Between .3" and 1" all around vehicle
Engine: Continental AOS-895-3; 6 cylinder, 4 cycle, opposed supercharged gasoline
Horsepower: 446@2400 rpm
Maximum road speed: 45 mph

The name "Duster" came from the huge clouds of dust raised by the vehicles as they moved at 45 mph over crude dirt roads in the Mekong Delta. The gun turret could rotate 360 and elevate to 85 when deployed against aircraft. However, it was its ability to depress the guns as low as -5 that made it invaluable in close
Duster and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 23, 2009
2. Duster and Marker
jungle warfare.

Twin Swedish Bofors 40mm cannons fired a blistering 240 rounds per minute. Crewmen loaded the guns by hand with four-round clips. Storage boxes on the vehicle's hull kept 100 clips within close reach.
 
Location. 40° 46.891′ N, 77° 47.81′ W. Marker is in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, in Centre County. Marker can be reached from Boal Avenue (U.S. 322) just north of Baolsburg Pike, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located the parking area for the Pennsylvania Military Museum. Marker is in this post office area: Boalsburg PA 16827, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. M59 Armored Personnel Carrier (within shouting distance of this marker); Ordnance QF, 4.5-inch Howitzer Mark II (within shouting distance of this marker); 103rd Engineers (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); M60A3 Tank (about 400 feet away); Coshocton Train Wreck (about 400 feet away); M4A1(76)W General Sherman Tank (about 400 feet away); The Pennsylvania Military Museum / 28th Infantry Division Shrine (about 500 feet away); Headquarters Troop 28th Division (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Boalsburg.
 
Also see . . .
1. M42 Duster. Detailed technical specifications of the
M42A1 Duster image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 23, 2009
3. M42A1 Duster
weapon system. (Submitted on February 21, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. M42 Duster Walk Around. A series of photos looking at the details of the M42 SPAAG. (Submitted on February 21, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. M42 Duster Training Video. An Army training video showing the M42 firing at drone targets. (Submitted on February 21, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. MilitaryWar, ColdWar, Vietnam
 
Close Up of the Turret image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 23, 2009
4. Close Up of the Turret
Unlike other armored fighting vehicles, self-propelled anti-aircraft guns had open top turrets to allow the crew to observe and react to movements of the target aircraft.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 21, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,728 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 21, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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