There are only about 12 Vietnam gun truck models across the country and one of them is right here in our region.
It’s called the Daughter of Darkness. Scott Davis built the truck in 2012. It’s an almost exact replica of a 3/4-ton gun truck used in Vietnam.
“It’s just a way of keeping history alive,” Davis said. “I was a gun truck driver on a 5-ton gun truck named babysitters. I had an interest in it from that and I kind of like to build things and restore things.”
The restoration included a trip to Connecticut to purchase the 1954 m-37 Dodge cargo truck. Davis spent at least 700 hours of work restoring the truck.
“I worked at it many hours a day. When I wasn’t working on the truck, I was on the internet or looking through catalogs, drawing up specifications, rounding up parts, equipment, and yeah I got it done in one summer,” said Davis, who comes from a family with ties to both the Army and the Air Force.
Now, he takes the Daughter of Darkness to different military events, including encampments and parades. “This is a hands-on truck. I let them climb up on there, put on the flak vest and the helmet, pick up a hand grenade and talk about things,” he said.
Each gun truck used in Vietnam had a different name that was picked by the group of soldiers who were assigned to it. Only one of the 300 trucks created made it back to the United States. That’s why seeing the replica trucks brings back a lot of memories for veterans.
Davis said, “The Vietnam Veterans, when they came home, we weren’t treated very well in a lot of cases and a lot of them have clammed up and haven’t talked about it.”
Davis says many younger generations don’t know much about Vietnam, so the Daughter of Darkness helps them connect. “As long as I keep seeing that, that’s going to keep energizing me. It does my heart good to…vets you know get a smile and a memory and the kids a little bit of history that they might carry it forward,” he said.
If you want to check out the Daughter of Darkness in person, you can see it this Saturday at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg for Vietnam Weekend