by Duncan M. (Pete) Thompson
Before I retired, I had served in the U.S. Army for 31 years as a Special Forces officer followed by eight plus years as a brigadier general with the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Military Affairs (CVDMA) in Norfolk, Virg. Having the military vehicle bug since about he age of twelve, I decided to purchase my first historic military vehicle, a 1967 M35A2 “deuce-and-a-half,” in 2000. Over the years, I have owned and sold several more historic military vehicles. Though my wife, Rivers, support my hobby (or addiction), about three years ago, we decided we needed to downsize and settle on just one vehicle to drive into old age and retirement.
Rivers survived through three of my vehicles (M35A2, M37B1, and M151A2), plus one that we purchased and restored for our son (1960 M151 base model). So, for Mothers Day 2009, I purchased a 1972 M151A2 MUTT for her at “the show” in Aberdeen, Maryland. In 2010 for Mothers Day, at the same show, I bought her the matching M416A1 trailer. She was very impressed and pleased.
Restoration on the M151A2 began in April 2009, and was completed around December 2009. The trailer was restored during 2010, taking about three months. Both restorations started out in our double garage, but the MUTT was transported to other “experts” for mechanics and body repairs. Rivers and I accomplished the painting of both and the installation of the M4 mount in the MUTT.
My first overseas (OCONUS) tour was in 1969-1970 with the 46th Special Forces Company (Airborne) in Thailand. With that tour, and with another tour in 1973, I got to “walk around” in all of the countries of Southeast Asia. Therefore, Rivers and I decided that we would depict the MUTT as a vehicle assigned to my very first unit: Operational Detachment A (ODA) 13, 46th SFC(A). Today, M151A2 carries those markings and configurations.
I knew that the MUTT needed a nickname, as most in the Army had during that era. I made the best choice: “Tookie.” That was my wife’s nickname when she was very young when she would try to say the word “cookie” but all that her cute little mouth could produce was, “Tookie.” So, the M151A2, aka, “Tookie,” is my wife’s vehicle; I am the primary operator.
Tookie is capable of mounting either a M2 (.50 caliber) machine gun, M1919A4 (.30 cal) machine gun, or M60 (7.62mm) machine gun, depending what era or event we are portraying. The on board radio gear is normally a backpack AN/PRC-25 or an AN/PRC-77.
Sources used for TOOKIE’s restoration includes:
Parts: RAPCO Parts Company, Bowie, Texas
Mechanics: Lee Barlow, Dave’s Service Center, Smithfield, Virg.
Markings: Rick Larsen Stencils, Otis, Mass.
Body Repairs & Historical Accuracy: LTC(R) Adrian Winget, Smithfield, Virg.
M2 .50 cal: Hoosier HOT-SHOT, purchased in 2014
M1919A4 .30 cal: Hampton (Virg.) gun show, 2011
M60 7.62mm: Vietnam Weapons, Inc., 2012
Tookie now spends her days being displayed and shown at community events, in support of the Wounded Warrior Project in Tidewater, Virginia, and as a sustained tribute to the “silent professionals” of the United States Army Special Forces and to the members of the below organizations (of which Pete and Rivers Thompson are members):
- Veterans of Foreign Wars (Pete only)
- The American Legion (Pete only)
- Special Forces Association (Pete only)
- 46th Special Forces Company (Airborne) Association
- Military Vehicle Preservation Association (Pete only)
- Military Vehicle Preservation Association of Tidewater
- United Services Organization (Pete only)
- National Museum of the US Army (founding sponsors)
- Wounded Warrior Project
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
- The National WWII Museum