Below are some comments from the fellas about the M34 and using it.

1-0 ‘- recon team leader. 1-1 – assistant team leader, CCC- command & control central, “WP” Willy Pete – white phosphorus

Great for breaking contact

on ambushes out of Mai Loc I’d tape a WP to the front of a Claymore. You get a beautiful effect when you touch it off. 🤣

Our 1-0 carried one taped to his webbing until one day he found himself in the back last of a claymore and the WP cracked and started cooking his shirt.

Yes, if you got hit in the grenade or if the body of the WP grenade was cracked, it could go off. This is what happened to Chuck Heins, it dropped on the concrete, air got to it and it went off.

My indig could not throw it far enough so I only allowed myself and 1-1 to carry.But a great tool for breaking contact.

Willy Peter is dangerous stuff. I remember transporting a med-evac patient that had white phosphorus. Shrapnel in his back, butt and legs. The corpsman had put Copper Sulphate pads on him to keep the shit from lighting-off, but we were in an open door Huey gunship and the pads kept blowing off, some blew out the door. Some of the phosphorus started burning in the guys back and we didn’t have more pads..! Me and my doorgunner were going to try to pick some of it out, but that didn’t really help and the guy was screaming in pain..! Bad day..! This was on Operation Beacon Torch south of Da Dang, summer 67.

I always carried one but I knew it was dangerous.

Great on front of claymore in an ambush or breaking contact.

After an accident at CCC, I never carried one again. (this is a reference to SOG recon man, Chuck Heins dropping one on some concrete at the FOB. AS he picked it up to look at it, the WP went off less than a foot from his face.)

I never let anyone carry WP

carrying this thing on the front of your web gear was not all that smart. Any small arms round hitting it ended the wearers career. Old hands carried it on the rucksack and was deployed by the guy behind you when needed. I used it dozens of times as a contact breaker when in close proximity to NVA in large numbers. Plus it was invaluable in marking your position in triple canopy jungle.


  1. BAP45 says:

    I’m surprised they were so fragile


  2. Rocketguy says:

    Nasty stuff. I worked with it a few years back on a design that was meant to…introduce it to folks in deep caves and bunkers. Handling requirements and haz mat preps were waaay more stringent than HE and propellant.

    Claymores are already nasty. Add WP…Jesus….


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