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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors


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  #51  
Old 11-10-2009, 11:30 AM
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Musket44,

Thanks for all the work you did posting the story and pictures of that Model 60!

Very enjoyable
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  #52  
Old 11-10-2009, 12:01 PM
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This has been a great thread. Thanks for all the input.
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  #53  
Old 11-13-2009, 06:20 PM
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I was a KC-135 Tanker Driver. We qualified with Model 15's with 4" barrel. When we were flying in SEA, we had a big metal box with four Model 15's with 2" barrels inside and some ammo. The idea, if we had to bail out (nobody ever had to - the tanker was a reliable old bird), was to stick a revolver into the holster sewn into our survival vest. The vest contained a radio, extra batteries, mirror, day-nite smoke/flares, and a bunch of other goodies.
Perhaps not so well known is that we drew a revolver (M15 2")and ammo from the armory every time we were scheduled for a flight where we carried passengers - in the event of a hijacking. Thanks goodness we never had to use it, but it was there in the cockpit if it was needed.
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  #54  
Old 11-19-2009, 12:06 PM
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My father liberated this 15-2 from an NVA captain who had no further use for it. When he got it the cylinder would only open just enough to expose one chamber so you had to load it one round at a time. It need a complete set of springs and the bore is pitted some but still shoots acceptable.



regards,
mod57
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  #55  
Old 11-19-2009, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mod57 View Post
My father liberated this 15-2 from an NVA captain who had no further use for it. When he got it the cylinder would only open just enough to expose one chamber so you had to load it one round at a time. It need a complete set of springs and the bore is pitted some but still shoots acceptable.

regards,
mod57

That gun was most likely liberated from a dead or captured U.S. Air Force pilot. That was the standard carry weapon in Vietnam and highly prized by the NVA. The original owner (most likely no longer with us) could probably be traced with the serial number from USAF records.

Edited to add: On 2nd thought, I don't see any USAF markings on that gun, or any rack numbers engraved on it. The M15 was widely used by American troops in VN. Hard to tell where that one came from.

Last edited by texagun; 11-19-2009 at 01:50 PM.
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  #56  
Old 11-20-2009, 10:08 AM
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Yes, other than the standard S&W markings, there are no other marks on it. The hammer and trigger appear to have been blued or maybe parkerized at some point. There is no finish to speak of, and what is there does not appear to be blue. Dad did say that he found 6 M41 cartridges in it.
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  #57  
Old 11-20-2009, 12:31 PM
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Default my late cousin N.R. Riddle USN, BUD/S carried a 6" mod 19 S&W

on brown water duty in RVN. During his 1st tour he was able to call his parents & complained to his dad(Unc Don was a WWII DDay inf vet) , that pistols were hard to come by and would sure be welcome in the Riverine Patrol, his dad asked him what he wanted, Randy told him a S&W mod 19, 6", and Unc Don got him one the next day & shipped it to him.

On a side note, they were due to get some 12ga shotguns, and recieved the paperwork for them, listing models & serial #'s, but they never arrived. A South Vietnamese officer that they were friends with, took my cuz & a friend down to the local market & found the dern things, but they had to buy them to get them back. Randy used to laugh at it, and said they cut 1 barrel off just ahead of the mag tube, & the stock just behind the pistol grip on a Win mod 12, it was dern handy in searching sampams.



Thank you for the memories this thread brought back.

be safe, enjoy life, journey well

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  #58  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:06 PM
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I carried a Model 15 on duty at Phu Cat as a Air Force Security Policeman. Reading this thread really gave me an itch so I picked up a 15-3 last week. It's kinda rough and has Houge grips, I'm gonna be looking for a set of stock grips this weekend at the gun show.

Grapevine
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  #59  
Old 09-21-2011, 06:05 PM
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Default S&W 38 Heavy Barrel in Vietnam

We took in here at the gun shop a 4" HB S&W parkerized. Guy brought it back from Viet. He carried it on duty. He said quiet a few of his group had them Black cartridge belt holster gigs. He said he was told ? S&W found theold guns and rebarreled them in HB and did park on them and sent them to Viet. ?? al
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  #60  
Old 09-21-2011, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoraisehogs View Post
Milt does WOPA mean anything to you ? I was an Army Aviator in Viet Nam .
I think that that's a slightly different "organization" in different services. In the Navy, it is composed of folks with a LOT of TIS. Usually don't need help anyway, but it can be had.

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Can any one tell me the Model S&W Revolver issued to Naval Aviators in Vietnam.
When I was on a WesPac carrier, I believe that the ISSUE revolver was a 4" M&P, but pilots used to carry all kinds of stuff, from .25 autos to Ruger Super Blackhawk. I heard a story about a pilot who kept a .25 in his crotch, thus preventing its detection, and used it to gain access to a critical helicopter ride away from the scene of the crime. I have heard another (helicopter pilot) state that the .38 with tracers was once useful for announcing one's presence when ship drivers were negligently unaware of it. I don't fully understand that, but that's what was reported to me.
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  #61  
Old 09-21-2011, 07:12 PM
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Wow this is a great thread.
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  #62  
Old 09-21-2011, 08:34 PM
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Terrific thread. I am enjoying the anecdotes immensly.

I was at MCAS Yuma from 1972 to 1975.

Very rarely did we see any pilots armed. However one day a Navy pilot came in and filed a flight plan. He was wearing a WWII type tan shoulder holster with the standard government hardball in .38 Special in bullet loops.

I was told he was thus armed because he was off a carrier that was heading out to sea or had just come back.

I do not remember what kind of .38 he was carrying.

To all who posted here who served in Vietnam, I think you should be proud of your service regardless of the outcome of the war. That was one of the toughest wars this nation ever fought.

Thanks for your service.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:15 PM
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My Grandfather (Pappy)was in WWII in the Battle of the Bulge. He saw serious combat and even hand to hand fighting at times. He never told many stories to me, as I only asked when I was a kid. He did take lots of pictures but would only show me very few as most were of the dead and lot were of concetration camps that he liberated ( I did get a glimps of them). He did alot of communication work, tapping onto the wires along railroad tracks and using them as signal/telephone wires. One night him and his partner had to follow the train tracks to locate a break in the wire. Pappy had an M-1 carbine, a 1911 on his right hip and a 2" barreled S&W 38 in his left front pants pocket. They found the broken wire and while fixing it a German 20 man patrol walked up to them . Pappy and his partner saw them aproach and laid down by the tracks, there was no exit so they made a plan to capture them. When Pappy jumped up and spoke in german for them to surrender, they all dropped their guns. When Pappy turned to look for his partner he was gone, running back to camp! Pappy marched his prisoners back to camp and won a shiney new medal for his actions. He did bring back the S&W, a mint 1918 Luger and a 1903 springfield. He still has them all. Pappy is in very poor health now at 92. I will see him on Saturday. I will try to get some info on the Smith.
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  #64  
Old 09-21-2011, 10:33 PM
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The hero generation is quickly leaving us. Now my nephews and kids are acting like I'm some sort of hero. I don't know if I can fill their shoes, it's a very tall order.
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  #65  
Old 09-22-2011, 12:45 AM
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My little detachment had all kinds of guns, but all of the guys on roving patrol carried revolvers, Smiths if they could get them, for our "roll out" guns, or for the rats. No one would touch a 1911-lots of problems with them. Not many liked to depend on m-16's either. When I got in country, there were still m-14's, but after a couple months they took them away. I had qualified with both, but didn't like the 16 from jump street. In AIT we had to familiarize with the 1911, the 11-C's had to qualify with it-one guy out of a company bareley made a good enough score after a whole day on the range, and he had been shooting hand guns with his dad since age 8! The range NCO's were busy with locked up guns,and all kinds of other stuff. I was no pistilero, but I had been out by myself with a .22 rifle(WIN 1890) since I was seven, which was the way in my family, and I had a good sence about guns, and I didn't like the 1911's at all. Bad stuff happened around both of those guns. I had a 4 inch M-10 pencil that I got from a "civillian" for 60 bucks, if I remember it right, I slept with it. It was in beautiful shape, and came with a bunch of lead bullet loaded ammo that really went bang! If you all remember, the QC's and White Mice carried 38's, so maybe someone was loading for them(?) We were jeep borne, so we all had cross draw set ups of some kind. I finally bought a 1911 this year on its anniversary, after reading a couple of years ago that the last 1911's that the army bought were from 1943! Those were the newest ones, so some of the guys might have been handed one from a long time before that. The ones I saw rattled so bad that a decent VC mortor squad could braket you just from the noise! So I had an aversion to them, and couldn't figure what all the excitement was about with 1911's all these years (?) So I got educated, and now the .45ACP is one of my favorite rounds-both pistol and revolver. The jury is still out on anything that is a first cousin to an m-16-at least the ones that are "direct impingement" opperated. But I filled the slot with a much better gun, an AK-47. Charlie had that part right in my view, and it's nice to be on the sending end of one now. Some great posts and photos, welcome home guys. As for me, I wouldn't be here, and wouldn't want to be, if not for the Lord. Flapjack.
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  #66  
Old 09-22-2011, 06:08 AM
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Below is a post from one of my threads a while ago. It firts the theme of this thread pretty well. The only Vietnam pic is the botom one.

Here is a pic of an WWII Australian airman in 1943 with a 38-200 S&W Military and Police. Below that is my revolver of the same type.



Here are a group of WWII RAAF (Australian Airforce) crew with Victorys. Carried cross draw.


This is of an Australian soldier guarding a prisoner in Korea with his Victory...yeas we used them for a loooong time


This is a photo od US General James Van Fleet presenting Australian 3 RAR (Royal Australian Regiment) with a Presidential Unit Citation in Korea. Gen. Van Fleet is carrying an ivory handled Smith


And lastly..this looks a bit strange..it is an Australian Army Sapper (engineer) doing tunnel clearing exercises with the US Military in Vietnam. He has some pretty strange gear but also carries a silenced S&W revolver!


Hope you like them

Mike
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  #67  
Old 09-22-2011, 06:36 AM
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What a fantastic post! One of the better IMO of all times on this forum. Flew and jumped outta helos for 22 years but never had anyone shoot at me thank God. Great pics, guns, stories and greater men. I salute you all! My older brother carried a RR 1911 during his tour from 67-68 and lost it. They did charge him for it but he never complained. The one he replaced it with is rusty and has little finish but shoots well after a little trip to the GS. It will be mine when he passes and I will have it professionally framed with his name, rank and dates of service.

I thank all of you gentlemen for your service and sacrifice to our country!
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S&W_aussie View Post
Below is a post from one of my threads a while ago. It firts the theme of this thread pretty well. The only Vietnam pic is the botom one.

Here is a pic of an WWII Australian airman in 1943 with a 38-200 S&W Military and Police. Below that is my revolver of the same type.



Here are a group of WWII RAAF (Australian Airforce) crew with Victorys. Carried cross draw.


This is of an Australian soldier guarding a prisoner in Korea with his Victory...yeas we used them for a loooong time


This is a photo od US General James Van Fleet presenting Australian 3 RAR (Royal Australian Regiment) with a Presidential Unit Citation in Korea. Gen. Van Fleet is carrying an ivory handled Smith


And lastly..this looks a bit strange..it is an Australian Army Sapper (engineer) doing tunnel clearing exercises with the US Military in Vietnam. He has some pretty strange gear but also carries a silenced S&W revolver!


Hope you like them

Mike
Note that the butts of the guns are sticking out of the holsters in the pic where they're in dress uniforms. I think those guns have six-inch barrels.The M-37 holster is for five-inch barrels.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MackTech View Post
My Grandfather (Pappy)was in WWII in the Battle of the Bulge. He saw serious combat and even hand to hand fighting at times. He never told many stories to me, as I only asked when I was a kid. He did take lots of pictures but would only show me very few as most were of the dead and lot were of concetration camps that he liberated ( I did get a glimps of them). He did alot of communication work, tapping onto the wires along railroad tracks and using them as signal/telephone wires. One night him and his partner had to follow the train tracks to locate a break in the wire. Pappy had an M-1 carbine, a 1911 on his right hip and a 2" barreled S&W 38 in his left front pants pocket. They found the broken wire and while fixing it a German 20 man patrol walked up to them . Pappy and his partner saw them aproach and laid down by the tracks, there was no exit so they made a plan to capture them. When Pappy jumped up and spoke in german for them to surrender, they all dropped their guns. When Pappy turned to look for his partner he was gone, running back to camp! Pappy marched his prisoners back to camp and won a shiney new medal for his actions. He did bring back the S&W, a mint 1918 Luger and a 1903 springfield. He still has them all. Pappy is in very poor health now at 92. I will see him on Saturday. I will try to get some info on the Smith.
Shake Pappy's hand and give him a hug for me. Please say thank you as well.
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:06 AM
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I thought it would be worth adding Vietnam's most famous (or infamous) S&W. Anyone know for sure what it was? A Bodyguard 49? There's another thread worth looking through as this photo had a great deal of importance, both political and in the US and internationally. Eddie Adams later regretted the impact it had on GEN Nguyen, to the point apparently where he was even denied medical treatment.

The thread:

What revolver is this

And the famous photo:

S&W In VietNam ?-nguyen-jpg
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  #71  
Old 09-22-2011, 01:00 PM
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Yes, that's a Bodyguard.

I guess this is a good place to tell my story...

When I was deployed to SEA for a tour in a denied country in 1966, I was told to purchase a weapon of my choice. I chose a S&W Model 39, bought it at Kmart, I think, for around $80 I think. My Model 36 was $64, but I knew we could use Swedish submachine gun ammo in a 9mm, which was available upcountry. The gun was put on my orders, and I took it with me. Carried it in a shoulder holster I got somewhere, and slung an AK-47, flying in Air America "whatever is available's" all over the country.

Wish I still had it. It was stolen from my house one night when my brother had a party while I was out drinking.

AC
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:58 PM
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Nice to see this "old" thread make a comeback.
I continue to realize that many of us are of the generation that was given an opportunity to take a "SEA vacation" offered by an unbiased Uncle Sam.
Don't get me wrong - I volunteered for mine. I volunteered for my tour, I volunteered to fly. I was able to do exactly what I was trained for and was willing to do.
I had wanted to be a fighter pilot my whole life. Due to my eyesight, that didn't work out. Next best thing was to be a crewmember. I was good with that as long as I could fly.
41 years later, I realize just how lucky I was. Two shoot-downs, rockets, mortars, perimeter guard, many many hot LZ's, and scariest of all mechanical failures/accidents. I was much more scared of mechanical failures than I ever was of being shot.
Anyways, I carried a Model 10 4" never fired in anger (thank you) and a nod, thank you, & Welcome Home to all who served.

Bruce

My work space for 10 1/2 months

S&W Model 10-5 4"
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:53 PM
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A friend of mine flew choppers and carried a blue S&W 4inch. He left it in a latrine. Next tour he carried a ruger stainless security six .357 with 2 3/4 inch barrel. I got from him last year and it is now my home defense gun.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:11 PM
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Buddy of mine was Air Force in 68-69. Had his dad send him a model 10, don't know the dash. I saw it a few times but it's been a while. Four inch pencil barrel. Still has it.

He was AP at Phang Rang Air Base. Think I spelled that right.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4-Screw View Post
Shake Pappy's hand and give him a hug for me. Please say thank you as well.
I got a call yesterday that Pappy might not make it through the night. I left work and went and saw him one last time. He died this morning. Going through his Army records and found that he had won 3 bronze stars ( nobody knew)plus several more medals that we didnt know about. He had a very large 60X120 building with guns hidden throughout. I did find a mint 4" pencil barrel 38 Smith loaded and ready for action. I will start a new thread/post when I locate all his guns and get some pics.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:09 PM
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Mack, sure am sorry to hear about your Pappy.

Condolences to you and all of your family.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:27 PM
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MUSKETT44,

Quote from your post:

"I thought you folks might like to see a few pictures of an early S&W Model 60 that ‘served’ in Viet Nam (VN) in most of 1967 and part of 1968. The gentleman who owns it was kind enough to let me take these pictures and make ‘sanitized’ scanned images of the paperwork he had to obtain to bring it back to the States when he departed (he used the term DEROS’d) VN."

DEROS is an acronym for Date of Expected Rotation from Overseas. During the Vietnam era, a DEROS was very personal and linked to the individual soldier as very few units rotated into/out of country as an entire unit. Your DEROS was your ticket to freedom and the basis for your short timers calendar. If you were just in country you'd say, "I got so long to go I have to look up to look down". Less than 99 days to DEROS and you were a "two-digit midget".
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:24 PM
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What a great thread bringing back a lot of memories. While serving in an Air Police unit (68/69) I was issued a Model 15 along with my M16. But I brought with me a Model 60 and carried it everyday. Technically we weren't suppose to have personal weapons but a lot of us did, something that is probably unheard of today.
Speaking of Viet Nam, I went back in 2008 with a few other vets and we really enjoyed it. A lot of our former air bases are still in use, just like they are all over SE Asia. The people were very friendly and going back was a great experience.
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by AllAces View Post
MUSKETT44,

DEROS is an acronym for Date of Expected Rotation from Overseas. During the Vietnam era, a DEROS was very personal and linked to the individual soldier as very few units rotated into/out of country as an entire unit. Your DEROS was your ticket to freedom and the basis for your short timers calendar. If you were just in country you'd say, "I got so long to go I have to look up to look down". Less than 99 days to DEROS and you were a "two-digit midget".
Yep, we called it "short". We had strings on our wrists with knots, one for each day. Can't remember if we took one off or added one on.

When you get down to 3-4 days and a wakeup, you get paranoid.

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Old 09-24-2011, 04:11 PM
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Yep, we called it "short". We had strings on our wrists with knots, one for each day. Can't remember if we took one off or added one on.

When you get down to 3-4 days and a wakeup, you get paranoid.

AC
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:19 PM
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Why don't you tell these guys! I was usually off on my own upcountry in civvies. Military guys weren't there. I forgot what that is. Heck, we didn't even have the Stars & Stripes!
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:00 PM
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we called it "short".
Yes. No one who served will ever forget being "short." I was gone 24 months. I'll never forget stepping off the plane at Travis AFB, knowing my best friend would be there to pick me up, and breathing the free air of the USA again!
My best to all my fellow vets!
JP
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:29 PM
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From me too,JP.

I do remember we used to make jokes..

I'm so short,.....
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:31 PM
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"I'm so short I can walk under an ants belly with a top hat on".....................
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:39 PM
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Dear Heavenly Father, we come to you with open arms asking you to wrap your arms around Macktech and his family, and show them the love only you can. Amen

prayers up
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S&W_aussie View Post
Below is a post from one of my threads a while ago. It firts the theme of this thread pretty well. The only Vietnam pic is the botom one.

Here is a pic of an WWII Australian airman in 1943 with a 38-200 S&W Military and Police. Below that is my revolver of the same type.



Here are a group of WWII RAAF (Australian Airforce) crew with Victorys. Carried cross draw.


This is of an Australian soldier guarding a prisoner in Korea with his Victory...yeas we used them for a loooong time


This is a photo od US General James Van Fleet presenting Australian 3 RAR (Royal Australian Regiment) with a Presidential Unit Citation in Korea. Gen. Van Fleet is carrying an ivory handled Smith


And lastly..this looks a bit strange..it is an Australian Army Sapper (engineer) doing tunnel clearing exercises with the US Military in Vietnam. He has some pretty strange gear but also carries a silenced S&W revolver!


Hope you like them

Mike
Thanks Mike for the great pics!!

My son & I love your Lithgows. Have them in 303 and 22. I also have a nice 1923 Enfield 455 that is Aussie Navy marked. Have to post some pics. Sure wish you could send me an L1A1 from Lithgow that red wood is beautiful!!

Take Care
Bruce & Ed
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomcatPC View Post
Hello

I'm not certain if I should be posting in this topic, seeing as I was in the Service a bit later (1989-1993).

Anyway, here is a photo of my 1966/1967 era made Model 10-5. So revolvers similar to mine were issued to Aircrew?

This is one of my only two S&W Revolvers, and I have used this photo already like 26 times, sorry about that LOL.
Thank you
Mark


Keepp posting that picture, it is wonderful weapon. You have every right to be proud of it.
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:05 PM
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My Grandfather (Pappy)was in WWII in the Battle of the Bulge. He saw serious combat and even hand to hand fighting at times. He never told many stories to me, as I only asked when I was a kid. He did take lots of pictures but would only show me very few as most were of the dead and lot were of concetration camps that he liberated ( I did get a glimps of them). He did alot of communication work, tapping onto the wires along railroad tracks and using them as signal/telephone wires. One night him and his partner had to follow the train tracks to locate a break in the wire. Pappy had an M-1 carbine, a 1911 on his right hip and a 2" barreled S&W 38 in his left front pants pocket. They found the broken wire and while fixing it a German 20 man patrol walked up to them . Pappy and his partner saw them aproach and laid down by the tracks, there was no exit so they made a plan to capture them. When Pappy jumped up and spoke in german for them to surrender, they all dropped their guns. When Pappy turned to look for his partner he was gone, running back to camp! Pappy marched his prisoners back to camp and won a shiney new medal for his actions. He did bring back the S&W, a mint 1918 Luger and a 1903 springfield. He still has them all. Pappy is in very poor health now at 92. I will see him on Saturday. I will try to get some info on the Smith.
Amazing story. Thanks for sharing it with us. My best to your Pappy.
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:13 PM
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Mack, sorry for your loss.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:04 PM
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Mack, sorry for your loss.
Thanks everyone, Visitation was tonight, funeral tommorrow. I was hopeing to get an honor guard from Ft Cambell but it was to short of a notice. Pappy was a lifetime member of the VFW and him and his friends would do the honor guard/21 gun salute for other veterans that had died ( I have pictures of it). He used his 03 Springfield that he brought back from Europe for honor guard, those blackpower blanks did ruin the barrel on the Springfield. I have much to tell about him and will start a thread in the Lounge to honor him. Will be in a few weeks though. I also found a cool pic of Pappy's Dad, Herman Cleveland Ward, he was holding a nickle plated top-break revolver,The gun is still in the house as I remember playing with it as a kid. The picture is dated 1898.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:30 PM
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It was different for almost everyone, but good for everyone.
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:43 AM
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I'm sorry for your loss, Mack. I'm also sorry I kind of stepped on your post. I buried my dad in my uniform a few years after I got back. It's tough.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:45 PM
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In 1977 I was part of a newly formed OV-1 unit and we received all new weapons. The S&W were Model 10 as I recall, in perfect shape no bluing wear. All 12 we had were barrel marked US Navy. Did the Navy have a large contract?
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:48 PM
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i have a 14-1 that was shipped to usaf marked afpg, for the air force shooting team
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:42 AM
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From 1963-1967 I was an AP at a SAC base stateside. The revolvers we had were S&W M10 and Colt Official Police. All were stamed "Property of U.S. Navy and worn out. In May 1967 we got new M15's and I seperated in September '67. The Navy must have had a ship load of revolvers.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:19 PM
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to repond to a few of the posts- the guy who mentioned grease guns- my guard unit still had grease guns for the mechanic in the m88 recovery vehicle crew until 2001 when they were traded in for m16A2's. during my brief stint in the USAFR the one time we went to the range we were issed model 15's -this was long after the beretta was adopted.
During my time in both Iraq and Afghanistan we saw all kinds of captured weapons but no S&W's- a bunch of top break enfields were found including one from a guy who shot at us with it- were were in up armored humvees at the time!
a friend was issued in vietnam a model 15 as an intel officer- he claims it was stamped "USAID" for us agency for international development or some such. He relates a story of shooting an escped prisoner 5 times with it to no effect. After that incident he scrounged up an m1911 and m14 to carry.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:32 PM
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Default Man, what a thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by M2MikeGolf View Post
I thought it would be worth adding Vietnam's most famous (or infamous) S&W. Anyone know for sure what it was? A Bodyguard 49? There's another thread worth looking through as this photo had a great deal of importance, both political and in the US and internationally. Eddie Adams later regretted the impact it had on GEN Nguyen, to the point apparently where he was even denied medical treatment.

The thread:

What revolver is this

And the famous photo:

Attachment 54172
I did some research on this photo a while back. Apparently, General Loan acquired the revolver from U.S. Air Force intelligence officers. The revolver was a S&W Model 38 Airweight Bodyguard. This info was gleaned from General Loan in 1979 by a NY times reporter during an interview. At the time, General Loan was running a restaurant in Virginia, about 20 miles south of D.C.

Great thread, folks! Threads like these are my favorite reason for visiting this forum almost daily.

Thanks to all who served, and to those who supported all who served!
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:39 PM
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In 66 I was with the 8th Cav in Bong Song north of Qui Nhon. We were sweeping villages one day when we got a call that some "little people" were inbound. The little people turned out to be a platoon of VN National Police Field Force. (NPFF) They were a paramilitary group that we compared to the SS. They appearantly did not answer to anyone and were very brutal when interrogating villagers. Anyhow, they were all armed with 6" Model 10s and carbines. After committing a couple of reprisal murders in a village and brutally beating too many detainees, we called for a big bird and got them out of our AO before we could trade them out of any Smiths.

My squad leader brought a blued 39 over with him. After he got killed, it was discovered that a firearm could not be sent with his other belongings. When last seen, the battalion SgtMaj was carrying it. Our Ops sgt carried a model 10 that he swore that he stole from an avation battalion. Our battalion commander carried an M-1 Garand that he swore with a straight face that he had carried in WWII. He loved to shoot it at ground targets from his CharlieCharlie huey. Sometimes I would fly port door gunner/forward observer. He always scared the **** out of his air crew and staff officers when he started shooting his M-1. Despite his claims, no one ever wittnesed his shooting having any effect.

Our chopper crews all carried M-10s. This was the 1st Cav and there were thousands of air crew members. Everyone refused to carry the clapped out 1911s that we had.

While on light duty for a couple of months, I was at Tan Son Nhut AB in Saigon. All the zoomies(air farce types) including air force aircrews were carrying M-15. Some also had AR-15s. While there I 'acquired' a Karl Gustav(some call the Swedish Ks) from a spook. It was fun to shoot and had a very "cool" quotient. I made up a hand recept so it looked like I was carrying an issued weapon to keep the zoomie security police off my back when I came in and out the front gate. It would up getting chrome plated and screwed to a placqe that I gave to my Division commander who presented to the CO of the zoomie hospital where I was termporarily assigned. It was inscribed "with appreciation from the officers and men of the 1st Cav for outstanding services rendered" Wonder there that sucker is now?

On several trips back over to VN from entension leaves, I would buy $50 Miroku snub nose .38s and sell them to straps(REMFs) for several multiples of what I paid for them. I once bought a grease gun for a carton of Kool Filter Kings from an ARVN. After playing with it for several months and shooting it some, I came to the realization that I got screwed on that deal. I sold it to a seabee for a case of steaks.

Smiths in VN? All over the place and everything else that you could think of. We found Springfields, Enfields, and Mausers in caves. Sure wish they could talk. We once rolled over the body of a VC paymaster and found a french MAT submachine gun. ARVNs still had Thompsons of which a lot of wound up in the hands of GIs who traded them for something.

Things have sure changed in the army. If you got caught now with a weapon that you were not issued, you could go to jail. Some units are even that chicken about knives and sunglasses.
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:44 PM
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My short stay in Viet Nam only lasted from Feb. into March of 1968. i was an AF C-130 engine mechanic. I was there TDY with the 38th TAS that was also there TDY. I went from Tachicowa AB in Japan to Nha Trang. When we left Tachi we were issued M16's for E4 and below. The E5's and up were given the option of an M-16 or a revolver as a side arm. I couldn't tell you what they were but were probably some model of a 4" S&W.

As soon as we landed in country at Nha Trang the first thing we had to do was turn in all the weapons and they were secured in a conex container near the flight line shops. I did manage to maintain control of 2 loaded 20 round magazines that I carried in the side pouches of my tool bag.

This was the only time in my 4 years of service I was ever issued a weapon. For those forum members who might be familiar with Nha Trang during early '68, we mechanics were quite safe, but there was VC activity within a mile or two of the base almost every day. Our Sky Raiders tended to help out during the day and at night, Spooky, as the AC47's were named, tended to keep the VC in check.

LTC

Last edited by LTC; 10-29-2011 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:08 PM
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Speaking to a neighbors teenage son last week he was telling me how they are taught in school that we lost the Viet Nam war. Being a sharp lad I informed him that in fact we won the Viet Nam war. Perplexed he asked how that could be, so I enlightened him to the facts.
1. We compelled the North Vietnam to sign and agree to the Paris Peace accords in 1973. Thus ending the war, freeing our POWs and we withdrew.
2. Two years later the North violated the terms of the accord and invaded the South once again.
3. The US Congress refused to fund the South or recommit troops and so the South was defeated and South Vietnam not the USA lost the war.
I told him to ask his teacher, how do you lose a war when you departed two years earlier. Yesterday this bright teenager told me he questioned his teacher, who did some research and came back saying he was right. To many teachers have learned about Viet Nam from the revisionists leftys who protested the war later becoming teachers themselves, then they perpetuate the lie over and over. Those of us who were there know better.

Last edited by mag318; 11-02-2011 at 01:11 PM.
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