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Captured VC/NVA SKS Rifle, Cambodia, 1970

Started by 439th Signal Battalion , Nov 20 2012 06:32 PM

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#1 439th Signal Battalion

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

Friends,

I have had this SKS rifle for time and only now thought about posting it here.

This unfired SKS rifle was taken from a large cache of weapons near Hill 428 (later to be called Shakey's Hill) in June of 1970 by a platoon sergeant in B/5-12, 199th LIB during the Cambodian Incursion.

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/199LIB/Redcatcher%20199th%20LIB%20Relics%20and%20Uniforms/112-1.jpg

Because of the sheer volume of enemy supplies, weapons, equipment, etc. that were found by the 5-12th Infantry (and other units) during their nightmare in Cambodia, most members of the battalion were able to send home some sort of weapon or enemy capture.

This piece has never been fired and never will be. It is of Chinese manufacture, I believe, from the early to mid 1950's according to the information I have on the serial number.

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/199LIB/Redcatcher%20199th%20LIB%20Relics%20and%20Uniforms/DSC00489.jpg

"One of the most sought after and prized pieces of enemy equipment to find and send home was the Chinese or Russian version of the SKS semi-automatic rifle. Developed in 1945 at the end of World War II, the rifle was self-loading and held 10 rounds of 7.62x39 ammunition. A very accurate and reliable weapon, it also featured a foldable spike or blade bayonet that folded under the barrel when not in use. It was chambered to fire the same round as the world-famous and fully-automatic AK-47. Because the SKS was semi-automatic, it was legal for the soldier who captured the piece to process the rifle and send it home as a trophy, versus the AK-47 and other automatic weapons that were illegal to ship out of the war zone. For their two-month stay in Cambodia, most, if not all of the members of 5-12 sent an SKS rifle back home as a trophy. There were, however, a few unfortunate men that were denied this privilege. Many of the weapons were taken or stolen when the owner was preparing to leave Vietnam by various Air Force or rear-echelon personnel. These lowly non-combatants would tell the ready-to-go-home grunt that there was something wrong or missing with the paperwork or that the policies on taking home a rifle had been changed and it was now illegal to take the weapon out of the country. One member of the battalion remembers, “When caches were found, specifically those containing SKS rifles, the helicopter pilots from various aviation units would go nuts and come in over the company or battalion radio net and offer to by them then and there. It was crazy how people acted.'"

Robert J. Gouge, Raiding the Santuary: Redcatchers in Cambodia

http://signal439.tri...b/cambodia.html

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/199LIB/Redcatcher%20199th%20LIB%20Relics%20and%20Uniforms/DSC00490.jpghttp://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/199LIB/Redcatcher%20199th%20LIB%20Relics%20and%20Uniforms/DSC00491.jpghttp://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/199LIB/Redcatcher%20199th%20LIB%20Relics%20and%20Uniforms/DSC00492.jpghttp://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/199LIB/Redcatcher%20199th%20LIB%20Relics%20and%20Uniforms/DSC00496.jpghttp://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/199LIB/Redcatcher%20199th%20LIB%20Relics%20and%20Uniforms/DSC00497.jpg

Edited by 439th Signal Battalion, 20 November 2012 - 06:39 PM.


#2 RustyCanteen

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:54 PM

Interesting piece, I believe the spike bayonet didn't come out until the early 1960's, prior to then they had knife bayonets. You might try gunboards forums for more information on that.

RC

#3 kammo-man

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:13 AM

Very nice VC -NVA uniform also !!

owen

#4 Torch03

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:22 AM

Nice!

#5 Patriot12

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:27 PM

Great stuff.

#6 tsakers85

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

These are great guns btw. I enjoy going out and putting a few rounds through mine.

#7 439th Signal Battalion

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:39 AM

VC/NVA pajamas, top and bottom. Not the best images, however, as I need to better figure out and utilize the settings on my camera.

According to the battalion S-2 report on the day these pajamas were taken, "Aug. 15, elements of 5th Battalion, 12th Infantry found a cache on platforms approximately 1 foot off the ground, covered with poncho material. Cache consisted of $22,300 in greenbacks, 120 lbs of documents, 50 cans of milk, 50 bolts of cloth, 400 reams paper, 10 rucksacks, and 15 bottles of penicillin."

Much of the 50 bolts of cloth, which were colors other than black, was taken back to basecamp where it was used to "adorn and decorate the hootches and bunkers so as to give it a more homely appearance."

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/199LIB/Redcatcher%20199th%20LIB%20Relics%20and%20Uniforms/100_2419_edited-1.jpghttp://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/199LIB/Redcatcher%20199th%20LIB%20Relics%20and%20Uniforms/100_2418_edited-1.jpghttp://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp235/199LIB/Redcatcher%20199th%20LIB%20Relics%20and%20Uniforms/100_2436_edited-1.jpg

#8 BOLO

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:05 AM

the SKS has to be post 1965 because of the spike bayonet, and the bolt carrier lacks the lightening cuts, has stamped trigger guard, short barrel lug.

Chinese sks's with stamped trigger guards were not used on the early models, I would say the rifle was made shortly before it was captured, probably less than 5 years like 1966 - 1969 era

the early Chi Com sks also known as the the Sino - Soviet model were identical to the Russian sks with blade bayonet and all milled parts

Edited by BOLO, 19 January 2013 - 08:12 AM.


#9 Niner Alpha

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:58 AM

I went into Cambodia in May of 1970. That was during the big Nixon Incursion that provoked Kent State. The 6/31st 9th Division went into the Parrots Beak. My battalion ended up fighting an extended engagement at a place called Chantrea. But....because the politically inspired incursion needed to produce stockpiles of weapons and equipment for the news media, captured SKS rifles were suspended as a bring back. I had one in my hands I had to turn in for the show and tell for the news propaganda. Nobody in my battalion had one to take home anymore than they had AK's. However, some might well have been secreted out of country some way.

Other flotsam and jetsam you could have....I'll include a photo of me out side of Chantrea with an NVA hat and at my side a coarse carryall type of VC or NVA bag. I gave the hat away and the bag was taken from me upon leaving country...no chit for it.

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#10 BOLO

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

I went into Cambodia in May of 1970. That was during the big Nixon Incursion that provoked Kent State. The 6/31st 9th Division went into the Parrots Beak. My battalion ended up fighting an extended engagement at a place called Chantrea. But....because the politically inspired incursion needed to produce stockpiles of weapons and equipment for the news media, captured SKS rifles were suspended as a bring back. I had one in my hands I had to turn in for the show and tell for the news propaganda. Nobody in my battalion had one to take home anymore than they had AK's. However, some might well have been secreted out of country some way.

Other flotsam and jetsam you could have....I'll include a photo of me out side of Chantrea with an NVA hat and at my side a coarse carryall type of VC or NVA bag. I gave the hat away and the bag was taken from me upon leaving country...no chit for it.


nice photo Niner Alpha and intersting story about your VN war experience, that NVA helmet would have been nice for your collection , too bad they took away the bag

that sks would be very valuable now, especially if you had the capture papers, I wish I had a sks bring back in my collection

thanks for your service

Edited by BOLO, 19 January 2013 - 11:22 AM.


#11 kammo-man

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:07 PM

Thanks for posting !!!


owen

#12 hueytaxi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:57 PM

I especially liked the photo inside the Parrot's Beak. I remember how open the country was dotted with small hamlets amid palms. Somewhere along the line my VC uniform shirt was lost and can't find the pants right now. they are not the pajama type, but have belt loops and button fly. Here is the vest that came with the rest I picked up in the Central Highlands on my first tour......

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v23/hueytaxi/IMG_0003_zps1a6505b4.jpg

#13 ww2relichunter

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:18 PM

wow awsome rifle and story to go with it


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