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M3 M3A1 Grease Guns in Vietnam?


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#26 1SG_1st_Cav

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:24 PM

You name, and it was probably used in Vietnam. They had captured US Weapons the Chinese gave them that was captured during the Korean War. They had Japanese weapons captured during WWII, They had US and French weapons captured in Vietnam. They even used US 105MM Howitzers the Chinese captured in Vietnam and gave to them with a boat load of ammo. They hauled them up the mountains at Dien Bin Phu, dug them into caves and blasted the crappo out of the French till they surrendered. The M-3 made you look like a tough guy, but you couldn't hit squat with it at 50 feet. My weapons of choice were an M-14 and a .45 cal Colt semiauto. Why let them get close enough to spray them with an
M-3??? Open-up a can of whoop-AZZ on them at 100 meters! :D And yes I was scared the whole year I was in 'Nam. Anyone who was in combat and tells you they were never scared is full of BS. Or they were stationed at the R&R Center in Vung Tau, or on a USAF Base like Phu Cat, or some other exotic war zone. Here is my POW picture when I was down to 115 pounds. I was 145 when I deployed in June 1967. OH, BTW, I was being held against my will by our side! ;)

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#27 badash5946

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:36 PM

That's actually the fun part of collecting Vietnam weapons - there's always something new and different to get! My collection of bringback weapons is quite varied.

Getting back to the M3, when I got to Korea in 1972 I was assigned to a small DASC with the First Rok Army at Wonju. I was in charge of the arms room for our FAC's and their radio operators and drivers (ROMADS) as well as for the rest of us. We had M3's and BAR's as well as the more modern stuff, CAR-15's and M-16's and the like. The Koreans we advised were still using M1 carbines! I was told that before we got the CAR-15s that some FACs preferred the M3 for ease of egress out of the MRC-107 and 108 jeeps we used.

#28 doyler

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:28 PM

You name, and it was probably used in Vietnam. They had captured US Weapons the Chinese gave them that was captured during the Korean War. They had Japanese weapons captured during WWII, They had US and French weapons captured in Vietnam. They even used US 105MM Howitzers the Chinese captured in Vietnam and gave to them with a boat load of ammo. They hauled them up the mountains at Dien Bin Phu, dug them into caves and blasted the crappo out of the French till they surrendered. The M-3 made you look like a tough guy, but you couldn't hit squat with it at 50 feet. My weapons of choice were an M-14 and a .45 cal Colt semiauto. Why let them get close enough to spray them with an
M-3??? Open-up a can of whoop-AZZ on them at 100 meters! :D And yes I was scared the whole year I was in 'Nam. Anyone who was in combat and tells you they were never scared is full of BS. Or they were stationed at the R&R Center in Vung Tau, or on a USAF Base like Phu Cat, or some other exotic war zone. Here is my POW picture when I was down to 115 pounds. I was 145 when I deployed in June 1967. OH, BTW, I was being held against my will by our side! ;)


Im sure glad you escaped !!!!! :lol:

#29 11-Bull

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:34 PM

I still have the Japanese Type 44 Calvary Carbine (well worn, but Mum intact) that my uncle brought back from Vietnam in 1966. I recall reading that the French allowed some Japanese units to keep their arms to help maintain order in French Indochina against the communists for a short time postwar.

#30 badash5946

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:22 AM

I still have the Japanese Type 44 Calvary Carbine (well worn, but Mum intact) that my uncle brought back from Vietnam in 1966. I recall reading that the French allowed some Japanese units to keep their arms to help maintain order in French Indochina against the communists for a short time postwar.

Hmmm, not seen a T44 Cavalry brought back from VN before! Interesting! Lots of Japanese weapons were left there at the end of WWII. I've got a T38 and T99 and a T97 sniper, tho it is now in a jungle carved teak stock. Also a Nambu and a well used Vickers luger that was probably left by Japanese forces...

#31 J_Andrews

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:46 PM

Re Post #26: Those 105s at Dien Bien Phu were booty from WWII, passed to the Viet Minh by the Chicoms.

And they were not exactly emplaced in "caves". The bad guys dug TUNNELs (horizontal) from the backside of the mountaintops, through the mountain and punched holes for firing ports through the frontside, facing DBP. Thus the French, not watching the backsides, did not see the effort; their first inkling was the opening barrage. So that French aircraft would not see anything, a funicular cable system was installed to move ammo (and people and rations) up the mountain, of course underneath a canopy of foliage.

#32 skautdog

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:26 PM

When I got to VN in 1970, there were two being used by folks in the Infantry platoon I took over. I got rid of them as quickly as possible to not have another "friendly fire" incident. Also, there was at least one rear area soldier (1st Cav) in that time period who accidently killed himself with his base camp commando bad looking M3. They throw out a quick immediate burst, but are extremely dangerous as when the bold goes forward, it fires.

Just about worthless for an Infantry unit as 45 ammunition is heavy and consumed quickly with the M3.

#33 gunbarrel

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:19 PM

M3 Grease Gun - Berlin border 1961

M3 Grease Gun Berlin Border 1961.jpg

#34 gunbarrel

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:21 PM

By 1970, South Vietnamese militia was still armed with M3 Grease Guns and M1 carbines.

Bush Hats Vietnamese Militia 1970.jpg

#35 Harvs73

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:38 PM

My father was in the Australian Army in Vietnam and one of the weapons he carried (aquired from dubious sources) was the M3. I also remember that he ended up bringing it home with him and had to hand it in eventually. Apparantly where he was living in Saigon had a stash of weapons for the defence of the building, not all of them were Australian issue.

#36 uplandmod

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:46 PM

I talked with my dad over dinner tonight about if he encountered any M3s.

He told me when they were clearing a village, he found one, he wanted to keep it but the Captain took it from him.

He said he saw a lot of French Weapons as well.

Never heard that story before!

#37 11thcavsniper

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:44 PM

Our Armor unit was pulling perimeter guard for an Infantry support base. We were warned of an An over-zealous Infantry Lt. checking to see if we were awake on our vehicles. When he didn't get an answer from one of our Sheridans he tried to crawl up on the back but couldn't make it so he went around to the front of the vehicle.The Trooper on guard said in a very loud voice: YOU BETTER BE SPEAKIN THEE ENGLISH OR I WILL LET YOU HAVE IT WITH MY GREASLY WHATS HAPPENING!!!! We didn't get checked on any more after that. They were commonly used in the armor units.

#38 gunbarrel

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:13 AM

My father was in the Australian Army in Vietnam and one of the weapons he carried (aquired from dubious sources) was the M3. I also remember that he ended up bringing it home with him and had to hand it in eventually. Apparantly where he was living in Saigon had a stash of weapons for the defence of the building, not all of them were Australian issue.


Look at what these SEALS were carrying on this operation on the Delta.

SEAL Operation in the Delta - 2.jpg

#39 gunbarrel

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:14 AM

SEAL Operation in the Delta.jpg

#40 Sabrejet

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:20 AM

For info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Gun

#41 Sabrejet

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:28 AM

Insurgent forces have a habit of equipping themselves with all manner of "exotic" weapons. I have a photo in one of my books which shows a Somali "boy soldier" armed with a WW2 German Stg44!! How did that find its way to East Africa...and where did the ammo for it come from?!

#42 J_Andrews

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:35 PM

There were some M.P>44s in RVN. The only one I saw was in the museum of the 1st ARVN Div in HUe. But a friend who had served in VN earlier than I (prob 67-68) told of finding a sampan in the delta that was full of WWII German materiel, including 10-12 M.P.44s in Soviet repack wazed cardboard boxes, each with six mags in wrappers, a sling in a wrapper, and an instruction booklet in Russian. There were also 20 or more crates of ammo for them. The same sampan had Kar.98 Mausers and two M.G. 34s, plus crates of 7.92 to feed them.

BTW in 1968 the Special Forces foreign weapons pool at Bragg included two racks ([email protected]?) of M.P.44s. They and a pile of ammo for them were traceable as having come from Germany to France to Greece in 1948, to the Algerian rebels of 1958-1962. The liyyle boxes of ammo (IIRC 25 rds each) had German labels plastered over with French labels, then a plain piece of tape over that that was rubber-stamped in Greek.

#43 Joe McKinney

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:17 PM

According to Armory Blog, in August 2012 the Free Syrian Army captured or found as many as 5,000 operation STG 44s in Syria.
http://www.armoryblo...es-5000-stg44s/

#44 gunbarrel

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:36 PM

For info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Gun


Thanks, Ian!

#45 SergeantMajorGray

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:37 PM

two of my dream guns are the stg44 and the mg42 to bad they will always be dream guns :(

#46 sgtdorango

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:46 PM

I just saw some footage the other night, i think it was the recent documentry/show Vietnam in HD?.....during the TET offensive showing the grease gun in use in Saigon i think by an MP....would have to watch it again to be sure he was MP, i dont have it on DVD just saw it quickly on TV.....mike

#47 Sabrejet

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:41 AM

According to Armory Blog, in August 2012 the Free Syrian Army captured or found as many as 5,000 operation STG 44s in Syria.
http://www.armoryblo...es-5000-stg44s/



I heard that story too. Quote adapted from the Wikipedia page on the StG 44:

"Units of the Yugoslav 63rd Paratroop Battalion were equipped with it until the 1980s when the rifles were ultimately transferred to Territorial Defense reserves or sold to friendly regimes in the Middle East and Africa"

Edited by Sabrejet, 04 January 2013 - 03:46 AM.


#48 Joe McKinney

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:33 AM

I heard that story too. Quote adapted from the Wikipedia page on the StG 44:

"Units of the Yugoslav 63rd Paratroop Battalion were equipped with it until the 1980s when the rifles were ultimately transferred to Territorial Defense reserves or sold to friendly regimes in the Middle East and Africa"


Apparantly a lot of WW II German stuff was used in eastern Europe after the war. I have a G-43 that was imported by Century Arms in the mid-1980's. The story on these rifles was that they had come out of Czechoslovakia. The Czech Army had used them for a few years after the war. I am not sure how many G-43s the Czechs had but it must not have been many. As I recall, Century only imported one batch of these. They sold out pretty quickly and there were no more available after that.

#49 Sabrejet

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:49 AM

Just to keep us on track....

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#50 Sabrejet

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:01 AM

Here's another 'Nam example.

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