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'Nam soldier or war correspondent?


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#1 Capt.Confederacy

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 06:08 AM

This is a recent addition to my photo collection and looks to be taken in South Vietnam.  (The flag on the pole in the background looks like a RVN flag.)  My question is this:  the uniform of the man in the photo has no unit patches, tapes or rank insignia that I can see.  He is obviously armed with what appears to be an M1 carbine but is also carrying a camera.  Could he be a war correspondent?  Or would there have been a situation in which troops would not be wearing any patches or rank insignia of any kind?

 

Thanks in advance. 

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#2 kammo-man

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 07:59 AM

Early war.

Appears to be wearing the WW2 Tropical boots.

owen



#3 Capt.Confederacy

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 05:17 AM

Early war.

Appears to be wearing the WW2 Tropical boots.

owen

 

So maybe during the advisory period, pre-Gulf of Tonkin incident?
 



#4 gwb123

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 06:59 AM

 

So maybe during the advisory period, pre-Gulf of Tonkin incident?
 

 

I'd say so.  For one thing, he is holding a wood stock M-1 carbine.  Plus that folded brim "cowboy" hat, you see these in photos from the early period before boonie hats were in circulation.

 

There appears to be something odd about his shirt pockets as well.  I don't see a visible button, the flaps are squared off, and the pockets look a bit large.

 

As noted, there is no rank on his shirt.  Advisors in the early days usually wore rank and other insignia to identify them as Americans, even when they wore local uniforms.

 

Some correspondents carried weapons, but I think it was an exception rather than a norm.  I don't think he is a photojournalist, as most of the photo guys would carry more than one camera, and bag of film and other gear.

 

He is wearing military issue field gear.

 

He looks older than the average GI.  I am wondering if he is a spook or working for another government agency.

 

So until he is identified, he remains a mystery.  There is just nothing clear cut here.



#5 vintageproductions

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 09:40 AM

Shot in the dark, what do the Australian fatigues look like in comparison to this uniform?



#6 kammo-man

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 10:41 AM

Thats my hunch.



#7 gwb123

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 11:19 AM

Hmmm... close.

 

http://www.psywarrio...ianVNPSYOP.html

 

The photos of the early fatigue uniforms all look to have shoulder straps.  I can't tell from the submitted photo if they are there or not.

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#8 Capt.Confederacy

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 02:43 PM

Interesting.  I hadn't considered the possibility that he might be an Aussie. 

 

While the shirt and it's conspicuous lack of insignia might be a match, the pants are another matter.  From what I'm seeing online, the Australians used a type of fatigue pants that had a large, side pocket like the one shown in gwb123's picture.  The pants of the mystery man in my pic doesn't have that pocket.  I would guess that if he were an Aussie, he'd have both the correct shirt as well as the correct pants.



#9 gwb123

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 03:35 PM

Not necessarily.  These photos are from the early part of the Vietnam War, and the uniforms do not have the cargo pocket.

 

https://en.wikipedia...Australian_Army

 

One thing I thought of was whether or not the Australian military used M-1 carbines during the Vietnam War. 

 

Another thing that takes us back to being a civilian... from what I read, many of them bought their field uniforms from the local markets after arriving in country.  That might explain why this individual had a hodgepodge of uniform parts.  He may well of had an Australian shirt with American trousers.

 

By the way, the upturned flap on the jungle hat is on the opposite side of what the Aussies used for their digger hats.

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  • Australia 2.jpg
  • Australia 3.jpg


#10 Capt.Confederacy

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 08:18 AM

Thanks for all the input, guys.  I guess the mystery man will remain a mystery. 



#11 gwb123

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 08:53 AM

You could always try searching Google images for Vietnam ear war correspondents and see if anyone similar shows up.  Time consuming, I realize, but you never know.




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