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Cobra 6 Actual

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  1. It has some similarity to volunteer fire company belts of the mid-1800’s. The parade belts are much more fancy, but this looks like more like an every day belt.
  2. Bob is the actual expert. As for the books: yes, looking at authentic Vietnam Zippos in the books is the next best thing to handling a lot of them. Ideally, you could do both. But, authentic ones are thin on the ground. And, honestly, I’ve looked at pictures in books and handled lots of authentic ones, but I’ve still been burned several times. I understand about the connection that guys have to their Zippos: pretty much everyone smoked in Vietnam. When your mortality will most likely be caused by ‘high speed lead poisoning’ from an AK-47 round, you didn’t worry too much about getting cancer in 20 or 30 years. Plus you got a little pack of cigarettes in every C-ration accessory packet. And, ‘care packages’ from home had them. I didn’t smoke cigarettes, but I did smoke cigars and was usually able to trade my C-ration cigarettes for cigars. Also included in the accessory packets were a pack of ‘damp climate’ matches that never seemed to work for me, so a Zippo was the way to go.
  3. Just to add to Bob’s comments there are usually several indicators of a fake Vietnam Zippo: 1. The location named and unit are not correct: for example, the First Infantry Division never had units at Danang, so a lighter indicating that location would be a fake. 2. Weird mis-spellings: no self-respecting GI would buy a lighter or have a lighter engraved with the word "Infantry" spelled "Infanty" ... but, I've seen that several times. I've also seen mis-spellings of base names, military ranks, etc. 3. Wobbly engraving: the letters should be crisp and the linear portions nice and straight. 4. This isn't always so, but most of the authentic Army and Marine Corps Zippos will not have enamel or paint in the letters, themselves. On the other hand, many of the US Navy ship Zippos will have color enameled letters and logos, as will those of the USCG and USAF. The Army and Marines, no. 5. Most authentic Vietnam Zippos will have some design element, whether it is done in cloisonné enamel, paint, engraving, or even an attached 'beer can' construction emblem. Whatever the method, the design should be of a professional appearance. (The 'beer can' designs usually are much less well-executed but are still authentic. But, know that even ‘beer can’ emblems have been reproduced). A lot of the fakes have really sketchy (sorry) artwork. 6. The bottom stamp of the Zippo should actually be stamped, not engraved. Here's the Zippo Company's official listing, with photos, of the date stamps and codes: http://www.zippo.com/about/article.aspx?id=1582 7. The date listed is incorrect: for example, the Ist Infantry Division was in Vietnam from 1965 to 1970. If a lighter shows a unit of that Division with a 1973 date that would indicate that it's a bad one. 8. Chrome completely gone from the lighter, leaving a brass finish. The finish has often been ground off or chemically removed. 9. Sayings or quotes that just don't make any sense. Here's one I saw recently "The power never win the willing of the people" ... what the heck does that mean? 10. The lighter's insert is not a genuine Zippo one and nor marked correctly. 11. Zippo lighters constructed solely in brass were not made during the period of the Vietnam War, which ended in 1975. (With the exception of WWII, when Zippos were made out of a mild steel [which tended to rust] and then coated with a black crackle finish paint; the body of the genuine Zippo was/is, however, made of brass ... but, it is then usually completely covered in a chrome finish.) And, virtually all of the lighters on eBay that claim to be Vietnam lighters are, unfortunately, fakes. I have perhaps 30 authentic Zippos made in Vietnam during the war, including three of my own that were made ‘in the ville’ in 1968-1969. I have gotten to the point where the only Zippos that I will buy are directly from the veteran and only if he’ll give me a copy of his DD-214. I know that it’s disheartening to find out that so many Vietnam Zippos are fakes. Frankly, it’s a huge cottage industry in Vietnam now. The Dan Sinh market in Ho Chi Minh City even has dealers that will make up a ‘Vietnam Zippo’ especially for a customer. Proceed with caution.
  4. I believe this is the design you’re referring to: https://www.ebay.com/itm/FIRE-SERVICE-AIR-RESCUE-WINGS-FIREFIGHTER-LARGE-LAPEL-PIN-BADGE-3-INCHES/164021135078?_trksid=p2485497.m4902.l9144 These are on eBay now, but I’m pretty sure this particular set is a reproduction.
  5. Equally probable: an MP Investigator or a CID Agent. Hair is a little long though for either of those positions, given the era.
  6. Hello, I believe this was posted earlier by a Forum member. Unfortunately, I don’t have the original post bookmarked and the ‘hotlinks’ at the end don’t seem to work. Still this should get you started until another more knowledgeable Forum member ‘answers up’: How to request Vietnam After Action Information Official Documentation may be available for your unit, unit of a friend, or the unit of a loved one. DO NOT PAY A WEB SITE FOR THIS TYPE OF INFORMATION. It is free. We recommend a personal visit to the Archives. However, if a visit is not possible, the following is SUGGESTED as a possible procedure for YOU to receive information similiar to that above. Although not a requirement, we recommend your search is limited to a six day period. The information below was sent to me by fellow Vietnam Veteran John Kolsun. He requested that I include it on this web site so that other veterans would know that they too can request copies of their unit's history. Besides visiting the Archives in person, there are two ways to obtain your Unit's History - method one or method two. STEP ONE National Archives Attention: Textual Reference (Vietnam) 8601 Adepphi Road College Park, MD 20740-6001 Date __________________ Gentlemen, Please verify the following records are available for research. Unit, _________________________________________________ Brigade, ______________________________________________ Division, _____________________________________________ Date of Action, _______________________________________ OPERATIONAL REPORTS, Battalion OPERATIONAL REPORTS, Brigade OPERATIONAL REPORTS, Division DAILY STAFF JOURNALS, Battalion DAILY STAFF JOURNALS, Brigade DAILY STAFF JOURNALS, Division DUTY OFFICER S LOGS, Battalion DUTY OFFICER S LOGS, Brigade DUTY OFFICER S LOGS, Division MACV Records Sincerely, _________________________________ Last, First MI ______________________________ Street Address, ______________________________ City, State Zip STEP TWO (Your Congressman or Congresswoman Address here) Date __________________ Dear Congressman / Congresswoman, I have been informed by the National Archives the following records are available for my research. _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ I cannot arrange a trip to the National Archives. I am requesting that your Washington DC office assign a member of their staff to visit the Archives, copy the records, and send the copies to the address below. I understand that I am responsible for the cost of copies. Thank you (Sign your name) You may print out Step One and Step Two by double-clicking the below: Click Here and print out After Action Step One (.txt) on your printer. Click Here and print out After Action Step Two (.txt) on your printer.
  7. This badge was for sale on eBay recently: The seller had incorrectly assembled a two-piece CIB.
  8. Thanks, easterneagle87. Here is an additional Afghanistan-made version: This is another trade. This CIB was made in 2018 using a GEMSCO four acorn original as the template. Again, coin silver with blue lapis lazuli. Frankly, this badge is so beautifully done that I think it could pass inspection. So, not really UA. Instead a unique handmade badge.
  9. Correction, easterneagle87: I actually traded for that badge, ~2016.
  10. Thanks, seanmc1114 and easterneagle87. Always good to have photo confirmation that a badge is being worn, UA or not. Here is a CIB made in Afghanistan of coin silver and lapis lazuli:
  11. Whoa, that is nice! I have never seen a pinback unit crest on a CIB. The ones I have seen are all screwbacks. Good score again!
  12. You nailed it, Bill! Even without the hallmark and the 925 we can tell it is made in Germany ... those detailed veined leaves are classic.
  13. I think the white paint may have been where the wooden OPFOR comb went:
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