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M3 M3A1 Grease Guns in Vietnam?


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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Does anyone know of any German WW2 era weapons being captured or found in Vietnam during the VN era?

 

Take your pick: MP40, STG44, MG34, MG42, K98, ...

 

The NVA en VC used everything they could lay their hands on (British, US, German, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, ...)

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Always looking for mint condition WW2 US combat gear, equipment, helmets and uniforms -

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Does anyone know of any German WW2 era weapons being captured or found in Vietnam during the VN era?

98k's were one of the more common souvenirs from Vietnam. We had a couple of warehouses in Saigon where the rear echelon soldiers who had no opportunity to capture their own could apply to get a weapon or two issued to them to bring back. 98k's were the most common weapon I've seen issued from these warehouses.

 

Other German weapons that were encountered were lugers and P-38's. As a VN sniper collector I have a current Holy Grail of a VN bringback 98k sniper; logic tells me they must exist but I have yet to find one and I've been looking for 20 years. I've heard rumors of one or two but...

 

Getting back to the grease gun, I am currently rereading a book on VN era SEALS and the author mentions the use of the M3.

Collector of Vietnam and Korean War Sniper Weapons

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I was an 8-year old boy when Charlie Starkweather went on his murder spree in 1958. The Governor was the last person to victim C. Lauer Ward alive. So the National Guard was called out to protect the city. The newspaper had picures of National Guardmen standing on a corner downtown armed with M3 Grease Guns, my Dad said they also patrolled in Jeeps with .30 calibers with the belt hanging out of the gun. Strange to photos of your home town with armed troops on the street. I didn't get to see any of that, all I saw was home, the neighbors car and school. Starkweather had a 1949 Ford and my Dad had a 1950 the same color. He would have a parade of Police cars follow him everywhere he went.

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In 1970, I wanted a little additional firepower aboard my OH-58A. I was flying a senior officer daily and he often put us in evil places. He carried a .45 with one magazine. I had a personal Colt Diamondback on my hip. I requisitioned the predecessor to the M4, but they were so rare, I was not considered. The ARVN had anything you wanted. I think I traded a bottle of whiskey and a carton of marlboros for a Thompson and 4 magazines. It had a full stock. The first day I planned on taking it after an hour at the range, I donned my gear, added my chicken plate, threw on the ammo vest, the survival vest left open,grabbed my helmet and walked to the flight line. I was winded carrying all that gear. I should have simply carried the weapon the my Kiowa first to see how practical it was. It was much to large to ever use inside the cockpit and much too heavy.

 

The new M3 greasegun was my next trade. I swapped the Thompson for that and also got a 9mm selective fire sub machine gun I never secured mags for. The lesson learned, I checked out practicality from the cockpit. The M3 would work. A friend told me I needed to test fire it and adjust the barrel to get the proper headspacing for the best rate of fire. So off to the range. Loved the weapon. BUT, I could not control it one handed. So a while later I traded down to a M2 carbine which I cut down and it made a wonderful loud big pistol on full auto . I wish I could have brought home all the different weapons I had in my locker at some time.

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I wonder if the French left those behind?

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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My VN Natl Police counterpart once told me that ALL (at least in I CTZ/MR) police officers/supervisors had been OFFERED M.P. 40s under Diem. These were personal weapons, for home defense, not duty guns. According to him, more than half took them, and some got more than one. He even wanted to know if I knew of a source for more mags, as they were in demand.

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A fellow collector (now deceased) that was a good friend of mine carried one while assigned as a US Navy PBR crewman in the Delta from 69-70. It was obtained through a trade with the Naval Weapons depot...he related them having a multitude of older weapons there. He said he liked the M3 because it fit well down inside the foward turret on the PBR.

Afghanistan Vet OEF 10-11 - Engineer Corps US Army.

Getting a medal means two things:

1. Someone saw you do it.

2. You didn't tick off the approval chain.
Seeking 984th Engineer Co (Land Clearance), 36th Engineer Regt/Bde, and Sanitary Corps items from all eras.

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When I was at fort hood in the early 80's they were still an issue item in the 2nd Armored division. I carried one because it was much easier to carry than an M16 when you had to get in and out of the turret of your vehicle. We also had a competition called the Gunga Din award. I think it was created by the Division ADC , BG Bahnsen to develop esprit de corps. I believe the competition was.. team or individual.. 2 mile run, swim in the pool, and then 3 mags of M3 at a target. If I recall it was 2 magazines aimed, and one full auto... in 3 minutes or something like that.... so they were still in use until 83 when I left for Korea...

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VN.

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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In 2006, my son found an M3 Greasegun concealed along the Euphrates river in Iraq. He wanted to use it as a "turret gun" on his vehicle, but it was so badly rusted that he couldn't get the bolt to move. Another vehicle in his MiTT team had a STEN gun in their turret, to be used if someone got too close for them to be able to depress the main gun enough.

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To me, this is a very interesting topic.Thanks for sharing this information. I find the flow of these WW2 era weapons into Vietnam to be fascinating. I understand how US WW2 weapons ended up in Vietnam as well as the Japanese and French but the appearance of the German WW2 weapons is amazing.

 

Not hard to figure out considering the geo-politics in play at the time.

 

The USSR captured millions of German, Czech, Polish, Rumanian, and even Italian & Japanese weapons during WWII. Rather than send AK-47s (which were in rather short supply until the late 50s) and/or to give an aire of innocence to being involved (sterility), the Soviets spread these captured weapons around hotspots like central America, the Middle East, Africa, and SE Asia. This shortage of AKs is why the USSR set up the Chinese, Egyptians, Yugoslavs and others with machinery to make them, rather than giving/selling the rifles to these countries from Russian production. With the quantities of Carbines and Garands we made during the war, the US did similalrly...

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Is that a M3 3 cell pouch???

 

pouch1.jpg

 

I have not seen one of these in use on a period photograph.....if anyone has an image that is clearer, please post it.

 

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On the back of the pouch it reads:

 

POCKET

AMMUNITION

MAGAZINES

SMG M3

DSA 100-4479

8865-577-4918

 

I was beginning to think these were not issued......?

 

Gregg.

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Nice pictures of M3 submachineguns and other WW2 weapons.

 

There is a WW2 weapon, however, that I never thought it would have been used in VN due to the poor reliability record, but it was. It is non other than the Sten submachinegun.

 

Here are a couple of photos:

 

 

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They are both versions with sound suppresion, and I imagine they were used by Special Forces.

 

 

 

Regards,

 

Gus

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In 1970-1971, I had TWO (2) MkII S Sten SMGs. One came to me from a Natl Police CAPTURE of a VC cache, and one from a US Natl Police Public safety advisor who said it was "gifted" to him by a "retiring" PRU. The former was very dirty on the inside -- like dried up chocolate syrup mixed with mini-grit sand; took me days to clean, first immersing it in mogas, then using paint stripper and degreaser. Once clean it was the devil to reassemble the baffles inside the "can". Both fired nicely and were indeed very quiet. Only the clacking of the bolt was audible in the outdoors.

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SOG used suppressed M3 grease guns before they could carry CAR 15s, as well as Swedish Ks and Stens... SOG men also had access to MP40/MP38s. Basically, in Sog, you could run what ever you wanted to.

Bail, Loop... Potato, Patato...

 

RIP to all the brave men who were claimed by the jungle.

Sandy and crew, rest well my brothers,

Hey blue, you were a good dog you....

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