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Photo of a sterile mag pouch in use in Vietnam


ETN
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I found this nice photo of a sterile mag pouch in use on wikipedia of all places. It's published in The Eyewitness History of the Vietnam War 1961-1975 by George Esper. From what I can gather from the article it was taken in December of 1961 which would mean that it was from the time when the CIA was involved in the CIDG program before operation switchback.

You see all sorts of variations of these sterile pouches being offered as CISO made but I'm not so sure they were.

 

post-249-0-44432500-1409861555.jpg

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  • 7 years later...
immurement

I'm very surprised no one responded to this back in 2014 when it was originally posted. It's always nice to confirm a piece of field gear with a period photo — outstanding job! The more commonly seen "CISO" pouches with the lift-the-dot and buckle closures have always fascinated me as I've never been able to find a single photo of them in use either in Vietnam or Laos. I've never given up looking and always scrutinize photos hoping to find some evidence. Have you seen other photos of the variant you posted either in-use or in auctions? It certainly shares characteristics with the two later (?) variants I own. Wish someone could shed some more light on this subject. I've never even seen a photo that displays the different variants of the "CISO" pouches. 

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USARV72

First time I’ve seen this post. Have had many, many variations since late 70’s, nice expample.

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Linedoggie

Based on the Wehrmachts MP38/40 pouches. Small pockets for a mag loader

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One of my local surplus shops had one of these recently without the strap,  Stupidly, I passed it up as it was gone the next time I went in.  

 

Great photo and I appreciate you sharing all those years ago.

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  • 5 weeks later...
immurement
On 3/9/2022 at 1:40 PM, USARV72 said:

First time I’ve seen this post. Have had many, many variations since late 70’s, nice expample.

 

Very interesting, could you elaborate on the other variations of this pouch and where you ran into them? It seems it was offered in a greyish canvas as well.

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immurement
On 3/9/2022 at 3:40 PM, Linedoggie said:

Based on the Wehrmachts MP38/40 pouches. Small pockets for a mag loader

 

Three of the four types of sterile magazine pouches I'm aware of share the same style angled belt loops and shoulder strap at the backside and I always wondered where that design choice came from. After spending a few minutes looking at photos of the backs of MP38/40 pouches and considering MP40s were still being used, at least early on, I'm convinced you're right. Thanks for the information.

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USARV72

Have a khaki version of one in a storage tub, if have time I’ll dig it out and post pic. Having been collecting for 40+ years, items that are considered rare today were not back then. Had off shades of OG/ OD , seems the khaki versions were most common. Good friend was an advisor to ARVNs and local defense groups, we were there about the same time. I’ll ask him he he remembers seeing theses pouches.

Collectors that are “ new” to the hobby need to know that before all the movies drawing interest to military collectables that antique shops, junk shops,  thrift store and most auction houses considered “ Army Stuff” as junk. By chance they even kept such it was usually in a box in the back room. Flea markets back then had lots of good items from house clean outs of Veterans.

Also the Army Navy stores had Real Surplus at low, low prices. I knew many Army Navy store owners that were WWII Veterans that started buying in 1946.

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I used to have several of these, but they are all long gone now.

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immurement
On 4/8/2022 at 12:17 PM, USARV72 said:

Here’s the one I have.

 

Thank you for sharing sir! I've never owned a tan one but have seen them around now and again and would like to eventually add a nice example to my collection. I've always looked for photos of the later variants with lift-the-dot and buckle closures (like yours) in-action so can't wait until you ask your friend who was an Advisor to local forces if they seem at all familiar. 

 

Seems Sarco still has some of the OD variant with buckle closure and they've even offering a fantasy reproduction in frogskin camo. What's most interesting is their description....

 

"PURPORTEDLY A POUCH USED BY ‘BRIGADE 2506’ FOR APPLICATION IN THE INVASION OF CUBA.  WE HAD SEVERAL PALLETS OF THESE IN OLIVE DRAB GREEN ORIGINALLY STORED IN GUATEMALA AND NOW WE HAVE REPRODUCED THE SCARCER VERSION IN USMC ‘FROG SKIN’ CAMO."

 

https://www.sarcoinc.com/cia-contract-ordnance-pouches/

 

There was also an early model of the sterile pouch produced with cloth ties that shows up from time to time.  

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Steve Brannan

I have a couple of these I bought at Uncle Sam’s Surplus store In Anniston Alabama in the 1980s. Sam was retired as a guard at the Anniston Army Depot. He bought Army Surplus in bulk at Government Sales. He told me he believed that these were originally made for the Bay of Pigs invasion but later issued to CIDG units in Vietnam. 

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immurement
31 minutes ago, Steve Brannan said:

I have a couple of these I bought at Uncle Sam’s Surplus store In Anniston Alabama in the 1980s. Sam was retired as a guard at the Anniston Army Depot. He bought Army Surplus in bulk at Government Sales. He told me he believed that these were originally made for the Bay of Pigs invasion but later issued to CIDG units in Vietnam. 

 

Very interesting. What model(s) do you have? Are they of the type that uses leather tabs, cloth ties, lift-the-dot or buckle closure? 

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Steve Brannan

I’ll find them tomorrow and photograph them. Sam got them in the early 70s in a gigantic box of Army surplus field gear the government was auctioning off at Anniston Army Depot. There must have hundreds of these bags and also hundreds of web slings for the M-1 Rifle, some with WW2 dates on them. His name was Sam Walker and he was a Marine during the Korean War. His son I think still has a Surplus store. Before Covid I used to see him set up at local Gun Shows. 

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Steve Brannan

I looked for them this afternoon but couldn’t find any. Must have sold them all at the SOS. The kind I had most of were the lift the dot fasteners type. But  I did have some with black leather pulls. I sold them for $35 each. 

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immurement
23 hours ago, Steve Brannan said:

I looked for them this afternoon but couldn’t find any. Must have sold them all at the SOS. The kind I had most of were the lift the dot fasteners type. But  I did have some with black leather pulls. I sold them for $35 each. 

 

Thanks for checking and interesting to hear some of the ones you had were fitted with the leather tab closure. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found this one at a Army-Navy surplus store yesterday.  Very similar to others posted, but seems to have a place for a cleaning rod?   Any ideas?

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immurement
19 minutes ago, Nkomo said:

I found this one at a Army-Navy surplus store yesterday.  Very similar to others posted, but seems to have a place for a cleaning rod?   Any ideas?

 

That looks like a nice example and just seems to be missing the detachable shoulder strap. I too believe the skinny long slot was intended for a cleaning rod.  

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immurement

Here are some photos I had saved perhaps from an auction of an example identical to yours that has the long slotted cleaning rod pouch rather than the oiler/loader pouch at the other sode. Also note that the model ETN posted does not appear to have that additional D ring at the side. 

 

I have also seen this early style sterile pouch offered in a Combloc grey color and will look through my pics. 

 

 1815459100_ciso-sterile-magazine-pouch-vietnam_1_ef4c693694c4ed47cb0c8b2e0ae73aefcopy.jpeg.1ea63c90bf92122f1f6399eb50765283.jpeg

 

 

ciso-sterile-magazine-pouch-v2ietnam_1_ef4c693694c4ed47cb0c8b2e0ae73aef.jpeg.c58ed14412181671b17909854e74ee17.jpeg

 

ciso-sterile-magazine-pouch-vietnam_1_2ef4c693694c4ed47cb0c8b2e0ae73aef.jpeg.5a959da42a8bdc0f81f38225b445f146.jpeg

 

 

 

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On 3/9/2022 at 3:19 PM, Nkomo said:

One of my local surplus shops had one of these recently without the strap,  Stupidly, I passed it up as it was gone the next time I went in.  

 

Great photo and I appreciate you sharing all those years ago.

 

late 70s to mid 80s a lot of these hit the surplus market. Seen them for sale in the Shot GUn News. I have a couple I sourced out of random groups.

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Steve Brannan

Maybe someday the contract order for these things can declassified and published. 

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