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Marine use of the M-16’s in 1965

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I’m working on a museum photo and artifact exhibit to feature the photographs of Life Magazine photographer Larry Burrows. One of the most interesting and early Burrows photo stories was of the mission of Marine HMM-163, carrying South Vietnamese troops onto what turned out to be a “Hot LZ”. The event happened March 31, 1965 and the story was published in LIFE magazine 16 April 1965. The story, One Ride With Yankee Papa 13, has a photo of one of the crew of the disabled helicopter, YP-3, running to YP-13. He is armed with an M-16 rifle. As this is a Marine Squadron, and the troops they were carrying were SVN’s and the SNV’s were armed with US WW II era weapons, it must have been issued to him. In a story written by a co-pilot in another helo, he mentions shooting 4 mags from his M-16 out the window during this fight. I found it interesting to note this early Marine use of the M-16. Anybody have any insight into M-16 use by Marines that early?

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Hello Patches,

That is a possibility. Marines have a reputation of acquiring things outside the regular supply chain.

Thanks for the comments. I thought it was interesting.


PS Owen, I sent you a PM.

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