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Vietnam ZIPPO or what ...?!!


Tino Jensen

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Hello everyone.

 

I am a 56-years old Danish policeman, and 15-20 years ago I bought the attached ZIPPO lighter from an online "military relics" auction in Denmark. The auction company stated that it was not a fake, but a genuine Vietnam era lighter... Yeah, right...  The front of the Zippo has a kind of brasslike inlay and just a simple drawing of a soldier with a rifle on the back of the lighter. To me it all seemed/seems kind of spooky (read: fake), but I just got to be absolutely sure. The inside of the lighter has an old, old yellow/brownish cotton thing and the thing that lights up when you activate the little roller that sparks the flint does NOT catch on fire, so the da.. thing won't even light up my cigarette...!

 

Anyway, I have always wondered what the little brasslike ensignia (the upright sword) symbolised, but just the other day I saw a small batch of American military patches for sale on the Danish equivalent of "Craig's list", and I bought the patches you can see on the last photograph right away. When you look at one of the patches you will know why I bought the batch: One of them looks just like the little brasslike inlay on the Zippo, so now I am really curious, even if the patch looks and feels spit-spanking new...?!!

 

Can anyone here help me, and if you can, then PLEASE do not just write: "FAKE ! You're stupid to have bought the lighter!!!, but kindly have the courtesy to write why you think it is a fake etc., etc... Thank you in advance for ANY help on the matter. A long story, I know and for that I am truly sorry.

 

BTW, I have been four times on international missions for my country, and each time I have bought a Zippo from that very mission 😉

 

Please take care of yourself and your loved ones in these strange Coro.. times (no, I am not a Democrat or Republican !!! 🙂 )

Stay safe at work and at home.

 

Tino Jensen,

from the little country of Denmark.

 

///

 

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The top patch with the sword is Military Assistance Command Vietnam MACV, sane as the insignia on the lighter.  The patch on the lower left is 173rd Airborne Brigade, it’s upside down.  The patch on the right is the 82nd Airborne Division. 

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Hello again. Thank you very much for your kind and swift replies, gentlemen, I have already gotten much and usefull imformatiom from you 😊👍🏻 However I still wonder if the lighter is genuine? Very best regards from DK 

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Steve Brannan

I don’t think anyone can say for sure without knowing it’s history if it was engraved in 1968 or 1998. These lighters have been widely redone in post War Vietnam and other places. But having said that, it looks original to me, and I was there in 1969.


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Steve B in Alabama.....Roll Tide


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Hello Steve. Thank you for sharing, I trust you should know having served in Vietnam and thus your opinion carries a little more weight. I was in Iraq in 1998 and bought a Zippo from that mission (UNGCI). Today it looks almost new, and the UN sticker has only a few scratches, but it IS from my mission, because it was with me for the whole year. Regards from Tino 🙂

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello Tino, 

I collect Vietnam zippos and can tell you there are a tremendous amount of fake lighters out there. When I look at your lighter there are warning signs. First of all the outer case is real and indeed a 1967 Zippo lighter. The acid etched MilitaryAssistance Command looks real. Engraving on top, B 66 gunner does not match period engraving and may have been added at a later date. The engraving on the back was added at a later date. A dead give away is dark black ink especially when the front of the lighter is worn. Bottom line is I think it’s an original Vietnam zippo that someone embellished later with additional engraving. My two cents.

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I know nothing but am not a fan of the soldier on the back and I agree it seems added later. seems a little too cartoonish to me

David Turman

Semper Fi !

"Not as Lean, not as Mean, but still a Marine!"

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Hello Zippo66 and David. 
Thank you very much for your insights on the zippo in question. I have also been wondering about the (simply drawn) rifleman and I totally agree. 
Well if anything I maybe have an “original” Vietnam Zippo (the lighter itself I mean) so I am somewhat happy. Now I just need to start smoking again... God I miss that first puff everytime I come to Think of it. 
Take care of yourselves and your loved ones. 
Best Christmas wishes from Denmark. 
Tino :-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

These are two of my dad's smoke lighters he had engraved in Korea in 68/69. The Zippo would have been done in 68 and 69 (he was a B platoon leader then C company commander), though it dates from an earlier year as these are lighters our family business had engraved as handouts...

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Hello Iron Bender. 
Very nice lighters you got there. Hope my son will keep mine when I am feasting in Valhal. All the best from Tino 😊

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  • 2 weeks later...
turmanator

You know Tino your soldier engraving kinda reminds me of the crossed rifles on Iron Benders lighter. Maybe it is period done in Korea also...

David Turman

Semper Fi !

"Not as Lean, not as Mean, but still a Marine!"

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Tino Jensen

Hello David. 
Yeah I guess anything is possible. Right now I am trying to fix it because it will not ignite the thing that holds the flame. Anyway, I will keep it as it is somewhat special to me and it kind of makes me wonder who (initially) bought and used it. 
take good care of yourself and all the best from 

Tino, Denmark :-)

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I have gotten several old lighters operational. If the striker/wheel is in good order the main problem is the flint or lack of a flint in the lighter. 

 

The old flints often corrode and will cause the striker wheel to freeze or not roll properly. Take the lighter insert out of the case. Remove the small screw in the bottom. It will have a long spring on it. This spring provides pressure on the flint that will set on the spring end which rests against the bottom of the wheel and when struck provides the spark. Often as stated earlier the flint had corroded and caused a blockage in the spring guide and not allowing the fling or wheel to operate. When the screw and spring are removed take a small sharp drill bit thats smaller than the guide diameter and slide it into the guide until it stops. Then turn the drill bit with your fingers. It takes a little time and effort but will dislodge the blockage. If you see a grey fine powder the drill bit is working to cut the blockage caused by the corroded flint. Once the guide is cleared a new flint can be dropped into the guide and then replace the screw and spring. The lighter should strike and spark. Add lighter fluid and you should be able to get the lighter fired up. 

 

Another ops to send it back to the Zippo Company in Braddford Pa. They will rebuild them for free but it may not be an viable option since you are from outside the US. 

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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Also I cant add much about the markings other than there was a  B-66  aircraft in the USAF. It primarily used as a support platform,photo recon and weather plane etc. Not sure how it would tie in with your lighter though seeing the MACV patch unless its a designation for an Advisory Team etc.

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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Tino Jensen

Hello Doyler

 

i must say you have given me quite the detailed tutorial, Thank you so much for that.

I have been diagnosed with medium/severe PTSD and was just before Christmas informed that my employer for more than 30+ yrs, the Danish national Police, have filed for my resignation. So time is now on My hands and I will try to fix the Zippo according to your instructions. 
thank you for your advice and take good care of yourself and loved ones. 
Tino.

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Glad to help. Its quite straight forward once you get started. Just takes a little time and elbow grease as they say. May not seem like the drill bit is working at forst but go slow and apply upward pressure against the blockage and progress will happen. I have done this to 6-8 of my lighters and got them all functional. One was from a local 11th Armored veteran and he had detailed his war time travels engraved on the lighter like a travel diary. I will post he link here as its kind of hard to search the new forum format. 

 

Sorry to hear of your diagnoses and its pending results. Seems time is not kind to us as we get older and employers are less and less suited to keep people employed due to age or health issues.  

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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Older topic on Zippos

 

Ones I posted start @ post #22

 

 

 

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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This is a WW2 I found still with the box. The wheel was corroded to the flint. I used a thin bladed X-acto model knife to work a little of the fling from under the wheel to get things moving then used a drill bit by hand to free up the flint in the tube.

 

image.png.c7b63d81a2f26098f021bdc410d7dff6.png

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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Tino Jensen

Hello again

 

was out walking our/my dog. This is very interesting, Thank you again. 
i miss my colleagues and our time together, but I am confident that in time and When this Corona nightmare has passed, things will become better. 
should you ever feel like dropping by Scandinavia, please just say so in these remarks and I will cook up a Danish meal four you and your family ;-)

Cheers, Tino

 

 

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