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View Full Version : 03A3 Vietnam War Trophy used by Viet Cong


littlejake
03-24-2010, 9:34 AM
An 03A3 Vietnam War trophy taken from the VC in the II Corps AO. Note the makeshift sling made from woven native grass. The oiler contained a piece of parachute cloth for cleaning. Dispite its warts and very eroded throat, this rifle still puts a bullet on target.


http://i923.photobucket.com/albums/ad76/NETTUEMsc4V92qMY/03A3/30-06002.jpg

http://i923.photobucket.com/albums/ad76/NETTUEMsc4V92qMY/03A3/30-06003.jpg

http://i923.photobucket.com/albums/ad76/NETTUEMsc4V92qMY/03A3/30-06018.jpg

http://i923.photobucket.com/albums/ad76/NETTUEMsc4V92qMY/03A3/30-06005.jpg

More photos at:
http://s923.photobucket.com/albums/ad76/NETTUEMsc4V92qMY/03A3/

double_action
03-24-2010, 9:37 AM
Cool rifle. Did it come with bring back papers?

littlejake
03-24-2010, 9:51 AM
Cool rifle. Did it come with bring back papers?

Sure did. -- Jake

Milsurp Collector
03-24-2010, 12:33 PM
Very cool. Did the VC rechamber it?

littlejake
03-24-2010, 12:44 PM
Very cool. Did the VC rechamber it?

It's still .30-'06. There was plenty of ammo available to the VC and NVA. The Kalishnakov and SKS were most widely used by enemy forces; but the VC would use anything that would shoot.

Seesm
03-24-2010, 12:52 PM
Cool stuff... I wonder how hard by Vietnam how hard it was to carry back firearms...? I woudl love to see a pic of the bring back paperwork...

Mike A
03-24-2010, 2:02 PM
Very likely captured by the Viet Minh from the French, and then hidden until the next war. The French forces used a lot of WWII US weapons against the Viet Minh, including M1 Carbines, Thompson SMGs, 1917 "Enfields," and 1903 and 1903A3 Springfields. They originally got them from us in WWII to fight the Nazis. Even Colt 1917 revolvers showed up in Vietcong hands (they must have found them a tad large....).

Since we also gave large numbers of WWII weapons to the Nationalist Chinese, this '03A3 might have come from Chinese Communist sources. But I rather doubt it; "The Old Man's Trail" was long and dangerous and they didn't waste people or resources bring antiques down it.

Saigon1965
03-24-2010, 3:49 PM
Beautiful rifle with a lot of history -

Eddie1965
03-24-2010, 4:19 PM
I've seen footage of VC armed with Thompsons.

smle-man
03-24-2010, 5:07 PM
Very likely captured by the Viet Minh from the French, and then hidden until the next war. The French forces used a lot of WWII US weapons against the Viet Minh, including M1 Carbines, Thompson SMGs, 1917 "Enfields," and 1903 and 1903A3 Springfields. They originally got them from us in WWII to fight the Nazis. Even Colt 1917 revolvers showed up in Vietcong hands (they must have found them a tad large....).

Since we also gave large numbers of WWII weapons to the Nationalist Chinese, this '03A3 might have come from Chinese Communist sources. But I rather doubt it; "The Old Man's Trail" was long and dangerous and they didn't waste people or resources bring antiques down it.

It could easily have come from the SVN; I have a couple pictures of SVN Navy personnel with 03A3s early in our involvement in Vietnam.

bigstick61
03-24-2010, 9:49 PM
Interestingly, a U.S. Army Special Forces captain serving in Vietnam carried around an M1903 Springfield (not sure what type) rather than a more modern weapon because he was very used to using bolt-action rifles in combat, having been a partisan in Europe during WWII. On a mission his helicopter was shot down and when they found the helo, neither his body nor his Springfield were found.

Mike A
03-25-2010, 7:48 AM
smle-man, that's interesting. Hard to imagine what they were supposed to actually DO with the Springfields, which are a little oversized for most Asians, but I suppose they mostly did guard duty (i.e. not much) with them. Before "Vietnamization" set in, most of the ARVN had M1 and M2 carbines and cut down M1 Garands. Those were PLENTY big for them to handle!

I wonder how many of those Garands were actually cut down, and what happened to them? I have never seen one that "came home." Was the work done here, or in Asia? Anybody know?

Astig Boy
03-26-2010, 5:09 AM
Hard to imagine what they were supposed to actually DO with the Springfields, which are a little oversized for most Asians, but I suppose they mostly did guard duty (i.e. not much) with them.

Oversized?...yah I can see that, but not impossible or "rare".

Heres a group of Filipinos from the inland regions of the southern islands...I would say they are small in size and stature, comparable to most Asians you mention.

http://fototime.com/AA774F7B9B11FE0/orig.jpg

http://fototime.com/E08F838036B6828/orig.jpg

http://fototime.com/6311090FDA74EAC/orig.jpg

http://fototime.com/4D9D7DC406CBF88/orig.jpg

This is a recent photo. And no they are not the Philippine terrorist group Abu Sayyaf. They are a Christian militia group that patrols the Moro regions protecting their communities property from the Abu Sayyaf. The Abu Sayyaf and the MILF claims this group is a terrorist organization out to kill them.

I been to the Philippines many times and visited many different regions. WWII rifles are scattered everywhere throughout the islands. I would say 75% of the militia carry Garands.

Mike A
03-26-2010, 6:17 AM
VERY interesting pix. I know a little about Abu Sayyaf and the successors to the old Huks (Can't remember their name right at this minute) since my son is a Marine serving with (at times) MEU 31. But now that you mention it, I remember that some of the Philippino guerrillas that fought against the Japanese in WWII carried US 1917 "Enfield" rifles, a heavy brute. If they could handle those, they could handle Springfields and Garands.

smle-man
03-26-2010, 10:15 AM
The standard rifle of the Philipene army at the beginning of WW2 was the 1917. Many had broken extractors and the fired cases had to be poked out with sticks.

bigstick61
03-26-2010, 3:38 PM
VERY interesting pix. I know a little about Abu Sayyaf and the successors to the old Huks (Can't remember their name right at this minute) since my son is a Marine serving with (at times) MEU 31. But now that you mention it, I remember that some of the Philippino guerrillas that fought against the Japanese in WWII carried US 1917 "Enfield" rifles, a heavy brute. If they could handle those, they could handle Springfields and Garands.

They were certainly able to handle Springfields while serving in the U.S. military during and before WWII.

smle-man
03-26-2010, 4:01 PM
The 26th CAV REG (Philippine Scouts) were equipped with M1 rifles pre WW2 and along with the 31st INF REG of the U.S. Army were the first soldiers to use the M1 rifle in combat which was in the Philippines in WW2. The Philippine nationals serving in the 26th had no problems with the M1 Rifle's size.

Vladimir
03-26-2010, 6:28 PM
hah, that guys got a BAR :43:

bigstick61
03-26-2010, 7:47 PM
The 26th CAV REG (Philippine Scouts) were equipped with M1 rifles pre WW2 and along with the 31st INF REG of the U.S. Army were the first soldiers to use the M1 rifle in combat which was in the Philippines in WW2. The Philippine nationals serving in the 26th had no problems with the M1 Rifle's size.

While off-topic, the 26th Cav was also the last horse cavalry unit of the U.S. Army to conduct a horse-mounted cavalry charge (and a successful one at that), although not the last unit overall.

Astig Boy
03-26-2010, 11:09 PM
While off-topic, the 26th Cav was also the last horse cavalry unit of the U.S. Army to conduct a horse-mounted cavalry charge (and a successful one at that), although not the last unit overall.

My Lolo(grandfather) took part in this last US Cavalry charge. He was part of the 26th Cav PS. But he didn't have a horse, he was on foot. :p

Mike A
03-27-2010, 7:15 AM
My grandfather served with the US Volunteers in the Spanish War in the Phillipines, then against the Phillipino nationalists, and then with native Christians recruited to fight the Moslems in the southern islands (not sure if these were the "Phillipine Scouts" yet; this would have been about 1905-10). My father and uncles were born in the islands, and returned to the US just before WWI; my grandfather then served in France with the 89th Division. He tried to enlist in WWII but was too old, so he joined the "California State Guard" and patrolled the beaches waiting for the Japanese to land (the CA National Guard was federalized by then and getting chewed up in the Phillipines....).

Unfortunately he died before I got to talk to him about his service much (and he wasn't much of a talker anyway: "Eat your mush!" was a real long "speach" for him..... The last thing I remember that he said to me was "Aim lower"!).

Astig Boy
03-27-2010, 9:43 AM
Sorry to spin this thread way off topic!

Woah! Mike A you have one awesome grandfather! That is just crazy how he served from the Span-Am War, the Phil-Am War, the Moro war, to WWI, and up til WWII!!! WOW!..now that is going to hell and back several times, over and over! As you can probably tell, I am Filipino also. Aside from weapons, my other hobby and passion is researching Philippine history; most particularly my focus is on the era between 1890s-1913. Historically that is when everything changed in the Philippines...1896 Philippine Revolution, the Span-Am War, the Philippine American War, and the Muslim Moro Rebellion era. Have you tracked your grandfathers movements when he served early in the Philippines? If you'd like, I can possibly help find information for you..this is just stuff I like to do and have helped other people previously track their grandfathers or great grandfathers units and battles during their times in the Philippines. Many people have forgotten the Moro Rebellion(1902-1913) and how important that was for the US, let alone how extremely difficult that rebellion was on the natives and Americans that fought in that forgotten war. After the Phil-Am War, many of these American troops(soldiers and US Vol) got the hell out of the Philippines..but I believe the few that reenlisted just to do this particular job were nothing more then straight up warriors..and your grandfather sounds like that type of guy! haha There were two types of organizations that were made up of natives which took part in the Moro Muslim rebellion..the Philippine Scouts and the Philippine Constabulary. Many people get the two groups confused with one another and don't know the difference. Both groups employed native Filipinos but also had reenlisted American soldiers and officers to head these natives. The Philippines Scouts was created in 1901(early establishment due to Gen Henry Lawton) and were designed to fight Aguinaldo and his 1st Republic; and later to replace the US Volunteers who were all due to be mustered out in mid-1902...this PS would later evolve in to the legendary 26th Cav Philippine Scouts of WWII. The Philippine Constabulary was also created in 1901...their job was essentially to serve as the native police force of the Philippines, they had jurisdiction that can cross barrios, towns, provinces, and islands(they are loosely based off the US Marshals). The PS were under the US Army, the PC were under the Philippine Commission(US/Philippine civil government)...and they both commingled with one another so this is also where a lot of the confusion is. Your gramps could of been part of the establishment of either the PC and the PS, which is why I am also so curious. During the Moro Rebellion the PCs were outgunned and out manned..so they placed "under" their command several units of the PS. US military units also took part in this rebellion...Gen Pershing being the famed leader of the US Army troops that further helped the PS and PCs slay the Moros. And I believe Pershing and the other US military troops took most of the glory when the rebellion ended in 1913. And because of the confusion of the PS and PCs of who they were, they later received almost no credit at all...even now I still believe they don't get due credit. Either way, for those that know the history of the PS and the PC, the early members of both groups that fought in this era were all considered legends. And in gun history, the Moro Rebellion is the time when the US found out the ineffectiveness of their 38 revolvers against a Moro "running Amok", which would change the development of the Colt 1911 and have it chambered in 45.

I was going to send this through PMs, but thought others might be interested in reading this. As you can see, and like I mentioned, this is a hobby and passion of mine. I personally have always felt family history was important to know and to pass on to later family generations. If you'd like, you can PM me and I can go more in detail and possibly help you find your grandfathers tracks through the Philippines. :)

ElToro
03-27-2010, 9:54 AM
Mike A.. sorry you couldnt spend more time with your grandpa.


3rd pic down, guy in the middle. is that a Thompson ?
cool.

smle-man
03-27-2010, 4:31 PM
My grandfather served with the US Volunteers in the Spanish War in the Phillipines, then against the Phillipino nationalists, and then with native Christians recruited to fight the Moslems in the southern islands (not sure if these were the "Phillipine Scouts" yet; this would have been about 1905-10). My father and uncles were born in the islands, and returned to the US just before WWI; my grandfather then served in France with the 89th Division. He tried to enlist in WWII but was too old, so he joined the "California State Guard" and patrolled the beaches waiting for the Japanese to land (the CA National Guard was federalized by then and getting chewed up in the Phillipines....).

Unfortunately he died before I got to talk to him about his service much (and he wasn't much of a talker anyway: "Eat your mush!" was a real long "speach" for him..... The last thing I remember that he said to me was "Aim lower"!).

Great stuff! The California State Guard is still in existance as the California State Military Reserve.

bigstick61
03-27-2010, 9:41 PM
California has actually had several militia formations with different names, but they are not the same militia services; some of those have actually existed simultaneously.