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  #1  
Old 06-07-2018, 6:50 PM
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Default Bringback grouping of T56, T54 and EG Makarov from Laos - pic heavy

I have for you the war trophy collection of USAF Captain Robert Kain. Robert was a Raven forward air controller in Laos. He served there for one year and continued service until 1977. I purchased this grouping from Robert directly and was grateful to hear his story. I enjoyed hearing the smallest detail of his now declassified service in Laos. The more I read on the Raven FACís, the more impressed I am. Tom Clancyís quote of ďheroes you never heard aboutĒ certainly holds true.

If you arenít familiar with the secret war in Laos, please read this
:
http://alphahistory.com/vietnamwar/l...g-vietnam-war/

For a brief history of the Raven FACís, this will get you up to speed:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_...ir_Controllers

Here is Bobís account of his service and the guns.
As far as my service, obtain a copy of a book titled, ďThe RavensĒ by Christopher Robbins. Try Amazon but donít pay too much. I can get you one for about $20.00 plus shipping. It tells the whole story of a bunch of volunteer junior grade officers who were stripped of all USAF identity and flew as Forward Air Controllers (FACs) in Laos under the Raven call sign (not Cambodia). The book tells the story of the Secret War in Laos that was staged just as furiously as the one in North and South Vietnam. We were not legally there because the Geneva Convention of 1962 declared Laos a neutral country. Therefore, we flew in civilian clothes in small unmarked O1-E Birdog aircraft. The same aircraft the Army called the L-19 except ours were gray instead of Army green.
My call sign was Raven 52. I spent six months in Vietnam and volunteered to join the Steve Canyon program (the name of the Secret program that we all were assigned to). We could not even admit to anyone we were there until about 1987 when the program was declassified. The rules said you volunteered for a six month tour and could extend for another six months, if desired, but then you had to go home. I was there for a year. I traded a small cassette tape recorder for the two pistols to a Major who was the Intelligence officer for the Military Region V that was my area of responsibility. I donít know how he got them. Didnít want to know. I also didnít want to know how he used the tape recorder during interrogation of prisoners.




Hereís his complete war trophy grouping. Chinese Type 56 SKS, Chinese Type 54 Tokarev and 1965 East German Makarov complete with paperwork and theater made cases. Robert had these brown zipper cases made for him prior to his return, theyíre even on the customs form.

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Old 06-07-2018, 6:51 PM
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Here is the Makarov. Personally I have never seen an East German Makarov with DD603 paperwork. I have consulted more experienced Vietnam conflict collectors and they are extremely seldom encountered. It shows finish loss commensurate with use but is in overall very good condition. The DD603 misidentifies it completely as a 9mm Chinese Rifle. The hand-written correction was added on later. Believed at first to be a Russian pistol, Robert and I were equally surprised when I identified it as East German.







Here is the Type 54. This is a prime example of a war horse used in the harsh jungle environment. It has no matching numbers and the bore is completely worn smooth. It is a fairly early date of 1956, most encountered have 1960’s dates.





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Old 06-07-2018, 6:51 PM
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And finally, the SKS. This is a 1967 Chinese Factory 26 with all matching serial numbers. The stock has been refinished, but the original serial number is still visible. Interestingly enough it has the correct side mounted rear sling loop but has a wooden plug where the bottom mount would be. If you would like pictures of this interesting stock I can post them.







Lastly, a few miscellaneous photos. Construction of the theater made cases, here is Robert's account of the cases.

The Royal Thai Air Force Base in the town of Udorn, Thailand is where all the major maintenance was performed on the aircraft we flew. The base also hosted a USAF Wing of F-4 fighters and ABCCC C130’s. It was a busy place. The parachute shop from the unit that did our maintenance made them for me. I took the weapons there and ask if they could make me some sort of wrapping for them that would allow me to carry them back to the states on a military charter flight. The cases were much more than I expected. They too were impressed by the weapons and did an outstanding job of making cases for them. They were a great bunch of guys with not enough to do on a remote combat tour.




Affidavit for importation.



I have some reading to do! I hope you all enjoyed the post.

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Last edited by 81turbota; 06-07-2018 at 7:02 PM..
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Old 06-07-2018, 7:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 81turbota View Post
And finally, the SKS. This is a 1967 Chinese Factory 26 with all matching serial numbers. The stock has been refinished, but the original serial number is still visible. Interestingly enough it has the correct side mounted rear sling loop but has a wooden plug where the bottom mount would be.
Awesome collection. Thanks for posting. Super jealous.


For a 12 mil/12th year serial, the bottom mounted sling would have been original. It's more than likely an in-the-field modifiaction-- the sling mount is of the bottom-oriented design with the swivel ring perpindicular to the base plate-- which also makes it that much more interesting

An original side mounted swivel looks like this one, with the swivel ring parallel to the mounting/base plate


"1962: 7 mil /26\ long-lug, side-swivel, large-font stock
1963: 8 mil /26\ long-log, side-swivel, large-font stock
1964: 9 mil /26\ long to short lug transition at 9.1-9.2m, side-swivel, large-font stock, bayo change to spike
1965: 10 mil /26\ short-lug, side swivel relocated to bottom mid year, large-font stock
1966: 11 mil /26\ short-lug, bottom-swivel, spike-bayo, large-font stock <---- First arrival of stamped trigger housings, two piece gas-tube, plus the deletion of the carrier and bay lug lightening cuts
1967: 12 mil /26\ short-lug, bottom-swivel, spike-bayo, large-font stock
1968: 13 mil /26\ short-lug, bottom-swivel, spike-bayo, large-font stock
1979: 14 mil /26\ short-lug, bottom-swivel, spike-bayo, large-font stock
"

(from: http://chinesesks.weebly.com/1962-69--7-14mil.html)

Last edited by boris badinov; 06-07-2018 at 8:35 PM..
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Old 06-07-2018, 8:03 PM
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Wicked cool; being able to purchase the collection from an American hero like that makes it that much more special.

TBH, threads like this are the push/pull of this forum: I love seeing the pictures/reading the stories/learning a little bit but I hate how it reminds me I don’t have the cash to get in on some the vintage firearms I would like to purchase. I’ve had to pass up a few cool purchases.. but I digress.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 06-07-2018, 8:21 PM
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Thanks for the responses, guys!

Boris, I'm not too familiar with the intricacies of the Chinese SKS through the years. Thanks for pointing that out. As for field modification anything was possible in that theater.

CBR, many times these historically significant firearms can be had for reasonable prices. I paid Robert what I thought was market value and still couldn't be happier. These collections don't pop up often so money is easier to spend (for me).

Even on the budget end, a documented war trophy FN1922 or Nambu T14 usually costs as much as mid range modern guns. Again, I know what I'd rather have.
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Last edited by 81turbota; 06-07-2018 at 8:26 PM..
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Old 06-07-2018, 9:16 PM
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You are now the custodian of an absolutely incredible grouping! Congrats! It actually even more confirms my theory that the intel folks got all the best goodies, esp that well worn salty Tok and Mak.

The young FAC's did an awesome job. About this time I was a young lieutenant/captain with 19 TASS in Korea, and there was a bit of angst there amongst some of our younger non career oriented FACs about the workload they were called on to shoulder during the Eastertide Offensive compared to some (not all) of the older FACs, mostly lieutenant colonels.
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Old 06-07-2018, 9:33 PM
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Very cool post with great pics and stories about a war I never knew existed. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-07-2018, 9:34 PM
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You have nice stuff.
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Old 06-08-2018, 6:08 AM
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Dam Robert was packed up for flight. AirRambo.
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Old 06-08-2018, 9:23 AM
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Very, very cool - !

Great that they are staying together and going to someone who appreciates what they are and represent.

The Cold War warriors, so many stories, who knows how much will be lost to time?
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Old 06-08-2018, 9:31 AM
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Very cool. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 81turbota View Post
Thanks for the responses, guys!

Boris, I'm not too familiar with the intricacies of the Chinese SKS through the years. Thanks for pointing that out. As for field modification anything was possible in that theater.

CBR, many times these historically significant firearms can be had for reasonable prices. I paid Robert what I thought was market value and still couldn't be happier. These collections don't pop up often so money is easier to spend (for me).

Even on the budget end, a documented war trophy FN1922 or Nambu T14 usually costs as much as mid range modern guns. Again, I know what I'd rather have.
Thanks for the heads up; maybe I'll start looking around more for C&R guns; I guess I'll have to do more reading so I know what to look for ahead of time!

I think it is just that I frequently see "the good stuff" at higher prices and since I don't always know what to look for (there are so many guns with so many qualities/markings/etc to look for) I get distracted from some of the more affordable C&R options. The frequent ghosting I do of this particular sub-forum has been a big help; most of the "regulars" in here are probably some of the nicest (and most knowledgeable in your respective area) folks on CG IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pitfighter View Post
The Cold War warriors, so many stories, who knows how much will be lost to time?
I honestly shudder a little bit when I imagine all the amazing stories from days gone by that are lost every year as humble and heroic individuals pass on and take their amazing stories to the grave with them.
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Old 06-08-2018, 1:52 PM
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Nice looking sks. Makes me want to get out my collection & clean them up.
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Old 06-08-2018, 2:18 PM
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Nice post I enjoyed it.

I just bought one of those 1954 TT Tokarevs and a spam can of 1240 rounds and 200 loose rounds of 7.62X25. Mine came in imported and the ATF made the Importers add a aftermarket safety. Really ruins the otherwise fine functioning and collectible Firearm. I guess maybe that is why I got the Pistol and ammo for 225.00.

Mine is dated 1954 however. It is a lot of fun to shoot. Ammo should last awhile.
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Old 06-08-2018, 2:57 PM
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My father, grandfather, grandfather's brother all fought in the Secret War on the Laotian side and aided the CIA and U.S. forces in guerrilla warfare and disrupting the weapons and drug routes of the commies.

I am here in this country because both my father's and mother's sides were given refugee status and fled to Thailand. They met while in the U.S. and years later I was born. The stories and struggles that I've been told were remarkable and frankly I am very proud to not have been born in that region of the world.


Check out these videos:




Last edited by anbu_yoshi; 06-08-2018 at 3:04 PM..
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:24 PM
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Those are really nice. Especially the NVA Makarov.
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Old 06-12-2018, 5:00 AM
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Thanks for the responses everyone! I apologize for the late response it has been a very busy weekend.

Badash, thank you for your first hand account. I have a few other pieces from Intelligence officers. You're right, it seems like they got the good stuff.

Anbu Yoshi, thank you for sharing those videos. The conflict in Laos was every bit as violent as the one in neighboring Vietnam yet rarely spoken of. The amount of UXO presently there is astounding!
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Old 06-12-2018, 6:37 AM
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81turbota, thatís a nice group of firearms. Youíll like the book ďThe RavensĒ itís a great read. Now Iím going to have to reread my copy that Iíve had for at least 25 years.
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Old 06-12-2018, 3:19 PM
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Very Impressive.
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Old 06-12-2018, 7:28 PM
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Thanks for sharing! Nice items you got there.
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Old 06-12-2018, 8:03 PM
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What a great collection James! That is really awesome to get the backstory as well.
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Old 06-13-2018, 1:07 PM
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Looking at the 2nd pic of the Captain, I couldn't help but notice the black leather ammo pouch on his belt. Did he ever mention what kind of revolver he carried ?

Plus....great post OP. Thank you !
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Old 06-13-2018, 1:24 PM
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Outstanding thanks for posting this- Best to Mr Robert God bless him and thank him for his service.

Many of my best friends are from Laos- go to many of their functions ex Royal Lao Army and government men.

Two young guys I know, their dad worked with Tony Poe, I baught the books "The Ravens" and "Backfire" and gave it to them.

I did that for a few Lao families I know here- so they could have the history.

Thanks a lot for posting this OP.

You know "The Ravens" would make a helluva movie or at least it would have 30 years ago before Hollywood went full PC retard. Could not do it today.

And the men that faught the Communists faught a evil just as bad- if not worse than the National Socialist Nazi bastards.

No doubt about that at all.

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Old 06-13-2018, 1:57 PM
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Wow. Wow. Wow.
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Old 06-14-2018, 8:17 AM
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Outstanding!
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