Over at Guns.com I did a quick geardo rundown of several of the Corp’s modern sniper rigs from the early WWI Rifle, “USMC Telescopic Rifle, Model of 1917” which is basically just a good shooting early M1903 with a fixed Winchester A5 scope through WWII’s updated M1903A-1 model Springfield with a Unertl 8x scope– immediately distinguishable by its long shade on the objective lens– which they designated the M1941 Sniper Rifle, and then the Korean War’s M1C and the various guns of Vietnam.
South Vietnam, November, 1967: Staff Sgt. Raymond Scherz of Addison, Ill., has a passenger, but the gobbler’s ride shapes up as a one-way trip to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division’s Thanksgiving dinner at the nearby Bear Cat base camp. The turkey was one of 57,000 sent in to provide as many as possible of the half-million U.S. servicemembers in Vietnam with a traditional holiday feast.
Also rolling through the supply chain for the 1967 meal were 225 tons of boneless turkey meat, 28 tons of cranberry sauce, 15 tons of mixed nuts, eight tons of candy, 11 tons of olives and 33 tons of fruitcake.
This image, shows the converted light cruiser USS Topeka (CLG-8) firing a Terrier guided-missile on 18 November 1961, during weapons demonstrations for the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral George W. Anderson, a week before Thanksgiving. Photographed from on board USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). Planes preparing for launch on the carrier’s flight deck are a F8U Crusader jet fighter, at left, and an AD-6 Skyraider attack plane (Bureau # 137588), in the lower center.
While probably not aiming at Thanksgiving dinner, Topeka was known for warming up some VC and NVA on occasion.
Description via AWM:
A composite webbing set, consisting of standard US pattern waist belt, metal buckle and ‘H’ harness suspender. The suspender has been modified with the addition of five nylon webbing M79 40 mm grenade pouches, cut from a US Air Force survival vest, which are attached vertically down each front suspender strap. A blackened round brass press button secures each grenade pouch cover.
Worn at the back of the belt is a large Australian 1937 Pattern basic canvas pouch and a British 1944 Pattern water bottle and carrier. In place of the standard Australian issue basic pouches at the front are twin US Special Forces M16 5.56 mm magazine pouches and two compass pouches, one containing insect repellent.
Attached to the 1937 Pattern pouch is another compass pouch, containing another insect repellent container and inside the pouch is a field dressing. The webbing set has been hand camouflaged by adding random blotches of green and black paint. A US issue plastic M6 bayonet scabbard is also attached.
Photograph from the Australian War Memorial, and is their property and copyright. They have a great collection of his gear on hand.
2 SQN, SASR packing list 1971,from “Vietnam ANZACs” Kevin Lyles, Osprey Publishing, 2004:
Equipment carried by each patrol member:
Weapon and ammunition, to include at least two XM148/203 and two L1A1 SLR per patrol
Compass & Map
Shell dressing (FFD)
Emergency smoke containers x 2
The following to be carried on the belt or in pockets, not in pack:
UHF radio (secured by cord)
Individual sheath knife
Shell dressings (FFD)
Ammunition (except Claymores)
Ammunition, minimum scales per man (weapon dependent)
7.62mm 160 rounds
5.56mm 200 round
40mm HE & Canister x 10
40mm purple smoke x 2
M34/M67 x 1
Grenades (per patrol)
Red Smoke x 5
Yellow smoke x 5
Found on Reddit
Indigenous member of U.S. Army Special Forces-organized MIKE force smoking his pipe after a firefight. Vietnam, mid-1960’s. Note the WWII-surplus Marine “duck hunter” camo and post-1944 modified M1 Carbine. I would imagine this fellow was probably pretty hard to kill.
Made up mostly of Montagnard hill people and other ethnic minorities, the Mobile Strike Force Command grew out of the armed hamlet program and CIDG units of the pre-Tet phase of the U.S. involvement in South Vietnam.
The Marine Corps University History Division’s newest publication is now available online:
It’s 67 pages.
It was 50 years ago this month.
It’s a great read.