Korea - when they move to M16?


October 15, 2004, 11:49 PM
I was reading an article about the ROK troops in Vietnam, and I was wondering when they transitioned from the Garand/Carbine/BAR/etc. to the more modern M16/M60/etc. Anyone know? Anyone bump into ROK troops in Vietnam?

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October 16, 2004, 12:36 AM
uhm... I maybe a moron here, but I though the ROK used the Daewoo K2?

Oh wait, are you asking about the ROK in Vietnam? I wasn't even aware that ROK troops were in the 'Nam.

October 16, 2004, 12:53 AM
The ROK had two divisions and a Marine brigade in Vietnam, and they were considered top-notch fighters.

There was also Australian and Thai troops too.

October 16, 2004, 01:20 AM
Well color me surprised... I knew about the OZ troops but never knew about the Thai or ROK troops. I guess I need to revisit my Vietnam history books. Interesting.

October 16, 2004, 11:05 AM
My father in the Army still had his M1 carbine when he left Vietnam in 1968 but he was not a front line infantry. My cousin started in 1969 with a M3 but finished with M-16 in 1971. I guess the change took place around 1970.

BTW. ROK had the second largest foreign troop numbers in Vietnam... after US.

M2 Carbine
October 16, 2004, 11:10 AM
I would imagine the Koreans used the Deawoo.

I've had a Deawoo K2 and AR 15 for many years.
IMO the Deawoo is a far better rifle, all around.

In the late 60's I saw a short TV segment on the Koreans.
An American reporter was with them, filming them.
They had captured a VC who wouldn't tell them anything.
The Commanding Officer came up and gave the VC a cigarette then asked him a question.
The VC said he wouldn't tell them.
The Commander turned to the soldier beside him and said, Kill him.
The VC couldn't talk fast enough.
He knew, American reporter or not, those Koreans would shoot him in a second.

Another Korean story.
In the 60's I was a flight instructor at the Army helicopter flight school.
Another instructor had been flying H-21's in Korea for several years.

He said, he happened to see a Korean Beaver land (I don't remember which airfield).
He said the Beaver was all over the runway, almost ground looping.
The airplane came to a stop in the middle of the runway.

A very unhappy Korean General got out of the back and the pilot got out and snapped to attention.
The General started yelling at the pilot and smacking the hell out of him.
Mack, my friend, said the General was so mad he pulled his pistol out and shot the pilot dead.

Mack said that shocked the heck out of the Americans watching.

I asked Mack if he knew what happened to the Korean General.

He said, they gave him a better pilot.:D

October 16, 2004, 11:17 AM
M2 Carbine

Daewoo K1 carbines and K2 rifles were not developed until mid 1980's and were starting to be issued in late 80's so they were not used in the Vietnam conflict.

Oh, don't believe everything you hear


M2 Carbine
October 16, 2004, 11:27 AM
Ya, I couldn't for the life of me remember what those Korean troops (on TV) were carrying but it must have been M-16's.

I don't remember when I got my Deawoo but, like you say, it had to be in the 80's.:)

Oh, I don't believe everything I hear, but there are people that you can bet your life on their word.;)

October 16, 2004, 02:33 PM
I think it's important to know that the US didn't fight the war alone, and to recognise the contribution of our allies.

South Vietnam (ARVN) has around 900,000 men in the field. While some of those were poorly trained poorly led conscripts, the elite units (Marines, Rangers, Airborne) were at least as good as the best of the American units.

USA had around 530,000 men in the field at the height of involvment.

ROK had around 50,000 men (Capital "Tiger", White Horse divisions, Blue Dragon Marine brigade).

Thailand had around 11,500 men (Queen's Cobra regiment, Black Panther Division).

ANZAC (Australia-New Zealand) had around 8000 men.

The Philippines had around 2000 combat support troops.
I can well believe the stories about ROK troops. Seems they redefined the words "hard core". I would still like to know when they transitioned from WWII era weapons to the newer M16/M60/etc. weapons.

Steve Smith
October 16, 2004, 04:18 PM
I'm sure some have the M16, but I will tell you I have seen them with Daewoos in forward areas very recently.

October 16, 2004, 04:21 PM

It wasn't done all at once so I would still estimate it started with new incoming units in late 1969 or early 1970 and "completed" around early or mid 1971. BTW it was never totally completed as a lot of non-combat ROK units in Vietnam were using M1 rifles and carbines till the end of that war.

October 16, 2004, 05:18 PM
I found a news clip showing ROK troops being handed new M16s in 1967. I figure it's likely that all combat units were fully equipped by '68.

minnesota oldie
October 17, 2004, 02:15 AM
Don't for get the M14 which I carried from 1963-66. When I went back in the service in 1967 most had the M16.

minnesota oldie
October 17, 2004, 02:20 AM
Sorry, didn't read the post well enough. We supported a bunch of Korean 105 artillery sites and I saw a bunch of M1 carbines.

October 17, 2004, 02:46 AM
I recall a US officer saying he saw a Korean general punch a Korean Colonel in the face in front of everybody for screwing up.

Lone Star
October 17, 2004, 10:23 AM
The Japanese used Korean guards in some of their WW II prison camps. I read that they were quite vicious.

It is also my understanding that Korean units in Vietnam often didn't venture too far from their base camps, and were known for corrupt (blackmarket) dealing. This info was gleaned from news reports of the day. (1960's)

Lone Star

El Tejon
October 17, 2004, 01:00 PM
What was that book--"A Marine Sniper in the Arizona Territory"? Or something like that.

It's about a Marine that goes to in-country sniper school and meets ROK Marines. IIRC, the Koreans were armed with U.S. WWII weapons.

I'm at the office now, when I get back to the FBP I'll look it up in my library, er, um home office.

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