Soldiers bringing back weapons


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jmr40
February 22, 2013, 08:58 PM
I know this would never be permitted today, and we had a discussion on this topic a few months back concerning previous wars. There was some disagrement as to whether it was allowed during WW-2 or not.

Dad served in Europe during the final months of the war and aquired 2 guns. He mailed a FN made SXS shotgun back home and had a Spanish made .32 pistol in his possesion after returning. The pistol was stolen from his duffel bag somewhere between NYC and Camp Atterbury Indiana where he was discharged.

According to dad's version he had permission to have both guns. Dad died 2 weeks ago and while helping mom sort through a few things I found this. It seems it was officially allowed and dad did in fact have permission

http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/m513/jmr40/img001_zps8a187ff6.jpg
The shotgun made it back and I still hunt with it on occasion.

http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/m513/jmr40/001-9.jpg

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ccsniper
February 22, 2013, 08:59 PM
Neat.

Chevelle SS
February 22, 2013, 09:00 PM
very cool

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 22, 2013, 09:02 PM
What was the last war in which this was legal?

jmace57
February 22, 2013, 09:19 PM
My Dad brought back a Walther PP, and a Walther semi-auto rifle (G-43) that he unfortunately GAVE AWAY to someone to use as a hunting rifle. He stuffed them in his barracks bag and put a padlock on it, and it arrived safely back in Texas. I still have the Walther PP. Almost everyone my Dad knew brought stuff home with them, most without benefit of the bringback papers. I also have a Viet Nam bringback SKS that had no papers.

That said - it is really cool that you have the documentation.

Torian
February 22, 2013, 09:22 PM
It is still legal, however there are many hoops that you need to jump through, and it isn't going to hand-carried.

Certain types of weapons are prohibited, but one of our BN COs brought back an Enfield that was a gift from a foreign national after the local GO signed off on it.

It's been a couple years since then, but I'm tracking it can still be done.

Racinfan83
February 22, 2013, 09:26 PM
Very neat story. While I know that lots of guns came back from WWII - How about Vietnam? From you guys who were there - is there any truth to the things you see once in awhile - that Vietnam servicemen mailed guns home in parts and pieces? Couldn't get away with taking a whole gun back so they disassembled it and mailed it a little at a time?? Was that even POSSIBLE? I was born in 65 - so I don't remember much about that era - but I'm a huge Military History buff and seeing this thread made me remember I always wanted to ask that...

Fryerpower
February 22, 2013, 09:28 PM
File a stolen gun report with that serial number! It would be neat for it to get back to you almost 70 years later.

Jim

Gladius
February 22, 2013, 09:37 PM
My father accumulated several firearms in theater during WWII -- handguns, rifles, even a Drilling. He had Walthers, Lugers, CZ's, target pistols. One of the guns he had was a German military rifle made in the US (on which I've found no further information). He was able to mail home a .22 target rifle and a 98K (he swore he brought the Drilling home, but I can't recall ever seeing it). Before he left the continent, a General Order was issued which limited GI's to only one pistol each, on penalty of court martial. He says he handed out pistols like they were candy, keeping a Luger. Then, from the Continent, back to England, then to NY Harbor, and back home to Oregon, NO ONE checked his bags or any of his property, or even asked about contraband of any kind.
Eventually he sold the .22 rifle (it was accurate, but spit gas right back at the shooter's face), and the Luger. I still have the 98K.

jmr40
February 22, 2013, 10:27 PM
File a stolen gun report with that serial number! It would be neat for it to get back to you almost 70 years later.



Good idea. I have no idea as to the exact model. Dad just said it was a Spanish made .32. He never said anything about the documentation and had probably forgotten about it.

jamesbeat
February 23, 2013, 12:03 AM
Good idea. I have no idea as to the exact model. Dad just said it was a Spanish made .32. He never said anything about the documentation and had probably forgotten about it.
Those Spanish .32's were made by many makers, collecting and cataloging them is a subject all unto itself.
I believe many were made for French military contracts by independant makers, usually in Eibar, Spain. They were often marketed as 'Ruby'.
I really want to obtain at least one, maybe a whole collection, but living in NY makes it next to impossible :(

Tommygunn
February 23, 2013, 12:28 AM
My father was a Annapolis Graduate class of 1948 (U.S. Naval Academy) and served in the Korean War in a U.D.T., a sort of precursor to the Navy Seals.
He brought back a CO2 powered spear gun which we no longer have, and an M-1 Carbine, which I have in my gun safe.
I am not sure exactly how he procured the carbine, which in spite of some dings in the wood is in very good shape, he may have done some sort of unofficial horsetrading or ...whatever. Unfortunatly he's no longer with us so we can't ask.

Ehtereon11B
February 23, 2013, 06:00 AM
The pistol was stolen from his duffel bag somewhere between NYC and Camp Atterbury Indiana where he was discharged.

It was probably stolen at Atterbury. The out processors there have the stickiest fingers I have ever encountered.

It is very difficult to bring back weapon war trophies now. The last time I know it was done it was my old unit coming back from Iraq and they had a few of Saddam's gold plated AKs. The AKs were stripped of all internal parts and put on display in the lobby of Battalion headquarters. I tried bringing back a severely broken Pakistani Makarov I pulled from a high ranking member of the Haqqani family as a project and it was seized. Even after doing the customs paperwork. Was told I couldn't have it for "personal use." A few guys in the unit bough black powder revolvers from the Afghan bazaar in Bagram, but I am not sure if they were allowed.

JShirley
February 23, 2013, 06:19 AM
Yes, there's paperwork to mail pre-1899/weapons that appear to be pre-1899 back. At least, there was in 2007. Didn't try during this recent deployment.

John

jmr40
February 23, 2013, 09:14 AM
It was probably stolen at Atterbury. The out processors there have the stickiest fingers I have ever encountered.

It never made it that far. Somewhere along the way they got off the train. I'm unclear on the specifics, but it was to either change trains, or for a meal break. Dad's gear was left un attended for a short time and when he came back someone had gone through his stuff. The pistol was the only thing taken.

I am really fortunate that we were able to record a lot of my dads history. Dad was ALWAYS telling stories about him growing up, his military service etc.

About 10 years ago my wife and sister in law got dad to start writing everything down. My wife took the stories and family photos and put everythng into a book of my dads life.

You can preview the front and back covers as well as the 1st 15 pages here.

http://www.blurb.com/books/1731636-the-book-of-john

This is a good idea and more families should do this to record their family history.

Not trying to sell anything, we don't make any money anyway. We bought about 8 copeis for all of the immediate family to have a copy

76shuvlinoff
February 23, 2013, 09:24 AM
I have Dad's WWII bring-back Walther P38, no papers. He lost a Luger on the way home and complained about that till he died last year.

SaxonPig
February 23, 2013, 09:34 AM
My dad foolishly sneaked a Thompson SMG home from WW II.

22250Rem
February 23, 2013, 12:12 PM
The Luger I inherited in 2002 from an uncle came home in a nazi marked holster for a Walther P38 and he just stuffed it all in his duffel bag in 1945. Bet you couldn't get away with doing that nowadays. I can recall seeing a couple Vietnam bringback SKS's in the early 70's. I think they were the first SKS's I'd ever seen in person. Never did find out how they got here but it sure would be interesting. One of them was brand new from an NVA weapons cache that our guys uncovered.

kerreckt
February 23, 2013, 12:21 PM
I have a Russian SKS and M44 both Viet Nam bring backs. I shoot the SKS but not the M44. The M44 was being shot right up to the time the shooter was killed but the bore looks so bad I would never shoot it.

vito
February 23, 2013, 12:26 PM
I served in Vietnam from '70 to '71 and being in a medical unit, had the opportunity to acquire all sorts of firearms from wounded G.I.'s (since obviously they could not take their weapons with them to the hospital). Over time I had a beautiful Colt 38 Special revolver (I don't remember what model) that had been given to General Officers (I was told) earlier in the war; an M-79 grenade launcher (excellent weapon for scaring off sharks when we flew down to the beaches on the South China Sea; a Winchester Model 12 shotgun; an old M-1 Carbine and a Thompson machine gun. I knew of some guys who shipped home captured weapons by breaking them down and hiding parts in stereo speakers or other items they were shipping home but I never tried that. I was really tempted to try to sneak in the Colt revolver, but being a career soldier I knew that if I was caught I would be in major troubles. Ironically, when I processed through customs upon returning Stateside, and having no contraband of any kind in my canvas carry bag, I was not even checked! The Customs official asked me if I had anything in the bag that I shouldn't have, and when I said no, he waved me through with a "Welcome Home" (which, by the way, was about the only welcome I received from other than my family). Thinking about Vietnam is like remembering a different life. Sometimes it's hard to believe that was over 40 years ago. Oh well.

rcmodel
February 23, 2013, 12:28 PM
that Vietnam servicemen mailed guns home in parts and pieces? Couldn't get away with taking a whole gun back so they disassembled it and mailed it a little at a time?? Was that even POSSIBLE?Yes it was possible.

We had a young wife bring a Chinese Tokarev into the AMU shop her husband had mailed home from Vietnam in 1969.

It had a hole in the slide from a shrapnel hit, and she wanted us to fix it so she could surprise him with a working gun when he got home.

Turns out it was still loaded, and had a loaded mag in it!
We couldn't get the slide open to unload it because the shapnel damage had pretty much welded the slide to the frame!

We finally poured the barrel full of penetrating oil and very carefully drilled a hole through the bullet. Then let it soak in penetrating oil for a few days to deactivate the powder & primer and returned it to her with a dud round still in the chamber.

A good friend mailed two M2 Carbine kits home, but they never made it past some package snooper somewhere between Vietnam and Kansas.

rc

statelineblues
February 23, 2013, 12:48 PM
I worked in a gun store in the early '80s, and one day one of our long time customers brought in two guns to put in the consignment case . One was a Walther P-38, the other was a 1934 Beretta, both with Nazi proofs. They came with capture papers just like jmr40 showed.

Never did hear how he got them.

MagnumDweeb
February 23, 2013, 12:57 PM
A lot of soldiers pre-Vietnam didn't realize if they were doing anything wrong and so many times they just mailed guns home. Some didn't care if they had the right paperwork and just mailed it home as well. If you think guns aren't making it back from this most recent set of wars, you'd be mistaken.

USAF_Vet
February 23, 2013, 01:01 PM
Only things I managed to bring back from Iraq were an AK bayonet, a recovered .50 BMG bullet and shell casing, a 7.62 bullet I haven't identified and a green tip 5.56 cartridge I dug up in the desert.

The mortar shrapnel I picked up got taken, though.

The customs out processing center at LSA Anaconda/ Balad AB had a wall covered with all sorts of weapons guys tried to bring home.

jobu07
February 23, 2013, 01:21 PM
vito: I served in Vietnam from '70 to '71 and being in a medical unit, had the opportunity to acquire all sorts of firearms from wounded G.I.'s (since obviously they could not take their weapons with them to the hospital). Over time I had a beautiful Colt 38 Special revolver (I don't remember what model) that had been given to General Officers (I was told) earlier in the war; an M-79 grenade launcher (excellent weapon for scaring off sharks when we flew down to the beaches on the South China Sea; a Winchester Model 12 shotgun; an old M-1 Carbine and a Thompson machine gun. I knew of some guys who shipped home captured weapons by breaking them down and hiding parts in stereo speakers or other items they were shipping home but I never tried that. I was really tempted to try to sneak in the Colt revolver, but being a career soldier I knew that if I was caught I would be in major troubles. Ironically, when I processed through customs upon returning Stateside, and having no contraband of any kind in my canvas carry bag, I was not even checked! The Customs official asked me if I had anything in the bag that I shouldn't have, and when I said no, he waved me through with a "Welcome Home" (which, by the way, was about the only welcome I received from other than my family). Thinking about Vietnam is like remembering a different life. Sometimes it's hard to believe that was over 40 years ago. Oh well.

From one vet to another, welcome home Vito.

Customs was fairly rigorous coming home from Iraq for me. Generally, I believe, the ability to smuggle is easy when a conflict starts and as it extends it becomes more difficult. I remember reading about guys smuggling AK's home in oxygen tanks and what not early on.

Personally I brought home several sets of AK furniture (grips, hand guards, etc) and shrapnel from some personal experiences. The Navy Customs inspectors asked what the AK furniture was and marked it down as weapons parts and proceeded on as normal. They were more concerned with my haji DVD collection!

I have a nice Nazi marked 1944 FN that came with the capture papers from the GI who brought it home. Gentlemen was a Spec 4 when he exported it from Europe and was a CPT when he registered it at Ft. Sill based on the paperwork.

ccsniper
February 23, 2013, 03:15 PM
If you think guns aren't making it back from this most recent set of wars, you'd be mistaken.

A friend of mine recently got back from Afghanistan, he brought a BUNCH of Henry-Martini rifles with him. Bought em for something like 3 bucks a piece over there, said it was difficult but he got them here legally.

Sam Cade
February 23, 2013, 03:36 PM
I remember reading about guys smuggling AK's home in oxygen tanks and what not early on.

Fuel tanks were/are pretty common too.


I remember a guy (a marine IIRC) got caught a couple years ago doing that.

bainter1212
February 23, 2013, 03:42 PM
My grandfather is a Korean war vet (he'll be 84 this year, 24th inf. Div.) He shipped home an M2 carbine while he was there. He also picked up a Mosin Nagant sniper rifle (with scope) off of a dead Chinese soldier. He disassembled it and put it in his bag. On the ship, they told everyone that if they had contraband they would be in big trouble, so he threw it overboard into San Francisco bay. Turns out nobody even got checked :( He sold that M2 carbine many years ago......

Rock185
February 23, 2013, 05:32 PM
I left Viet Nam in early 1970. As we were leving, we were constantly warned about all of the dire things that would happen to us if we tried to smuggle home weapons of any kind. I believe the threat that had the most impact on us was that we would not be leaving Viet Nam if we were caught with any prohibited item. We were not even allowed to bring back those little miniture cross bows the Montagnards made. BTW, I served as a TC/Tank Commander in the Central Highlands. The men in one Montagnard villiage in our area of operation were issued Thopmpson submachineguns that looked like new. Strange to see near stone age men in loin cloths carrying around those nice Thompsons. I don't recall how much checking was actually done, but I'm not aware of anybody on the plane I left on bringing back any contraband. I sure didn't try to bring anything back, I just wanted to be out of there.

Ps, vito, I agree, RVN was so long ago, it does seem like another life. We were young once, and soldiers....

leadcounsel
February 23, 2013, 05:57 PM
I don't know when the last time it would have been legal, or ignored, but in current conflicts it is a crime.

I served as a JAG in Iraq on several deployments.

Absolutely NO firearms or parts (meaning mags, receivers, etc.) could be legally brought home by individual Soldiers. Only exception was 'antique' pre-1898 guns in Afghanistan, and that required some paperwork.

I'm aware of several cases where Soldiers were severly punished for breaking this law trying to smuggle guns back in hidden compartments, false bottoms of boxes, even in computer equipment such as printers, scanners, etc that were hollowed out. Not worth it for a gun you can buy for $500 in the States.

Corps, Divisions, Brigades and Battalions were allowed some field guns, and small arms. They required massive amounts of paperwork and were demilled (welded shut, receiver cut, etc.). I've helped get this accomplished, and it's a real PITA, and sad to see these nice guns destroyed for a display.

Bang!
February 23, 2013, 06:11 PM
x2 on leadcounsel. That's the way I remember it too. Some of you may want to delete a post???

Sam Cade
February 23, 2013, 06:15 PM
Absolutely NO firearms or parts (meaning mags, receivers, etc.) could be legally brought home by individual Soldiers.

Any legal firearm can be sent home via form 6 pt II

www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-5330-3b.pdf

Ingsoc75
February 23, 2013, 06:18 PM
I always like this one. I'm sure it never got registered in the 68 amnesty.

http://img.timeinc.net/time/photoessays/2010/bh_ak47/bh_ak47_03.jpg

leadcounsel
February 23, 2013, 06:21 PM
Sam said: Any legal firearm can be sent home via form 6 pt II

www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-5330-3b.pdf

Sam - you're giving ILLEGAL advice. And you're wrong.

General Order 1 stated, in summary, mere POSSESSION of war souveniers or privately acquired guns, ammuntion, gun parts, weapons, military gear, etc. was illegal. (Minor exceptions for some TA50 gear such as helmets, pouches, insignia, etc.). If you were caught with an AK47 or pistol, without authorization, your goose was cooked.

Yes, I am aware of Soldiers holding on to these for mission specific purposes, backup guns for Spec Ops, etc. But that's not what we are discussing here. God save you if you're trying to send a gun home from theater. Nearly everything sent home was supposed to be inspected by Navy Customs, postal service, etc. It was all carefully searched, X-rayed, etc. Having gone through Navy Customs many many times, I can tell you that it was VERY thorough. You were stripped of all of your possessions except the clothes you were wearing. Everything you sent back in your ISU container was searched thoroughly by inspectors while you stood there and they dumped everything out and searched every nook and cranny for contraband. Then it was all packed up and locked and shipped. All of your 'luggage' was then sent through metal detectors and Xrays. Then you went through a metal detector (and on one of my trips, I went through an Xray back spatter machine). After all of that, you dumped all of your gear out in front of a Navy Customs inspector and they literally went through everything, item by item. (Funny story, a female NCO had to rummage through my VERY dirty laundry including socks and underware... poor woman...). I am also aware of cases where folks smuggled guns home and were later caught. They are now called "Inmate."

GO1 is punishable by law, and violating it subjects a military person to up to 2 years in prison and a Dishonorable Discharge under Article 92 of the UCMJ.

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/punitivearticles/a/mcm92_2.htm

Here is a copy of GO1, from 2006. This, or a version of it, was in effect in Iraq beginning with the invasion as far as I know.

http://www.militaryatheists.org/regs/JPGO1B-4.pdf

I do this for a living brother... and have plenty of experience both as a prosecutor (for the 101st Airborne Division and 5th Special Forces Group) and as a Defense lawyer (for I Corp) for many years.

Sam Cade
February 23, 2013, 06:30 PM
General Order 1 stated, in summary, mere POSSESSION of war souveniers or privately acquired guns, ammuntion, gun parts, weapons, military gear, etc. was illegal.


Only in CENTCOM AOR.

Notice I said *legal* firearm.

vito
February 23, 2013, 06:34 PM
Welcome home to all of you who have served our country. I think you are right about it getting harder to send stuff home as the war goes on. I heard of fellow Vietnam vets who were there early, like '63 or '64 coming back with various items unchecked by customs at all. I know of one officer who was an advisor who entered, with RVN troops, a burned out village. It appeared everyone was dead but he found a living infant essentially uninjured. He had a Vietnamese woman take care of the baby and brought it home on the plane with him. I don't know if he ever went through formal adoption but the child was raised in the US. Customs checks were apparently very unpredictable back during the Vietnam war. I have heard of others like me who sailed through without opening their bags, and others who were patted down as well as having their luggage searched. Maybe it matters where you entered the U.S. I came through McCord AFB in Washington if I recall, or maybe it was actually SEATAC Airport (too long ago to trust fuzzy memories). I still wish I had brought back that Colt 38 Special!

dvdcnl
June 9, 2013, 11:15 PM
My unit, A troop 7/1 Air Cav found a cache of stuff in the delta summer 68. in it was a case of 50 new toks in cosmoline. I went through the hoops and got mine registered and export papers at the mp station in can tho; good thing as several times i was told i couldn't take it with me and I had to show the papers; at bien hoa, in line at the airplane and at oakland. all weapons on the plane were locked in a locker and given to us at deplaneing. several years ago I donated it to the Warbirds museum in Cocoa Florida. without papers, it would have been hard to bring one back. at bien hoa, one guy came in with a tok and didn't have papers, he wasn't allowed to go to the mp station and sold it to a sergeant for $35.

Thermactor
June 9, 2013, 11:59 PM
I heard a story once about a guy bringing back an M16 from Vietnam. Although it's hard to believe it, because.. I'm sure that US soldiers were never able to take government property issued weapons home, and the whole NFA thing makes things even more complicated.

Deltaboy
June 10, 2013, 12:04 AM
After WW2 uncle Sam cracked down on war trophies. But I have seen several Nam ones over the years.

Boomerang
June 10, 2013, 12:12 AM
I'm sorry that your dad died two weeks ago.
My father was in the Pacific in WWII. He died on Easter morning this year. He was 89.

Walter
June 10, 2013, 12:21 AM
First off, all you RVN vets, "Welcome Home, Brothers"! As far as bring home captured weapons, my experience was this: We were grunt Marines. We didn't have the room or the muscle to drag around a "Souvenir" in the bush, so the weapon had to be tagged, shipped back to either company or battalion asap.

Then more paperwork would be done and the weapon and paperwork would be shipped to division, where it would wait until the "owner" showed up to collect it WHEN he had orders to rotate home. The problem was, as I understood it, that when the "owner" got to division, there was no weapon and no record of it.

I never captured a weapon so I don't know firsthand, but it seemed to be common knowledge among those who did that the paper-pushers at division frequently altered the paperwork to make the captured weapon theirs, so they had a real war souvenir to show the folks back home.

And they wondered why we called them REMFs. :rolleyes:

Walter

mac66
June 10, 2013, 03:13 PM
I had an uncle send home and bring home several German pistols and rifles from WWII. One was a very nice custom sporter he liberated from the executive offices of the Mauser factory. Another uncle brought home a Arisaka rifle from the when he served in the pacific theater.

My cousin has a Chinese SKS he brought home from Vietnam and had a Tokorov pistol as well. Not sure if he still has it.

SharpsDressedMan
June 10, 2013, 05:02 PM
I bought a "weathered" Russian made Makarov, dated 1976, a few years back. Very little finish, evenly patina'd, and no import markings. Where do YOU think it came from? I'm thinking it was one of those contraband guns sneaked into the US in Hummer battery storage compartments, etc, when some Army unit came back from Afghanistan. It is now in the hands of a friend who shall remain nameless. :D

backbencher
June 10, 2013, 05:53 PM
CENTCOM allows soldiers to ship home antiques (pre-1899) via US mail. You can't take it home through Navy Customs, but you're allowed to mail it.

tnxdshooter
June 10, 2013, 06:26 PM
My Dad brought back a Walther PP, and a Walther semi-auto rifle (G-43) that he unfortunately GAVE AWAY to someone to use as a hunting rifle. He stuffed them in his barracks bag and put a padlock on it, and it arrived safely back in Texas. I still have the Walther PP. Almost everyone my Dad knew brought stuff home with them, most without benefit of the bringback papers. I also have a Viet Nam bringback SKS that had no papers.

That said - it is really cool that you have the documentation.

No offense but without provenance how do you really know they are bring backs? The proof is all in the papers. No papers no proof.

Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.

Swing
June 10, 2013, 06:55 PM
A friend of mine recently got back from Afghanistan, he brought a BUNCH of Henry-Martini rifles with him.

Cool. Were these originals or Afghan copies?

SharpsDressedMan
June 10, 2013, 07:29 PM
Error in posting. Deleted.

Coop45
June 10, 2013, 07:43 PM
Dang lawyers have even taken all the fun out of war.

rondog
June 10, 2013, 08:09 PM
My brother Dave's FIL brought back a Drilling and a Luger, I've seen them both, Dave owns them now. The Luger hasn't been fired, it still has the same rounds in it that it was loaded with when the German officer fell. Holster too.

And when I was little, I went with my dad to see someone he knew about something, probably a hunting trip. And I swear that when we were in that guy's garage, he had either an MG34 or an MG42 laying across the joists in his garage! I was too young to know exactly what it was, but from my Sgt. Rock comic books I knew it was a German MG! I'll never forget staring up at that thing with my mouth hanging open.

Trung Si
June 10, 2013, 08:36 PM
I went through the hoops and got mine registered and export papers at the mp station in can tho;
I brought back an SKS in 1969, I also registered it as a War Trophy in Can Tho (Mekong Delta) with the Provost Martial and the Vietnamese QC, had to show my Papers at the Plane and took everything I could off Bolt, etc and carried it in my Hand Bag, the Rifle went with the Baggage, at SF Airport I assembled it again and had to show it and the Papers to the US Customs Inspector who happened to be Chinese and he read me what was on the side of the Receiver, this drew two SF Police Officers and they wanted to buy it in the worst way, I still have it, but I had a heck of a time finding Ammo for it back in 1969.;)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v464/firingline/Trung%20Si/Erichspictures649.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/firingline/media/Trung%20Si/Erichspictures649.jpg.html)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v464/firingline/Trung%20Si/a145.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/firingline/media/Trung%20Si/a145.jpg.html)

Flannelman
June 11, 2013, 03:21 AM
To all the vets in this thread thank you for your service we are all deeply in your debt.

My step grandfather was in the Army Air Corps as support staff in North Africa and followed through into Italy. He was present as the German army laid down arms. He said there was piles of every arm the Germans made. He picked out a Luger and mailed it home. He also had a k98 I believe(maybe a G-43 I'm not positive Hes been gone 9yrs) that was stolen out of his footlocker in transit from Europe. The Luger is still around but I need to go through it to make sure its safe to fire since it hasn't been shot in years.

villagelightsmith
June 11, 2013, 03:40 AM
Hmm! I would sure like to find a footlocker full of Martini Cadets! Legal, of course.

xxjumbojimboxx
June 11, 2013, 03:41 AM
Lots of rich history in this thread. My heart go out to all the guys here who've recently, and not so recently lost loved ones. The story about the officer bringing home that orphaned baby is absolutly incredible. Sometimes the sentiment on this site is better then anything youll see on TV.

Grapevine
June 11, 2013, 11:41 AM
When I returned home from Viet Nam in 1971, I brought a SKS with me. I still have the War Throphy Registration, Temporary Export License and a copy of my orders with the ammendment showing that the rifle was registered. After I had been back home for about 3 months, I received the Export License from the Republic of Viet Nam. This is written in Vietnamese on very thin rice paper with the official seal and letterhead. In 1971, 7.62 "Russian Short" ammo was very difficult to find. I had a 7.62x54 Russian Lee hand loader turned down and had 10 7.65 Belgium rounds resized so I would have something to shoot. I spent more time looking for brass in the grass than I ever spent shooting. The rifle was/is rough with mismatched serial numbers and I'm pretty sure that the paperwork is worth more than the gun itself.

Grapevine
Phu Cat AB 70-71

Ryanxia
June 11, 2013, 12:34 PM
Good thread here, very interesting. Thanks to all who have served.

PlayTheAces
June 12, 2013, 01:14 AM
Wow, I can sure relate to this thread.

My dad brought back a FN Browning from the WWII. He left it with relatives when he went off to college. When he went back to retrieve his gun, the relatives claimed they didn't know what had become of it. :mad:

Like JMR40, I still have dad's capture papers for it. Anyone seen a Browning with a S/N of 39634?

Didn't think so. ;)

22250Rem
June 12, 2013, 08:15 PM
Earlier in this thread I mentioned the Luger that my uncle brought home from Germany in 1945 and I inherited in 2002. He never had capture papers for it and we theorized that it was because the war was over when he acquired it. Then I noticed the O.P.'s capture paper picture and it's dated 15 Feb. 1946. Germany surrendered May 8th 1945 IIRC so it looks like they were still issuing capture papers after the surrender. I guess that shoots our theory. My uncle was in the Army Air Force and of German descent and also knew fluent German. When Germany surrendered Uncle Sam immedietly went in and cleaned out the V-2 rocket factory, ( the Mittlewerks at Nordhausen) and shipped everything back to the states. My Uncle acted as a translator dealing with some of the German civilians who were hired to help pack everything up. He got the Luger out of a glass display case in an office area of the plant that also held a large Nazi parade flag. It's a shame he never got capture papers for it as they would be provenance of where the gun came from; and now I know that they WERE giving out those papers after surrender. It just wound up in that P38 holster and got tossed into the duffel bag. This is a real interesting thread for me 'cause now I know that he probably could have got papers for it and it would have been pretty cool to prove that it really DID come out of the V2 Rocket factory.

shootist2121
June 12, 2013, 09:35 PM
The times have change so.. My father was Navy Amphibs in WW2 , served as one of many Beach Masters on Omaha Beach. Sent to the Pacific, eventually ended up in Korea for the invasion of Japan. Was issued his "Invasion pack" consisted of his 45, four grenades, Thompson, gas mask, rations, etc. Bomb was dropped.. Told his chief to send everything home...a few weeks later there it was in St.Louis.. Funny, when he contacted the Navy Reserve Station, it was only after asked what to do with the grenades did they come and get the Thompson and grenades. The 45 he couldn't give them if his life depended as they had stacks of them.

The times....

CSC_Saint
June 13, 2013, 02:56 AM
LeadCounsel is very correct in that it is very difficult/ damn near impossible to smuggle back any kind of trophy. Now he is mistaken in that gun parts are not allowed as customs does let you pass with certain parts. mags/grips/bayonets are ok. Not so much on bolts/barrels/etc. Customs is ridiculously thorough about their searches in Kuwait, but their hit and miss on vehicle and container searches. They had us pull and dump everything in our containers coming out of Iraq, even checked every pocket. But barely glanced inside our containers leaving Afghanistan. Just depends on the customs agent I guess.

The one thing that I really wanted to make it back from Afghanistan was a pistol mag that took a round for me on my side, still had the bullet in it, and in a later incident that ended up with me being medevaced so I didn't get to explain the mag to customs, just got a note in my box that said they took it because of the bullet stuck in it. Half inch left or right and I'd be toast, but at least I got the mag pouch.

breakingcontact
June 13, 2013, 04:39 AM
I know a guy who shipped a jeep home...wait...that was MASH.

backbencher
June 13, 2013, 06:13 AM
LeadCounsel is very correct in that it is very difficult/ damn near impossible to smuggle back any kind of trophy. Now he is mistaken in that gun parts are not allowed as customs does let you pass with certain parts. mags/grips/bayonets are ok. Not so much on bolts/barrels/etc...Just depends on the customs agent I guess.

The one thing that I really wanted to make it back from Afghanistan was a pistol mag that took a round for me on my side, still had the bullet in it, and in a later incident that ended up with me being medevaced so I didn't get to explain the mag to customs, just got a note in my box that said they took it because of the bullet stuck in it.
AR/Beretta mags are allowed - @ this time. AK mags may or may not be, depending on the agent. Technically, AK mags are not supposed to go.

Ammunition is not allowed to go home. Hence, they took your bullet. Glad you're ok.

BrotherFrankie
June 13, 2013, 07:44 AM
radar from mash sent a jeep home in the mail, piece by piece... LOL

(my did did have a luger from korea i think he brought back)


edit.. sorry just read breaking contacts post.. sheesh im old)

hueytaxi
June 19, 2013, 01:15 AM
Brought home an SKS in 1970, required an export permit:

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/hueytaxi/media/wartrophyregistrationb_zpsd955d4fc.jpg.html][IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v23/hueytaxi/wartrophyregistrationb_zpsd955d4fc.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v23/hueytaxi/RVNSKS.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v23/hueytaxi/wartrophyregistrationb_zpsd955d4fc.jpg

JShirley
June 19, 2013, 01:35 AM
Cool. Were these originals or Afghan copies?

for a few bucks each? Copies. You'd have an extremely difficult time just finding originals.

Archaic
June 19, 2013, 09:41 AM
What a great thread. Thanks for all of the stories guys, keep them coming.

savhmustang80
June 19, 2013, 10:48 AM
Guys- some things are better left not talked about. A lot of people would go nuts if they knew half the stuff that made it back in the early days from the sandbox- without papers.

MI2600
June 19, 2013, 11:37 AM
In the early 80s, you could still bring back weapons from Germany. They to be inspected by the military police and there was an ATF form involved for customs clearance.

We bought over forty (unfortunately in my name) new Walther P-5s direct from the Walther factory. They had been purchased by various Wing/Base commanders and security police. I'm still waiting for ATF to come knocking some day.

FuzzyBunny
June 19, 2013, 12:39 PM
One day I'm watering my flowers and I hear the distinctive crack/thump of high explosives. I told my neighbor that was no gunshot!

Lady bought an older home across from the police station. She decided to put in a garden. While diging she turned up a pineappe grenade! Bomb squad from the big city came out and put a dab of C4 in it then covered it up in a pile of sand bags and blew it in place. I was 4 blocks away. This was a few years ago and this is an old town where almost everyone walking went to WWII.

I would love to go through her crawl spaces and attic but I'm sure many 3 letter agencies already have.

Get in touch with all the estate sale agents in your area. The ones that come in and count and add up the value of the stuff the dead person had and then sell them off. Almost every one has a "presale" date where they invite dealers and collectors a day early. Tell them you are collector of military items and to add them to the list. When they find footlockers and boxes of military gear they will call you. Amazing what turns up with 3 to 5 WWII vets dieing per day now.

Averageman
June 20, 2013, 05:13 PM
A friend was working on a weapons system and following some suspect wires and ka thunk out falls a makarov.
The crap that came out of that was a sight to see. MP's CID etc.
Based on the rust and crud I would imagine it had been tucked away since the first Gulf War and someone was afraid or had forgotten about it.
I did see one higher ranking moron's career nose dive in to a forced retirement due to a pistol hidden away.
I don't think it happens often anymore unless the weapons are for war museums.

gopguy
June 20, 2013, 05:24 PM
I have a buddy who is a USMC Colonel. He tried to bring back a bayonet from Iraq and they took the blade, let him have the scabbard. We have gotten so PC silly in this country and afraid of a sharp stick its stupid.

armoredman
June 20, 2013, 07:46 PM
When I returned from the Gulf in '88 they told us we had to declare anything we brought back. I had some knick knacks I had purchased in Hong Kong, Korea and the Philippines - we had been warned severely about trying to bring back guns or drugs. Not interested in drugs, and didn't find a single gun for sale, dang it.
We had NO customs inspection, just a form to fill out and turn in stating "I have nothing to declare"...that was it. No shakedown, no look see, no x-ray, no drug dog, no NOTHING, nada. Coulda tucked a T-34 in the hold and nobody in Customs would have noticed it...

herrwalther
June 21, 2013, 06:04 AM
Ugh. I have a bitter sweat time hearing about the good old days. Vets keeping their service weapons from WWII, Korea etc. When I came back from Afghanistan, all I had were a few knives I picked up from Pakistan, Bagram, and Manas AFB. Didn't have to fill out any paperwork for them, was just the Spanish Inquisition from the MPs going through customs to make sure they weren't war trophies. We and all our luggage was sent through a metal detector, Xray, and hand searched by an MP. Benefit of that is I they found a unit patch in one of my pockets that I thought I had lost. My only legit war trophy other than trying to bring back sentimental pieces of shrapnel was a destroyed Tokarev pistol made in Pakistan. Did all the paperwork, customs, JAG, chain of command and etc loopholes. Still taken away since it wasn't going to be a unit trophy. Probably made it stateside for someone, just not me.

backbencher
June 21, 2013, 10:57 AM
A friend was working on a weapons system and following some suspect wires and ka thunk out falls a makarov.
The crap that came out of that was a sight to see. MP's CID etc.
Based on the rust and crud I would imagine it had been tucked away since the first Gulf War and someone was afraid or had forgotten about it.
I did see one higher ranking moron's career nose dive in to a forced retirement due to a pistol hidden away.
I don't think it happens often anymore unless the weapons are for war museums.
Only legal antiques, & you have to mail them home, not bring them through Customs.

HexHead
June 21, 2013, 11:35 AM
My father in law had a Luger he brought back from WWII. He was a code breaker in Italy, and won it in a crap game on the troopship home.

It was "lost" for years, and turned up in the 80s in the drawer of a table out in the garage that had a bunch of stuff stacked on it. My business partner had a couple of Lugers, so he cleaned and oiled it and we took it to the range. in the 90's I asked my FIL about it, but he'd sold it to my ex-partner after we'd moved away. About two years ago, I found my ex-partner on Facebook and asked him if he'd sell me the Luger, as my wife wanted her "daddy's gun from the war" back.

He told me he'd sold it to a local doctor about six months earlier, the doctor was a collector who really wanted his Swiss artillery Luger. He offered to explain the situation to the doctor and see if he would sell it to my wife. He found that the doctor had gotten dementia, didn't recall the gun and his family had sold all his guns to some gun dealer in San Francisco. That was the end of that.

cologuy
June 21, 2013, 03:16 PM
I never got to bring back any weapons, but I did help find and restore someone else's "bringback". In 1999 some of us were detailed to inspect an old unused bomb dump at (unnamed Air Force base on East Coast) to see if it could be returned to use. Lots of empty igloos and storage buildings with lots of interesting wildlife, but in one of the last igloos we found a 463L pallet full of packing crates. We opened the biggest one, and we knew we'd found some sort of weapon, so we called the small arms maintenance guys that we knew and they drove out to look it over. By the end of the day, we'd assembled a complete 14.5mm Soviet AA machine gun, complete with tripod, sights, tool kits, etc, along with several AK-47's, some RPG's (empty) and other toys. The best part was that we actually found about 80 rounds of 14.5mm ammo that one of the maintenance guys had stashed away (you do NOT want to know where he got it!) and we got to take it to the range and fire it! We were trying to figure out how to keep all the goodies but one guy got cold feet and called someone, so that ended that.

The AF OSI folks told us later that they traced the pallet and crates with some paperwork they found, and it turns out an aircrew had packed the stuff onboard their C-141 right after the Grenada invasion in 1983, but apparently they chickened out when they returned to the States and talked the bomb dump guys into storing it for them. Don't know if anybody was prosecuted, but we were only scolded for firing the MG. Totally worth it, though.

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