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what did US air force pilots carry for arms in Vietnam?

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Bondo_Red, Apr 20, 2007.

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  1. Bondo_Red

    Bondo_Red Member

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    I want to know what guns my grandfather had in the war.He was a bomber pilot I think. He was a Lt Col if it matters.
     
  2. SDC

    SDC Member

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    If there was an "issue" sidearm, it would've likely been a 1911A1, but many of them carried whatever they could get their hands on.
     
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The USAF issued .38 revolvers; mostly S&W M15.
    As said there were a lot of personal and scrounged pistols in cockpits then.
     
  4. Sean85746

    Sean85746 Member

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    My Dad was an F-105 Thunderchief Pilot (Wild Weasel variant) during the war in VietNam. He was issued a Smith & Wesson Model 12. The Model 12 was an alloy-framed version of the ubiquitous K-Frame Model 10 .38 Special Revolver. It sported a 2" barrel, square butt, and magna grips.

    However....he carried a Colt Commander in .45acp (his own, and now mine).

    Most USAF personel were issued K-Frame revolvers of one sort or another, most often with 4" barrels.

    My Dad's "Bear" or WSO (Weapons Systems Operator) carried a Colt Python 2" (I have pics of them together).

    My Dad flew 100 missions over SE Asia, and eventually flew F4G Wild Weasel Phantom jets. He retired a full colonel in 1982. He passed away in 1994 after working as an engineer and test pilot for several military contrators.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Bondo_Red

    Bondo_Red Member

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    It's harder for me to dig stuff up as my grandfather passed away when my mom 17.It's a difficult subject for my mom and grandmother.I doubt they would know what small arms he carried anyway.Most of his things were sold to support my mom's family after his death.I do have his dogtag though,which is cool because I was named after him.now that I'm reading it,it says T60 on it.
     
  6. Wild Weasel

    Wild Weasel Member

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    Sean, My highest regards to you and your dad. I don't know where he flew the 105 but I loaded a lot of munitions on the Weasels at Korat, Thailand. The pilots and bears of the 44th were some of the finest people in the Air.
     
  7. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    My dad was in Korat in the early 70's in the USAF. He also said to me once when talking about '45's that they were in short supply, the AF issued .38's.
     
  8. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

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    Around Da Nang the 'new' S&W 60'S were the hot set up.
     
  9. glassman

    glassman Member

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    standard issue

    I believe the standard issue at the time were S&W .38's. I saw a lot of brownings and colt 1911's in the shoulder rigs and the .38's were commonly used as a bug and strapped to the lower leg.
     
  10. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    Navy Aircrew

    buddy of mine, Vietnam Vet off the Midway, carried a .38.
     
  11. sansone

    sansone Member

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    I thought they carried .45's but my buddy(crew chief)corrected me: s&w.38's
     
  12. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Member

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    Bondo:
    The T60 on those dogtags mean Tetnus Shot 1960.

    Probably he carried a snubby.
    That's what most pilots were issued. small, light and didn't get in the way if you had to pull the "Handle"

    AFS
     
  13. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    I was told that the S&W Model 12 was specifically made for AF flight crew carry.
     
  14. Sam

    Sam Member

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    S&W (and Colt) both made special models for the AF but the M12 wasn't one of them. They were all recalled, safety problems with aluminum cylinders.
    too much of a good thing.

    We were however left with the legacy of the, "Cartridge, Ball M41, Caliber .38 Special" A POC with a 130 FMJ bullet at something like 710 fps. Not enough Wha to make an aluminum cylindered Aircrewman disassemble:D

    Sam
     
  15. DesertDawg

    DesertDawg Member

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    "Issue" handguns were S&W model 10's and 15's, but a few Colt 1911's were also available....and quickly snapped up.

    One of my friends was an F-4 pilot, and he carried an issued S&W model 10 AND a non-issued, personally owned FN Hi-Power.
     
  16. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    My dad was a FAC (O-1 Birddog), and he wedged a CAR15 or an M79 into the door handle to supplement the standard .38Spl.

    Found a couple frames of him and the CAR15 (it's blurry and muzzle down).
    [​IMG]
     
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