M14 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I grew up with a guy, been best pals since we were 11 years old. Never known him to exaggerate or spin wild tales. Anyway, he enlisted in June 1969 and was soon off to Vietnam where they made him a Combat Engineer. He wrote me almost every week he could, keep me up on what he was doing. He was there for two tours.

Originally he was with the 24th Infantry, then the 5th Mech. The entire time he was there he and a lot of guys used M-14s and they loved them to no ends.

My question is this: Did the army just not have enough M-16s, or did they not care what a guy used while there? Did at any point did the army make guys turn in their M-14s? Why were the Engineers allowed to keep them for so long?

Just wondering . . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,554 Posts
Back in the day, line units such as Infantry were often called TO&E units, since they strictly adhered to the Table of Organization and Equipment. Each soldier's authorized weapon was listed and accounted for. No substitutions.

When it comes to support and specialized units, the weapons allowed on the TO&E might be a little less regimental. A Combat Engineer unit probably has more important things to worry about than individual weapons.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hey, you just made me think of something, a pal of mine's older brother tripped a wire one night . . . he was wounded very badly. Told us he lay there all night, the VC were poking all around looking for him. He said he was so scared he could hear his heart beating, then a VC actually stepped between his legs. He was with the 4th Infantry around Pleiku (sp?)

Anyway, daylight came and some Rangers found him. He told us the army made him pay for his lost M-16.

Now I'm not saying what this guy said is true about paying for his rifle or not. He was a tall tale kind of guy.

Do you think the army really made guys pay for lost weapons?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
My old friend, the ex-Engineer, came home, couldn't live in the city anymore, went down to his grandparent's farm in North Carolina, enrolled in UNC, got a teaching degree, then a job teaching. He called me one night, said he couldn't stand the teaching job, so he quit and went back into the army as a Warrant Officer helicopter pilot where he stayed until about 10 + years ago. His last duty was with the 10th Mountain Div in NY where he retired.

He often comes down here from Watertown to hang out and enjoys my shooting range and is always talking about the M-14 back in the day. I always had other things on my plate so somehow never got a M-14 . . . until 2 months ago. So next time he comes down we'll be all set!

Oh, by the way, some years later while on active duty he was awarded a CIB for Vietnam. So the engineers did get into it like the other guys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,554 Posts
Do you think the army really made guys pay for lost weapons?
Yes. Anything you sign for, you are responsible for. You can turn it in damaged, for Direct Exchange (DX), but if you lost it, your CO may hold you financially responsible for it. It all depends on how big of a d*** he wants to be.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Holy Mackerel!
You're saying if you hit a trip wire and are blown half up you had to pay them for you lost equipment?
Unbelievable!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,554 Posts
Holy Mackerel!
You're saying if you hit a trip wire and are blown half up you had to pay them for you lost equipment?
Unbelievable!
Every circumstance is different and pretty much up to your Commanding Officer. Weapons get damaged, but seldom lost. Every effort is made to recover them, to keep them out of enemy or non-authorized hands. If a weapon is "non recoverable" because of a combat situation, it would probably require a statement from others in the AO. Again, every unit handles things differently. Some go by the book, others leave it up to the discretion of the CO. Nothing is "unheard of" when it comes to the Army. :p

A Statement of Charges for a lost rifle was probably just over $100 back then.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I've got another story . . .
another pal I grew up with enlisted when he was 17, was in the Airborne, went to Vietnam in 1966, he ended up with the Rangers, SF, and eventually with the the . . . .
  • 11Th Armored Cavalry Regiment Shield Shaped Sticker Black image 0


11Th Armored Cavalry Regiment
He was an E-6 when he was 20 years old, so many combat decorations, Silver Stars, etc. . . . He stayed in Vietnam until the end. He did 46 months in Vietnam.

He was another truth teller you could always believe . . . man did he have some stories. He told me that movie "Platoon" was the the most realistic combat scene he ever saw. They were in Cambodia, they'd run out of ammo, the NV and VC were out of ammo. They were all fighting with anything they could get their hands on, E-tools, rocks, fist fighting, anything they could grab as a weapon. It was a jungle street fight.

I think I got off topic here . . . sorry . . .
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Every circumstance is different and pretty much up to your Commanding Officer. Weapons get damaged, but seldom lost. Every effort is made to recover them, to keep them out of enemy or non-authorized hands. If a weapon is "non recoverable" because of a combat situation, it would probably require a statement from others in the AO. Again, every unit handles things differently. Some go by the book, others leave it up to the discretion of the CO. Nothing is "unheard of" when it comes to the Army. :p

A Statement of Charges for a lost rifle was probably just over $100 back then.
Seems to me he said it cost him $125.00 . . . I think.
Might be wrong but this was in 1970 when he told us that story!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,199 Posts
I've got another story . . .
another pal I grew up with enlisted when he was 17, was in the Airborne, went to Vietnam in 1966, he ended up with the Rangers, SF, and eventually with the the . . . .

  • 11Th Armored Cavalry Regiment Shield Shaped Sticker Black image 0
11Th Armored Cavalry Regiment
He was an E-6 when he was 20 years old, so many combat decorations, Silver Stars, etc. . . . He stayed in Vietnam until the end. He did 46 months in Vietnam.
11th Armored Cavalry (Regiment)
Arrived in Vietnam 8th September 1966
Departed Vietnam 5 March 1971

The end of the Vietnam War was much later in April 30th 1975.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,456 Posts
That $125 price is prolly pretty realistic. Here is the tag that was attached to a Nov 1964 made Colt SP1. Look at the price listed on the bottom.
430174
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
So how much was an ordinary infantryman making a month in Vietnam?
$125.00 had to be a big bite out of his paycheck.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,199 Posts
So how much was an ordinary infantryman making a month in Vietnam?
$125.00 had to be a big bite out of his paycheck.
I was nearly making 180$ a month with combat pay before I came home from my last tour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,697 Posts
Base pay, hostile fire pay, overseas pay ..... I cleared $310 a month. There were no deductions as we did not have to pay income tax.

The Marine Corps had a savings program, I assume it was a DOD program, where you could "bank" a portion of your pay each month and it would earn 10% annual interest. I never participated in it because there were too many horror stories of records being lost and your money disappeared. This happened to enough people that I decided it was not for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Hey, you just made me think of something, a pal of mine's older brother tripped a wire one night . . . he was wounded very badly. Told us he lay there all night, the VC were poking all around looking for him. He said he was so scared he could hear his heart beating, then a VC actually stepped between his legs. He was with the 4th Infantry around Pleiku (sp?)

Anyway, daylight came and some Rangers found him. He told us the army made him pay for his lost M-16.

Now I'm not saying what this guy said is true about paying for his rifle or not. He was a tall tale kind of guy.

Do you think the army really made guys pay for lost weapons?
I seem to recall being told we'd be charged $160 if we lost an issued 16. I was a combat photographer with the First Infantry Division in '69-'70 and carried an M-3 "grease gun" as my personal weapon. It had been "written off" long before I acquired it.

Mike
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top