American Rifleman | Behind Enemy Lines: Weapons of Vietnam’s Covert Warriors

Here is a great story by my friend, Maj. John L. Plaster, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Lots of different weapons. I loved the silenced British Sten. All you could hear is the bolt going back and forth. You had to look where you were hitting to know you were firing a weapon.

I carried among other things, a sawed-off M79 Grenade Launcher. When I went to have it sawed off I tried the Marines, and got, “What? That would be destroying government property.” So I took it to the Navy who had no problem with destroying government property.

In the picture below are guys coming out on ladders. You would climb as high as you could and then snap on with a snap-link. No way could you just “hold” on. They would fly you to the nearest safe LZ (I landed at Khe Sanh once) land and get you back in side. Went through a cloud once. Rain or water, whatever in the cloud gave me a good pounding.

During the Vietnam War, the men of the Studies and Observations Group carried an astonishing array of small arms. Armed with everything from sawed-off machine guns to the first CAR-15s to Gyrojet pistols, these covert warriors had to move fast and hit hard.

It’s unlikely that any other U.S. military unit ever fielded such an array of weaponry as did the Military Assistance Command Vietnam, Studies and Observations Group. Behind that innocuous name, MACV-SOG ran top-secret, covert operations across Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, especially U.S. Army Special Forces-led reconnaissance missions along the enemy’s Ho Chi Minh Trail road network in Laos, into his sanctuaries in Cambodia, and sometimes into North Vietnam, itself.

Source: American Rifleman | Behind Enemy Lines: Weapons of Vietnam’s Covert Warriors

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