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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have for you the war trophy collection of USAF Captain Robert Kain. Robert was a Raven forward air controller in Laos. He served there for one year and continued service until 1977. I purchased this grouping from Robert directly and was grateful to hear his story. I enjoyed hearing the smallest detail of his now declassified service in Laos. The more I read on the Raven FAC’s, the more impressed I am. Tom Clancy’s quote of “heroes you never heard about” certainly holds true.

If you aren’t familiar with the secret war in Laos, please read this
:
http://alphahistory.com/vietnamwar/laos-during-vietnam-war/

For a brief history of the Raven FAC’s, this will get you up to speed:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_Forward_Air_Controllers

Here is Bob’s account of his service and the guns.
As far as my service, obtain a copy of a book titled, “The Ravens” by Christopher Robbins. Try Amazon but don’t pay too much. I can get you one for about $20.00 plus shipping. It tells the whole story of a bunch of volunteer junior grade officers who were stripped of all USAF identity and flew as Forward Air Controllers (FACs) in Laos under the Raven call sign (not Cambodia). The book tells the story of the Secret War in Laos that was staged just as furiously as the one in North and South Vietnam. We were not legally there because the Geneva Convention of 1962 declared Laos a neutral country. Therefore, we flew in civilian clothes in small unmarked O1-E Birdog aircraft. The same aircraft the Army called the L-19 except ours were gray instead of Army green.
My call sign was Raven 52. I spent six months in Vietnam and volunteered to join the Steve Canyon program (the name of the Secret program that we all were assigned to). We could not even admit to anyone we were there until about 1987 when the program was declassified. The rules said you volunteered for a six month tour and could extend for another six months, if desired, but then you had to go home. I was there for a year. I traded a small cassette tape recorder for the two pistols to a Major who was the Intelligence officer for the Military Region V that was my area of responsibility. I don’t know how he got them. Didn’t want to know. I also didn’t want to know how he used the tape recorder during interrogation of prisoners.




Here’s his complete war trophy grouping. Chinese Type 56 SKS, Chinese Type 54 Tokarev and 1965 East German Makarov complete with paperwork and theater made cases. Robert had these brown zipper cases made for him prior to his return, they’re even on the customs form.


 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here is the Makarov. Personally I have never seen an East German Makarov with DD603 paperwork. I have consulted more experienced Vietnam conflict collectors and they are extremely seldom encountered. It shows finish loss commensurate with use but is in overall very good condition. The DD603 misidentifies it completely as a 9mm Chinese Rifle. The hand-written correction was added on later. Believed at first to be a Russian pistol, Robert and I were equally surprised when I identified it as East German.







Here is the Type 54. This is a prime example of a war horse used in the harsh jungle environment. It has no matching numbers and the bore is completely worn smooth. It is a fairly early date of 1956, most encountered have 1960’s dates.





 

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Beautiful grouping! Big congrats on this acquisition.
 

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sks, tokarev, makarov, combloc
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Wonderfully documented grouping. I have seen an east german Makarov obtained in early 80s, reportedly picked up in Laos... but no paperwork.
I have also seen a Hungarian Tokarev frame mis matched to a russian slide and barrel also from a pilot ( air america ??? ) also said to be from Laos. I have also seen a Chinese Tokarev with a signed affidavit from an officer working with and liaison to some Cambodian war time leaders. Nice to see your paperwork documentation. Your paperwork shows these type of guns were brought back from the Vietnam war . Thanks for sharing.
 

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sks, tokarev, makarov, combloc
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What a great ensemble, with excellent provenance.

East German SKS carbines are known to have been brought back from SE Asia, but I don't recall seeing the Makarov before.
From what I have seen, the ultra rare chinese military makarovs came from cambodia ( where the chinese were involved) . I have heard of one with capture papers . The East german and the Russain Makarovs came from operations in Laos. ( at least that is what I have observed so far). All three variations were sold at auctions within a few years of the end of the war in 1975 well before any imports .Yes, I know people say without paper, blah blah, blah,... so these are just my observations, and the observations of other collectors, from collecting these since the early 80s....
 

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I haven't seen Tokarev grips like that before.
A recent post about a 1940 Tula-made TT-33 stated (no papers, so just a "war story") to have been taken from a German soldier during War Two has rather similar grips - CCCP/Star ground out, rather resembles this though different pattern on grip grooves. Stated to be common on German captured TT-33. Could be, I suppose. Why a ChiCom gun in Laos would be semi-sterilized that way is one more conundrum.
 

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I don't see these grips being ground out in the center. Would the person posting advise.
Most Tokarev-types I have seen (plastic grips) have some sort of design in the circle around the rivet head. Which is subject to removal if somebody wants to. My 1945-vintage TT-33 has (for example) the "CCCP/star common on Soviet guns. From some things I have seen, I wonder if they are replacements for wooden grip scales. If so, they are proper factory-made spare part items.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm sorry for the late response - thank you for all the replies!

As for the Tokarev grips, I believe them to be the sanitized Chinese grips seen on some M20's. I'm far from a Chinese Tokarev expert however. They show no signs of defacing other than the diagonal grip pattern done at some point.

Sksguide, very interesting observation on certain pistols from certain conflicts. I'll be considering that whenever I encounter another Makarov from SEA.
 

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