From this part of the website, you will access pages with a photograph and a description of
typical uniforms and equipment as worn by USSF A-teams during Vietnam.
You will find a mixture of original photos and photos taken during various of my displays/exhibitions and items out of my collection.
This is a brief
study on uniforms used by Special Forces in Vietnam
But when you go through those pages please keep in mind
that Special Forces, due to the nature of their missions, were left a lot of
leeway on their choice of equipment, uniforms and armament. This also changed a
lot according to where and when they served in Vietnam. What was right for one SF'er in a given situation may
have been wrong for another one in the same situation! Flexibility and adaptation was in
their nature and it showed through their photos and their stories!
You must also remember that A-detachment personnel in remote camps like Gia Vuc, very often
wore unbadged fatigues and when things were calm, T-shirts, black pyjamas, shower shoes,
etc. Bush hats often replaced berets as they were more appropriate and more comfortable in
hot or rainy climate.
What you may see
on the mannequin may not be exactly what you
wore, but do remember soldiers are
individuals and different items were available
at different times and in different
follows is what Veterans have to say about their uniforms and equipment!
W.D. Libby, Sr Medic A-725 Gia Vuc 1963/64 "We already were issued
with the Tropical Jungle Uniform and most of us wore no insignia. In Camp and during
Med Caps, I usually wore fatigue trousers and surgical smock.
When I was on operations I had my medical gear carried by one of the Strike Force Medic as
my prime job was patrol leader or asst patrol leader and secondary as a medic. I usually
had my M-5 Medical bag along with extra dressings and blood expander."
Looking to buy genuine * US 60's pens and pencils for map case * 60's US army note book * 1950/70 Seiko automatic watch (in working order). you know the type black face with large numbers!
Robert Cameron SFC, A-113
June-Nov 65, A-103 Nov 65-May 66
Montagnards bracelets: "All
SF guys had these, but Bob was "pissed that by 1967 or so every
American was wearing them! - If he had ever met a Yard or not" They had a lot of significance to SF, but they just became fashion accessories
in later years. " Hey, I have been to Nam!" "Some SF guys would forcibly remove them from non SF wearers early on, but later
on it wasn't worth the effort as you could buy them in any ville!"
If you have more information relating to SF uniforms, please get in touch, your story could appear here.
Harlow Short Medic 5th
SFGA 1969/70 "I was looking at your pages on uniforms and it brought back memories of
the fact that I only had one official fatigue shirt while assigned to my camp. The rest of my stuff was made by our camp tailors. My regular shirt was a
hand-me-down from some departed luey and since the shirt was pretty faded there
were marks on the collar that showed where the lt's bars had been.
The only time I was treated half-assed decently when I went into Nha Trang was
once while I wearing that shirt, a sgt. major called me sir and the only reason
I didn't laugh in his face and get my ass in a sling was because I didn't have a
clew why he was being so nice. It was only later that it dawned on me I hadn't
pinned on my collar rank badges and he was looking at the lt bar fade marks, I
never wore that shirt into Nha Trang again.
Seeing those pictures of fatigues with stateside stripes and badges certainly made them look odd to me, I realize you stated that early in the war
camouflage patches weren't available but when I was there anybody wearing that
stuff would have had them ripped off in short order - unless he was a REMF and
then we would have complimented him on his sartorial charm."
Uniform description thanks to Christopher E. McClure, (Cpt, 5th SFGA 8/1968-1/1970)
(This is part of an e-mail send to me regarding Operational uniform used by SF) Picture
taken while on patrol outside Dak Pek SF Camp in April 1969,
while I was
Commander of 241 Co, 4th Bn, II Corps Mike Force - I am the caucasian in the
photo and was wearing a bracelet when the photo was taken. (In general the bracelets were not worn on patrol, as they tended to make
unwanted noise when carrying a rifle. I wore a bunch of them around camp and
occasionally wore one while on patrol. If we got near enemy, I would wrap an
OD sling bandage around my wrist over the bracelet. Sometimes we would use
the sling bandages as a kind of headband to keep sweat out of the eyes if we
did not want to wear a hat. The hat was better.) The troops
were all Sedang tribe montagnards. I was armed with an XM177E1
5.56mm submachine gun (really a carbine) with a 30 round magazine. The
plastic muzzle protector kept dirt and brush out of the bore, but meant that
moisture had to be cleaned out of the bore regularly during the rainy
season. I had the old style sole Jungle boots on and I was carrying a
smoke grenade for signaling purposes. My hat was a modified issue tiger
suit hat (brim cut down to just shed water, but not reduce visibility when
wet) with black jump wings on the front (the Mike Force was an airborne
unit). The metal pin over my left shirt pocket identified me as a member
of the II Corps Mike Force, as did the trooper's camouflage beret
insignia (flash). My trousers were bloused at the boot tops with elastic
bands to keep the leeches out. You can't see it in this picture, but my
shirt had a pocket on the left sleeve that was used to carry a package of
five morphine surrettes for use if wounded. Also not seen in the picture was
my trouser belt - black webbing with black tip and black open face
buckle. I carried a Swiss Army pocket knife in a nylon belt holder made
of parachute harness webbing, as well as a 5" blade sheath knife of my
own manufacture, that I brought from the States, in a leather sheath.
I was wearing military issue aviator sunglasses. As you can see from the
picture, some of the montagnard troops wore lightweight OD fatigues on
patrol - it was pretty much their choice and depended on what was available
from the quartermaster.
Steve Sherman the
the Special Forces and Special Operations Associations
Need your help!