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Posted: 8/14/2010 5:56:36 PM EDT
What pistols have USAF pilots/aircrews used in the past and present? I have heard S&W Mod. 10s and up, M13s, M9, Glock 19 (read the story, don't know if it's true or not), 1911a1, etc., etc. What has actually been used and what caliber? Any special markings to denote use by the USAF? I just got to thinking about it after reading a book and in it a guy talks about his Mod. 10. I was then in a gun store later that day and saw a Mod.10. It made me wonder. Anyone with expertise or at least some knowledge of a good website on the subject?
Link Posted: 8/14/2010 5:58:22 PM EDT
M-9 is all I've ever flown with. SOF may have some different cats and dogs
Link Posted: 8/14/2010 6:18:54 PM EDT
There was a time when some pilots were allowed to take a pistol of their choice as long as it was in 9mm. I have a friend that patrolled the No Fly Zones over Iraq after the 1991 war and he carried a Glock 19 in his vest. I believe it was one he purchased at home before leaving.
Link Posted: 8/14/2010 7:12:38 PM EDT
as of the beginning of 2009 when I got out still the m-9 from the base armory, random beat up and probably lots of wear.
Link Posted: 8/14/2010 7:14:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kalahnikid:
There was a time when some pilots were allowed to take a pistol of their choice as long as it was in 9mm. I have a friend that patrolled the No Fly Zones over Iraq after the 1991 war and he carried a Glock 19 in his vest. I believe it was one he purchased at home before leaving.


That's the story I have heard and was referring to. The story says people carried their own personal firearms, being G19s, but it was never officially santcioned by the USAF. Story says that now, that would be a big giant no-no.
Link Posted: 8/14/2010 8:03:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Spartan24:
Originally Posted By Kalahnikid:
There was a time when some pilots were allowed to take a pistol of their choice as long as it was in 9mm. I have a friend that patrolled the No Fly Zones over Iraq after the 1991 war and he carried a Glock 19 in his vest. I believe it was one he purchased at home before leaving.


That's the story I have heard and was referring to. The story says people carried their own personal firearms, being G19s, but it was never officially santcioned by the USAF. Story says that now, that would be a big giant no-no.


Just like saying 'fuck' in the club.
Link Posted: 8/15/2010 6:42:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2010 6:46:54 AM EDT by Bob58]
Prior to the DoD adopting the M9 as the standard aircrew sidearm in the mid to late '80s (even early '90s by the time everyone got fielded) the issued aircrew sidearm was a .38 cal revolver.

Many different manufacturers filled the contracts with many different models over the years with the only real common characteristic being that it was a .38 cal revolver.

Obviously, an ancient, beat to hell, .38 cal revolver was entirely inadequate (I have to admit that, as an Army guy, mine was useful for pounding in tent stakes) so some commanders chose to look the other way while their aviators supplied themselves with a viable alternative until the M9 could finish fielding.

Link Posted: 8/15/2010 5:53:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Mach:
Originally Posted By Spartan24:
Originally Posted By Kalahnikid:
There was a time when some pilots were allowed to take a pistol of their choice as long as it was in 9mm. I have a friend that patrolled the No Fly Zones over Iraq after the 1991 war and he carried a Glock 19 in his vest. I believe it was one he purchased at home before leaving.


That's the story I have heard and was referring to. The story says people carried their own personal firearms, being G19s, but it was never officially santcioned by the USAF. Story says that now, that would be a big giant no-no.


Just like saying 'fuck' in the club.


I believe I have heard a song about that!
Link Posted: 8/15/2010 8:10:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kalahnikid:
There was a time when some pilots were allowed to take a pistol of their choice as long as it was in 9mm. I have a friend that patrolled the No Fly Zones over Iraq after the 1991 war and he carried a Glock 19 in his vest. I believe it was one he purchased at home before leaving.


And he was blowing smoke up your ass. I have been on numerous Southern watch and Northern watch deployments and it was M9's every time. I'm supply and we don't give out anything to flying Sq's but M9's. He would have gotten in a lot of trouble even getting a Glock into Turkey or Saudi or Kuwait. Those 3 countries were the main countries that S. watch and northern watch were flown from.
Link Posted: 8/15/2010 8:45:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By B-1BMRSP:
Originally Posted By Kalahnikid:
There was a time when some pilots were allowed to take a pistol of their choice as long as it was in 9mm. I have a friend that patrolled the No Fly Zones over Iraq after the 1991 war and he carried a Glock 19 in his vest. I believe it was one he purchased at home before leaving.


And he was blowing smoke up your ass. I have been on numerous Southern watch and Northern watch deployments and it was M9's every time. I'm supply and we don't give out anything to flying Sq's but M9's. He would have gotten in a lot of trouble even getting a Glock into Turkey or Saudi or Kuwait. Those 3 countries were the main countries that S. watch and northern watch were flown from.


Not necessarily....From what I have heard it's a real pain, but it CAN be done.

Unfortunately, we fly with the Beretta M9, beat up ones at that. I had multiple feed issues on the one I qualified on! Would much rather carry my XD45!

And, you can say "Fuck" in the bar....just go to a guard base!
Link Posted: 8/15/2010 8:52:37 PM EDT
Former USAF S&W model 10's, 12's, and 15's can be found for sale, but be prepared to pay a premium for their markings.
Link Posted: 8/15/2010 9:10:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By B-1BMRSP:
Originally Posted By Kalahnikid:
There was a time when some pilots were allowed to take a pistol of their choice as long as it was in 9mm. I have a friend that patrolled the No Fly Zones over Iraq after the 1991 war and he carried a Glock 19 in his vest. I believe it was one he purchased at home before leaving.


And he was blowing smoke up your ass. I have been on numerous Southern watch and Northern watch deployments and it was M9's every time. I'm supply and we don't give out anything to flying Sq's but M9's. He would have gotten in a lot of trouble even getting a Glock into Turkey or Saudi or Kuwait. Those 3 countries were the main countries that S. watch and northern watch were flown from.


Where you in USAF supply 19 years ago?

There might not be anyone on earth I would trust more to tell me the straight story than the pilot Im referring to.
Link Posted: 8/16/2010 3:16:10 AM EDT
Old friend of mine carried a .45 on an MC-130...can't remember which model pistol it was...think it was a Sig (P220?). This was back in 01-02 time frame.

The M-9's I've flown with were all in really good shape. They weren't the same pistols that they were using at the range for qualifying. They sat in a locked up safe and had probably only seen a few rounds down the pipe. We flew with them de-cocked, round in the chamber, safety off. Good times.

Link Posted: 8/16/2010 7:10:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By bmick325:
Former USAF S&W model 10's, 12's, and 15's can be found for sale, but be prepared to pay a premium for their markings.


Do you know exactly what markings that would be?
Link Posted: 8/16/2010 7:19:03 AM EDT
The handful of times that I flew as a classified cargo courier, I was issued a S&W .38 revolver. I believe these were old pre-model number guns (I don't remember ever looking for the model number) that today would be the model 15.
Link Posted: 8/16/2010 1:39:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/16/2010 1:44:28 PM EDT by Branman2008]
M-9 and M-11, Im a Nav not a pilot but we all carry the same thing.
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 12:01:15 AM EDT
I personally saw at least two USAF pilot types at King Fahd wearing Glocks Aug/Sept 1990, During Desert Shield. Another member here was with me that day, I'll see if he can access his memory bank and see what his recollection is. If I also remember correctly, at least one was sporting a 30rnd mag too.
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 12:14:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/17/2010 12:16:06 AM EDT by goodoleboy]
My grandfather was a WWII Glider Pilot in the pacific theater.. He said he carried an M1 carbine and .38 revolver..I never asked make and model, he died when I was 14 so i didnt know much about guns to ask specifics, but wish I would have..I did get his Japanese bayonet but it was stolen 15 years ago.
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 4:09:24 AM EDT
In the '70s, the Marine Corps had S&W Model 10 .38s for issue to us aircrew with round nose ball loaded with 150 gr. bullets at something like 750 fps. The guns were all older then we were.
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 5:15:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ClemY:
In the '70s, the Marine Corps had S&W Model 10 .38s for issue to us aircrew with round nose ball loaded with 150 gr. bullets at something like 750 fps. The guns were all older then we were.


Were those the ones with the aluminum cylinders?
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 8:09:09 AM EDT
As late as 1994, I remember aircrew clearing their revolvers (S&W .38's at our armory in Dhahran). I know a lot of the guys were carrying M9's at that point, but I do remember some C-130 guys still carrying revolvers.
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 8:52:43 AM EDT
Our pilots carry the M-9.
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 4:43:07 PM EDT
WW11???? Old buddy of mine reloaded special rounds from a trimed 308, then loaded shot, don't remember the size, finaly crimping a buckshot in the mouth. These were at max oal for a 45 acp 1911 handgun. Theory being if shot down you would have something to kill food with. RCBS still sells these dies. Pray for him, he has alzemiers now. A fine gunsmith on nothing but 1911's, nothing else was worth working on.
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 4:48:12 PM EDT
I carried the S&W Model 15 from '79 till the M9 came into play. The first three rounds in the S&W were beanbags, followed by three rounds of ball.
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 6:35:35 PM EDT
So here's what I have gathered:

Official Past:
S&W Mod. 10 (w/ aluminum cylinder)
S&W Mod. 13
S&W Mod. 15
S&W M38
M1911a1

Official Present:
M9
M11 (Navy)

Misc.:
Glock 19
Ruger (what model?)
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 7:10:29 PM EDT
When I deployed to Panama for Just Cause, we were issued S&W Mod. 10s stored in old ammo cans. I swung the cylinder out on the first one out of box and it rolled across the floor right in front of the guys from the armory. I said "No thanks." and refused to sign for them. We all had our own personal stuff in our vehicles, so those of us who wanted to carry took our personal sidearms.

After the airdrop, we landed at Howard AFB. My Wing CC saw mine swinging from under my arm (shoulder rig)as I pointed out some battle damage to him. He said, "Lt. Ratchman, tell me that's not your personal sidearm on your side." I said, "Sir, that's not my personal sidearm on my side." He said, "That's what I thought." Good man...Col. "Stump" Sowada, Pope AFB 317th Tactical Airlift Wing Commander.

In Thumrait, Oman for Desert Shield/Storm, us guys with the Herks were on one side of the runway, the F-15Es (at the time almost brand new) on the other side. Those guys rightfully felt under-armed with the model 10s they were carrying. They knew they would be flying over bad guy country when the war started. They sent an order for Glock 19s to the Sportsman's Club near either Rhine Main or Ramstein AB in Germany (can't remember which base is was). They carried those for the duration of the war. I know this for a fact.

I don't know if they bought them with USAF funds or their personal funds and carried them as personal sidearms. At that time, you could carry a personal sidearm if your commander signed off on the idea and you received whatever training the unit combat arm trainers decided was appropriate. May still be possible now days, but good luck finding a WG/CC willing to accept the risk associated with allowing that.

I never carried the model 10. There were always better choice available to me....
Link Posted: 8/17/2010 10:22:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Spartan24:
So here's what I have gathered:

Official Past:
S&W Mod. 10 (w/ aluminum cylinder)
S&W Mod. 13
S&W Mod. 15
S&W M38
M1911a1

Official Present:
M9
M11 (Navy)

Misc.:
Glock 19
Ruger (what model?)
Sig P229R DAKTM .40 (USCG)
Link Posted: 8/18/2010 4:04:31 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Spartan24:
Originally Posted By ClemY:
In the '70s, the Marine Corps had S&W Model 10 .38s for issue to us aircrew with round nose ball loaded with 150 gr. bullets at something like 750 fps. The guns were all older then we were.


Were those the ones with the aluminum cylinders?


I don't believe so. They were just old Model 10s. I believe they were issued to the aircrew of ejection seat equipped a/c with the understanding that they would be easier to manipulate with one hand if the other hand/arm was injured in the ejection.
Link Posted: 8/18/2010 6:33:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ratchman:
When I deployed to Panama for Just Cause, we were issued S&W Mod. 10s stored in old ammo cans. I swung the cylinder out on the first one out of box and it rolled across the floor right in front of the guys from the armory. I said "No thanks." and refused to sign for them. We all had our own personal stuff in our vehicles, so those of us who wanted to carry took our personal sidearms.

After the airdrop, we landed at Howard AFB. My Wing CC saw mine swinging from under my arm (shoulder rig)as I pointed out some battle damage to him. He said, "Lt. Ratchman, tell me that's not your personal sidearm on your side." I said, "Sir, that's not my personal sidearm on my side." He said, "That's what I thought." Good man...Col. "Stump" Sowada, Pope AFB 317th Tactical Airlift Wing Commander.

In Thumrait, Oman for Desert Shield/Storm, us guys with the Herks were on one side of the runway, the F-15Es (at the time almost brand new) on the other side. Those guys rightfully felt under-armed with the model 10s they were carrying. They knew they would be flying over bad guy country when the war started. They sent an order for Glock 19s to the Sportsman's Club near either Rhine Main or Ramstein AB in Germany (can't remember which base is was). They carried those for the duration of the war. I know this for a fact.

I don't know if they bought them with USAF funds or their personal funds and carried them as personal sidearms. At that time, you could carry a personal sidearm if your commander signed off on the idea and you received whatever training the unit combat arm trainers decided was appropriate. May still be possible now days, but good luck finding a WG/CC willing to accept the risk associated with allowing that.

I never carried the model 10. There were always better choice available to me....


I never heard of such a thing. We were always told that we could NOT carry personal sidearms because it was a violation of the Geneva Convention to kill someone using a weapon that was not issued to us by the gov't. Might have been BS, but nonetheless, it's what we were told.

Link Posted: 8/18/2010 6:42:34 AM EDT
Army Aircrew carried 4" .38 revovlers. S&W model 10's with round butt, and Ruger Service Six with round butt (yeah, I know that's a Speed-six, but they were marked "Service-Six"). No truly special features, though the Rugers had a lanyard ring. Standard blue finish (what was left of it). Units had both types usually, so you could just pick what make you wanted. Replaced by the M9 or M11.

Forget the idea that there is much rhyme or reason to issuing sidearms. There's no real "rules" that require one over any other one. The reason for the .38's was to make up shortages of M1911A1's as those wore out and the number of servicable ones got smaller. They just bought small batches of .38's over the years to make up for the worn out .45's.
Link Posted: 8/18/2010 8:42:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By VACaver:
Originally Posted By ratchman:
When I deployed to Panama for Just Cause, we were issued S&W Mod. 10s stored in old ammo cans. I swung the cylinder out on the first one out of box and it rolled across the floor right in front of the guys from the armory. I said "No thanks." and refused to sign for them. We all had our own personal stuff in our vehicles, so those of us who wanted to carry took our personal sidearms.

After the airdrop, we landed at Howard AFB. My Wing CC saw mine swinging from under my arm (shoulder rig)as I pointed out some battle damage to him. He said, "Lt. Ratchman, tell me that's not your personal sidearm on your side." I said, "Sir, that's not my personal sidearm on my side." He said, "That's what I thought." Good man...Col. "Stump" Sowada, Pope AFB 317th Tactical Airlift Wing Commander.

In Thumrait, Oman for Desert Shield/Storm, us guys with the Herks were on one side of the runway, the F-15Es (at the time almost brand new) on the other side. Those guys rightfully felt under-armed with the model 10s they were carrying. They knew they would be flying over bad guy country when the war started. They sent an order for Glock 19s to the Sportsman's Club near either Rhine Main or Ramstein AB in Germany (can't remember which base is was). They carried those for the duration of the war. I know this for a fact.

I don't know if they bought them with USAF funds or their personal funds and carried them as personal sidearms. At that time, you could carry a personal sidearm if your commander signed off on the idea and you received whatever training the unit combat arm trainers decided was appropriate. May still be possible now days, but good luck finding a WG/CC willing to accept the risk associated with allowing that.

I never carried the model 10. There were always better choice available to me....


I never heard of such a thing. We were always told that we could NOT carry personal sidearms because it was a violation of the Geneva Convention to kill someone using a weapon that was not issued to us by the gov't. Might have been BS, but nonetheless, it's what we were told.



Yep, that's BS.
Link Posted: 8/18/2010 1:24:52 PM EDT
Here's a site I found that's right on topic.

Back in the mid 80's as an Army aviator I was issued several different .38 models including the 4" Colt Police Positive, the 4" S&W Model 10, the 4" Ruger Service Six. While in Honduras in '89, I even once got issued a real oddity.... a .38 cal Dan Wesson (no idea what model). I have no idea where that one came from but I once got issued it for a week or so.

While I may be biased because I've never been a big fan of .38 cal revolvers in general, I can't say that I ever saw a actual military .38 that I would ever pay money for (neverind a premium because of any special marking). There was certainly nothing special about them. Every one of them was utterly worn out and beat to shit. I beat a few of them to shit, myself. The M9 replaced all of them eventually.
My issued sidearm during Desert Storm was the 4" Colt. Yes, I was a active duty helicopter pilot in the 101st in a combat zone in 1991 and was still equipped with a Colt .38 revolver. Not being happy with that, I personally made sure it was not all I was equipped with.

Anyway... Here's the link

http://www.olive-drab.com/od_other_firearms_pistol_38cal_postwar.php
Link Posted: 8/18/2010 1:26:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Spartan24:
What pistols have USAF pilots/aircrews used in the past and present? I have heard S&W Mod. 10s and up, M13s, M9, Glock 19 (read the story, don't know if it's true or not), 1911a1, etc., etc. What has actually been used and what caliber? Any special markings to denote use by the USAF? I just got to thinking about it after reading a book and in it a guy talks about his Mod. 10. I was then in a gun store later that day and saw a Mod.10. It made me wonder. Anyone with expertise or at least some knowledge of a good website on the subject?

Presently: M-9s

Back in Vietnam? S&W 38 revolvers


Link Posted: 8/18/2010 1:33:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Screechjet1:
Originally Posted By VACaver:
Originally Posted By ratchman:
When I deployed to Panama for Just Cause, we were issued S&W Mod. 10s stored in old ammo cans. I swung the cylinder out on the first one out of box and it rolled across the floor right in front of the guys from the armory. I said "No thanks." and refused to sign for them. We all had our own personal stuff in our vehicles, so those of us who wanted to carry took our personal sidearms.

After the airdrop, we landed at Howard AFB. My Wing CC saw mine swinging from under my arm (shoulder rig)as I pointed out some battle damage to him. He said, "Lt. Ratchman, tell me that's not your personal sidearm on your side." I said, "Sir, that's not my personal sidearm on my side." He said, "That's what I thought." Good man...Col. "Stump" Sowada, Pope AFB 317th Tactical Airlift Wing Commander.

In Thumrait, Oman for Desert Shield/Storm, us guys with the Herks were on one side of the runway, the F-15Es (at the time almost brand new) on the other side. Those guys rightfully felt under-armed with the model 10s they were carrying. They knew they would be flying over bad guy country when the war started. They sent an order for Glock 19s to the Sportsman's Club near either Rhine Main or Ramstein AB in Germany (can't remember which base is was). They carried those for the duration of the war. I know this for a fact.

I don't know if they bought them with USAF funds or their personal funds and carried them as personal sidearms. At that time, you could carry a personal sidearm if your commander signed off on the idea and you received whatever training the unit combat arm trainers decided was appropriate. May still be possible now days, but good luck finding a WG/CC willing to accept the risk associated with allowing that.

I never carried the model 10. There were always better choice available to me....


I never heard of such a thing. We were always told that we could NOT carry personal sidearms because it was a violation of the Geneva Convention to kill someone using a weapon that was not issued to us by the gov't. Might have been BS, but nonetheless, it's what we were told.



Yep, that's BS.

Well, sort-of.

It's not what the convention requires, but the US way of 'implementing' the convention's 'no use of weapons designed or modified to cause un-neccicary suffering' provision, was to ban personally owned weapons...

The rationale was that by only issuing 'JAG-oked' weapons and prohibiting personal ones, there would be no chance of a US servicemember using a prohibited weapon without knowingly violating the regs to get there...

From a 'policy' perspective, it was viewed as preventing troops from 'un-knowingly' using a convention-violating weapon that they bought personally...



Link Posted: 8/18/2010 6:34:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By Screechjet1:
Originally Posted By VACaver:
Originally Posted By ratchman:

"snip"

I never heard of such a thing. We were always told that we could NOT carry personal sidearms because it was a violation of the Geneva Convention to kill someone using a weapon that was not issued to us by the gov't. Might have been BS, but nonetheless, it's what we were told.



Yep, that's BS.

Well, sort-of.

It's not what the convention requires, but the US way of 'implementing' the convention's 'no use of weapons designed or modified to cause un-neccicary suffering' provision, was to ban personally owned weapons...

The rationale was that by only issuing 'JAG-oked' weapons and prohibiting personal ones, there would be no chance of a US servicemember using a prohibited weapon without knowingly violating the regs to get there...

From a 'policy' perspective, it was viewed as preventing troops from 'un-knowingly' using a convention-violating weapon that they bought personally...





I'm not sure what's being called "BS", but I am not mistaken. What I wrote hapened. I was there.

I also know that Capt. Lance P. Sijan, USAF MOH awardee carried his personal .44 Magnum when he flew F-4Cs from DaNang. He was held up by the USAF Survival School as an example of someone who was prepared to survive. They made sure they pointed out that he carried his own .44 and practiced with it frequently. If you get the chance to read about him, do it. He was one tough man and a great American.
Link Posted: 8/18/2010 7:15:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ratchman:



I also know that Capt. Lance P. Sijan, USAF MOH awardee carried his personal .44 Magnum when he flew F-4Cs from DaNang. He was held up by the USAF Survival School as an example of someone who was prepared to survive. They made sure they pointed out that he carried his own .44 and practiced with it frequently. If you get the chance to read about him, do it. He was one tough man and a great American.


They need to tell stories of guys like this to children at bedtime.

Biography

Lance Sijan was born to Sylvester and Jane Sijan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father, who owned a restaurant, was of Serbian ancestry; his mother was an Irish-American. Lance was the eldest of three children.[1] After graduating from Bay View High School, he attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island. He then gained an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado. He played on the academy's football team for three years, but quit the team in his final year to concentrate on his studies. Graduating in 1965, he was awarded a second lieutenant's commission and began pilot training. After its completion, he was assigned to the 366th Fighter Wing, stationed at Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam. He flew as a pilot and systems officer in an F-4 Phantom.[2]
[edit] Last Mission

On the night of November 9, 1967, for his 52nd combat mission, Sijan and pilot Lt. Col. John Armstrong were tasked with a bombing mission over North Vietnam. As they rolled in on their target to release their ordnance, their F-4C was engulfed in a ball of fire, due to the bomb fuses malfunctioning and causing a premature detonation on their release. The Phantom then entered a banking climb before plunging into the jungle. Sijan managed to eject from the aircraft, and a search-and-rescue crew radioed him that they were attempting a rescue. After almost a whole day was spent locating his position and softening up air defences in the area, the SAR forces were finally able to get one of the big Jolly Green Giant helicopters roughly over Sijan's position. During this operation over 20 aircraft were damaged by anti-aircraft fire and had to return to base. One aircraft was shot down, though its pilot was rescued by a helicopter on station. Sijan, refusing to put other airmen in danger, insisted on crawling into the jungle and having a penetrator lowered by the helicopter, instead of sending down the helicopter's Para-Jumpers to carry him. However, the helicopter crew could not spot him in the jungle and after 33 minutes the rescue team, which faced enemy fire and the growing darkness, had to withdraw. Search efforts continued the next day, but they were called off when no further radio contact was made with Sijan. He was placed on MIA status.

Sijan had suffered a fractured skull, a mangled right hand, and a compound fracture of the left leg from his rough landing. He was without food, with very little water, and no survival kit; nevertheless, he evaded enemy forces for 46 days (all the time scooting on his back down the rocky limestone karst on which he landed, causing more injuries). He was finally captured by the North Vietnamese on Christmas Day, 1967. Emaciated and in poor health, he still managed to overpower his guard and escape, but was recaptured several hours later.

Sijan was transported to a holding compound in Vinh, North Vietnam, where he was placed in the care of two other POWs, Air Force Colonel Robert R. Craner and Air Force Captain Guy D. Gruters. In considerable pain from his wounds, he suffered beatings and extensive torture from his captors, but never gave any information other than what the Geneva Convention allowed. Suffering from exhaustion, malnutrition, and disease, he was sent to Hanoi. In his weakened state, he contracted pneumonia and died in Hoa Lo Prison (the notorious Hanoi Hilton) on January 22, 1968.[2]

First Lieutenant Sijan was promoted posthumously to captain on June 13, 1968. His remains were repatriated on March 13, 1974 and were positively identified on April 22, 1974. He was buried with military honors in Arlington Park Cemetery in Milwaukee. It was Colonel Craner who recommended him for the Medal of Honor. This award was corroborated with Captain Guy Gruters' testimony and Sijan received the Medal of Honor posthumously in 1976.[3]
[edit] Other honors
The Lance Sijan Memorial Site at Arlington Park Cemetery

Sijan's heroism and courage brought him numerous honors. The United States Air Force created the Lance P. Sijan Award, recognizing individuals who have demonstrated the highest qualities of leadership in their jobs and in their lives. It has become one of the U.S. Air Force's most prestigious awards.

Because Sijan was the first graduate of the United States Air Force Academy to receive the Medal of Honor, a cadet dormitory, Sijan Hall, was named after him. The dormitory was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1976. As part of their training, all new cadets at the Air Force Academy are required to learn Lance Sijan's story.

Sijan's high school in Milwaukee set up a scholarship in his honor, presented each year to the student who best exemplifies Lance Sijan's examples of leadership and courage. A nearby park, Sijan Playfield, is dedicated to him, and Milwaukee's Serbian community honors him with a memorial on the grounds of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral.

An F-4 Phantom jet fighter on display in front of the 440th Air Force Reserve at Milwaukee's Mitchell Airport is painted using the color scheme of the one he flew. [2]

In June, 2006, before the 440th Airlift Wing was relocated to Pope AFB in North Carolina, there were calls to move the F-4 Phantom jet fighter display from Mitchell International Airport to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Lake Michigan lake front. However, the display continues to be housed at Mitchell until more permanent plans have been made.

Lance Sijan had been a member of the Demolay International, the Masonic youth fraternity, and has been inducted into the Demolay Hall of Fame.
Link Posted: 8/18/2010 7:27:16 PM EDT
My father flew combat missions in Vietnam.... he carried a S&W .38 revolver. My brothers and I wanted to get him another one just like it and as we were trying to find out which model it was, his response was enough to make us go.....

"Why the fuck do I want the pistol that I was to use to blow my brains out if I got shot down?!?"

Sorry Dad.
Link Posted: 8/18/2010 7:58:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ratchman:
Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By Screechjet1:
Originally Posted By VACaver:
Originally Posted By ratchman:

"snip"

I never heard of such a thing. We were always told that we could NOT carry personal sidearms because it was a violation of the Geneva Convention to kill someone using a weapon that was not issued to us by the gov't. Might have been BS, but nonetheless, it's what we were told.



Yep, that's BS.

Well, sort-of.

It's not what the convention requires, but the US way of 'implementing' the convention's 'no use of weapons designed or modified to cause un-neccicary suffering' provision, was to ban personally owned weapons...

The rationale was that by only issuing 'JAG-oked' weapons and prohibiting personal ones, there would be no chance of a US servicemember using a prohibited weapon without knowingly violating the regs to get there...

From a 'policy' perspective, it was viewed as preventing troops from 'un-knowingly' using a convention-violating weapon that they bought personally...





I'm not sure what's being called "BS", but I am not mistaken. What I wrote hapened. I was there.

I also know that Capt. Lance P. Sijan, USAF MOH awardee carried his personal .44 Magnum when he flew F-4Cs from DaNang. He was held up by the USAF Survival School as an example of someone who was prepared to survive. They made sure they pointed out that he carried his own .44 and practiced with it frequently. If you get the chance to read about him, do it. He was one tough man and a great American.


The issues behind personal weapons were usually due to command liability or legal issues, and at best only peripherially about Geneva Convention standards. I don't doubt the rest of your story one bit. Sorry for the confusion...I apologize.
Link Posted: 8/19/2010 2:24:15 PM EDT
USAF has and currently flies with M11s as well as M9s.
Link Posted: 8/19/2010 3:24:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Spartan24:
Originally Posted By Mach:
Originally Posted By Spartan24:
Originally Posted By Kalahnikid:
There was a time when some pilots were allowed to take a pistol of their choice as long as it was in 9mm. I have a friend that patrolled the No Fly Zones over Iraq after the 1991 war and he carried a Glock 19 in his vest. I believe it was one he purchased at home before leaving.


That's the story I have heard and was referring to. The story says people carried their own personal firearms, being G19s, but it was never officially santcioned by the USAF. Story says that now, that would be a big giant no-no.


Just like saying 'fuck' in the club.


I believe I have heard a song about that!


Believe the song is "You've gotta be in the Guard to say FUCK"

Dos Gringos ROCKS!!!
Link Posted: 8/21/2010 7:44:01 AM EDT
In the early 1990's, outside the M9, I've seen G19's. We had a call that I responded to when a pilot had a UD inside the Op's building with his Glock. Stated he didn't know it didn't have an external safety like the M9.
Link Posted: 8/23/2010 7:01:16 AM EDT
The only folks I ever saw in Afghanistan that were not issued "standard" pistols (M9 & M11), were OGA, DOS, and NSW people.
Link Posted: 8/23/2010 1:46:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2010 1:48:57 PM EDT by ATACORION]
I'm Navy Aircrew and have carried both the M-9 Beratta, and the M-11 Sig, obviously in 9mm.
Navy went with the Sigs about 7 years ago to Accomadate women and there smaller hands and weaker wrists. I personally could care less what handgun I carry of the two as long as its serviceable and clean. I shoot well with both and my Drop leg holds either one.
If I could I'd probably just get either a Glock 19 or 17 because its less shit to fuck with and they are reliable., i.e. safety, decocking lever.
My fav is a 1911 in 45 acp but that'll never happen.
Link Posted: 8/25/2010 9:26:42 PM EDT
Both Smith & Wesson and Colt manufactured the M13 Aircrewman revolver. The S&W version was based on their K-frame revolver and the Colt was based on their D-frame revolver. Only the frame and cylinder were aluminum, and except for the wooden grips, all other parts were steel including the two inch barrel. The revolvers were designed for use with M41 .38 Special cartridge with a chamber pressure of 16,000 pounds per square inch. Use of other .38 Special cartridges with a chamber pressure exceeding the M41 cartridge could result in a catastrophic failure of the cylinder. This was the reason for the M13s recall and destruction in the late 50's and early 60's. I have never heard or read that any Aircrewman revolvers, Colt or S&W, being retrofitted with steel cylinders. All were destroyed except for the few we see on the market now and then. Fewer Colt M13s were produced than S&W M13 Aircewman revolvers.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:37:09 PM EDT
You guys are really making me feel old! Going back to the Viet Nam days most of the Naval Aviators I knew carried .38s (ancient Colt Model 1917 Victory Models, vintage S&W Model 10 M&Ps (with the old style tapered barrels and big blade front sights, and a few had 1911A1s. I only recall seeing a few zoomies and they had what also looked like the same standard .38 revolvers.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 8:57:49 PM EDT
General "Robbie" Risner is a national hero, combat ace and former POW during Viet Nam. The attached link provides a brief description of his "shoot down" and 7+ years of captivity. In it he describes the "highly tuned" .38 he carried on combat missions with 800 rounds of ammunition and a .25 Beretta "hide out" gun for back-up, and how a Vietnamese peasant almost shot him with his own gun. General Risner, like many of his fellow POWs, is an absolute giant of a man. I have had the honor of meeting a few of the POWs and it was always an awe inspiring and humbling experience to come face-to-face with those who sacrificed so much and endured such great pain on behalf of their country. It is the rare people like that who have been responsible throughout history for ensuring the survival of our country. Let's hope we will be fortunate enough to have others like them who are willing to rise to the occasion in the future. If not, there may not be any future.

Everyone American should know about the great sacrifices and horrible ordeals of POWs like Robbie Risner, Bill Lawrence, John McCain, Jim Stockdale, Dick Stratton, and many, manny others.

http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/org.wgbh.mla:d923c597c6696baf4055e37f1de68355b80b40bf
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