Hmm... Looks like a Super Blackhawk. From what I know from the Vietnam vets I've talked to, they carried pretty much whatever they could get their hands on. My great uncle won a S&W 22 magnum in poker game and carried it at Da Nang for snakes and my neighbour carried a buntline Frontier Scout. Of course guys here that were actually there can give better insight into this, I wasn't born for another 15 years.
I know this, because I carried one, along with an Inglis-made Hi-Power.
Ruger Blackhawks were 'very' popular - especially with Cav's helicopter pilots, as it added to the swagger, what with the Stetsons and spurs - but in the early days of that war, you saw a lot of privately-owned weaponry.
Later, it got a bit more staid as the older guys rotated home and were replaced by the ticket-punchers who really liked rules, but for awhile, it was the Wild West, and you carried what you could find, if you could get ammo for it.
A lot of locally-made holsters were produced - and they're a collecting field all their own, today.
Dix was serving as an Advisor to the ARVN - assigned to 5th SF.
Here's what he did...
The President of the United States in the name of the Congress takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Drew Dennis Dix United States Army for service as set forth in the following citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SSG. Dix distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while serving as a unit adviser. Two heavily armed Viet Cong battalions attacked the Province capital city of Chau Phu resulting in the complete breakdown and fragmentation of the defenses of the city. SSG. Dix, with a patrol of Vietnamese soldiers, was recalled to assist in the defense of Chau Phu. Learning that a nurse was trapped in a house near the center of the city, SSG. Dix organized a relief force, successfully rescued the nurse, and returned her to the safety of the Tactical Operations Center. Being informed of other trapped civilians within the city, SSG. Dix voluntarily led another force to rescue eight civilian employees located in a building which was under heavy mortar and small-arms fire. SSG. Dix then returned to the center of the city. Upon approaching a building, he was subjected to intense automatic rifle and machinegun fire from an unknown number of Viet Cong. He personally assaulted the building, killing six Viet Cong, and rescuing two Filipinos. The following day SSG. Dix, still on his own volition, assembled a 20-man force and though under intense enemy fire cleared the Viet Cong out of the hotel, theater, and other adjacent buildings within the city. During this portion of the attack, Army Republic of Vietnam soldiers inspired by the heroism and success of SSG. Dix, rallied and commenced firing upon the Viet Cong. SSG. Dix captured 20 prisoners, including a high ranking Viet Cong official. He then attacked enemy troops who had entered the residence of the Deputy Province Chief and was successful in rescuing the official's wife and children. SSG. Dix's personal heroic actions resulted in 14 confirmed Viet Cong killed in action and possibly 25 more, the capture of 20 prisoners, 15 weapons, and the rescue of the 14 United States and free world civilians. The heroism of SSG. Dix was in the highest tradition and reflects great credit upon the U.S. Army.[SUP][/SUP]
Six, wasn't the actions that Sgt. Dix won his medal for the ones that the unit's C.O. and his staff stayed wrapped up inside the C.P. and wouldn't send help or aid to the nurse and the civilians?
I believe Sgt. Dix was acting completely on his own.
Dealing with Marvin the ARVN and his 'leaders' was an interesting concept - not at all unlike dealing with our Afghan and Iraqi 'counterparts' - all 'filled with Sound and Fury, signifying nothing' - but glory-hungry, all the same, once the smoke settled.
The had the idea that all of the real fighting really should be done by their American Advisors.
Montagnards were a completely different story - they loved to fight - but then ARVN Airborne and ARVN Marines were good at their jobs, as well.
That's true of any of the elite forces - they get the Type A guys and the guys who want to put forth the effort.
I was a USAF Tactical pilot and flew in direct support of Army Special Forces. They operated in some nightmare places and accomplished things most can't understand or believe.
The only guns I saw USAF pilots carry, other than issued S&W .38, were other S&W revolvers in .357 Magnum or Government Model .45s. I personally got a .45 from an Army captain at Xuan Loc during my second "tour."
What an interesting thread!
I never understood to what extent the use of personal type weapons were allowed to be used in Vietnam.
My aunt, still living and in her late 80's, sent her son (my cousin) a .357 magnum revolver with bullets while he was stationed in Vietnam with the Marine Corps. I'll have to ask her about the story again but I think she utilized a degree of "secret agent" craftiness by putting it inside a baked cake and then wrapping the entire interior package in aluminum wrap and then mailing the entire package to him. That occurred in 1969-1970. Here are photos of my cousin in Vietnam in 1970 with that same revolver. I don't know the make/model but I can check with him next time I see him.
That pistol stayed in Vietnam after he left.
I carried a S&W Model 29 4" in Viet Nam until I actually got into a firefight and discovered what a stupid choice that was. Among other problems, nobody else had ammo for it. It also drew fire because it sounded like a mortar.
Years later I was carrying the same Model 29 in a shoulder holster just outside of Sitka, Alaska. I came around a corner and was facing a huge bear about ten feet away which immediately stood up in surprise. I froze, not because that was the thing to do, but because I was too scared to do anything else. I never drew the .44. It occurred to me that if I shot that bear with that revolver, he was likely to take it as an unfriendly act. After a few seconds the bear got down on four legs and ran off. I ran off in the other direction and changed my pants.
Sure looks like a single action of some sort, appears to have a loading gate. Damn, that could be me in that picture. We thought we were such badasses but we were kids. My youngest kid is older that that Marine. Good grief. That makes me feel really old. (I mean the picture of the young Marine above, not the statue that started the post)
I get goose bumps when I read about the heroism of some of these great men.
I just wish wish our governments would do more for them and their families when they come home. For those that pay the ultimate sacrifice while in battle, their direct families should be honored with support for life. It's the least we can do for them.
A true American hero and the statue is a fitting tribute.
I did 3 tours in Southeast Asia in LE with the Air Force. I was always amused at strutting young pilots who slung their web belts low with their Model 15 in a swivel holster trying to look like Matt Dillon. The Air Force was pretty strict about prohibiting personal weapons but some showed up anyway. Quite a few as evidenced by a lot of non-standard ammo showing up at the base post offices. Trouble arose when personal weapons showed up in the bars mixed with alcohol. One pistol really popular with aircrew was the Browning Hi-Power (which was at the time being issued to generals) and they were pretty pricey on the squadron black markets. Nobody questioned those pistols when a pilot was strapping on an F-4 or F105. I did see lots of Army flight crew personnel on air bases with a myriad of handguns including the Model 29 and SAA's and I remember thinking "how cool".