Author Topic: Likely Vietnam bringback Romanian M56 sold at an auction today  (Read 76 times)

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Online Phosphorus32

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Romanian M56 bringbacks are very rare, so I'm posting this one even though I'm not the owner. I'm guessing this wasn't purchased by anyone here for $1440 with the bidder's premium (bp) added. It was purchased onsite at an auction in Coldwater MI. If it was purchased by a member here, my apologies for jumping the gun  :))

I would have been willing to take a risk for considerably less than $1000 but that was the reserve on this one (=$1200, with bp). Already too much for me for uncertain provenance.

That that super clean unbent, unfrayed at the corners tag is either suspicious or remarkable. It must have been kept inside an evidence bag between pages of a book for the last 52 years. Possibly authentic. If it's fake, they certainly took their time with some good details on units, area of capture etc. and using a type writer and blue ink for the signature. The Vietnamese translates (google) as "This is not considered National property". I'm curious if others have seen such a property tag before  think1 It's a first for me. I'd prefer the familiar DD-603, if it was mine.

The SKS certainly looks the part of a Vietnam bringback. It appears likely to be a matching original Romanian except for the Type 56 AKM short spike bayonet that looks like it's been with the gun for ages.



























Online carls sks

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Re: Likely Vietnam bringback Romanian M56 sold at an auction today
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2019, 06:47:46 PM »
can't spend that kind of money, but is a nice one.  thanks for sharing.  thumb1
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Online Justin Hell

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Re: Likely Vietnam bringback Romanian M56 sold at an auction today
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2019, 07:53:14 PM »
Rough, but serviceable?  That's among the nicest bringbacks I think I have seen. It's also my first sight of a Romanian VN capture....heard the talk, just never seen one.  Aaaaannnndddd.....most certainly out of any foreseeable future for me. :)

How crazy is the ending price vs. what one would consider sane for something that uncommon though? Personally I don't know what a reasonable tap out price for such a specimen might be over the usual bringback price/condition basis.

I wonder if the circumstances were unusual for the tag vs form issue?  Why would we even care what the VN govt considers theirs? Also, does the form ever mention Property of the United States Government?  It also seems like it would be odd for someone to fake it and be so off the wall strange about it. Unless this is some VERY old water buffalo excrement fakery...but the minutia on the tag make it seem quite US Gvt. likely.  Could it be an Air Force capture or something else not commonly seen where the pencil pushing was slightly different?

I think the spike is cute! 

Online Phosphorus32

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Re: Likely Vietnam bringback Romanian M56 sold at an auction today
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2019, 12:31:18 AM »
It says “Property of the US Government “ along the left side.

I expect this was in a weapons cache in country for use in equipping the various indigenous Mike Force units, hence tagged for potential future use. The DD-603 could have been lost or perhaps an officer brought it home without paperwork.

We cared whether or not it was South Vietnamese Property because we were supposedly there to help out their government in self defense against the North.

If it had a DD-603 I would have played.

Offline running-man

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Re: Likely Vietnam bringback Romanian M56 sold at an auction today
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2019, 03:01:30 PM »
I think the tag is legit.  Here is a similar tag with fields of information that has German writing instead of Vietnamese from 1966:



In my opinion, the lack of EG bringbacks from VN (this is only the second that I've ever heard of) means the buyer got a once in a lifetime kind of deal.  I would have maybe been a bit wary of the circumstances of how the firearm came to be sold...US gov't property in a civilian's hands is certainly not the norm.  In fact, the back of the tag I posted shows the penalties for an unfortunate serviceman who tried to make a buck or two.   If the auction house would have certified that this was not a stolen item and they would be responsible for setting things right should the US government try and take it back I would have bitten in a heartbeat  thumb1

I wonder if this is Col. Kelley? https://www.nytimes.com/1998/01/04/us/fj-kelly-green-beret-leader-in-vietnam-war-is-dead-at-78.html

Dates are pretty much accurate with respect to that tag, 24th Mike force is also an indigenous group led by Green Berets which would have been part of the special forces which Col. Kelley was in.  Certainly passes my limited sniff test....
      

Online Phosphorus32

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Re: Likely Vietnam bringback Romanian M56 sold at an auction today
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2019, 04:40:11 PM »
Thanks RM.!

Yes, that's the Col. Francis Kelly in the NYT obit.

If I could have been in Michigan to inspect it, perhaps I would have gone for it. $1560, $1800, or more for a "probably legit" bringback  Romanian was more than I could stomach. I checked the facts observable on the tag, and concluded it was either a legit tag or the composer of the info on the tag had gone to some effort to make up a plausible set of facts.


Offline running-man

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Re: Likely Vietnam bringback Romanian M56 sold at an auction today
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 10:23:48 AM »
I found this letter authored by Kelly (I assume in '68 at the end of his command as he's wishing the troops well).

Signatures are not the same.

I guess we'll never know but it sure is fun to see stuff like this pop up from time to time.  I'd still like to know how it got from US Gov't use for "analysis or utilization" into private hands.  That is a good story I bet...  thumb1



Edit: Duh, I just noticed that this one is 'Kelly' while the tag seems to say 'Kelley'.   Maybe the tag was signed by a subordinate in lieu of?  Would make more sense as to why the signatures are different.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 10:40:45 AM by running-man »
      

Online Phosphorus32

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Re: Likely Vietnam bringback Romanian M56 sold at an auction today
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2019, 12:52:09 PM »
Great find. I looked for a signature before without success. I think the non-matching signatures, the misspelling of Kelly as Kelley, the odd "Unit" description of "Col USA Commanding"  ??? and the pristine condition of the tag is pushing it back toward the suspect category for me.

I'd pay $700-800 for that Romanian without paperwork demonstrating provenance if it was verified to have no import mark. The paper tag doesn't add anything for me at this point.