This carbine was manufactured in China and patterned after the Russian Mosin Nagant M44 carbine. The carbine is fitted with a hooded post front and tangent rear sights graduated to 1000 meters, standard folding cruciform spike bayonet, and cleaning rod. The barrel shank is dated "1960" below the factory "26" marking. The bolt is numbered to the gun. Mounted on a hardwood stock with grasping grooves and sling loops. The carbine is mounted on a hardwood plaque with two screws. The hardwood plaque has a smaller plaque attached to it that is marked "To LT. General VICTOR_H_KRULAK/COMMANDING GENERAL F.M.F. PACIFIC/WITH BEST WISHES/AND HIGH REGARDS/From B. General NGUYEN-CHANH-THI/COMMANDING GENERAL I CORPS/VIETNAM JULY 1965". Victor Krulak served in both World War II and the Korean War as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. From 1962-1964, while the U.S. was providing advisors to the South Vietnamese military in their fight against the Viet Cong, he served as special assistant for counter insurgency activities to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In March of 1964 he was promoted to lieutenant general and placed in command of the Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Early in the war, Krulak presented his "Spreading Ink Blot" strategy of small units pacifying South Vietnam village by village while relentlessly bombing the North, which was rejected by General Westmoreland in favor of employing overwhelming firepower. Nguyen-Chanh-Thi was the commanding general of the first of South Vietnam's four corps, and was often cited as leading the corps more as a warlord than a commanding officer. After a long term power struggle with the South Vietnamese prime minister and Air Marshal, Thi was removed from command and eventually exiled to the United States where he lived until his death in 2007. There is a small label in the upper left of the large plaque marked "CHICOM 7.62mm CARBINE TYPE 53", a stripper clip with three drilled "dummy" cartridges below the carbine, and there are three unit emblems attached in the lower right. Also included with the lot is printed information pertaining to the two men discussed above, a print of a photograph that appears to show Thi presenting a similarly mounted carbine to Richard Nixon, and a copy of the Victor Krulak biography called "Brute" by Roberta Coram.
Fine, retains 60% plus of the arsenal blue finish with extensive scattered speckling of brown patina/oxidation throughout and the balance mostly a smooth grey patina. The wood is also fine with some minor dings and dents scattered throughout. Mechanically excellent. The plaque is very good with a few hairline cracks and some mild handling/storage wear. A historic Vietnam War presentation piece!
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