Episode 1012 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will revisit two of the most iconic weapons of the Vietnam War. The old faithful Colt model 1911 .45 caliber pistol and the revolutionary, at the time, M-16A1 rifle. Sam Bocetta is a retired engineer who worked for over 35 years as an engineer specializing in electronic warfare and advanced computer systems. Today he teaches at Algonquin Community College in Ottawa, Canada as a part time engineering professor.
He provided an article for The Small Wars Journal website titled: 7 Important Weapons Used By the United States in the Vietnam War. His article reviewed seven weapons. Two of those were featured on this podcast episode. One was, as I call it, the old faithful Colt .45 pistol. This reliable piece of equipment was developed back in 1911.
As a result of urgings from the “Yellow Journalist” media of the late 1800’s we went to war against the hapless Spanish Empire in 1898. We ran them out of Cuba and proceeded to seize their possessions including Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. Unfortunately, in the latter territory Armed conflict broke out between U.S. forces and the Filipinos when U.S. troops began to take the place of the Spanish in control of the country after the end of the war, resulting in the Philippine–American War.
Early on the Americans discovered the standard issue .38 Long Colt pistol, did not deliver enough power for the close-in jungle fighting. In response to the need for a firearm with more of a punch Colt answered with the Model 1911. It delivered a huge amount of power at close range. The Model 1911’s emergence was too late for the Spanish-American War bit it was an ideal weapon for the jungles and tunnels of Vietnam.
Go to episode 1012 to discover more about the Model 1911 and the iconic M-16A1.