Captured SKS

By Mark Genovese

Mark has made an important point to us several times lately, in regard to the so called “Capture documents” from Vietnam War “Veterans” that are increasingly found for sale on the Internet. It is important to do as much research as you can to ensure you are getting what you pay for, not just another SKS with computer generated “Documents”. Firearms that really were legally brought back from the war had certain documentation from the military authorities, and these documents not only prove the story, but they solidify the value. SAR would like to thank Mr. Baybado for making his documents available for printing in SAR, this should help dispel a lot of bad information.- Dan

With the State of Hawaii being a major stop off and R&R hub for most of our U.S. Military heading “In Country”, and for those fortunate ones rotating back to the World, many captured War trophies found a permanent home right here in the Sandwich Isles. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to look over many legitimate, legally papered weapons and several not so legal. With the passage of time and our local humid environment, much of the original paperwork has been lost or simply disintegrated. Recently, I have seen a proliferation of fake captured paperwork being offered with period weapons, for sale on the Internet. I have been blessed with an old friend and decorated war hero who has his original paperwork with the weapon and he was willing to share it with the readers of SAR. He still possesses a crisp memory regarding the circumstances of its capture.

On August 27, 1972 SP4 Warren Baybado of 18th AVN Corps. Can Tho, RVN was engaged in aerial flight in connection with military operations against a hostile force. His Huey UH-1D was involved in the emergency resupply of a friendly outpost in Chuong Thien Province. Known enemy locations were plotted on three sides of the outpost. On the first entry into the LZ, the aircraft began to receive enemy fire. Because of the close proximity of friendly villagers the crew was directed not to return fire unless they could pin-point the position of the enemy fire. Specialist Baybado kept the aircraft Commander advised of general enemy location and returned fire while keeping his aircraft clear of obstacles along their low level route of flight. As the aircraft neared the outpost for the third time, it began to receive many hits from enemy fire. Controlled fire was returned causing a hasty retreat. After the area was reconned, specialist Baybado was presented with a captured Chicom Carbine Type 56, serial number 10147058. This is a Chinese copy of the Soviet Simonov SKS rifle with a folding spike bayonet in place of the normal sword bayonet.

This incredibly robust semi-automatic ten shot carbine, firing the 7.62X39MM Soviet M1943 cartridge, was used with deadly effect against our troops in Vietnam. In production since 1946, it is estimated that perhaps 15 million have been made. After securing the War Trophy Registrations/authorization DD form 603-1 and the Transportation of Firearms Form 9 required by the Chief of Vietnamese Customs, the only thing keeping this trophy from the land of the big PX was his DEROS date. On November 30, 1972 the proud owner and his captured trophy were on a commercial flight back to the world. Before boarding Warren disassembled the carbine, slipping the bolt in his pocket knowing the weapon would be locked in the cockpit with the pilots. After seemingly endless hours in the air the jet finally touched down at Honolulu International Airport. Patiently waiting at the gate for his beloved SKS to be turned over, he was stunned to see the aircraft taxing down the runway and take off into the wild blue yonder. After a tense phone call to the airport on the island of Kauai, the plane’s final destination, the pilot realized the mistake and dropped off the rifle on his return flight. Warren and his prize reside with his family in the old whaling town of Lahaina, on the Valley Isle, Maui.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V6N1 (October 2002)
and was posted online on December 27, 2013


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