Rolex watches - MACVSOG-5th Special Forces Gp-VIETNAM
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Thread: Rolex watches - MACVSOG-5th Special Forces Gp-VIETNAM

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  1. #1
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    Rolex watches - MACVSOG-5th Special Forces Gp-VIETNAM

    For those actually assigned in Vietnam to MACVSOG and/or the 1st or 5th Special Forces Groups, it was widely known that
    their preferences were Rolex SS references: particularly the 5512-5513-1680 Submariners and GMT models.
    Many SF personnel were already SCUBA qualified. An unmarked Rolex was sterile for purposes of
    cross-border operations conducted by CCN or other SOG entities. The reality of preferences was known by those in the units.
    Members did not skimp on watch reliability or quality.

    I carried a KAR 15, 1911 Colt, Randall knife-5 shot Smith-grenades and a 1680 Rolex red Submariner. As
    the Filson Company in Seattle advertises: "Might as well have the Best". And of course, a 70 pound rucksack full
    of a bag of tricks and canteens carried separately.

    If given the same choice again, it would be the same watch. It has lasted 49 years.
    simonp67 and TJ Boogie like this.

  2. #2
    Member simonp67's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex watches - MACVSOG-5th Special Forces Gp-VIETNAM

    Still have it? Love to see photos


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  3. #3
    Member djdust12's Avatar
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    Interesting bit of history, would love to see one that somebody still has!

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  5. #4
    Member Burgs's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex watches - MACVSOG-5th Special Forces Gp-VIETNAM

    Quote Originally Posted by SOGDIVER View Post

    I carried a KAR 15, 1911 Colt,

    Don't you mean CAR-15???
    Cordially,
    ~Burgs

    "I've been up early my whole life, and all that ever did was increase the amount of time during the day that something could go wrong."
    ~ Inspector O

  6. #5
    Member art1118's Avatar
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    Re: Rolex watches - MACVSOG-5th Special Forces Gp-VIETNAM

    I was a Foreign Service Officer assigned to the U.S. Embassy, Saigon from July 1973 to April 22, 1975. I had in my possession a Chinese AK-47 with 10 magazines, a complete 45 rig - pistol belt, holster, spare mag pouch. and an extra 45. I had a Stainless steel Rolex Date Just that I only wore when I went out on a "mission" - a diplomatic reception! I regularly wore a GI Issue watch that I bought on the Saigon black market for $10.00 NIB! Kept my arsenal in the bedroom for protection, but I carried the one 45 in my briefcase to and from work and about town during my last few months in Saigon. I sold the 2 45's to a German diplomat when I left Vietnam on the last scheduled airplane out of Ton San Nhut Airport. I left the AK-47 behind in my apartment. Just thought I would add my 2 cents.
    longstride likes this.

  7. #6
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    Re: Rolex watches - MACVSOG-5th Special Forces Gp-VIETNAM

    Interesting stories.
    Thank you for your service!

  8. #7
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    Re: Rolex watches - MACVSOG-5th Special Forces Gp-VIETNAM

    The Ambassador to Thailand or Laos-Sullivan I believe- did not approve of MACVSOG or its methods.
    He actively resisted our cross border operations, so with the help of the Agency, the maps were re-drawn.
    (A true story). John Paul Vann of COORDS fame, also looked askance at our successes. The proof of
    the wartime pudding is that the NVA were nervous concerning us. That and the number of Medals of Honor awarded.

    The Rolex watches were carried as insurance in case of bad luck or capture. Handy to have for a long Asia boat ride
    or for someone to lose track of an enemy for 15 minutes. The 1680 red Submariner is visible on the Rolex forum.
    Many years later, the Submariner was seen with its owner at many USAID-OIG functions. After Tet 68, the Main State
    attitude changed toward weapons in country. Its a small world.

    Glad we are all back in relatively one piece.

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