Historical Korean War Arms Display on Molokai
August 14, 2015
BY MEL CHUNG ** PHOTO BY RINA CHUNG
“Aloha” from Molokai. I am MEL CHUNG, the lone and long-time HHAA member on Molokai. Occasionally, I put on gun exhibits in my shop (Mel Chung-Gunsmith) in Kaunakakai such as: French Military Weapons, Chinese Weapons, etc.
On August 14, 2015, I displayed some representative individual small arms used in the Korean War. The occasion was the grand opening of the Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans facility in Kaunakakai; I am a lifetime member of this organization.
The “Korean Conflict,” as it is sometimes called, took place from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953, and ended in an armistice. The war was a result of the invasion of South Korea (Republic of Korea) by Communist North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and its allies, Mainland China (People’s Republic of China) assisted by Russia (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).
Both sides in the Korean War had a wide variety of individual small arms including World War II surplus weapons. The North Koreans had access to Chinese made copies of Mauser rifles and pistols; captured Japanese rifles and pistols; U.S. M1 rifles, M1 carbines and pistols supplied to China to fight the Imperial Japanese forces during WWII; Russian rifles, carbines and pistols supplied by the Russians; Russian-captured German rifles from WWII; and many other weapons that the Chinese had accumulated over the years. The logistics of ammunition supply for the Communist weapons was difficult, to say the least. The U.S. was part of the United Nations effort to fight the Communists. Eighteen other countries provided combat troops and joined the U.S. in the Korean War. These countries brought their own standardized individual small arms to the war.
The exhibit consisted of weapons on two tables. The left table had Chinese, Russian, and Japanese made weapons. The right table had U.S. made individual small arms.
The Left Table: Russian Mosin-Nagant 1891 Rifle, 7.62x54R caliber; Chinese type 53 folding bayonet Carbine, 7.62x54R caliber; Japanese type 99 Rifle, 7.7×58 caliber (all hand operated bolt action weapons); and a Chinese copy of a Russian TT-33 Pistol (Norinco M213 9mm Parabellum).
The Right Table: Springfield Armory M1C Garand Sniper Rifle with original M82 telescopic sight, cone flash hider, and leather cheek piece; Saginaw Steering Gear (S’G’) M1 Carbine in .30 M1 Carbine caliber and a Union Switch & Signal 1911A1 Pistol in .45 ACP caliber. Note that these are all semi-automatic weapons.
My daughter, Rina Chung, helped me set up, clean up, and serve as docent and photographer. (You might remember Rina attending the Gun Shows; she grew up at the Gun Shows through the years. She had joined the re-enactors and dressed up as a young Red Guard complete with red scarf, Mao’s red book, and SKS; she even blurted out Red Guard slogans! The judges were duly impressed and awarded her the Honorable Mention Plaque.)
Thanks to DARRYL CHOY for lending me the South Korean Flag used in the exhibit.
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