Die auf dieser Seite gezeigten Zippo stammen aus meiner eigenen Sammlung

im Sammlung Gerster 400

Die verschiedenen Rubriken der Vietnam Zippo Bildergalerien sollen lediglich die grosse Vielfalt an verschiedenen Feuerzeugen und Motiven zeigen und erheben keinen Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit.

In der Zippo Literatur spricht man von 200000 Vietnam Zippo. Ich gehe aber davon aus, dass diese Zahl viel zu tief angesetzt ist.

Safeside Vietnam Zippo

Als ich zunächst die beiden folgenden Vietnam Zippos kaufte, konnte ich mir noch keinen Reim machen aus den vorhandenen Gravuren. Erst die Suche im Internet und der Kontakt mit mehreren Safeside Veteranen brachte Licht in das Dunkel:

The unit is the 823rd Combat Security Police Squadron. History: The 1041st USAF Police Squadron (Test) was trained by the US Army Rangers and was the first Safe Side unit (served at Phu Cat Air Base, RVN) from Jan-Jul 1967. On 18 Feb 1968 7th Air Force requested Safe Side units be deployed to RVN in defense of Air Bases. The units went TDY for 6 month rotations. Many of the 1041st (Test) group served as training cadre. The unit was designated the 82d Combat Security Police Wing and consisted of the 821st, 822nd (both organized at Schofield Barracks, HI) which was the training site of the original 1041st (test)and the 823rd Squadron (organized at England AFB, LA in Oct 1968). Training was moved to Ft Campbell, KY. The 823rd took over from the 822nd at Phan Rang Air Base in March 1969 and was relieved by the 821st in August 1969.

Very interesting! Why Vietnam? I have several Zippos from my tour of duty. Nam zippos are highly collectible. The two you mention will be very special. Do you know what "Safeside" refers to? It was US Air Force, 82d Combat Security Police Wing. Very elite, highly trained reaction force HQ'd at Phan Rang AB, 68-69. Approx. 1500-1600 personnel rotated in country in small elements for special ops for a very small window of time. So any of their artifacts are rare indeed. Apparently, you have researched the history that led you to vspa.com. Hopefully, some of our Safesiders will respond to your inquiry. Myself, I was plain ol' SP stationed at Pleiku in '68. A complement of Safesidewinders, the 821st followed by 822d, was deployed to 'ku to augment our defenses. Wired tight and rowdy as any E-lite crew, nevertheless, we were glad to have them to help keep Charlie off base. Theirs is a short, yet proud history. The legacy lives on in the USAF Security Forces, based on the Safeside concept. Yes, you do have a couple of very special militaria artifacts, indeed. Hawk


Rolf, If you got those lighters for a fair price, you probably got a better deal than you thought. Most traders and dealers are ignorant of the Safeside Saga and the rarity of it's memorabilia. Even the ol' Safesiders are unaware of the value of their scant stuff. There are some repro patches out there. Very few of their insignia was produced and they were so short lived as a unit that stock never built up, or so few pieces survived. As collectibles, Safeside stuff, has been under the radar of modern traders for years. Even the Safesiders themselves, just in recent years, are belatedly gathering for reunions and revival. Hawk

Es handelt sich also bei diesen beiden Vietnam Zippos um sehr seltene Exemplare!

Safeside 1

823 Safeside 1

Joggin George Maurer 821 CSPS 1

Joggin George Maurer 821 CSPS 2

O Elkins Jr, Plankowner YR-71

Durch Zufall konnte dieses sehr seltene Vietnam Zippo (nur 36 Exemplare wurden hergestellt) erworben werden. Dank der Mails von Jim Olsen wird die Geschichte des Feuerzeuges sehr gut dokumentiert:

Dear Sir:
I am one of the 36 plankowners of the YR-71 to whom those lighters were issued. Mine was stolen in Alabama nearly 30 years ago. The YR-71 was a floating machine shop and "mother ship" for the first PCF (Swift Boats) and their crews deployed to Da Nang Vietnam in Dec. 1965. In the 70s the "barge" as we called her, was turned over to the South Vietnamese and is today no doubt scrap. Another plankowner lighter was sold on ebay recently for over $500, so hang onto it. As I say, there were only 36 of them ever made. They were a gift from the executive officer to the crew on our commissioning day Dec. 1965, and were handed out after the ceremony in Subic Bay, Philippines. I'm hoping someday to find mine again.
Of course, I know Elkins. One of the original crew. I can't remember his rank but I've acquired some old microfilm from the Navy and will be studying it eventually for a novel I'm writing about that period. Maybe there will be more information on him there. Currently however, I'm busy writing mysteries and short stories since they are easier to get published in the present industry climate. You are welcome to leave messages on my website or contact me directly if you have further questions.
I wish you luck with your collection.
- Jim Olsen


YR-71 1

YR-71 2