Green Berets, The

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The Green Berets
Theatrical release poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg USA
Directed by John Wayne
Ray Kellogg
Mervyn LeRoy (uncredited)
Release Date 1968
Language English
Studio Batjac Productions
Distributor Warner Bros.-Seven Arts
Main Cast
Character Actor
Colonel Mike Kirby John Wayne
SGT Petersen Jim Hutton
George Beckworth David Janssen
MSG Muldoon Aldo Ray
SFC "Doc" McGee Raymond St. Jacques
Captain Nim (ARVN) George Takei
LT Jamison, (United States Navy) Patrick Wayne
Colonel Morgan Bruce Cabot
Colonel Cai (ARVN) Jack Soo
SGT Provo Luke Askew

The Green Berets is the 1968 John Wayne war film that was one of the few movies made about the Vietnam War while the US was still involved in fighting it. Holding a somewhat dubious honor of being the only (somewhat) pro-Vietnam War movie of the era, Wayne's film received substantial support from the Department of Defense, who lent accurate equipment and weaponry for the production.

The following weapons were used in the film The Green Berets:


Captured Weapons Display

At the beginning of the film, when a group of civilians and reporters are being briefed about the capabilities of the U.S. Army Special Forces a number of captured weapons are seen on a display board behind the MSG Muldoon (Aldo Ray) and SFC McGee (Raymond St. Jacques), they include:

The Captured Weapons Display.
MSG Muldoon standing next to the Captured Weapons Display


The MAT-49 sub machine gun was used widely throughout (then) French Indo-China with a great deal of them being left behind after the defeat at Dien Bien Phu. The weapon displayed here could be a locally manufactured copy which chambered the 7.62mm Tokarev round.

French MAT-49 Sub Machine Gun - 9mm
MAT-49 top dead center of Display


Also seen on the board is an M1928A1 Thompson. The M-1928 and A1 models could have their butt stock removed and were commonly seen with the Vietcong because of the First Indochina War, Chinese Civil War, and Korean War.

M1928A1 Thompson with 50-round drum magazine - .45 ACP
Viet Cong copy of Thompson in center of Display

SKS Carbine

The Russian SKS Carbine is also on display.

Russian SKS carbine - 7.62x39mm
Russian version of SKS Carbine in center of Display
Muldoon takes up the SKS.

PPSh-41 Submachine Gun

This ubiquitous Russian PPSh-41 Sub Machine Gun is also seen on the captured weapons display but, like the SKS above it could very well be a Chinese clone. Sgt. Muldoon (Aldo Ray) refers to the weapon as a "ChiCom K50 submachine gun". The ChiCom version normally was loaded with a "stick" magazine instead of the drum magazine seen here.

PPSh-41 Submachine Gun - 7.62x25mm Tokarev
Chinese version of PPSh-41 at bottom of Display
Sgt. Muldoon shows off the "ChiCom K50 submachine gun".

Mle 1892 Revolver

A Mle 1892 Revolver is seen mounted on the captured weapons display.

Mle 1892 Revolver - 8 x 27mm
Viet Mihn copy of Mle 1892 Revolver in center of Display


Colt Woodsman "Assassin" Model

A Colt Woodsman with both a modified slide and barrel to thread a suppressor is used by Colonel Cai (Jack Soo).

Colt Woodsman "Assassin" Model
Colonel Cai (Jack Soo) prepares to use the suppressed pistol.
Colonel Cai (Jack Soo) holds the pistol.


Browning Over & Under Shotgun

The Airborne Colonel who shoots skeet with Col. Kirby (John Wayne) (and who was the real commander of the Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia where the film was shot) uses a Browning over-under shotgun.

Remington Premier 12 or 20 gauge, or a combination.
The Airborne Colonel uses a Browning over-under shotgun to shoot skeet with Col. Kirby (John Wayne). The Airborne Colonel was portrayed by the real life commander at Fort Benning at the time of the film's production.

Remington Model 1100

Col. Kirby uses a Remington Model 1100 semi-auto shotgun while shooting skeet with the Airborne colonel.

Remington Model 1100 - 12 Gauge
Col. Mike Kirby (John Wayne) with the Remington Model 1100 Shotgun.


XM16E1 Rifle

In the movie, Kirby's men carry a XM16E1 rifles noted by the presence of a forward bolt assist, partial magazine fence and early model three prong flash suppressor. In actuality, the U.S. Army Special Forces were one of the first units to actively field the M16 in combat.

XM16E1 Rifle - 5.56mm
A publicity image of John Wayne as Colonel Kirby holding the rifle.
Sgt. Parks (Rudy Robbins) holds the XM16E1 Rifle.
Colonel Mike Kirby (John Wayne) with the Mike Force armed with XM16E1 Rifles
Colonel Mike Kirby (John Wayne) holding a XM16E1 Rifle while watching Skyhook.
Kirby carries the rifle as the sun sets over the coast of Vietnam. (This would not be a common occurrence either in the state of Georgia, where the majority of the production was filmed, or South Vietnam as most of Vietnam's and Georgia's coastal areas face east.

Mattel M-16 Marauder Toy Gun

Later in the movie, Col. Kirby is seen dramatically smashing an M-16 against a tree. If you look carefully, the "weapon" is actually a Mattel M-16 Marauder, a plastic toy gun manufactured in the 1960's. Also, it would be near impossible for him to smash the aerospace-grade aluminum receivers by hand against a tree, which is what he would have done to really render the weapon unusable to the enemy. Like in most movies, this was done just to give viewers a 'macho' impression on the screen. The Marauder is also briefly seen in the hands of Kirby after the watchtower is brought down by enemy fire.

Mattel M-16 Marauder Toy Gun
Wayne prepares to smash his fallen comrade's 'M16 rifle', making it useless to the Vietcong if they ever got a grip of it. The "weapon" is actually a Mattel M-16 Marauder, a plastic toy gun manufactured in the 1960's.
The rifle briefly seen in the hands of Kirby after the watchtower is brought down by enemy fire also is the Maurader toy gun.

M1 Carbine

The M1 Carbine is seen mainly in the hands of the ARVN troopers, VC fighters, as well as numerous US military personnel. Reporter George Beckworth (David Janssen) also is briefly seen with the rifle.

Late Model M1 Carbine - .30 Carbine
The M1 Carbine is seen in the hands of the ARVN troopers.
LT Jamison (Patrick Wayne) carries an M1 Carbine on his tractor.
Captain Nim (George Takei) carries the M1 Carbine.
Viet Cong carrying M1 Carbines.
Mike Force soldier with M1 Carbine assisting the evacuation.
George Beckworth (David Janssen) holding the M1 Carbine.
Colonel Cai (Jack Soo) on the right carries the M1 Carbine.

M1 Garand

The M1 Garand is seen in the hands of ARVN troops, Strike team members, as well as enemy fighters.

M1 Rifle - .30-06
Col. Kirby meets the Mike Force Honor Guard. While this is supposed to be South Vietnam, seen on the right are the jump towers of Fort Benning, Georgia, where the production was filmed.
Mike Force Honor Guard with the M1 Garand.
Mike Force Honor Guard with the M1 Garand as Col. Kirby salute.
Strike Team member carrying the M1 Garand on the left.

M14 Rifle

Both American and VC force are seen using the M14 rifle.

M14 Rifle - 7.62x51mm
Viet Cong charging the camp with M14 Rifles
Viet Cong charging the camp with M14 Rifles
Mike Force soldier with M14 Rifle assisting the evacuation
US Soldiers arriving in Vietnam with M14 Rifles

T26 Tanker Garand Rifle

During the evacuation of the A camp, a Mike Force member is briefly seen carrying the Tanker model of the M1 Garand.

T26 Tanker Garand Rifle - .30-06
Mike Force soldier with Tanker Garand with flash hider.
A closer view of the Mike Force soldier's Tanker Garand with flash hider.

Mauser Gewehr 98 Rifle

The Mike Force soldier on the left has a Mauser Gew98 Rifle slung after the battle.

Mauser Gew 98 Rifle - 7.92x57mm
Mike Force soldier carrying a Mauser Gewehr 98 Rifle after the battle.

Mauser Karabiner 98k Rifle

NVA Regular soldiers are seen grabbing their Mauser K98k Rifles during the extraction. It should be noted that both the NVA and the Viet Cong used a considerable number of Mauser Kar98k rifles during the Vietnam War (many of which were provided by the Soviet Union) and the rifles (along with the Mosin-Nagant) were used alongside the more prevalent AK-47 rifle and SKS carbine.

Mauser K98k 98 Rifle - 7.92x57mm
NVA Regular soldiers are seen grabbing their Mauser K98k Rifles.

T-62 Civilian Defense Weapon

During the VC/NVA Assault on the basecamp, three VC killed on the wire appear to be armed with T-62 Civilian Defense Weapon rifles/carbines. Similar weapons were used in the 1967 Dean Martin film The Ambushers as well as in the television series Get Smart.

T-62 Civilian Defense Weapon - .22 LR
The rifle is held by the VC.
The pistol grip is visible here.

Machine Guns

M60 Machine Gun

M60 machine guns are seen manned by doorgunners in Huey helicopters as well as carried by US troops entering their tour of duty at the end of the film. This is one of the first appearances of the machine gun in a motion picture and not likely a prop weapon (the production was granted full cooperation with the US Department of Defense).

M60 machine gun with bipod extended - 7.62x51mm NATO
M60 machine guns seen inside the helicopter.
M60 machine gun manned by doorgunner in Huey helicopter.
Beckworth leaves with another group of troops with slung M60 machine guns (seen on the far left and far right).

M60D Machine Gun

M60D machine guns are seen mounted as door guns on several US "Huey" helicopters.

M60D machine gun - 7.62x51mm NATO
M60D machine guns are seen mounted as door guns on several US "Huey" helicopters.
M60D machine guns are seen mounted as door guns on the landing "Huey" helicopter.
UH-1 "Huey" Helicopter armed with M60D machine gun in the door

M60C Machine Guns mounted in M-6E3 Weapons System

This system, consisting of two double sets of M60C machine guns mounted above 7 shot rocket pods is seen attached to a UH-1 "Huey" (probably a C or D model) gunship in the movie.

Closeup of M-6E3's M60Cs.
A ground crew doing final adjustments to the M-6E3 Weapons System with M60C machine guns
Crew doing final adjustments to the M-6E3 Weapons System with M60C machine guns
The gunship launches rockets on an NVA position.

Browning M2 Aircraft

Seen mounted on tripods throughout the A Camp is this aircraft version of the venerable Browning M2 easily denoted by the full length ventilated barrel shroud. The reason for using the M2 Aircraft version on film was the ease of blank conversion compared to the M2 Heavy Barrel ground gun.

Browning M2 Aircraft, Flexible - .50 BMG
Sergeant Muldoon (Aldo Ray) standing over a Browning M2 Aircraft Machine Gun.

Browning M1919A4 Machine Gun

A Browning M1919A4 Machine Gun is also used in the defense of the A Camp.

MSG Muldoon (Aldo Ray) oversees the camp's defenses. Note the M1919 in the upper right corner.
Green Beret machine gun team firing a Browning M1919A4 Machine Gun.

Browning Automatic Rifle

A Browning Automatic Rifle is briefly seen in the hands of a VC fighter during the assault on the A Camp.

Browning Automatic Rifle - .30-06
On the right, a Browning Automatic Rifle is briefly seen in the hands of a VC fighter during the assault on the A Camp.

GE M134 Minigun

Seen in the interior of Puff the Magic Dragon (a nickname of the AC-47 "Spooky" gunship, a ground-attack variant of the venerable C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft) are a pair of devastating GAU-2B/As, the Air Force designation for a variant M134 minigun. The AC-47D carried three such guns after the replacement of the SUU-11/A gunpod (which used the original fixed-mount M134 under its Air Force designation, GAU-2/A) with the MXU-470/A gun module starting in January 1967.

This is also one of the first appearances of the weapon in a motion picture: it appears the production managed this by borrowing a real military AC-47D.

Three MXU-470/A minigun modules with GAU-2B/A (M134) Miniguns in an AC-47D "Spooky" gunship - 7.62x51mm
"It'll only a take a minute." A pair of GAU-2B/As are fired from the "Puff the Magic Dragon" AC-47D Gunship.


M30 4.2 inch Mortar

Sergeant Peterson (Jim Hutton) and crew are seen manning a M30 4.2 inch Mortar during the VC attack.

M30 mortar - 4.2 inch
Sergeant Peterson (Jim Hutton) and crew manning a M30 4.2 inch Mortar.

M79 Grenade Launcher

The M79 Grenade Launcher glimpsed briefly (though never actually fired) in the movie is one of the U.S.'s more reliable light support weapons. An M79 is also carried by MSG Muldoon (Aldo Ray).

M79 Grenade Launcher - 40mm
A Mike Force Strike Team member carrying a M79 Grenade Launcher.
MSG Muldoon is seen in the center with an M79.

M18A1 Claymore

This standard (and extremely devastating) M18A1 Claymore U.S. anti-personnel mine makes a brief appearance in the film. The mine is a modified Training model. In the 1960s and 1970s the training model Claymores were green plastic with a blue painted stripe on the front. The green plastic was the same as the live Claymore so it looks most like live ordnance. Only from the 1980s forward did they use ALL blue plastic training M18s. The remnants of the blue paint are faintly visible on this model, though it would be obvious that a movie production would never use any live ordnance to begin with.

M18a1 07.jpg
M18A1 Claymore in place in camp A-107. It is a solid green training model with the remnants of the blue paint visible on the bottom edges.

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