VIETNAM WAR ZIPPOS
The Zippos depicted on this page illustrate the variety of "themes" that exist within the world of Vietnam Zippos. Vietnam War Zippos represent a varied and popular category for collectors for military memorabilia collectors as well as for Zippo fans. There are Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard Vietnam Zippos, as well as Zippos for the RVN, Australian and other services. A subset of Vietnam War Navy Zippos are Riverine or so-called Brown-Water Navy Zippos. There are different types of Vietnam engravings which are not necessarily mutually exclusive: (1) Zippo factory engraved; (2) engraved "in-field" during the War; (3) engraved by Veterans after the the war as personal souvenirs, and (4) engraved in more recent times to be sold as "in-field" Vietnam Zippos to unsuspecting collectors. There are also fakes, meaning lighters that closely resemble genuine Zippos that collectors should watch out for.
The great majority of Vietnam Navy ship Zippos were factory engraved. To be considered a"Vietnam Zippo" the engraving should include specific reference to Vietnam as shown on the lighters below. Military Zippos made during the Vietnam War years that do not refer to Vietnam are often referred to as "Vietnam Era Zippos"
The “Brown-Water" Navy combined Coastal and Riverine Operations to stop the enemy's re-supply of arms from Cambodia by sea and river. It involved destroyers, escorts and minesweepers along with Cost Guard cutters and low draft boats and PBR's patrolling the Mekong Delta. They averaged 85 firefights per month and almost one third of the sailors were killed or wounded. The Riverene Operations were Vietnamized in 1970.
The main US Allies during the Vietnam War were South Vietnam, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, the Philippines, and New Zealand. The Allied soldiers enjoyed their Zippo lighters too.