Some Other Marine's Trophy Case

Some Other Marine's Trophy Case

Here is another photo I found from my Beirut collection. One night on patrol I found this 9mm sub-machine gun and it was in perfect condition. I know it was stupid, (all of you reading this are cringing) but I picked it up. We found it off to the side of one of the streets in one of the small local business districts.

I was not leading the patrol, but was the machine gun team leader and we were near the front of the column if I recall correctly. I don’t know how the others missed it, but I saw it about twenty feet in front of me near the front hatch of a building. We stopped the patrol and faced outboard and I walked over with a few others and we looked it over. I went ahead and picked it up and inspected it. There was no magazine inserted and no round in the chamber. Turns out it was a British Sterling (not sure what model) with a nice, comfortable pistol grip and folding stock and it was in excellent shape, and was obviously nearly new, as you can tell from the photo. I took it back to one of our two SSGT’s stupidly thinking that they would let me keep it and send it home to my father, but they turned it over to our platoon commander who turned it over to our CO. It might have made it home into some other Marine’s trophy case, but it never made it home to mine! Semper Fi Jarheads!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl. 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Plt
1981-1985

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20 comments


  • Ron Bean

    Remember that incident. That’s why we always flew low over the Israeli tanks to blow crap inside of them. They had to close up or get crap inside.


  • Cpl . William Manning

    Bad move …Good move . Yeah picking it up so it couldn’t be used against one of us ..Bad move . Bobby trapped possible.. I’m glad it worked out for you and your fellow Marines . Semper Fi…


  • Michael Kunkel

    Bob, At that age, I was really naïve about having to pass anything through customs and was not aware of the laws governing the transferring of automatic weapons, but I knew enough to know that I would have to let my leadership know that I had the weapon in my possession, which is exactly what I did. I figured the SMG was nothing more than a found item in a war zone. There is no way I would have attempted to send that thing home via the mail without telling anyone. We did have a guy in our unit who was busted for shipping home hash he had been buying from the locals, so we all knew that the mail was being checked. But, I turned the SMG in because I thought it was the right thing to do….but I foolishly thought they would tag it somehow and then let me keep it. Oh how dumb we are at that age. Like they say, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Semper Fi Bob. Mike Kunkel


  • Mike kunkel

    Ron, somehow spellcheck changed “seabag” to “drabs”. But I meant to say “seabag”. Mike


  • Mike Kunkel

    Ron, I believe you are correct. I always forget the MAU numbers and confuse my first tour with my second tour at times. To recall them I have to go to my drabs where I have all my places of travel and units written in magic marker! LOL. My CO with Lima 3/8 was Capt. Chuck Johnson. He is the one who jumped up on the Israeli tank and pulled out his .45.


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