Vietnam War Zippos

Served as a Canvas for Both Personal and Political Expression

I never had any engravings put on my Zippo lighter that I carried in Vietnam. It had a dent in the lid that helped me identify it in the event it ended up in the wrong hands.

I lost it one day in the jungle while on a recon mission with the Blues; it was a pure coincidence that I got it back.

The Zippo lighter was a daily companion for US soldiers fighting in Vietnam, who used it for everything from lighting up cigarettes (straights or otherwise) to burning down villages.

Zippo lighters used by American soldiers during the Vietnam War have become collector’s items. The soldiers who faced death and stood on the brink of hell, carrying their Zippos, transformed these simple lighters into an integral part of their own bodies and souls…




Filed under Vietnam War

10 responses to “Vietnam War Zippos

  1. I believe mine was of a standard type issue. It had man and woman numerically shown on one side and the phrase “Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I fear no evil for I am the evilist Son of a Bitch on Earth. I lost mine sometime after I came back to the states.

    • usastruck

      I quit smoking about three years after I returned home from Nam.
      That’s probably when I lost track of it’s whereabouts…

  2. Don’tsmoke, never did, but I’ve got one with a Cav emblem and jump wings engraved on it. It’s somewhere in my house but I haven’t seen it in years.
    It I remember correctly, I got it one day when I was in An Khe.

  3. I had a few zippos while in nam, but after a while the fluid would evaporate, leaveing you with a non operating one. This could be upseting if told to burn down a ville. After the one I had was misplaced, notice I did not say stolen I used a captured lighter from a NVA officer from the 101st chu chi reg. Man that thing worked. The lighter was simple in its construction but it worked everytime it was put to use. I had it engraved with capture date and unit . Someone has that one to. I do remember how cool it was to flick your zippo with bravado when giveing yourself or a comrad a lite for that first drag on a cigg. Thanks for the memories. Drive On.

  4. usastruck

    I think I had mine before I went to Nam.
    Most of the Zippos were purchased at base PX’s and engraved there.

  5. jesuspdlr

    Thaks for the link, Rob.
    As I supposed, the sale and engraved became a big business.


  6. Loved every little bit of your blog article.Truly thank you! Great

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