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1968 Zippo lighter

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    Posted 1 year ago

    (1 item)

    1968 Zippo lighter presented by Leonard F. Chapman Commandant U.S. Marine Corps He was in 4 or 5 wars and received 3 metals. Condition is Used. Cant find another one anywhere. As you can see it has 3 III on each side makes it a 1968

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    1. kwqd kwqd, 1 year ago
      I found several examples of different versions of this lighter with whichever commandant was in charge at the time. Probably given to marines for some accomplishment, graduating from a military school, 5/10/20 years service, etc. 1968 would be during the Vietnam War, but there is nothing to tie it to someone who was actually ever in country.
    2. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
      Nice-- presented by the Commandant for some achievement. Could have been presented in VN as he was Commandant at that time and certainly visited the country.

      Big difference between service during a conflict and actually IN a conflict. General Chapman had lengthy ww2 combat service, but served in staff and command positions in other areas during Korea and VN.

      Lighters were popular presentation pieces in this era (1950s- 60s) in the military as everyone smoked.

      Replaced by coins in the modern era.

    3. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 1 year ago
      I agree with Scott. I was in Vietnam in 68 and both these little lighters and the standard sizes could be bought in any PX if you got into a base camp. The locals would engrave anything you wanted on them and did a good job. I think every kid in Vietnam had a pocket full of Zippo's with a map of Vietnam engraved on them. They sold them for a couple bucks and if you had one and set it down they would steal it and sell it to the next guy that came along.
    4. Tony36526, 1 year ago
      It's good to hear about the history because I had no idea other than it being from the Vietnam period.. thank you all for the feedback
    5. kwqd kwqd, 1 year ago
      You could buy a Zippo lighter like this in any PX around the world, minus the "Presented by Commandant" engraving. I had a couple, but don't remember what was on them. I bought the Gerber MKII I took to Vietnam in the PX at Ft. Devens, MA. The "Presented by Commandant" lighters were probably made and engraved by Zippo under a contract from the U.S. military and issued by the military as an award around the world, wherever marines were serving. Not something you could buy in the PX.
    6. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
      These were not made under a military contract.

      They were privately purchased by the command.

    7. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 1 year ago
      Agreed scott and you could certainly buy them in a PX with the words presented by on them. Our team got one for the First Sgt and presented it to him. The bottom was marked, " Hard Ass of the Year Award". The reverse was a map of Vietnam and the year.
    8. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
      The VN map must have been a popular motif.

      A buddy of mine carried his Dad's VietNam lighter during Desert Storm. It had the 101st patch on one side and a map of VN on the other. Both served in the 101st.

      Seems the map and unit insignia was typical/ carried through the PX system in country.


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