Yeah, initially I was searching for Vietnamese script, but when Gene L suggested that it looked like Thai I did a quick search on Thai script and found that the lower 6 characters were numbers, 388368, and the first 2 were Alpha, Royal Thai General System of Transcription (RTGS) . The first character being "ko kai " with the meaning "chicken" and the next character appears to be "tho thahan" with the meaning of "soldier." What they actually represent on the pistol, I don't know.
From what I can tell by the SN is was made in the early 60's.
I cleaned it well after he gave it to me and fired about 30 rounds. Have fired it once since, less than 50 rounds.
It's accurate, no jams. I bought a couple new clips, the originals have weak springs.
My uncle's last tour ended in 1970, he gave me the pistol in the late 90's.
Has been in my safe since then.
Interesting story. My tour ended in '71 and no one gave me anything. I will note that the first two weeks in country I worked at a discharge point for U.S. soldiers near the Tan Son Nhut airbase...I think it was on the first floor of Dodge City barracks but I might not remember that correctly. They guys going home would turn in their military pay currency for greenbacks, etc. Many of them had captured items from flags, to firearms to this and that....but unless they had previously registered and had them cleared they had to dispose of them there. There was a huge pile of stuff....I have no idea what happened to it all as I was soon moved on. 1917
He was a Major when his last tour ended, he retired from the Army while stationed in Hawaii. From what I remember he said the pistol was in a safe deposit box from the time he returned ('70) until he gave it to me ('95 or 96). I was working as a contractor at PHNSY and was living in Kailua. He sold his condo in Honolulu and returned to take care of all of that. That's when he gave me the pistol.
It was in a cardboard box, I don't remember exactly how the box was marked but it was clearly US Army. Was a single piece of cardboard that folded into a box. The pistol was encased with Cosmoline and in basically a shrink-wrapped plastic bag. I didn't take it out of the box until I returned to the mainland in 2000. It was stored properly, the Cosmoline wiped of relatively easy.
The way I remember his story, was that the South Vietnamese General gave him the pistol. It was the generals pistol. Uncle didn't ask for it, the general just gave it to him.