Dillon AK47 (PR.5428)
The Avtomat Kalashnikova or AK assault rifle is the most common firearm in the world. This is one of many that was supplied to the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the Viet Cong. It was captured in the Battle of Bong Son Plain by Captain Gregory P. Dillon of the US army in 1966. During the battle, Dillon's unit – 7th Cavalry Air Regiment – wiped out an entire NVA brigade. While clearing enemy bunkers, Dillon found and disarmed the NVA brigade’s executive officer who had been carrying this rifle and a pistol. Dillon gave the pistol to his battalion commander and kept the rifle as a trophy. He engraved his name and unit into the butt to secure his ownership. The Royal Armouries acquired the rifle in 2005 and in 2012 the weapon’s significance was rediscovered. Contact was made with Dillon, then a long-retired Colonel, who was amazed: he had not seen the rifle in more than 40 years.