Vietnam Yabuta Junk 1:72 (20mm)

Vietnam Yabuta Junk, used by South Vietnamese coastal patrol forces to check boats for smuggled arms and equipment, 1:72 (20mm).

Length: 6.69 in (17cm), Width (of the hull): 1.96 in (5cm), Height: 0.98 in (2,5cm).

Approximate weight: 37g.

Model comprised of two pieces, the resine boat and the roof of the engine cabin, unpainted. 

This model is also available in 1:56 scale.

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Vietnam Yabuta Junk

This is a model of the traditional Yabuta Junk. It can be used as a civil craft or as the ones pressed into service by the South Vietnamese Navy Coastal Force.

Command Junk of the Vietnamese Navy Coastal Force

There were three types of patrol junks used by VNN Coastal Security Force; one was made of ferro-concrete and the two others were made of wood.  The boats were lightly armed with small arms and a .30 caliber machine gun and had a single diesel engine turning a single shaft.  Regardless of size, these boats were commonly known as Yabuta Junks.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF JUNK FORCE

        When the South Vietnamese Navy took on the task 0f patrolling the coast in 1956, it soon realizes that it had neither the personnel nor the material resources to perform satisfactorily. Accordingly. it proposed to the U.S. mission in Saigon the organization of a force of junks to conduct inshore patrols in sensitive areas. The idea was that junks manned by locally recruited civilians, trained by the navy and working in coordination with the national police could easily mingle with local boat traffic to observe and report on maritime activity in designated key locations. This proposal was eventually adopted in 1960 and by 1961 there were 80 sailing junks operating off the coast of the I Corps area below the 17th parallel.

In 1962 the U.S. mission proposed an expansion of the Junk Force to include 84 command junks, 100 motor-sail junks, 140 motor junks and 320 sail junks. Plans were also made to establish five coastal repair facilities and assign responsibility for the defense of force bases to the Regional Forces. The plans were implemented in 1963. Then, in 1964, when relative ineffectiveness of the sail junk had been demonstrated, the U.S. - Japanese designed Yabuta was introduced as a replacement.

At the time the Americans organized their coastal surveillance for 'Market Time'. the Junk Force was integrated into the Vietnamese Navy as the Coastal Force. When on July i, 1965 this new designation became effective, the Coastal Force numbered 4000 personnel and had 389 motor junks and 95 sail junk organized into 28 groups based at 22 locations. While the force was to grow to include over 600 junks, it remained plagued by shortages of personnel and supplies. The Vietnamese Navy supply organization was centered in Saigon and was ill-equipped to support an organization as widely dispersed as the Coastal Force.. This dispersion, moreover, made the bases particularly vulnerable to the Viet Cong attack. The problem of base defense was yet another difficulty that was never satisfactorily resolved.

Typical coastal groups of the 1965-66 period operating in the north generally consisted of three command junks and sixteen sail junks (gradually replaced by Yabutas). In the south, the typical group had three command junks six motor-sail junks. This organization varied from group to group and changed as additional boats entered the inventory.Such variation also found in various types of junks used. These other than for the Yabutas, were locally manufactured and varied accordingly. In general, the five types of junks used by Vietnamese Navy Coastal Force had characteristics as follows:

• Command Junk length 17m, beam 5m; armament: one each .30 and .50 caliber machine-guns, plus crew weapon.
• Motor-Sail Junk length 13m, beam 3.7m; armament: crew weapon only.
• Motor Junk length 11.5m, beam 2.6m; armament: crew weapon only.
• Sail Junk length 9.7m, beam 2.m; armament: crew weapon only.
• Yabuta Junk length 16.9m, beam 3.4m; armament: one each .30 and .50 caliber machine-guns and one 60 mm mortar plus crew weapon.

Source: Excerpt from Vietnam River Warfare 1945-1975, by Lt Col Victor Croizat USMC

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