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Thread: USN small arms locker contents
09-01-2008, 06:30 PM #1
USN small arms locker contents
I have a nephew who is writing a report on WW2. Being a history buff he has decided to write about the small arms carried by the Navy ships in the Pacific. Does anybody know where I can find information on the type, caliber, and ammount od small arme carried in subs, destroyers, cruisers, battleships and fleet carriers?
We both have spent several hours on the net, but to no avail.
Thanking you in advance.
Livin in Texas
09-01-2008, 07:56 PM #22520wcf Guest
I don't have much specific information about any given warship, but know several general points.
1. Ships with aviators on board (carriers, battleships, cruisers, and seaplane tenders only, I think) carried .38 revolvers to arm aircrew. While some aircrew were issued US 1911A1 .45 Automatics in shoulder holsters, it was the norm for aviators to be armed with S&W .38 Special "Victory Model" revolvers. As far as I know, this was an issue unique to aviators, at least on shipboard (some Shore Patrol got them too).
2). The firearms in the ship's locker controlled by the Master-at-Arms tended to be of the vintage of the ships first commission. So older ships often had REALLY old small arms--some of the ships commissioned in the First World War like 4-stack destroyers even had Spanish War issue small arms--Krag rifles, Colt 1894 .38s, and boarding cutlasses at the beginning of the war (because there was a shortage of small arms at the beginning of the First War, as well as the Second). I don't think any had Lee Navy 6mm rifles, but wouldn't be surprised if there were even a few of those left on the Phillipine and China station gunboats we captured from the Spanish in 1898 and were still using in 1941. And some of our Coast Guard cutters were REALLY old.
Later in the war these tended to get replaced by later weapons as these old ships were converted to other uses ("fast transports," DMSs, etc). But even then some WWI-issue weapons, like Colt 1917 .45 revolvers and "Enfield" 1917 rifles persisted all through the war.
The most modern small arms went to the Army infantry and airborne units first, then the Marine infantry, then everyone else, with Naval ships and the Coast Guard dead last. Not true in every case, I'm sure, but the general trend.
09-02-2008, 09:26 AM #3
I was on a 50's vintage DDG in the '80's, and we had:
M-60 machine guns
Two commercial double-barrel shotguns (rumor had it they were bought for skeet shooting off the stern so long ago no one remembered when).
We also had some M-2 .50 caliber machine guns. They were mounted on the weather decks but I wouldn't be surprised if the GMG's didn't have tripods squirreled away somewhere.
I'd expect that the marine contingents on ships large enough to have them would be equipped with standard marine issue. I was on a CVN when the marines came screaming past and they had M-16's.Turning relics into near-relics since 2005.
09-03-2008, 08:48 PM #4
Does anyone know what type of small arms might have been carried in WW2 german U-Boats (submarines) and in the german S-boats (torpedo boats)? I have always wondered and I thought I would put the question out there for you guys!What has our country become? More takers than givers.
09-03-2008, 10:15 PM #5
I don't know where I heard it, but I was under the impression that the only weapon on a uboat was the captain's pistol. I really can't imagine any other than that unless all other officers had them a well. I am probably wrong though! E-boats....I am clueless.I guarantee that you're smarter than I am.
09-04-2008, 10:50 AM #6
start there i know most guys i talked to had 1903 Thompsons 1911 S&W 1917 some shotgunsSVT40tula-91/30izzy1929-91/30izzy1938-M38izzy-M44izzy-HRAGarand-SAGarand-Eddystone1917-Remington1903A3-Remington1903A3-SA1903-COLT SP1-24/47-DOU43K98-Gew88 1890-Polish Tantal-SR105-CETME
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09-07-2008, 01:38 PM #7Senior Member
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09-07-2008, 05:20 PM #8
I always think of the movie "The Sand Pebble" with Steve McQueen...on the gunboat with BARs, .45's, 03's....
09-07-2008, 06:53 PM #9
09-07-2008, 07:16 PM #10
FWIW, I don't have the photo, but I've seen a picture of WW2 US sailors armed with Reising guns.
I think 2520wcf has given a very good reply. I have a good friend who was a gunners mate (and a gun nut) on a navy LST during the 50s, and he indicated they usually had older stuff. He reported that his initial entry training was with the M1903 rifle.
09-08-2008, 12:06 AM #11
I don't know what the practice was in the 40s, but my ship (Spruance class destroyer) in the 90s would ship all the small arms off to Crane during a yard period. Only after it came out would freshly refurbed weapons be sent from Crane back to the ship.
We had M14s, M60s, M2s, various pump shotguns, and 1911A1s. I think there were also a few 38s for the Helo pilots. We received the Berettas in 1997, and the 1911s went back to Crane.