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First Marine Corps reciept and issue of carbines?

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Matt_X View Drop Down
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    Posted: Nov 16 2022 at 5:17pm
When did the USMC first receive quantities of M1 carbines to distribute ?
And is it known if they were issued stateside or shipped out?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thirtyround Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 18 2022 at 12:05am
My best educated guess based on research and probabilities...Probably between July 42 - Jan 43 at earliest and then in very limited quantities if that, mass issue early to mid 43 and beyond.
*There is speculation that the Marine Raiders received very small quantities early on but only veteran talk, no photo's or documents to substantiate that hypothesis. This is partly based on the fact the President's son was the XO and would probably engage in some "privileged" status of authority to possibly acquire a small group of rifles.           
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt_X Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 18 2022 at 12:37pm
That helps.

 I ask because November 1942 MCO states the marksmanship course [for carbines] outlined in section III, Chapter 2, FM 23-7 to be fired for qualification after completion of the rifle qualification.  Recruit Depots to be notified when to start carbine firing.   [emphasis added]

However, depending on when the carbines were recieved and then distributed, this may have never implemented.   The training MCO which came out July 19, 1943 replaced carbine qualification with a familiarization course.

It wasn't until '45 when a carbine qualification course was again ordered, and then initially just for Fleet. Everyone else continued with the familiarization course.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thirtyround Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 19 2022 at 11:34pm
Nov 42 sounds about right. My guess however is they didnt really see them in big numbers until early to mid 43. As far as how issued, both stateside and those forward deployed as well. The fam fire or qualification or just doping the rifle would have been a simple task to any Marine. Forward deployed, getting an M1 Carbine doped in at some makeshift range would of taken a few minutes and probably no more that a magazine of ammo, then from there if they had ammo to spare they could shoot more getting more in tune with its attributes etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Abel4287 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 19 2022 at 11:55pm
I have inland 1652 and from what I have read it would have been in the first block sent over to Europe but it would have to the Army in about July of ‘42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thirtyround Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 20 2022 at 12:43am
The USMC had double in size/strength from June of 42 (142,613) to June of 43 (308,523), I would certainly assume there was a mighty large number of 30 Carbines involved in arming them. All USMC Campaigns through all of 1943 show, through archived imagery, that the M1 carbine was used.
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Marty Black Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 20 2022 at 1:52am
The only mention that I can remember from Carbine Club newsletters is an After-Action Report by the 2nd Marine Parachute Battalion that conducted a 10 day diversionary raid in the Solomon Islands in Oct-Nov 1943. See Newsletter 276, pp 6-7.

This report detailed the Marines' experience with small arms, and for the carbine, it reported: "Functioned extremely well throughout the operation. Was subjected to abusive treatment in mud, rain, and salt water with most satisfactory results. Accurate and effective in the jungle. Its discharge sounds like the Japanese .25 caliber, and was occasionally confused therewith."

Concerning the "Automatic Pistol...Little use. The carbine is very nearly as easy to carry and provides a greater measure of protection. Due to reduced visibility, officers frequently find themselves in the middle of a patrol action, where it is essential that they be able to defend themselves. The pistol appears to have utility only as an emergency weapon for machine gun and mortar personnel."

There you have it! Used by permission, since I wrote the article for the Carbine Club! :-) Marty Black
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt_X Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 20 2022 at 12:22pm
Marty, Thank you for sharing that.   That makes October 1943 the earliest documentation yet for carbines issued to Marines heading into combat.    Perhaps not surprising it would be prioritized for airborne troops.
The author of https://usmcweaponry.com/wwii-korean-era/  has posted December ’43 reports for M1 Carbine as well as M1 Rifle performance at Tarawa.     Those might be the earliest beach landings with the carbines.

Here’s another  piece of the puzzle. Almost halfway down the webpage are some USMC weapons inventories from Guadacanal and there are no carbines on any of them.  The last image in that row is total inventory of the Marine Corp.   There are 3,505 carbines (compared with some 63,000 Garands and 88,000 M1903s).  The caption states the inventory is from the end of the 1942 fiscal year.  That may be a mistake.  It is my understanding that the end of fiscal year 1942 was June 30, 1942.  The document's last column is a projection for Dec 1943.   My guess is that is a June 1943 inventory.

Thirtyround. If you can point to some photo earlier than October 1943 that would be great.  Stateside, shipboard, etc. would all be good.  Other than airborn, carbines may have initially been seen like the M1 Rifles, best for roles least likley to be in an environment that would foul the working mechanisms.

  My guess is the carbines were considered specialist weapons and not issued out on 742 as the rifles traditional had been.    Marine recruit training really suffered with the massive increases at the begining of the war.   To accomodate the additional recruits, basic was reduced to 5 weeks in January of 1942, then brought up to 7 weeks in March.     Rifle training was already under pressure in 1941 as the Corps ran amphibious excercises in preparation for the anticipated role of Fleet Marine Force.  Some new Marines did not get their rifle training until they returned from the excercises.   Of the Marines that fired for rifle qualification in 1941, only 78% made the minimum.    
  [Training info from Kenneth Condit, Marine Corps Ground Training in World War II, https://archive.org/details/marinecorpsgroun00unit/mode/2up/

There is one mention of carbines in that report; under Infantry Training its notes that pistol was replaced by carbine 25 August 1943  (page 180).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marty Black Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 20 2022 at 12:49pm
Very interesting, Matt X. You have certainly done your homework on the Marine Corps during WWII. Given the tradition-bound reluctance of the Marines to issue the M1 Garand in 1942, it stands to reason that the M1 Carbine wasn't a priority for them.

You've probably read that the Marines didn't fall in love with the Garand until the Army showed up on Guadalcanal in about Jan-Feb 1943 and realized that the M1 was a much better combat rifle than their '03s. And they started stealing them from the GIs!

I assume that the Army had carbines on Guadalcanal, but I can't remember reading anything about that. The book "Shots fired in Anger" by John George mentions the carbine in combat, but I'm not sure if the author first used one on Guadalcanal or in a later campaign. I sold most of my WWII book collection 13 years ago, so I can't look it up.

Keep on studying, keep on learning! It's a fun ride!

Regards, Marty Black

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smokpole Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 20 2022 at 9:22pm
Matt, the federal fiscal year ends on Sept 30 these days, but you are correct, in 42 it ended on the last day of June. There are some pictures of the army landing in Operation Torch that show a few carbines, so at least a few saw action with them during that operation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 20 2022 at 9:36pm
Originally posted by Marty Black Marty Black wrote:

You've probably read that the Marines didn't fall in love with the Garand until the Army showed up on Guadalcanal in about Jan-Feb 1943 and realized that the M1 was a much better combat rifle than their '03s. And they started stealing them from the GIs!

Marines don't steal Marty, they acquire. Wink 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marty Black Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 20 2022 at 11:14pm
The term I remember them using was "Com-shaw," i.e. "I comshawed some extra rations. I comshawed a truck."
But I have no idea how that is actually spelled!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Da1Chief Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 21 2022 at 10:51am
Originally posted by W5USMC W5USMC wrote:

Originally posted by Marty Black Marty Black wrote:

You've probably read that the Marines didn't fall in love with the Garand until the Army showed up on Guadalcanal in about Jan-Feb 1943 and realized that the M1 was a much better combat rifle than their '03s. And they started stealing them from the GIs!

Marines don't steal Marty, they acquire. Wink 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thirtyround Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 21 2022 at 12:20pm
Gents,
-Thought I would post,... Para Marines in New Caledonia 1943. Interesting photo as what we see here is the Johnson light machine gun the Raiders / Para Marines really liked and an M1A1 Paratrooper carbine.
-Unfortunately, When in 1943 is currently unknown, I had saved this image with the year date when I discovered it years ago, but I haven't been able to cross reference the image with any official month of the year official archive info. Perhaps someone with much better skills can research. Cheers, JB


https://us-west-1-02860049-view.menlosecurity.com/c/0/i/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cudXNtaWxpdGFyaWFmb3J1bS5jb20vZm9ydW1zL3VwbG9hZHMvbW9udGhseV8wNV8yMDE1L3Bvc3QtMTU0MzM2LTAtNDkzNjc4MDAtMTQzMTY1NTE4NS5qcGc~

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote RedSpecial Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 22 2022 at 7:14am
I have a book from my grandfather who served during World War II in the Marines. It is from the Marine Corps Anniversary in 1943. There are pictures of Marines training, including mortar, artillery and signal crews. In none of the pictures can I find any M1 carbines, this includes the pages on Para-Marines and 
Marine Raiders. On the pages detailing the training it shows the small weapons and the carbine is not mentioned (but the Reising is). I would say that Tarawa (November 20th, 1943) was probably the first large scale issue of them. 

The Marines were not reluctant to issue the M1 rifle to combat troops on Guadalcanal, they just did not have enough of them. They had an insufficient quantity to outfit the infantry regiments so they did not issue them to those Marines. Some Marines did land on Guadalcanal with M1 rifles but they were support troops like anti-aircraft battalions etc.  Like all other weapons platforms, the Marines found themselves the bottom of the barrel. Like for the submachine guns, the Army, then lend-lease, then the Marines found themselves on the totem pole of issue which is why they looked elsewhere and adopted the Reising as substitute standard until they got sufficient Thompsons. 

I’ll reach out to a couple friends who are experts in Marine weapons during World War II to see if they have more conclusive information. 
-Neil
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt_X Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 22 2022 at 9:56am
Thirtyround.  The New Caledonia image is not working linking.  

Red Special.  I really appreciate your reaching out to those with some more familarity on the subject.  I’ll also look for that 1943 anniversery publication.    
I did send a message to the author of https://usmcweaponry.com/wwii-korean-era/%C2%A0 ; but have not heard back yet.   He pretty thoroughly documents the decisions regarding acceptance, standardization, and prioritization of the M1 Rifle for the Corps.   The evidence and conclusions he presents matches yours regarding Marines with M1 Rifles at Guadacanal.    With an serious concern about reliability, non FMF defensive units got Garands first.   This way later improved versions of the rifle would get into the most forward units.  Such distribution also worked well with the  practice of assigning each Marine his rifle as personal equipment (form 782).

My query here came about from looking into the USMC carbine training and qualification records.   I’ll post more later, but it very well may turn out that the carbine qualification per MCO 189 was not implemented.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote thirtyround Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 22 2022 at 2:05pm
Could you recheck that Newsletter date again, By Oct-Nov 43 that action would have had to been the Bouganville operations, which is considered part of the Soloman chain. I have a photo of Marine Raiders taken on Nov 3 1943 with M1 Carbines, JB
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote RedSpecial Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 22 2022 at 2:31pm
Originally posted by Matt_X Matt_X wrote:

Thirtyround.  The New Caledonia image is not working linking.  

Red Special.  I really appreciate your reaching out to those with some more familarity on the subject.  I’ll also look for that 1943 anniversery publication.    
I did send a message to the author of https://usmcweaponry.com/wwii-korean-era/%C2%A0 ; but have not heard back yet.   He pretty thoroughly documents the decisions regarding acceptance, standardization, and prioritization of the M1 Rifle for the Corps.   The evidence and conclusions he presents matches yours regarding Marines with M1 Rifles at Guadacanal.    With an serious concern about reliability, non FMF defensive units got Garands first.   This way later improved versions of the rifle would get into the most forward units.  Such distribution also worked well with the  practice of assigning each Marine his rifle as personal equipment (form 782).

My query here came about from looking into the USMC carbine training and qualification records.   I’ll post more later, but it very well may turn out that the carbine qualification per MCO 189 was not implemented.  


Tim (the owner of usmcweaponry) and Steve Norton are close friends of mine. I reached out, Steve thinks he has the documents showing that the Marines got their big shipments at the end of 1942, beginning of 1943. 

Regarding the book i mentioned, it is for the Marine Corps. Anniversary in 1943. So I imagine that means most of the photos were taken between November 1942 and maybe august 1943 as in that no digital era it took a while to edit and publish such works. I’m trying to upload the book to Imgur but it’s being resistive. 
-Neil
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RedSpecial Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 22 2022 at 2:36pm
The Marine book, I got it uploaded to imgur

-Neil
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marty Black Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 22 2022 at 2:56pm
What I wrote, Red Special, is this:

"Prior to the US invasion of Bougainville Island in the Solomons chain, two diversion landings were made to mislead the Japanese as to the real objective. One of these amphibious raids fell to the 2nd Marine Parachute Battalion, commanded by Lt. Colonel Victor H. Krulak. Incidentally, his son is the current Commandant of the Marine Corps (1999). Also, John F. Kennedy was a participant in this battle, as his PT boat was one of two that rescued 87 Marines who had gotten surrounded at the northwest corner of the island.

This raid, limited in scope and duration, involved only 656 Marines and lasted for 7 full days, 28 October through 3 November 1943. It was successful, with light casualties of 9 killed, 15 wounded and 2 missing. The Marines were evacuated by 3 LCIs after the main invasion at Empress Augusta Bay on Bougainville had taken place."

I obtained this report and background information from the late Bill Pierce, former PR Chairman and Historian for the 6th Marine Division. In hindsight, I see that I never asked Bill WHERE those two diversionary raids took place. Given the relative large size of Bougainville, I assumed the landings were made somewhere on the island (especially given JFK's role at the NW corner of Bougainville.). But I really don't know. You Marine historians can dig out this information, I'm sure.

If you can give me your email address or snail mail address, I'll send you the 1 page report on the small arms. I tried to insert it in this post without success.

Good hunting! mb
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