Post by rickthelibrarian on Jun 25, 2018 21:37:39 GMT 8
My friend Bob passed along a picture he obtained of a GI firing a weapon during the Battle for Manila in early 1945. I've studied U.S. military weapons nearly all my life (65+ years) and I can't figure this one out. Possibly a "GI pickup"?
The weapon bears a faint resemblance to the Winchester Automatic Rifle which was tested by the Ordnance Department in late 1944, and passed with fine marks. However, with the war winding down, a paltry initial order of ten (or twenty, depending on the source) was placed in the summer of '45, and apparently no examples were sent to combat units for any sort of field evaluation before the conflict ended. Also, a telescopic sight would seem inconsistent for a BAR replacement. Curiously, the photo shows little detail in the area where the receiver should be. I browsed thru other nation's guns, too, but found nothing...this rifle is a mystery to me!
P.S.-Can't help but notice the soldier's spotless (sweat-less) uniform, tucked in shirt, and senior NCO rank, equipped with a 1911 and a set of binoculars. Perhaps this was indeed the testing of a prototype rifle on site in combat, with a properly posed photo for the armchair types back in CONUS, who were still anticipating an invasion of Japan later that year. Recall that a twenty round detached magazine version of the Garand, known as the T20, had been tested in November '44, with 100,000 ordered for production in May '45 (however, only 19 were completed). Your photo may be evidence of such a project for another rifle type...
A blogger on another forum, Alex Antonopoulos, came to my assistance when I posted a query about Rick's photo. The rifle was an experiment by Army Ordnance in the Philippines during 1945, and was known as the US Model 45A. Very little information exists about the gun. It was 30.06 caliber and used a 20 round BAR magazine. I have attached links supplied by Alex and Hal Rink that offer some more information, as well as a few photographs:
Very interesting. A rifle I did not know about....obviously experimental as the posed photo shows. Khaki shirts and trousers, not to mention rank, were not be worn during combat operations; the OD HBT uniform was the norm.
Artem: I use to work in that shipyard. Heard of D. Cleland through my uncles who were previous generations that worked there. Saw a photo or two of D.Cleland in the shipyard library. If my memory is correct I saw his grave out in the city's protestant cemetery.
May 11, 2020 8:24:25 GMT 8