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Old 12-08-2007, 02:22 PM   #1
 
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1903A3 in Combat

Now & then there's been some discussion about whether or not 1903A3's were ever used in combat by US forces in WWII. I just watched "The Battle of San Pietro" a documentary & definately saw a couple of 03A3's in use.
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:11 PM   #2
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There are plenty of photos of the 03A3 being used in combat in the CBI theater.
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:45 PM   #3
 
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My Smith Corona O3A3 was manufactured in 1944 (478XXXX).
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:02 PM   #4
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I have seen 1-2 of the CBI pictures mentioned above. I believe the general consensus is that they saw limited combat, mainly as grenade launchers (the M1 did not have an effective grenade-launching device until nearly the end of WWII). The vast majority used were done in training or by support units like MPs or Engineers.
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:41 AM   #5
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IIRC, the entire 1st Marine Division was armed with '03A3's during the Guadalcanal campaign.
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:39 AM   #6
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Many Marines in the Pacific were armed with 03s, due to being lower on the list for M1s. Remember, the "main" theatre was Europe, the Pacific was a "secondary" theatre of operations, so lower on the food chain.
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyCPT
IIRC, the entire 1st Marine Division was armed with '03A3's during the Guadalcanal campaign.
Nope. The Marines used their standard 1903's with barrel mounted rear sights.

Don
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USSR
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyCPT
IIRC, the entire 1st Marine Division was armed with '03A3's during the Guadalcanal campaign.
Nope. The Marines used their standard 1903's with barrel mounted rear sights.

Don
+1 kinda hard for A3's to have been used in August of '42 when they didn't come off the production lines until early '43
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:59 PM   #9
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My bad, guys - I must've had a flashback to a W.E.B. Griffin novel
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:59 PM   #10
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My bad, guys - I must've had a flashback to a W.E.B. Griffin novel
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:41 AM   #11
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Actually, there is a (small) grain of truth - supposedly, a number of early Remington M1903s (NOT M1903A3s!) were issued to the 1st M.D. before they landed on Guadalcanal.
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Old 12-11-2007, 02:06 PM   #12
 
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"03's

I did see and play with an M1903 in Viet Nam. It was captured from the VC and given to the American Advisors. My boss, the Team S-3, grabbed it and took it home with him. He was a very interesting guy himself. He was captured at the Bay of Pigs and John Kennedy personally signed his Commisssion Papers into the US Army. A good guy, too.
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Old 12-11-2007, 03:03 PM   #13
 
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03A3s

Don't know much abt the CBI, need to remedy that.
Best image from San PIetro was a Sgt clearing a building carrying a fer-sure 1903A3 no GL attached. Might have been an engineer checking for booby traps.
NRA video on the M16 shows it being tested in Alaska firing alongside 03A3s.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:33 AM   #14
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In the early 1980s I served in the Army's 2nd Ranger Bn at Ft. Lewis, WA. Some of that unit's lineage came from the 5307th (Merrill's Marauders) who were in the CBI.
Once or twice at our annual Organization Day bash, a couple former Merrill's Marauders were guests.
I recall talking extensively with one of these gents, but, unfortunately, the topic of which battle rifle they carried never came up.

I imagine that I simply assumed that they carried the M1. I've seen various pictures of Marauders in combat and a couple appeared to be carrying either the 03 or A3. Others clearly had M1s.

Frustrating that we can no longer simply go next door and ask so and so's old man.

Merry Christmas
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:05 AM   #15
 
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I have several pictures of M1903s and M1903A3s in use in Europe in late 1944 and 1945 somewhere on my hard drive, I see if I can find them and post them...
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Old 12-24-2007, 07:58 PM   #16
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Seems to me I saw a bunch in that Ken Burns series.
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:30 PM   #17
 
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I have only this one showing a 03A3 and since these are black troops it's questionable they were front line considering policy of the age.

[img]http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k246/musicnut_2006/Garand%20In%20Action/p012191.jpg[/img]
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:50 AM   #18
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In David Douglas Duncan's book about the Korean war there is a picture of a Marine in 1950 Attacking a hill armed with an 03A3.
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:07 PM   #19
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Bearcat,

Interested in your 31st Infantry Regiment "moniker". Is your interest "modern" or "historical"? I've studied quite a bit about their service in the Philippines to 1942.
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:18 AM   #20
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I was in the 31st Infantry Regiment in Korea, when they were part of the 7th ID. At that time the regiment had never been in the US.
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