Ship's Armory


December 16, 2009, 05:29 AM
What models and quantities of firearms (i.e. springfield bolt rifles and number of) would you be likely to find in the armory of a small 1941 era USN warship like a destroyer escort? How much small arms ammunition would the ship carry?

Are there any ex-USN personnel here who can shed light on this?

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December 16, 2009, 08:09 AM
My father was their for the landing at Iwo Jima. He was sent ashore with a fighting knife and two radio's. All the small arms were given to the troops that were supposed to go ashore and since my father wasn't going to be ashore that long the Navy didn't have enough to spare for a trip to the beach.

When he returned and the invasion had started to settle down, his crewmates aquired a 1911 and gave it to him. When the war was over dad had planned on keeping it untill he heard that they were searching all the bags for trophies, so he pitched it under a building with all the others. When my father set his bag to be search, a commander put his hand on it and said to the guy searching that this bag is fine and let it thru.

I wish I could find that building.

December 16, 2009, 08:57 AM
In the late 60's I was stationed aboard and served in two WW2 DE's, DE-634 and DE-644. We had at that time a dozen M-1's, several M-1 Carbines, several Thompson sub-machine guns, several BAR's, several Stevens 12 gauge shot guns and probably less than 2 dozen Gov't model 45's(mostly Ithacas). as well as grenades and flare guns. Go back to 1941 and substitute 1917 Enfields and '03 Springfields for the M-1's and Carbines and that should give you an idea. Any special ops types would bring their own outfit. Since the ships were not equipped for any type of aviation anything, we had no 38 Specials or ammunition. Later and prior to the DE's I served in ships with aviation capabilities and we had lots of 38's. The last ship I served in that was outfitted with WW2 small arms was the USS Ashtabula AO-51 and that was into the early 80's.
Hope this helps answer the question.

December 16, 2009, 09:03 AM
early 1941 would see 1903 rifles and 1911 pistols. Asian fleet small craft may even have a cutlass or two. Shotgun News had a good article on the arms on USN gunboats in China service. Thompsons and BARs were also found. Rent "The Sand Pebbles" to put you in the mood!

December 16, 2009, 09:18 AM
On CVN71 we carried Mossbergs, M-9s, and mounted .50 cals, and a couple m240's.
I never worked in the armory, but it was part of my division and I had to check out a Shotgun once every two weeks. Qualifying with a mounted .50 cal is something I'll remember forever..... Awesome.

The Seal teams gear was stored in one of my magazines, they had the good stuff. :)

December 16, 2009, 12:47 PM
QUOTE]On CVN71 we carried [/QUOTE]

I can see how a question about sidearms carried on a WW2 cruiser could be answered by listing the wespons on a contemporary Nimitz class nuclear aircraft carrier!!???! :rolleyes: I can't....

December 16, 2009, 12:48 PM
Wow, that was even more relevant.

December 16, 2009, 03:29 PM
As it happens, I read my grandfather's 1942 Bluejacket's Manual cover-to-cover.

In 1941, there aren't any DEs. Those were a wartime development. The armory of a DD would have M1903 Springfield rifles, and M1911 pistols. (Believe it or not, the old Bluejacket's Manual had complete details on how to field-strip and operate these guns) Maybe a Lewis gun or two...they were Navy issue at the time. Don't know about any BARs or Thompsons, but they would be plausible if the ship had a Marine contingent aboard.

Bart B.
December 16, 2009, 11:05 PM
When I served on USS Jouett DLG-29 around 1970, there were about 24 Garands, half a dozen Thompsons, couple dozen M1911's, 8 or 10 BAR's , six 40mm grenade launchers and one USN MK2 7.62mm NATO match conditioned Garand.

Both WWII destroyers, DD-797 and DD-727, I served on in the late 1950's had about 2/3rds what that cruiser above had except for the grenade launcher and 7.62 NATO M1.

December 17, 2009, 12:01 AM
Bart B. was the DeHaven home ported in Sasebo when you were on her?

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