Military History/Grandfather's Honorable Discharge paper meaning
Hi, I found my grandfathers discharge papers and I'm trying to figure out what rifle he was issued. He deceased now so I can't ask him. On the paper it says under "Military Qualification and Date"
Rifle M-1 SS Feb 46. I'm kind of a ww2 history buff, and I would imagine that it would be the M-1 Garand but I read somewhere that it could be either the M1 Garand or the M1 Carbine. The reason I ask is that I'm getting a tattoo made up in his remembrance and I don't want to put the wrong thing.
Okay a few questions.
What do his discharge papers say his MOS was? That is military occupational specialty.
If it says infantry, it was the Garand.
The M-1, later M-2 Carbine was issued to officers, or heavy weapons crews in lieu of a Garand since it was lighter. It was considered not much better than the 1911 Colt .45 pistol. And was deemed for self defense, not main battle line use. It fired a small pistol sized cartridge pushing a round nosed .30 cal projectile. The bullet was about 1/3 the weight of the .30-06 bullet, so the distance and accuracy was very limited.
Now since his papers only list one weapon qualification it was probably the Garand. This listing is for official records of weapons qualifications. They had different badges, Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert, in order of increasing proficiency. Under each you could hang a bar listing the weapons you had qualified on. Rifle, Sub Machine gun, Grenade, Pistol, Carbine, Auto Rifle, bayonet, mortar etc.
So if his papers did not list anything else, he probably qualified on the M-1 Garand unless his MOS had him serving in a capacity where he had no need of a battle rifle. Even still, he probably qualified on the M-1 Garand in boot camp and would only have been issued an M-1 Carbine and qualified on it if he was assigned a technical rating that took him out of an infantry platoon or squad and assigned him to a headquarters or heavy weapons platoon.
In such a case his papers would have said something like Hvy Wp, or something of that nature indicating he was in a support platoon. Hvy Wp would also include mortars, medium and heavy machine guns or anti tank weapons.