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1903 Springfield Rifle (Read 5321 times)
Ichibent
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1903 Springfield Rifle
Feb 13th, 2004, 8:45pm
 
Originally posted on 10:34:31 09/09/03

Where could I find photographs of Philippine Scouts showing their rifles? I'm interested in the role the 1903 Springfield Rifle played in their defense of the Philippines.



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Mike Houlahan
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Re: 1903 Springfield Rifle
Reply #1 - Feb 13th, 2004, 8:47pm
 
Originally Posted on 10:37:27 09/09/03

I've excerpted information sent by three former Scout officers:

Major Fred Foz: "A few weeks or months before the outbreak of WW II the 45th and 57th Inf. Regts PS were issued the Garand rifles with 8 round clips about 15 lbs weight and a little heavier than the 1903 Springfield."

Col. Mel Rosen: "I believe the 57th had M1s. I'm not sure about the 45th and the 31st. The rest of us (e.g. the PS Field Artillery) had 1903 Springfield. (same rifle I had at West Point 1936-1940)."

Col. John Olson suggests you check pages 19-24 of his book "Anywhere-Anytime". Information on obtaining the book is on our website.

Mike Houlahan
PRO, PSHS
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Major Fred Foz
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Re: 1903 Springfield Rifle
Reply #2 - Feb 13th, 2004, 8:48pm
 
Originally Posted on 10:42:20 09/09/03

I recall that every February we in the infantry had our marksmanship competition or qualification for 3 weeks. February 1941 was our last time we were in "B" range target area. At that time I used the 1903 Springfield. We had 15 mile marches prior to the war and we carried the Garand rifles. That would be about ten months before the Phil. was invaded on Dec. 22, 1941. When the enemy landed in Lingayen, priority was given for combat troops to use the Garand rifle.
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Tom Jones
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Re: 1903 Springfield Rifle
Reply #3 - Feb 13th, 2004, 8:52pm
 
Originally posted on 08:18:17 10/09/03

The 26th Cavalry was reequipped with the Garand M-1 rifle in the summer of 1941. Because of ammo shortage in the Philippines troopers who had qualified with the Springfield were limited to 10 rounds familiarization fire. As you may know the percentage of Scouts who were qualified as experts with the Springfield was very high -- much higher than in US units, probably because
the Scouts once enlisted served the rest of the their lives in the same regiment.

On the other hand the strength of the Scouts had been doubled (from 6000 to 12000) in February 1941. I don't recall how much range training these recruits got on the Springfield before the Garands were issued.

As a practical matter in the 26th a rifle troop had 60 old troopers, 30 new ones when we went to war. The younger men made excellent soldiers. Since there was no medical retirement for Scouts -- everyone had to serve 30 years to retire, including the halt and the blind -- some of the older men were unfit for duty when the war started, even though they all served in the war
upholding the motto of the regiment "Our strength is in loyalty."
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