M1 Member Memories
This photo is of Paul Grundman, an armorer then and gunsmith now. Taken in Hawaii in 1963 on Mauna Loa Volcano while hunting for sheep and goats.
From Rhett Imperiale, Willis, California
Posted April 26, 2010
Fresh out of college, and still living with my parents. I received my draft notice in December 1952. Never having been away from Mom and especially never having been to Georgia and never having flown, I was whisked away to Camp Gordon, Georgia (now known as Fort Gordon) where I took my basic training.
When I was issued my Garand, I knew it was love at first sight.
Never having owned a real gun, I was born and raised in New York City, I immediately took to its wonderful lines, almost feminine in its outward appearance. What I didn’t know about the rifle I soon learned, even how to take it apart and put it back together and how to clean it..I was so smitten with the M1 that I even cleaned my barrack buddies M1′s also ! On the range, I learned to shoot well, not great, just well and I saw my share of Maggies Drawers !
I said to myself during those years, that someday I am going to own one of these great guns. But the years passed, marriage, kids, grand -kids and then retirement. It took 55 years, but I found my M1, a 5 million serial range, Korean War, my war. I now have it hanging in my den here in Florida, and I just look at and recall those magic years in the Army. Yes, I shoot it at the local range, and I have to say I shoot better today than I did in 1953, maybe because there isn’t a Sargeant, yelling at me and looking over my shoulder
West Palm Beach, FL
Posted April 4, 2009
This is Brig General Harold K. Johnson inspecting two Junior ROTC cadets, MSG Corry Mordeaux and SFC Charles Peterson. Gen Johnson was the Assistant Commander of the 8th Infantry Division at Ft Carson, Colorado. The year was 1955 at Centennial High School , Pueblo , CO . After College at Colorado State University , I was commissioned in the US Army and later retired. Cadet Peterson went on to the Naval Academy after graduating from High School. He later went into private business. Gen. Johnson became the 24th Chief of Staff of the Army and a four star officer.
This second photo is of 2d Lt Corry Mordeaux with “Donut Dolly” Red Cross volunteer Marge Watson of Florida . The place is in the Area of Operations of the 12th Cav, First Calvary Division near Pomgogge , South Korea .
As you can tell, I grew up in the Army with the M1. Before entering the Regular Army I was in the US Army Reserves in Ft. Collins , CO . We were armed with the M1, M1 Carbine, M3A1 Submachine Gun and the .45 Cal. Pistol. The M14 replaced the M1 during my tour in South Korea . While serving with the 5th Special Forces Group in RVN, we had M1’s to use which we did from time to time. If you wanted to reach out and touch someone, the M1 was the tool.
LTC , US Army Retired
Posted December 11, 2008
This photo was taken in August of 1959 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. I was in basic training. I was assigned to Charlie Company, Third Battalion, Third Training Regiment, Fifth Army. This was the sixth week of basic training and the morning we were to march to Range 26 to qualify with our weapons. I busted 95 out of 102 targets that day. I was never more proud to be an American soldier and know that my M1 Garand rifle was a weapon without equal and a rifle that I could trust in any situation.
Today, I have my own Springfield Garand that brings back a treasure of fond memories. As a member and officer with the American Legion, I always wear that expert marksmanship medal with pride and honor on my uniform. Two of the most respected and patriotic generals in American military history said it best the M1 Garand: General George S. Patton: “the greatest battle implement ever devised,” and General Douglas McArthur: “this Garand rifle is one of the greatest contributions to our armed forces.”
Robert Wilson, Palm Coast, Florida
L-R: Captain Allan G. Molitar USMCR, Former Private F. Gilbert Johnson USMCR and Private Michael H. Johnson USMRC. 1958
This photograph was taken while Michael was a member of the 15th Rifle Company USMCR, Seal Beach, California. Captain Molitar invited Michael’s dad, Bilbert, to come out to the range to be reintroduced to an old friend during the units’ 1958 rifle qualification at the National Guard rifle range behind the Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro, California. Gil received the prestigious M1 thumb while in boot camp! Captain Molitar and Mr. Johnson were coworkers at Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company.
This qualification took place while Michael was in high school, having attended Boot Camp during his junior year summer vacation. Michael went on to serve a hitch in the Marines and 22 years in the Army retiring in 1985.
From Michael H. Johnson
This is a whitetail doe I got with my M1 Garand, SN 3,790,915, during the 2003 fall doe season in southeast Nebraska. I was 70 years old then.
I learned to shoot an M1 at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri in 1953. I got to Korea after the cease-fire so I only carried an M1 on guard duty.
Posted November 13, 2007
Above is a photo I took this summer (2007) of my friend and neighbor Colonel Spencer Wurst. He’s looking at my 1942 Garand and you can see the admiration on his face as he looks the old rifle over. During WWII Sgt. Spencer Wurst was a Paratrooper in F Co. 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division and made 3 of 4 combat jumps the 505 made in WWII. He jumped twice with the M1 Garand, Italy and Holland, and said in the book he wrote, DESCENDING FROM THE CLOUDS, for the Normandy jump they took away my beloved Garand and made me jump with a 1903 fitted with grenade launcher and blanks for firing the grenade. “I missed my M1 dearly. And yet it never occurred to us that we might not be successful.” It didn’t take him long to reacquire a Garand and he was wounded at Ste. Mère-Eglise and later received a second Purple Heart, and went on to be awarded the Silver Star fighting the 9th SS Panzer Division Recon Bn at Hunner Park, Waal Canal Bridge, Nijmegen Holland. He received a battlefield commission and rose to the rank of Colonel in 1969.
Posted November 7, 2007
At the 1955 National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, as a member of the fourth US Army Rifle Team, I had the good fortune to win the Cavalry Cup, pictured here, which was awarded to the high Army shooter in the President’s Match. My score was 149 out of a possible 150 points with 17 V’s. However, a Marine won the match with the same point score but with a higher “V” count. Firing the M1 Garand, I placed in the President’s One Hundred each of the six years I competed at Camp Perry though the 1950’s.
I entered the Marine Corps boot camp on May 1, 1942, at age 18, where I was issued, and qualified with, the 1903 Springfield rifle which I carried overseas. While on Bougainville I was issued a brand new M1 Garand rifle in late 1943. My fondness of the Garand rifle commenced at that time, and has grown exponentially over the many years since. It is still my pleasure to bust many caps on my home range with what I consider to be a work of fine art that was created by John C. Garand.
John D. Martin
Sergeant Major, US Army Retired
Posted: October 20, 2007
My buddy Ryan and I, are contracted Air Force ROTC cadets at Arizona State University. We’re slated to commission in December ’09 and May ’09 respectively. We both do WWII reenacting here in Arizona. This is of the two of us up in the hill country during a “skirmish”. Casey Asher
Posted October 11, 2007
This is a photo of my dad, Arthur Weisman, in Engineers School at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia in 1951. He went on to serve as a combat engineer in an amphibious assault brigade and spent 34 years in the Army, Army Reserve, and Idaho National Guard. He carried this M1 Garand throughout his Engineer School training.
Vernon R. Weisman
Posted October 10, 2007
Attached is a photo of me (on the right with my CMP Garand) and my oldest son Josh (on the left). This photo was taken in the California desert in January 2007. We are both avid WW2 reenactors with the 9th Infantry Division and this photo depicts us taking a much needed rest from “combat”.
Randall S. Wells
Posted April 10, 2007
This photograph shows my grandfather, then U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell, Sr., (MI-15), inspecting an M1 Garand brought to his Capitol Hill office by War Department officials. Elected to Congress in 1932, my grandfather was a strong proponent for rearmament as the drumbeat of war began steadily increasing in Europe and Asia. Taken around 1937, my grandfather is seen inspecting what appears to be an early M1, as I believe part of a gas trap may be visible off to the right.
An avid hunter, shooter, and outdoorsman himself, rifles were no stranger to him and he held the M1 in the highest esteem. It tickles my curiosity to wonder what his response would be to the intense popularity and reverence that many of America’s shooters, his grandsons included, have towards the service rifle he helped adopt some seventy years later.
Posted April 10, 2007