Ain’t got any thing in specific I need to cover so just gonna ramble around. Like I said in the chapter about Yucca Flats I was not a good shop Marine. After combat tranning I was assigned a 2111 military operation number, meaning my test showed me to be suited as a small arms repairman. Not a glamorous job but one the Corps thought I was suited for. At first I was excited to be handling all those weapons and learning to take them apart and repair them, but after I quickly mastered the in and outs of the job I became bored and restless. Therefore I volunteered for anything to get me out of the shops. I wound up doing things that some times were not the most pleasant of occupation’s, I cut weeds on occasion and painted with pail and brush. but often I had some good and interesting times.
I recounted how I spent a interesting and frightening four week at Yucca Flats Nevada waiting for a Atomic Bomb to be set off over my head. I participated in a number of field problems with the line company’s. This is basically practicing the art of waging war. I accompanied the line troops usually in the company of a personal carrier driver, (this is the military version of a pick up truck). I was equipped with my rifle and camping gear and my parts and tool box. My job was to make quick and simple repairs to small arms while in the field.
Maybe I should qualify what I was trained and equipped to work on. First and foremost was the Standard M1 individual shoulder rifle, a eight shot semiautomatic weapon. Secondly was the Browning Automatic Rifle, a twenty pound monster that accepted a twenty round magazine. One was issued to each four man fire team. Next came the Browning Light Machine Gun, link fed true machine gun. It had replaced the older water cooled gun and was much lighter and more dependable. We still got a old water cooled antique on occasion but they were mostly phased out, and parts were hard to come by. The foregoing three weapons were all .30-.06 in caliber. I also serviced both the M1 and M2 Carbine, it was a .30 cal. short weapon. The M2 had a selector switch which let the user select semi or full auto. It was a cute little weapon but had a lack of power, in my opinion not much more than a .38 special cartridge Then what was to later become my favorite weapon the .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. ( I have owned one every since 1965, it is my hand gun of choice, you can have the high capacity 9MM’s). And last every now and then a M3 grease gun, mostly issued to tankers. I helped work on a few Browning .50 cal. Machine guns but they were so big and the springs in them so powerful that the older Sargent’s usually took care of them.
I often pulled range duty which meant I was up earlier than the other guys had a early breakfast and was trucked out to a rifle range to handle repairs for the Marines firing for qualification. I have no idea how many times I pulled that duty, most guys hated it. I even went out once with a snapping in group. This is where a group of guy aim at targets and practice firing without ammo. I enjoyed this occasion immensely because the two in charge of the group was a very old Warrant Officer (one of the few left at that time as they were being retired out) and a ancient Master Sergeant. The Warrant Officer had a small neat solid white mustache and the Master Sergeant had the only full handlebar mustache I ever saw in the Marines. The Sergeants fatigues were so faded they were almost white. These two old birds sat at one end of a picnic table and ignored this 18 year old kid at the other end,and drank beer out of a cooler and talked about the old days when Marines were Marines. They talked about old tanks and biplanes, 5 cent packs of cigarettes and all manner of stuff. I enjoyed that day.
I cannot believe I have been sitting here for almost a hour digging this stuff up. I expect it is time to stop for the night and put some roots in front of that boob tube for a spell. So I’ll let this ramble wind down for this time. Adios ramblingbob