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Did US military use Lee Enfield MkIII .303 ?


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I believe that this photo is more or less a staged studio picture, but he did indeed use the SMLE Mark III while the 318th infantry trained in the British sector from late July to mid August 1918. This photo of Pvt. Rolla Fankhauser was taken during that time. He died of wounds suffered during the Meuse-Argonne offensive October 5, 1918.

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Gary Cunningham - Bayonetman

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PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY

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Caught this strange pic on ebay. An american officer with people dressed as canadians. The mistery is solved reading on the back of the pic. I dont know what kind of rifle they used but for sure not a 03.

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My wife's GF was in the 30th division. They wore British uniforms and carried the LE at the first of the war.

 

 

I don't think you are entirely correct. Yes the 30th Inf Division serving with the BEF on the Somme did in fact carry NoI MkIII rifles - for ease of logistics. It appears Webleys were also used as I do have a 1917 dated Webley holster that also has a small "U.S." stamped on the inside flap. Uniforms were standard US issue while most helmets and gas masks attributed to the 30th Div I have seen are British made.

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I don't think you are entirely correct. Yes the 30th Inf Division serving with the BEF on the Somme did in fact carry NoI MkIII rifles - for ease of logistics. It appears Webleys were also used as I do have a 1917 dated Webley holster that also has a small "U.S." stamped on the inside flap. Uniforms were standard US issue while most helmets and gas masks attributed to the 30th Div I have seen are British made.

 

We have his helmet. I can not tell the US from the British. I'll ask her for the reference on the Brit uniforms. She is a history major and does a lot of geneology so she is very interested in accuracy of these things. I don't remember if she heard of the British uniforms from personal letters or a book.

 

One of these helmets was his, but I don't remember which one. I can look when I get home. I have a 30th div WWI uniform with helmet and gas mask. Uniform is not his, just picked this one up a few years ago due to her interest in the history of the 30th in WWI.

 

PS If anyone has letters, pics or papers of the 30th in WW! she would appreciate seeing them posted.

 

How do you tell a US from a British helmet? Is it the liner? Here are mine. One was her GF's.

PS I don't collect them just wound up with three due to her interest in the history of the unit.

 

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Here is the 30th Uniform. Any comments appreciated. I can look and see if it has a tag when I get home also.

 

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We have his helmet. I can not tell the US from the British...How do you tell a US from a British helmet? Is it the liner? Here are mine.

 

The American helmet is nearly identical to the British Mark I helmet. The difference between the two helmets is the rivet holding the chinstrap loop to the helmet itself, the lack of the "doughnut" in the liner of the American helmet, and the properties of the steel used to manufacture the M1917 helmet shell. Also the M1917 helmet had a heavier sawdust texture than the British Mark I.

 

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/sys...1917-helmet.htm

 

NOW, with all that being said, my WWI helmet has a British shell with an American liner. The boys at the WWI Forum had a field day with it when I showed them these pictures:

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GB

 

 

 

 

 

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The picture of Marine General Smedley Butler inspecting the "American Coy" may depict not USMC troops but rather the American Company of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps, a multinational paramilitary/militia force associated with the International Settlement. They followed US Army uniform patterns, but tailor-made and with "SVC" instead of "US". IIRC by 1940, the "Company" consisted of over 300 men, with a horsed "unit" a MG "Unit", and MP "Unit" with motorcycles and a few armored cars. There were also British, French, German and Italina Companies.

 

Please note that the troops in the picture do not show any EGA collar emblems.

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my WWI helmet has a British shell with an American liner.[

 

Thanks That isiInteresting. My wife's GF's helmet had the liner removed by one of her relaitives since it was "ratty" looking and not needed. I thnk the the 2 have different types of liners. I'll have t find them. Can anyone show the US and Brit side by side?

 

 

Uniforms were standard US issue

My wife does not remember the reference to the British uniforms (might be in a letter home, she will look later) I found one reference on the net in a book. I think I will get a copy.

 

Borrowed Soldiers:

American Under British Command, 1918

By Mitchell A. Yockelson

 

Originally created to coordinate several divisions assigned to the British for training, II Corps was reduced in mid-1918 to an administrative headquarters overseeing only two AEF divisions, the 27th and 30th. Its commanding officer, Major General George W. Read, sensibly ceded tactical command to the British. He had neither the personal expertise nor the staff to exercise tactical control. Despite some misunderstandings, under this arrangement II Corps troops were better led, better armed and better fed than the run- of-the-mill AEF formation. The men were armed with British SMLE rifles and Lewis guns, supported entirely by BEF artillery, fed by the British commissary and often tended by the Royal Medical Corps. Some soldiers even wore British uniforms when their American ones wore out.
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P.S. The officer to the right of Butler is not a Marine -- he wears Army-style uniform and insignia. Perhaps a close-up would reveal "SVC" collar insignia. He also has a decal/emblem on his helmet, again prob the US-style eagle emblem of the American Company.

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P.S. The officer to the right of Butler is not a Marine -- he wears Army-style uniform and insignia. Perhaps a close-up would reveal "SVC" collar insignia. He also has a decal/emblem on his helmet, again prob the US-style eagle emblem of the American Company.

That would be a Capt. Baldwin, USMC, according to the caption below. However, the press could have gotten it wrong (they still do!)

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GB

 

 

 

 

 

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J,

 

I found some other photos of what do appear to be Marines, one with a M1903 Springfield. So, those guys with the British rifles must be something else. Notice the difference between the Marines' leggings and the other guys' wrappings.

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GB

 

 

 

 

 

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