Just as there are documented cases of single bullets taking down radial engine aircraft because they blow out the oil intercooler and the engine seizes due to lack of lubrication.
They call those kind of events golden twinkees for a reason...
" I know other guys in the squad would hump ammo, but was there a designated guy to feed the BAR (other than the BAR gunner?)"
To the best of my knowledge, no. The gunner changed the magazines.
I think, though, that you're going to find that there is no single answer to that question that cuts across all armed services.
IIRC the British usually had a team of three assigned to the Bren gun - gunner, assistant, and second assistant who was primarily responsible for protecting the gunner, although per the next paragraph the second assistant may not really have been considered part of the gun crew.
This comes from Wikipedia, so we know it's not true: "The Bren was operated by a two-man crew, sometimes commanded by a Lance Corporal as an infantry section's "gun group", the remainder of the section forming the "rifle group". The gunner or "Number 1" carried and fired the Bren, and a loader or "Number 2" carried extra magazines, a spare barrel and tool kit. Number 2 helped reload the gun and replace the barrel when it overheated, and spotted targets for Number 1."
The Japanese had a completely different view of how these types of guns were to be used. They made provisions to mount bayonets on their light machine guns so that the gunner could use them as a rifleman would use his rifle in a charge. Totally insane, and as I understand it, as often as not, the gunner operated independently and carried his own ammo.
Soviet doctrine usually had teams of two with the Degtyarev, the gunner and another guy who did double duty as ammunition carrier (had a shoulder-slung box with three 47-round pans in it) who was also responsible for protecting the gunner with his PPSh 41.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza
Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Last edited by Mike Irwin; June 25, 2012 at 10:56 PM.