View Full Version : M1 30 carbine presented by american fith army

lt dan
June 14, 2009, 01:40 PM
I need some info on a special rifle and seeing as i have been a member of the Firing line forums for a while i know i can get my answers here.

I have in my possession a m1 30 carbine. this rifle used to belong to a friends grand father.

The first time I saw this rifle was when his grandfather showed it to us at the age of 12 or 13. His grandfathers name was Mr WF Callander-Easby (a true gentleman if there ever was one). unfortunately mr Easby died not long after showing us this rifle. his only child, my friends mother, inherited this rifle. on the but (the right hand side) of this rifle is the following engraving done in typical military font: To Maj W.F. Call-Easby from the U.S. ORD . SEC 5th Army March 45

also on the stock is the insignia of the US ammunition ordnance and the abbreviation W.R.A with the letters G.H.D directly below the WRA.

mr Easby was a citizen of the union of south africa. at that time still a colony of the united kingdom. he was an officer in the 6th south african armoured division under the command of general WH Evered Poole. part of this division was the british 8th army and the american 5th army. as is engraved on the rifle.

other engravings or stamps on the rifle are: the letters RA-P on the bottom of the rear hand grip. if this was a modern assault rifle i would say this letters are on the bottom of the pistol grip. on the right hand side of the rear sight the letters I.R.CO. and directly below it the number 7160060. the serial number of this rifle is 1167284.

also in my possession is a war diary of mr Easby. he makes no mention why he received this rifle or the circumstances. however, he mentions on the 5th april 1945: "Sandy + two crews went up to Tac to take over two tanks in fwd posn from Yanks. Make Blake who gave me the carbine visiting here in afternoon" that is about all he says about the rifle. as it is with vets he never realy spoke about the war. nobody not even his daughter or grandsons know why he received the rifle from the americans. it seems that he was either a tank squadron commander or a forward observation officer. his comments in his diary is not clear about his duty. he makes a couple of remarks on the good job the american/south african coalition is doing on his flank. it seems that 1 Special Service Brigade (from south africa) and 1 US Armoured Division deployed simultaneously and was very effective together.

i have photo's of this rifle and the engravings on the stock. with this rifle there is a set of dies and primers also a green magazine pouch with the letters U.S. and in smaller print the letters R&R.CO 1943

my questions:
1. is it possible to find out why the 5th army gave him this rifle?
2. is it a US army custom to present there allies with an engraved rifle if they see fit?
3. is the ammo for this rifle available for export to south africa?

kind regards

PS: i realize that the possibility exists that he got this rifle for the simple fact that he asked for one.

T. O'Heir
June 14, 2009, 06:01 PM
1. Not likely.
2. Don't know about it being a custom, but obviously it was done. Major Easby was likely just a buddy of whoever 'Make(Mike, maybe?) Blake' was/is.
3. .30 Carbine ammo is commercially loaded by most of the major U.S. makers. Winchester and Remington both load it. Likely available locally. Exporting ammo requires a U.S. export permit, that requires a South African import permit to get. Plus the retailer has to have an exporter's licence. The shipping cost would be astronomical too.

lt dan
June 15, 2009, 01:28 AM
ok as long as winchester and remington does it i can get it here from their existing importers.

lt dan
June 24, 2009, 03:15 AM
sorry guys, it seems the logo on the stock is not of the armory but that of springfield arms

June 24, 2009, 08:01 AM
"sorry guys, it seems the logo on the stock is not of the armory but that of springfield arms "

Are you speaking of a cross cannons symbol stamped into the wood beside the WRA and GHD? If so, the stock was made for or by Winchester. That symbol and the letter WRA/GHD is the aceptance stamp put on the carbine by Winchester, not Springfield. GHD is the initials for Colonel Guy H. Drewry , commander of the ordnance district the carbine was made in. The RA-P is initials for Raritan Arsenal and P the inspectors inital which show this stock/carbine went through a repair and refurbishment procees at Raritan Arsenal where they would have put on the adjustable rear sights and bayonet lug (if your carbine has the lug) The IR Co and numbers on the adjusatable sight is the sight manufacturers stamp for International Register Co. Hope this helps!

lt dan
June 27, 2009, 04:41 AM
TLEO thanks , that helps a lot and is about the most info i have gotten up till now. gonna check this info against some other feedback will probably be asking you some more questions.

June 27, 2009, 06:42 AM
You have a truly valuable carbine, atleast it would be here in the US.

June 27, 2009, 08:23 PM
Perhaps some historical branch of the U.S. Army could shed some light on the situation but I am at a loss to be specific as to where to search, off the top of my head. Almost a question for a military historical website versus a gun website, except for the matter of finding out the information about the carbine itself, regardless of the special markings. You have a nice collectable with provenance, any further details you could glean from some military historians would merely add value. Ammo comes in 50 rounds per box here, it is not a particulary rare or expensive type of ammo(or wasn't) but with the current ammo shortages in the US prices are at a premium and availability is not always assured. The Winchester "full metal Jacket" or "metal patch" or "ball" ammo, whichever term you like, has always performed quite well for me in those carbines. Not much for game hunting but accurate with a good carbine. About 1900 feet per second, convert to meters if you like, and 110 grain bullet, how many grams? I don't know. Small game killer.

lt dan
June 28, 2009, 05:19 AM
Tom i would appreciate if you could show the way to a history website that is applicable in this case or maybe an e-mail address of a military history branch.

i dont know if i will ever hunt with this and i dont think if it is worth much money, i hope it is . that will add to the uniqueness of the rifle. but i see myself as the custodian of this rifle and the original owners legacy.

June 28, 2009, 03:29 PM
Don't know about archives, but here is the current 5th army web site:


June 29, 2009, 08:04 PM
Whew. That looks like a WARDOR.

There is a gaggle of good books about the M1 carbine and its various markings. The one I suggest is the U.S. M1 Carbines, wartime production by Craig Riesch.

lt dan
June 30, 2009, 01:55 PM
some photos of the m1

lt dan
June 30, 2009, 01:58 PM
and some more