View Full Version : Gen. Wainwright's M1 Garand

09-10-2013, 08:14 AM
Gents, it's a shot in the dark but I'm just really curious... would anyone know if this M1 mentioned in the book below is in a museum somewhere? Maybe it's still with the Champlin family and I hope they are taking good care of it.

"Hero of Bataan"
The Story of General Jonathan M. Wainwright
Duane Schultz

Page 195

The 10th of March dawned clear and hot, typical of Bataan at that time of year. Wainwright and his staff were up early. Because he did not have to leave for Corregidor until noon, he had time to make another inspection tour of the front. This would be another routine visit to the line, Skinny thought, but he came close to death that morning, almost missing his historic meeting with MacArthur.

Wainwright corralled his aides "Dooley, Champlin, and Pugh" but before they all piled into the open scout car he handed Champ his Garand rifle, the one Skinny carried with him wherever he went. As they drove toward the front, Champ recalled, Wainwright "indulging in his favorite pastime of quizzing his aides on military strategy in general and cavalry tactics in particular. Except for distant firing, the war seemed far away."

Champlin slipped on his dark glasses to shield his yes from the dazzling glare of the sun. He looked up at the sky and saw, "directly in front of the sun, a black speck was hurtling down in a direct line towards us and as I looked, the speck grew larger, second by second, and it grew wings, and the wings were dipping from side to side."

"Get the hell out of this car!" Champlin yelled. "Everybody out! Quickly!"

Wainwright, Dooley, and Pugh turned to look at him in surprise. Champ shouted at them again and leaned over to release the catch on Wainwright’s safety belt. He leaped out of the car, carbine in hand, and ran for the cover of trees just beyond the road. The others were right behind him. A stream of bullets from the Japanese plane sliced up the road, tearing into the scout car.

"Bastard!" Champlin yelled. He fired the carbine until the clip was empty.

When the plane was gone, the others raised their heads and came out from behind the bushes. Tom Dooley went to examine the riddled scout car and counted seventy-two bullet holes in it.

"Jesus," he said, "that was a close one."

Champlin glanced at Wainwright. The general had "an amused expression on his face and the twinkle in his eyes could not be mistaken."

Well, you let off some steam, didn’t you, son," Skinny said. "You kind of like that gun, don’t you."

"It’s yours, son. Take it and thanks for spotting that plane. He’d have gotten us if you hadn’t spotted him coming in out of the sun."

"But General," Champlin said. "This gun is ordnance issue."

"Who’s fighting this war?" Skinny said. "The pencil pushers in Washington or you and I? Keep it, son. It’s yours."

Wainwright took a small notebook out of his pocket, wrote a brief note on one of the pages, tore out the paper, and handed it to Champlin.

"If you get out of here," Wainwright said, "take that gun with you. When you get home, hang it over your fireplace and put these words on it."

Champlin did what the general asked. On the stock of the Garand is a brass plaque with the words Wainwright wrote down on that day on Bataan: "To Malcolm McGregor Champlin, United States Navy, from Lieutenant General Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright, United State Army, for saving my life in a strafing attack by a Japanese ‘Zero’ fighter on Bataan, March 10, 1942." *

(* Champlin used Wainwright’s rank as of the time the plaque was commissioned; Wainwright was a major general at the time of the incident.)

Det. Jason 714
09-10-2013, 08:19 AM
Very cool story. It would be really awesome to find that rifle.

09-10-2013, 08:26 AM
Wainwright...handed Champ his Garand rifle

Champlin...fired the carbine until the clip was empty.

The writer's having a little trouble with his M1s, but a great story anyway.


H.S. Mantooth Jr.
09-10-2013, 10:10 AM
The writer's having a little trouble with his M1s, but a great story anyway.


Just a mild *typo* :rolleyes: :D.


What was the year of publication on the book. Do you know if it is still in print?

Thanks for the info.

09-10-2013, 11:51 AM
Publication year was 1981 but can be had from Amazon.com for a few dollars. I got my copy in 2006.


H.S. Mantooth Jr.
09-10-2013, 12:34 PM
[QUOTE=VeeVee;914317]Publication year was 1981 but can be had from Amazon.com for a few dollars. I got my copy in 2006.


Thanks for the comeback info. I love to check out the Thrift stores, used book stores, and even my local library, seeking, and often finding older books on WW2.

Thanks again.

Rick the Librarian
09-10-2013, 06:32 PM
The story is featured in other books, as well. I would KILL to get that rifle!!!:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

09-10-2013, 09:24 PM
so what was it, a Garand or a Carbine maybe a Tanker

09-10-2013, 09:53 PM
It could be an M1 rifle (now commonly referred to as a Garand) or it could have been an M1 Carbine. Obviously many on this and other forums are not familiar with military nomenclature. There was an M2 Rifle (22 LR Cal that had a receiver and bolt very similar to the .30 Cal. 1903 Rifle). There was an M2 Carbine (semi or automatic version of the M1 Carbine.) There was also an M2 Machine gun (now referred to by the troops that use them as Ma Deuce).

09-10-2013, 10:19 PM
It was a garand. The M1 carbine wasn't available yet to the men in Bataan. Maybe the author was simply trying a synonym but was unaware that "carbine" referred to some other firearm.

09-11-2013, 10:18 PM
In the book "Anywhere-Anytime" history of the Fifty-Seventh Infantry (PS) by Col John Olson, has the following: On March 11, 1942 Gen Wainwright presented Col Lilly his Springfield sporter rifle after a brief inspection.

Gen Wainwright also had a Colt single action revolver which was hidden and later recovered after WW2