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  #1  
Old 03-11-2018, 09:04 PM
winch61 winch61 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 8
Default SC 1903A3 Rebuilt in Bisbane

Does anyone know anything about the Bisbane Australia field Arsenal aka Ordinance Base Section 3? I recently traded for a SC 03A3 that upon good cleaning found RBLT O.B.S.3 on the top of the barrel. Could find nothing on this marking until I stumbled across something on a M1 site. My rifle was built in March April 1943 and rebuilt 1.3.1945 or March 1, 1945 in Bisbane. Rifle is a mix master, but retains the SC receiver, barrel, stock, and butt plate. There are no other rebuild marks on the rifle and it has been used very little since rebuild. Curious enough the prior owner stated this was his step fathers issued rifle who was an Army B-25 pilot in WWII, stationed in the Pacific. Normally, like most, you think bring back is a nice story, but with this being in the Pacific in the war and the owners father also being there, it seems it could very well be legit.

My questions are -

Why would a 2 yo bolt action rifle be rebuilt two years after being built and retain barrel and stock, but not most of the ancillary pieces. Trigger group, bolt, bands, swivels, etc are all Remington.

Sadly could it have been used in the field during those two years and left in the field to be collected and rebuilt? To be later reissued to a non combat Army navigator after being rebuilt?

Was it common to rebuild the 03A3 in the field given the greater use of the M1 that late in the war?

Are 03A3 rebuilt in Bisbane that uncommon? I did see another for sale in an old Armslist ad from a few years back, but that's about it.

Anyone have more information on this facility, how and why 03A3 would have been rebuilt there etc would be great.

Thank you
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2018, 11:14 AM
Firstflabn Firstflabn is offline
 
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Location: FL
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First step would be to identify the USAAF unit of the purported bringer backer to see if the story is plausible. Only you can do that.
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2018, 07:17 AM
ODCMP ODCMP is offline
 
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Location: Texas
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I don't know if you saw this prior post of an O.B.S. 3 rebuilt Garand. There were also pictures of a Smith Corona 03A3 posted there.

http://forums.thecmp.org/showthread.php?t=103459

See the third page for the restored SC pictures.

Dave

Last edited by ODCMP; 03-13-2018 at 07:21 AM.
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2018, 01:15 PM
winch61 winch61 is offline
 
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Yes, I did see that post, may have been where I first found the same rebuild marking. Im getting the feeling there is not a ton known on why these were rebuilt so soon after being new. I get tough climate, but seemslike the barrel would be the most vulnerable and mine appears to be original to rifle. Most anything else is Rem.

Looking into the Army records of the original owner. He was in the Army Air Cor, and I found his enlistment Doc, but nothing on where he was stationed yet.
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2018, 06:44 PM
Firstflabn Firstflabn is offline
 
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Location: FL
Posts: 736
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Plunder through whatever paperwork you have and quiz the family if you can, keeping an eye out for his unit ID. If you have that, there are fairly easy ways to find where the unit served. If it turns out he served somewhere other than Australia during the period you're interested in, you could then probably (but not absolutely) discard the bringback claim.

Finding detailed info on rebuild activities in Australia is going to require a trip to the National Archives. If it was easy, the info would already be known. The good news is, you have the opportunity to become the world's leading authority on the subject.
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  #6  
Old 03-13-2018, 07:37 PM
winch61 winch61 is offline
 
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I am confident that the man served in the Pacific during the war based on what his son is telling me. Referencing "Betty Bombers" attaching the airfield where he was stationed etc. The man I dealt with was stand up so no reason to think the story was embellished etc. He and his brother are charged with going through the veterans things as he sadly passed this last February, in fact the weekend prior to me trading for the rifle. They hope to find some reference to his location and activity during the war. I believe the bother ended up with the 1911 his father brought back as well, or so I am told. Wow what a pair that would be!

Yes, I may try to hit the Nat Archive. We do have one locally in Seattle, not sure it contains all that is needed to investigate, or if the is all in the DC branch. If only I didn't have a 40+ hr a week job, two kids and a list of projects to get to, I'd have more time for the personal fun things!

Thanks
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2018, 09:57 PM
winch61 winch61 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 8
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I am confident that the man served in the Pacific during the war based on what his son is telling me. Referencing "Betty Bombers" attaching the airfield where he was stationed etc. The man I dealt with was stand up so no reason to think the story was embellished etc. He and his brother are charged with going through the veterans things as he sadly passed this last February, in fact the weekend prior to me trading for the rifle. They hope to find some reference to his location and activity during the war. I believe the bother ended up with the 1911 his father brought back as well, or so I am told. Wow what a pair that would be!

Yes, I may try to hit the Nat Archive. If only I didn't have a 40+ hr a week job, two kids and a list of projects to get to, I'd have more time for the personal fun things!

Thanks
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2018, 08:15 AM
Firstflabn Firstflabn is offline
 
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The USAAF had about 300,000 men in the Pacific, so that tidbit doesn't do much for you.

Operational records for WWII units are in College Park.
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  #9  
Old 03-15-2018, 08:57 PM
MajorD MajorD is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
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Keep in mind the tropics were very damaging to firearms often in a very short period of time. One would think the rifle bore would be the biggest issue, but if somehow protected the rest of the rifle being damage by tropical climate ( or battle damage or what have you) is plausible. If a soldier carrying the rifle was wounded and the rifle sat in the jungle or salty beach for even a few weeks, significant damage could result.
Being issued to a troop in the air corps sort of makes sense as they were not considered ( except when airborne of course) combat troops and giving them guns other than m1’s or carbines ( with supplies always more limited in the pacific and the logistics of obtaining replacements much harder)
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  #10  
Old 03-15-2018, 09:38 PM
winch61 winch61 is offline
 
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[QUOTE=Firstflabn;1696389]The USAAF had about 300,000 men in the Pacific, so that tidbit doesn't do much for you.

Only 300,000..wow should be super easy to find him then. LOL Ugh..well have his ID# and I assume if I could get to the Nat Records it would not be that difficult to find, assuming it was not destroyed in the 1973 fire, the year I was born. I'm hoping his family may also find something relevant as well.
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