Machine Gun, Cal. .30, M-1941 & M-1944, Johnson

Despite extensive work on machine guns in the years between the world wars, the only new design to emerge was the Johnson cal. .30 Model 1941 Light Machine Gun, from Johnson Automatics Inc. the company that produced the Johnson .30 cal. Semiautomatic Rifle. Col. Melvin M. Johnson, Jr., a captain in the Marine Reserve, was a gifted inventor whose company produced two models of the machine gun, the M-1941 and the M-1944, with only about 9,500 issued in total.

Marine in gas mask carrying M-1941 Johnson light machine gun, New River, NC, May 1942
Marine in gas mask carrying M-1941 Johnson light machine gun, New River, NC, May 1942.

Today in WW II: 5 Jun 1940 100 Wehrmacht divisions with 2000 Panzers plus massive air support attack France at four points, outflanking the static Maginot defenses and overwhelming the pathetic Weygand Line.  More 
5 Jun 1941 During the Bombing of Chongqing, 4000 residents hidden in a bomb shelter tunnel are asphyxiated.
5 Jun 1941 German ammunition depot explodes at Smederevo on the outskirts of Belgrade, Serbia, killing 2,500 and injuring more than 4,500.
5 Jun 1944 In the night before D-Day, thousands of US and British paratroopers fly from England to jump over Normandy [5-6 Jun].
5 Jun 1944 In a black Halifax, Team HUGH departed England at 2300 hours, the first Jedburgh team to infiltrate into occupied Europe, landing on French soil early D-Day mcrning.
Visit the World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Johnson Light Machine Gun, Models of 1941 and 1944

The Johnson Light Machine Gun, Models of 1941 and 1944, were issued, like the Johnson .30 cal. Semiautomatic Rifle, primarily to the USMC and Special Forces including the joint Canadian-American 1st Special Service Force (FSSF) in the ETO. FSSF was issued the Johnson Machine Gun in 1943.

M1941 Johnson MG

The Johnson Light Machine Gun had a front blade sight and a rear folding aperture sight. The Johnson Model 1941 fired Army standard .30 cal. cartridges from a 20-round box magazine with a rate of fire of 400-450 rounds per minute.

The Johnson Model 1944 modification of the Model 1941 did not change the action but replaced the bipod by a monopod and had a tubular metal stock instead of wood.

M1941 Johnson MG

References for the M-1941 & M-1943 Johnson Machine Guns

The definitive book on the Johnson machine guns (and Johnson's rifle) is Johnson Rifles and Machine Guns: The Story of Melvin Maynard Johnson, Jr. and His Guns , by Bruce N. Canfield.

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