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: 29 Oct 1940 First Selective Service System draft lottery is held in Washington, DC; Number 158 is the first chosen.  More 
29 Oct 1941 Known as the "Great Action" by German troops, over 10,000 Jews are liquidated in the Kovno [Kaunas] Ghetto at the Ninth Fort, Lithuania.
29 Oct 1942 Coffee rationing begins in the United States.
29 Oct 1944 1st Inf Div Chaplain Sidney Lefkowitz and Cantor Max Fuchs hold a 10-minute, open-air service near Aachen, the first Jewish service on German soil since Nazi suppression began.
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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