Home  
Home 1289 N. 2nd St., Abilene, Texas 79601
 
12th Armored Division Message Board
register | search | profile
12th Armored Division >> General Discussion >> Medal of Honor on Netflix- Edward Carter Featured
13 posts total   
Author Topic:  Medal of Honor on Netflix- Edward Carter Featured
Garandomatic
Junior Member
Member # 35332

Posts: 18
From: Ohio
Registered: 8/15/2016
posted 11/13/2018 3:19:08 PM    Click here to view the profile for Garandomatic  Click here to email Garandomatic  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Watched it last night. They tell his story very well, but it looks like it was filmed in California. That passed decently in an earlier episode about a MOH recipient that was KIA in Italy, but it definitely did not look like Germany at the end of the war! And whereas an earlier episode had a proper WWII-style M1A1 Thompson, they gave Carter the earlier 1921 or 1928 "gangster" style Thompson for his episode. Those things aside, it WAS very nice to see a mention of the 12th and Carter!

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 1010
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 11/15/2018 4:40:27 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Joshua, My uncle, 1st Lt. Chuck Willis, A/56, was killed
on the same day, also in Speyer. He also used the submachine gun. I was not aware that Sgt. Carter used
a submachine gun.

I recall the movie made about, and with Audie Murphy.
It was called "To Hell and Back" While scenery did not
look terribly out of place, the uniforms of the soldiers were not combat uniforms! The pants even seemed to be pressed. They were not dirty.

Mike

Mike

Allan Humbert
Junior Member
Member # 36391

Posts: 4
Registered: 11/3/2018
posted 11/17/2018 6:51:23 PM    Click here to view the profile for Allan Humbert  Click here to email Allan Humbert  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Mike,
I noticed that in Dr. Phibbs book "the other Side of Time", he mentions your uncle Chuck Willis as having no living relatives other than an old uncle. Have you seen that?

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 1010
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 11/18/2018 11:52:23 AM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hi Allan, Somehow a message I wrote this a.m. has been lost. Brendan Phibbs may have confused Chuck with another soldier, or perhaps he filled in details from his imagination. But Chuck's actual story is somehow related to what Brendan wrote. Chuck was born in 1915. His father died in about 1917 or 1918. (He did not have the flu).
Chuck was very well spoken and Brendan thought he was educated in private schools and came from a wealthy family. This was far from the truth. Chuck was the youngest of nine children. The oldest brothers and sisters supported the family.

Chuck's parents were immigrants, having left the ghettoes of Minsk and Slutsk in what is now Belarus.

Chuck was drafted in the fall of 1941 and entered the Army just before Pearl Harbor. At the time he was living with his older brother, Irving. (Hence Brendan
Phibbs' somewhat innaccurate recollection).

It is because of Brendan's book that I became so interested in the 12th Armored Division.

Mike

Bob Scherer
Junior Member
Member # 119

Posts: 70
From: Yardley, PA
Registered: 10/11/2005
posted 11/18/2018 9:31:24 PM    Click here to view the profile for Bob Scherer  Click here to email Bob Scherer  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Mike,
I'm not sure how the "D" companies were armed. In reviewing the 1944 Table of Organization and Equipment of the Armored Infantry Battalion I saw that the Infantry squads were armed with 11 M1 rifles and one M3 submachine gun. The M3 was called the grease gun and was not the M1 Thompson submachine gun seen in the picture taken at the end of the war of S/Sgt Carter posing with a Thompson on his hip. I don't know how the D companies were armed, but it's good guess they were not armed better than the standard armored Infantry squad. Looks to me like Hollywood saw the picture of S/Sgt Carter and realized it's a lot sexier to have the hero armed with a Thompson than with the M1 he most likely carried.
Bob

Garandomatic
Junior Member
Member # 35332

Posts: 18
From: Ohio
Registered: 8/15/2016
posted 11/19/2018 8:23:07 AM    Click here to view the profile for Garandomatic  Click here to email Garandomatic  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Oh, it's not the fact that it's a submachine gun that is the issue! It's just the specific model of Thompson.

The classic "gangster" style Thompsons had the front pistol grip, and virtually NONE were EVER used by any part of the US military in that configuration. Britain did equip their commandos with that type of Thompson because they purchased Auto-Ordnance's leftovers, basically, as the guns did not sell well during the Depression. A few Marine Raiders seem to have used that type of Thompson, though, but I do not recall how they got them.

Far more common were the M1928A1, M1, and M1A1 Thompsons with the flat, horizontal wooden forend up front. Those were issued in large numbers and common even after the M3 "Grease Gun" was introduced. Those differ mostly internally, as the weapon was notoriously expensive to produce.

Interestingly, I have heard that the Thompson was sort of a whole-unit weapon in use. They were heavy and not as practical in situations where more than 50 yard shots were needed, so the unit shared the burden of carrying it until the type of situation arose when it would be needed (clearing houses, etc.). I do not know if this is entirely accurate, but the Forgotten Weapons youtube channel is decently researched, so I believe it bears some plausibility. That said, the habits of regular infantry, airborne, armored infantry and the like varied. I think Audie Murphy spoke highly of the Thompson, but then appeared to favor the M1 Carbine later in the war, so if you could get one (or get away with "finding" one), individual tastes played a role at times regardless of whether you were supposed to have a Thompson or not! Even the 5th and 7th Armored Divisions praised the BAR in their after-action reports and more or less recommended "acquiring" them when possible, as Armored Infantry Battalions were not equipped with them.

One of the wildest things I have stumbled upon, to get back to the root of my critique, was a photo in a book about the 82nd Airborne. Showed an officer with a real-deal civilian/police/gangster style Thompson with that front pistol grip... If I recall, it was his own, privately owned weapon. That sort of thing wouldn't fly for the VAST majority of servicemen, so it is really odd. Being an officer helped, as did being in the Airborne I imagine. "Elite" status has a funny way of permitting what you might call creativity. Later in the same book, the officer is pictured carrying a captured Mp-44 SturmGewehr. He had good taste.

It just didn't make sense to me to give the actor a wholly incorrect weapon when the production team absolutely had the right stuff in a different episode.

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 1010
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 11/19/2018 12:13:30 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Josh, I do not know much about weapons. I do recall
reading that the Browning (BAR) was very heavy. I do
believe that the Thompson submachine gun was what my uncle used, and I had thought that this was a different model than the one used by the criminals in the 1920s and 1930s. (They had a kind of circular magazine).
I held a submachine gun at the 12th Armored Reunion in Abilene 2 or 3 years ago. It was heavier than the normal rifle, but not really heavy. It was not a BAR. Bill Lenches
at the Museum is an expert and would know.

Mike

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 1010
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 11/19/2018 1:26:25 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
From Bill Lenches to Mike W:

The military used two different versions of the Thompson submachine gun. The first was the M 1928 A1, of which the museum owns an example. This is the weapon that you handled at the Reunion. There was a later, simplified version called the M1 submachine gun. It had a less complicated sighting system and a smooth contoured barrel. In terms of submachine guns, the division also used the M3 grease gun submachine gun, which was manufactured by General Motors.


Garandomatic
Junior Member
Member # 35332

Posts: 18
From: Ohio
Registered: 8/15/2016
posted 11/19/2018 2:57:47 PM    Click here to view the profile for Garandomatic  Click here to email Garandomatic  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
The differences depended on which model. The early Thompsons were very complicated and were made to accept a drum (circular) mag as well as a 20 round stick mag. The drums made a heavy thing even heavier, and a compromise was reached with a 30 round stick.

Essentially, the 1921A1 and 1928/1928A1 differed very slightly, mostly in rate of fire and that front grip/handguard. The front grip/handguard was interchangeable among the civilian and military 1921 and 1928 types. There is also the matter of the Cutts Compensator on the end of the barrel that was supposed to address muzzle climb, but I think the M1 was the first to delete it. Some very late 1928s had smooth barrels, incidentally.

The M1 and M1A1 simplified the internals and were themselves relatively interchangeable. I believe most "M1" Thompsons were converted to M1A1 designations, actually. The M1's bolt might be slightly different than an M1A1, but one will work in the other whereas very little interchanges between the 28s and the M1s. Additionally, the stock is fixed on an M1 and M1A1, and removable on the 21/28 Thompsons.

Whole lotta details! There are many more, and anybody interested ought to check out Forgotten Weapons' three part series on the development of the Thompson, as he chronicles the design of each, field strips each to talk about individual design differences, and then has a firing video that examines the cnages that were done to the rate of fire and whether a designation had the Cutts Compensator.

With WWII, by late 1944/early 1945, it wouldn't matter if it was an M1928A1, M1, or M1A1, as they and the M3s were all over the place. You just wouldn't see an M1921A1 or the "gangster" style 1928s. Those civilian models are exceptionally rare, and MOST exist as former law-enforcement weapons. An amazingly small number were ever bought for the purpose of arming the gangsters and motor bandits of the 20s and 30s, and it is a wonder the company stayed around as long as it did, given the poor sales and high price of the Thompson.

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 1010
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 11/19/2018 9:13:30 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
You are amazing!

Garandomatic
Junior Member
Member # 35332

Posts: 18
From: Ohio
Registered: 8/15/2016
posted 11/20/2018 9:48:59 AM    Click here to view the profile for Garandomatic  Click here to email Garandomatic  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Just spent about 34 of my 38 years studying the war in one way or another!

Allan Humbert
Junior Member
Member # 36391

Posts: 4
Registered: 11/3/2018
posted 11/24/2018 6:48:56 PM    Click here to view the profile for Allan Humbert  Click here to email Allan Humbert  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Mike,
It seems to me that my dad and I ran into a relative of Chuck's at the airport at the last reunion in Tulsa, OK. Was that you?

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 1010
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 11/25/2018 6:57:22 AM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Yes! No one else from the family has attended
the reunions. I was at Tulsa.

Mike