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01-23-2012 10:20 PM
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yah,great job real enfield weekend hope the prices were good?--charles
You had a real good week-end. They all look good to me...
Really Senior Member
very nice set on M1917s , do the stocks match the makers ?
RCAF-marked P-17s are not the most common items.
Yes, the designation is correct: the US M-1917 rifle in Canadian service during War Two was officially termed the P-17. The men referred to it as the "Eddystone Rifle" because it seemed that they all were made there.
A lot of them were used on air bases right across this country, everything from fully-operational fighter bases to training bases..... and we had a lot of those, training most of the Commonwealth pilots who served in that War and a whole bunch of Americans as well. The remains of WW2 air bases still dot the Canadian Prairies. They range all the way from forgotten strips in the middle of nowhere..... to modern military and commercial airports.
My father was an Instrument specialist with 133 Fighter Squadron RCAF, assigned when the new squadron was formed up at Lethbridge, Alberta in 1942. They were equipped with Canadian-built Hurricane II fighters..... and P-17s..... and sent to Boundary Bay, British Columbia. Boundary Bay is an interesting place. You had to go through the US (a foreign country which was at peace) in the early days, US Customs quietly ignoring all these military-looking guys going from Canada to Canada. The men wore civvies, mind you, out of respect for official US neutrality. After Pearl Harbour, it was something else. They flew regular Pacific patrols in case of a Jap attack on North America for some time, then they were moved to Tofino on Vancouver Island. Later, they were joined at Tofino by 135 Sqn. But BB continued as an active base throughout the War.
After Pearl Harbour, things were pretty hairy and nobody was fully prepared. The men on Coast Watch (and that included everyone not on duty doing something else.... even Instrument men and off-duty pilots) had only extremely-limited supplies of .30 ammunition, so the instructions were simple: "If the Japs land, fire your 5 rounds and run like hell!"
Considering where this rifle seems to have turned up, it might have served in one of those locations.
Hope this helps.
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