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Thread: 13 Mar 20 Garand Picture of the Day - Lieutenant Commander Malcolm Champlin's Garand

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    Contributing Member Mark in Rochester's Avatar
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    13 Mar 20 Garand Picture of the Day - Lieutenant Commander Malcolm Champlin's Garand







    The plate reads

    To
    Malcolm McGregor Champlin
    United Statesicon Navy
    From
    Lieutenant General Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright
    United States Army
    For saving my life in a straffing attack
    By a Japaneseicon "zero" firhter
    On Bataam March 10 1942


    Plate is made of silver


    Malcolm McGregor Champlin
    Born: April 13, 1911 in San Francisco, CA
    Married: Betty Mee (m. 1943, div. 1953), Virginia Pearson (m. 1955)
    Children: Sarah Jane, William Bradford and Mimi Lisette
    Military Service: USN (WWII)
    Died: January 3, 1998

    1941: Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
    1954-1955: State Commander, American Legion, Department of California
    1962: Proponent, Proposition 24 [Subversive Activities] (Failed; 40%)
    1967-1980: Judge, Alameda County Municipal Court

    Champlin graduated from United States Naval Academy, United States Naval War College, and the FBI Academy.
    Mr. Champlin has World War II service ribbons for combat in the Philippines, Australiaicon, the Aleutian Islands and in Pacific and Asiatic waters. (Source)
    Received the Navy Cross, Silver Star, and Bronze Star.
    During the Japanese attack on Bataan, Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright presented his M1 Garand to Champlin in thanks for saving his life in a strafing attack by a Japanese ‘Zero’ fighter on Bataan, March 10, 1942."

    Last edited by Mark in Rochester; 03-15-2020 at 12:00 PM.
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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    Any information on the serial number of Malcolm Champlin's M1icon rifle ?

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I'm sorry...I must be missing something. The written story states... "Bastard! Champlin yelled. He fired the CARBINE until the clip was empty"... So it started off as a carbine.

    Here's an addendum from the book that I think this came from, actually quoted as a carbine... So, buy the rifle not the story? The Battle of Bataan: A Complete History, 2d ed. By Donald J. Young, page 72.
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    Last edited by browningautorifle; 03-15-2020 at 10:16 AM.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member Mark in Rochester's Avatar
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    "Hero of Bataan"
    The Story of General Jonathan M. Wainwright
    Duane Schultz

    Page 195
    --excerpt--

    The 10th of March dawned clear and hot, typical of Bataan at that time of year. Wainwright and his staff were up early. Because he did not have to leave for Corregidor until noon, he had time to make another inspection tour of the front. This would be another routine visit to the line, Skinny thought, but he came close to death that morning, almost missing his historic meeting with MacArthur.

    Wainwright corralled his aides "Dooley, Champlin, and Pugh" but before they all piled into the open scout car he handed Champ his Garand rifle, the one Skinny carried with him wherever he went. As they drove toward the front, Champ recalled, Wainwright "indulging in his favorite pastime of quizzing his aides on military strategy in general and cavalry tactics in particular. Except for distant firing, the war seemed far away."

    Champlin slipped on his dark glasses to shield his yes from the dazzling glare of the sun. He looked up at the sky and saw, "directly in front of the sun, a black speck was hurtling down in a direct line towards us and as I looked, the speck grew larger, second by second, and it grew wings, and the wings were dipping from side to side."

    "Get the hell out of this car!" Champlin yelled. "Everybody out! Quickly!"

    Wainwright, Dooley, and Pugh turned to look at him in surprise. Champ shouted at them again and leaned over to release the catch on Wainwright’s safety belt. He leaped out of the car, carbine in hand, and ran for the cover of trees just beyond the road. The others were right behind him. A stream of bullets from the Japaneseicon plane sliced up the road, tearing into the scout car.

    "Bastard!" Champlin yelled. He fired the carbine until the clip was empty.

    When the plane was gone, the others raised their heads and came out from behind the bushes. Tom Dooley went to examine the riddled scout car and counted seventy-two bullet holes in it.

    "Jesus," he said, "that was a close one."

    Champlin glanced at Wainwright. The general had "an amused expression on his face and the twinkle in his eyes could not be mistaken."

    Well, you let off some steam, didn’t you, son," Skinny said. "You kind of like that gun, don’t you."

    "It’s yours, son. Take it and thanks for spotting that plane. He’d have gotten us if you hadn’t spotted him coming in out of the sun."

    "But General," Champlin said. "This gun is ordnance issue."

    "Who’s fighting this war?" Skinny said. "The pencil pushers in Washington or you and I? Keep it, son. It’s yours."

    Wainwright took a small notebook out of his pocket, wrote a brief note on one of the pages, tore out the paper, and handed it to Champlin.

    "If you get out of here," Wainwright said, "take that gun with you. When you get home, hang it over your fireplace and put these words on it."

    Champlin did what the general asked. On the stock of the Garand is a brass plaque with the words Wainwright wrote down on that day on Bataan: "To Malcolm McGregor Champlin, United Statesicon Navy, from Lieutenant General Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright, United State Army, for saving my life in a strafing attack by a Japanese ‘Zero’ fighter on Bataan, March 10, 1942." *
    Last edited by Mark in Rochester; 03-15-2020 at 12:27 PM.
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    Contributing Member Mark in Rochester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCS View Post
    Any information on the serial number of Malcolm Champlin's M1icon rifle ?
    I have reached out to the family will advise if there is any response.
    There are no great men, only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet.

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    Thanks Mark for checking the serial number, would make a good article for the GCAicon.

    RE: carbines I really doubt and would bet there were no M1icon carbines in the Philippines in 1941 or 1942, later during 1943-44 they did receive weapons by US subs that
    did include M1 carbines

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    Contributing Member Mark in Rochester's Avatar
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    yes the point of my request was for a article for the GCAicon. Clearly a Garand as the photos show. At least one account states Garand and carbine. Not sure it would be possible for a carbine to be there as you stated above (10 Mar 42 vs Jun 42). Over a span of just 38 months (the first carbines were delivered in June 1942, the last in August 1945) nine primary contractors established manufacturing facilities, tooled up and turned out some six million carbines of all types - M1, M1A1icon, M2 and T3/M3. The production program was such a success that, excepting Inland and Winchester, the remaining contracts were cancelled in mid-1944. Those two companies completed their carbine production runs in August, 1945.

    Last edited by Mark in Rochester; 03-15-2020 at 01:20 PM.
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    Response from family

    Mark, Yes, Malcolm Champlin is my father. He passed away in 1998. I know of the rifle and I think I remember the story behind it. I'll write what I remember:
    Dad and General Wainright, and a driver, were in a jeep driving on a relatively lonely road in Corregidor and Dad was in the back seat wearing really dark sunglasses. He could see a dot in the sun and knew that Japaneseicon Zeroes had a way of doing their strafing runs so that you couldn't see them until it was too late; the sun behind them blinded the target. Dad's glass gave him a few seconds of time. He said, "We gotta' get out of the jeep!" Wainright said, "Why?" Dad saw there was no time and grabbed the General by the back of his shirt and threw him into a ditch and the driver followed suit. As soon as they hit the ditch the zero strafed the jeep and they had to walk 5 miles. Dad went into the woods and found a dead GI and picked up his M-1 and walked in front for the whole 5 miles until they got to where they were going. I think that's the actual rifle that the General gave him. He got an army medal for that, one of the few times a Naval Officer had ever received an Army medal. I heard this story so many years ago that I may have some of it wrong but that's pretty close. Dad co-wrote a book called Luzan, a fiction novel, that used some of his adventures in the South Pacifc and I'd bet the actual incident is in the book.



    He did provide a lead on where the rifle might be - willadvise
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