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One of the more difficult weapons to identify as USMC in provenance, the M1 Carbine faithfully served a broad genre of Marines from the balmy jungles of the South Pacific to the bitter cold of the Chosin Reservoir. Initially allotted a disproportionate number of Carbines, a sizable amount were of very early manufacture. The Marine Corps would receive 333,370 Carbines in WWII, accounting for just over 5% of production.
Early I-cut M1 Carbines, including one Winchester, during Marine Corps equipment trials mid way though WWII (photos: NARA).
The only attribute that can increase the likelihood of a given M1 Carbine being of USMC provenance, Marines in the South Pacific were keen to file their rear sights into a V to allow better target acquisition in the dense jungles and during the frequent nighttime banzai charge. This modification was not strictly Marine however, as US Army soldiers would do this modification as well. That said, it has been observed on M1 Carbines with strong USMC provenance.
Marines with M1 Carbines on Iwo Jima. The Marine at top has an S.F. Co. magazine pouch, which along with Boyt pouches were made under contract for the USMC (photos: NARA).
Rock-Ola M1 Carbine with EGA and double V cut rear sights.
The 5th Marines in action in Korea, circa 1951-1952. Photos taken by regimental communications man Sergeant George Zurlinden Jr (photos: Jack Cook family collection).