Cook Off

       The movie Ryan has sure caused a lot of talk with people who knew I had been in WWII. One thing toward the end of the movie, they showed a machine gunner reloading his machine gun. He dropped the cover and grabbed the bolt handle, I was expecting him to cup his hand underneath, but instead he put his hand, palm down. This was on the .30 Caliber M1919A-4 in the movie. After firing as much as he had, the barrel was probably hot enough to "cook off". This is when it is so hot that when you chamber a new round, it will fire in about a second or a second and a half. The way he loaded the gun, if it fired, it would take his thumb and maybe his wrist, breaking one or both. Even with the .50 calibre Machine Gun you still brought your hand up and under and curled your fingers to load. Now that is really "nit picking" but it just reminded me that it was, in fact, just a movie and took some of the tension that was building up, away.

----- "Red" Themar


Biography of "Red" Themar, Sgt, Wpns Plt, Co A, 385th Inf Regt, 76th Inf Div, 3rd Army, USA

Back To Justin Oral History, Army Anecdotes

Please Share your Stories! E-mail the Curator to share or discuss or with any questions!