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US Navy ordnanceman Jesse Rhodes Waller posing with a M1919 Browning machine gun next to a PBY Catalina aircraft, Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas, United States, Aug 1942, photo 1 of 3

Caption   US Navy ordnanceman Jesse Rhodes Waller posing with a M1919 Browning machine gun next to a PBY Catalina aircraft, Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas, United States, Aug 1942, photo 1 of 3 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Library of Congress
Identification Code   LC-DIG-fsac-1a34894
More on...   
PBY Catalina   Main article  Photos  
Browning M1919   Main article  Photos  
Photos in Series See all photos in this series
Added By David Stubblebine
Added Date 27 Feb 2010

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (3,200 by 2,476 pixels).

Licensing  Public Domain

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
1 Mar 2010 06:48:15 PM

All previous captions for this photo (including at the Library of Congress) list the weapon as a Browning M1919 .30 caliber light machine gun. A close look at it (especially the receiver) reveals nothing consistent with the M1919 but all features match the Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
14 Sep 2011 11:17:07 AM

Let me tell you ordnanceman Jesse Rhodes is
one strong man, holding that weapon with one arm,if its a fifty, the barrel was 26lb and the receiver 56lb the Navy must have fed those men some good chow.
Climbing aboard that PBY with no other crew member helping him with it. Once again I'm sticking to my stroy that weapon is a Browning M-1919 .30 Caliber Machine Gun.
If not like I've said win some, loose some. But check out the other photograph of the GI standing by his fifty that weapon is big really big.
3. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
14 Sep 2011 05:03:13 PM

Bill: You may be right (if this is the M1919, then you also agree with the Library of Congress). Before submitting my opinion that this was the M2, I struggled with this for some time and I struggled with the very same issues you bring up – it looks too small & too light for the M2. And the images where we see the muzzle, the hole looks smaller than .50 inches. If this is not the M2, I still wonder if it is the M1919, however. The gun certainly has many of the M2 design features as opposed to the M1919, most notably the twin luggage style hand-grips and thumb trigger. I have never heard of a M1919 fitted this way nor have I heard of the M2 design being scaled down to a .30 caliber. But if they ever made either one, perhaps one of those is what we see here. As an aerial gun, fitting the M1919 with the two-handed M2 style luggage grips makes some sense it would offer steadier shooting while aloft. Any armorers out there ever hear of that?
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
14 Sep 2011 06:39:11 PM

Hello David:

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my coments on the ww2db, I'm glad to receive any feedback.
When I was in the US Army in 1966 training at Ft. Sill, OK our weapons training did included the M-1919 .30 and M-2 .50 Caliber Machine Guns. I try to bring the best information to the ww2db. One thing about the
50, is that hole at the end of the barrel the slug is big and heavy 12.7mm.

The Russians have their 12.7mm DShK heavy Machine Gun. Their version of the .50 it is big and heavy and like the M-2 .50 still in service today. I had my hand in firing that weapon in Vietnam it was a beast!

Machine Guns fitted for aircraft had two hand grips, with a butterfly trigger in the center, for ease of firing and control, from open fuselage positions.

During the Vietnam War the M-60 Machine Gun 7.62mm used a two handed grip with the butterfly trigger in the center, and were used aboard Huey Helicopters (Slicks) and Huey Gunships for ease of fire and control by the gunner.
In the Gunship version four M-60 7.62mm MGs
were mounted in pairs on each side of the fuselage, and operated by the pilot or co-pilot using a reflector gun site. The Hog
(Gunship) also mounted a 40mm grenade launcher in a turret underneath the nose along with rockets.
The standered infantry M-60 used a buttstock with pistol grip this post-war design was ifluenced from the German MG-34 and MG-42.
The M-60 is best known by Vietnam Veterans as "The Pig".

Anyway when I saw that weapon, it looked way to small for the .50 and my guess it was the .30 Caliber MG. David feel free to email me with questions. wdenomie@yahoo.com there is much I would like to share with you.

Best wishes
5. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
15 Sep 2011 11:26:08 PM

Upon repeating my pictorial comparisons between the M2 and the M1919, I am forced to back up on my opinion of 1 Mar 2010 and join the mainstream that these photos show the aerial configuration of the M1919 .30 caliber machine gun. Thanks to Bill for getting me thinking about this again.
6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
16 Sep 2011 05:19:50 PM

Hello David:


Looking through my files I remember having a photo of a gunner with a flexable Browning
M-1919,.30 Caliber Machine Gun, that was mounted on a open ring mount. The weapon is supported by the same 180 degree aluminum color support with holes under the weapon.

Persective of both gunner and receiver are the same, as in the color photos.
The M-1919 is fed by the same one hundred round aluminum ammo feed can on the gunners left, and is the same as in the color photos, as well as the smaller can on the gunners right.

Best wishes
7. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
4 Nov 2011 11:53:20 AM


The M2AN .30 Caliber Browning was designed as a specific aircraft version of the M1919.
The AN stands for Army/Navy the weapon was light weight, the operating parts were built thinner and lighter and was air-cooled.
The designers also reduced the barrel's weight and profile the M2 was two-thirds lighter than the standard M1919 the M2 also had a rate-of-fire at 1200rpm.

The M2 also appeared as a twin-mounted weapon
with opposing feed systems giving the M2AN a combined rate-of-fire of 2400rpm.
By 1943 the M2 was phased out as a hand-held
weapon, replaced by the M2 .50 Caliber weapon
However, the M2AN continued to serve as air
armament and a training weapon.
I apologize for not posting this information earlier
8. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
4 Nov 2011 02:18:16 PM

Bill: Thanks for sticking with this question. The M2AN story was a very fitting wrap-up and I learned a lot about these weapons from this exchange.
9. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
5 Nov 2011 02:17:57 PM

Thank you Mr. Stubblebine for your comment
I try to bring the best information available
to ww2db. Behind every photograph at ww2db is
a story of the men and machines, that fought
World War II.

Best wishes
10. Jerry says:
24 Jan 2012 12:37:28 PM

There were two Army/Navy Model 2 (AN M2) machine guns The earlier was the AN M2 .30cal which Jesse Rhodes Waller is posing with. By the end of the war the AN M2 .50cal was the standard aircraft gun of all the services. Both these guns were developed from the M1917 Browning machine gun of World War One between the wars.
11. Tricia Waller U says:
2 May 2012 02:38:27 PM

Not sure about the gun nor the ammo but that's my daddy! Whoever posted these photos,Thanks!

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