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Thread: WWII Alaskan Firearms? Museum in need.

  1. #1

    Default WWII Alaskan Firearms? Museum in need.

    I'm trying to track down Garands, M1 Carbines, 1911's or any other firearms that the owners know were actually issued and used in Alaska during WWII. The state museum in Juneau is setting up an exhibit along these lines but it's proven very difficult to find these firearms with a demonstrable Alaskan provenance. They all seem to have been returned to the arsenal and ended up lord knows where. But on the off chance that someone does know of such a firearm with a verified link to WWII service please let me know by PM.

    Thanks

    Greg

  2. #2
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Cool project! When I was little, my stepmom's grandfather used to hunt with a Garand; could barely fit me and that thing both in the canoe! Not sure if he was stationed up here or elsewhere, he passed down in Oregon recently. Good luck with the search!
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Way back in the day Adak had a museum with WWII artificats found in the weeds. Several of these were guns, M1 carbines, M1 garands, and other debris.

    Since the BRAC in 1995 I have no idea what happened to the museum out there. Might want to call the current City office or USFWS office out there and find out. Maybe it all went to the USFWS office.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for that tip! We'll check into that. It's ironic that we have so many Arisakas and Mausers with verified provenance, but our own soldier's weapons were taken back to the arsenals and reused or sold off to other countries. The state has all the foreign rifles it could ever want. The museum may have to settle for some vintage Garands of unknown history. Should be an interesting display, though.

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    I currently own an M-1917 that was issued to an ATG member here in Noorvik, as well as a Winchester 95 in 30/40 krag that served the ATG as well.


    The 1917 is sporterized, as most were and being tough, accurate, popular , and in .30-06 to boot, it was relived of weight with some sawing and soldier'd on hunting in the Arctic.

    The Winchester was the personal arm of my friends father while in the ATG ,from the next village over, whom I aquired it from.

    Im looking for a former Alaskan National Guard U.S. military issed M-1916 Mosin Nagant, that would be a nice addition.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  6. #6

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    Are you interested in Japanese rifles that were issued and used in Alaska? A buddy of mine has one, and he's in Juneau.

  7. #7

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    Thanks! I think they're always interested in Japanese rifles with an Alaska connection, but they've actually got quite a few. It's the US rifles that are sorely lacking. Uncle Sam grabbed them all back!

    At this point the museum is also interested in getting a seasonal loan of some good representative Garands, Eddystone Enfields, carbines, etc. These don't have to have an Alaskan history. PM me if you're interested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmoline View Post
    At this point the museum is also interested in getting a seasonal loan of some good representative Garands, Eddystone Enfields, carbines, etc. These don't have to have an Alaskan history. PM me if you're interested.
    Who are you and what organization do you represent? How does one verify your sincerity before offering to "loan" you a gun. Sorry to ask, but it's the world we live in.

  9. #9

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    I'm scouting around for the Alaska State Museum in Juneau. Any arrangements would be made between the owner and the museum. They're set up to do loans with insurance and all that stuff. PM me and I can provide additional details and put you in contact with the museum. Or feel free to contact my bro Steve Henrikson direct down there. I'm just lending a hand in the effort. I'm not going to take any loans myself and I'm not getting paid or anything like that. I'm just helping out to get a good representation for the 70th anniversary of the Dutch Harbor bombing.

    I'm also hoping to encourage those with historic Alaska firearms not to just sell them off to the used gun market. With the Vets Museum open now there's even more potential for safeguarding our firearms heritage. Far too many firearms of historic importance in this state get sold off and lose their provenance forever. It's not just a problem with WWII weapons but with rifles of famous hunters and long-time sourdoughs and native elders. Even beyond the WWII issues, if you see or know of any such rifles that may be leaving their family homes, think about getting a museum donation set up.

    Thanks!

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    I sent your brother an email directly at his museum address in regards to an M1 rifle I might be willing to loan. It may or may not fit his needs.

  11. #11

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    Thanks! It looks like the Vets Museum in Anchorage is also going to pitch in so the exhibit should be fine.

    If you do know of a firearm with some Alaska pedigree, the most important thing to do is make sure the firearm and its history aren't separated. It doesn't have to be anything much, but so much of that history has already been lost forever. I'm sure my bro can give you pointers if you're interested in documenting things properly. Once the gun gets sold off it's just another gun and nobody will ever know what it once represented.

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