Cuban Invasion Ammo


#1

My Dad recently gave me about 60 rounds of 30-06 ammo with explicit instructions- “do not to shoot it”. He said it’s surplus ammo from the Bay of Pigs Invasion, and collectible. According to him, the headstamp was unique so it couldn’t be traced (see pics). He also stated, it was supposed to have been disposed of as scrap after the BoP failure, but some salvagers sold lots off as surplus ammo in the 60’s. Much of what he gave me is packed in plain cardboard packs (no markings)- some in stripper clips, some in M1 clips. I’ve been trying to locate information to corroborate this story, but to date have been unsuccessful (could be I’m just not looking in the right place). Any shove in the right direction or any information would be helpful. Also does this stuff have any value? Thanks



#2

See here:

iaaforum.org/forum3/viewtopic.ph … igs#p40360


#3

good read on the link

is there any other know rounds that came out of the bay of pigs (.45 .303 etc etc)?


#4

Dear Whos2kno

Please re-read the link. Chris’s book, which John quotes, states it was clandestine, not that there was, is from, or for, the Bay of Pigs invasion.

And to my knowledge nothing else. However I’m aware of .45 from / for Vietnam made without a headstamp.


#5

i miss read it

so it could have been used anywhere nut just for the bay of pigs it could have been used for a number of OP missions.


#6

When I visited Lake City in about 1972, I was told that they made this ammo and that it was specifically for the Johnson rifles that had been supplied for the BofPs. The ammo is widely reputed to be for the BofPs but I have never seen anything official confirming this.

That said, not much ammo, or anything else got ashore at the BofPs and what was left over would have been used and supplied to other “worthy causes”. I’d be surprised if it didn’t show up at other places in the world. Only when it was considered excess to requirements would it have been sold off. As most of you know the Agency was involved in setting up many of our favorite gun dealers like Interarms and Golden State and others, and excess ammo probably was sold off through this network.

Cheers,
Lew


#7

Clandestine ammunition has been used by various governments at different times for different reasons. And still is.


#8

Can anyone confirm that Johnson rifles or light machine guns were actually supplied to the Bay of Pigs invaders?

Any photos of them, or written first person accounts, or archival records to support issue of either Johnson rifle or LMGs?

I have heard rumors over the years, but do not know if they are any more accurate than the vast majority of gun show rumors which range from pure fantasy to wild distortions built around a grain of truth, to a few actual true stories.


#9

Thanks to all and especially RayMeketa for pointing me in the right direction. If anyone knows of any other resources, please share.


#10

[quote=“JohnS”]Can anyone confirm that Johnson rifles or light machine guns were actually supplied to the Bay of Pigs invaders?

Any photos of them, or written first person accounts, or archival records to support issue of either Johnson rifle or LMGs?

I have heard rumors over the years, but do not know if they are any more accurate than the vast majority of gun show rumors which range from pure fantasy to wild distortions built around a grain of truth, to a few actual true stories.[/quote]

Any information on the weapons used during the invasion (or the training in various countries) is hard to come by. Given how ‘leaky’ the whole organisation of the affair was, there don’t seem to be too many photographs that include weapons. I’m sure there must be an inventory, either of what was provided by the US, or what was captured in Cuba, but I’ve not run across one (not speaking Spanish probably doesn’t help)

Thus far, this is the only picture I’ve found showing Johnsons in use during training;

The search continues.

Peter


#11

Has Cuba no museum with equipment they captured there?


#12

The Museo Giron;

youtu.be/GyGyC6zFOeY

I have some pictures of arms captured after the landing, I’ll see if there’s anything relevant … when I can find them!

Peter


#13

Interesting that the Johnsons are scoped.


#14

And that the fellow in the foreground seems to have his finger in the trigger guard whilst waving the rifle about.

Here are the other pictures I have, taken after the affair was over, by the Cubans.

Finally, a picture taken at a training camp in Nicaragua. For the life of me I can’t decide whether they’re Johnsons or Garands, the picture is too fuzzy and the rearward part of the receiver is too similar on both rifles to be certain. Interesting though.

Peter


#15

The rifles being shouldered by the color guard are clearly the good old U. S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1 (Garamd).

I have experience with thsi rifle from the Army, and in truth, have had at least one of my own almost my entire adult life. We used them in High School ROTC, and I actually owned one even before I went into the Army at age 17 in
October 1956.

Jonny - in the first picture of the guys with Johnson’s over their head, I don’t think they are just waving their rifles around. That is a moment caught out of a standard drill in bayonet training, right before the deliverance of a horizontal butt-stroke.


#16

That wasn’t me, John, I just mentioned the scopes.


#17

Lew, this ammunition was made in 1953, long before the invasion was even planned. Some units of the force invasion were equiped with Johnson Model 1941 rifles and light machine guns, but many other .30-06 weapons were issued as well. The ammunition was also graded into two categories: rifles or machine guns.


#18

Sorry about that Jon. As you know, I am getting senile. Between the time I read them and the time it took to bring up the reply page, I let two consecutive entries run together in my rather feeble brain.