First Air - Unit History

May 5th, 2005  

Topic: First Air - Unit History

I recently purchased a surplus M1903 rifle from the Civilian Marksmanship Program. Scribed on the stock is: "Jan. 5, 1943 - First Air Rats - Jim Lamberson".

Is this the "First Air Commando" group from the C-I-B theater? My understanding is that they formed in 1943, so the date seems a little early.

I'd appreciate anything you people could share on the subject.

May 5th, 2005  
I agree that jan. 5 sounds a bit early to be the 1st Air Commando Group..

According to this website, it wasn't called that until August 1943:

Can't find any reference to "First Air Rats" in any search engine either, so I don't have a clue to what it may mean...
May 8th, 2005  
It might be a stretch, but it might be an airmans rifle stored in the plane in case they had to bail.
May 18th, 2005  

Topic: Correction - Not First Air Rats

Now that I've had a chance to degrease the stock of this rifle I can see the inscription more clearly. It does not say "First Air Rats". It says "First Air Raid".

I suspect that the most likely involvment of Americans with M1903s on Jan. 5, 1943 would be the waning portion of the Guadalcanal campaign or the New Guinea campaign. None of my WWII histories are in the level of detail that might pinpoint a specific air raid on that date.

Any other thoughts on this?