An iconic weapon from World War II is now on display at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum: the M3A1 “grease gun”.
Costing only $20 to produce, the M3A1 was created to replace the much more expensive and reportedly less reliable Thompson submachine gun. Looking a little too much like an auto mechanic’s tool, many soldiers were hesitant to use it. But it proved very reliable and handy in tight spaces (like tanks and armored vehicles).
Designed by George Hyde of General Motors, production was done by GM’s Guide Lamp division in Indiana. Our example was originally issued to the U.S. Navy and used at Quonset Point. It is on loan from the East Greenwich Police Department.