PROCUREMENT: Unpardonable Gun

Fire last week destroyed a new addition to the building where the U. S. Army has its Washington headquarters. Officers looking for the cause guessed at everything from cigaret butts on awnings to saboteurs. Wags had another theory: sparks, set a-flying when somebody mentioned Captain Melvin Maynard Johnson Jr.

Captain (Marine Corps Reserve) Johnson is a tall, gun-happy young Bostonian who invented a semi-automatic rifle, then outraged the Ordnance Department by insisting out loud that his weapon was better than the Army's Garand rifle (TIME, April 8). The Army arsenal at Springfield, Mass., after many bumbles, last week had Garand...

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