A user-configurable hand grenade, designed with the needs of Airborne Infantry specifically in mind.
Introduced for service in May 1943 and used for the duration of the war. Declared obsolete in 1954.
The fuze and fabric casing were pre-assembled.
Detonator and plastic explosive filler (Composition C-2) were added later, in the field.
The amount of explosive could be varied, to a maximum of 2-1/2 lbs, making for a powerful grenade.
The "Allways" Impact Fuze No. 247 had a modified arming tape, shortened by about half its standard length.(*)
This allowed the grenade to arm in a shorter distance, but also had the adverse effect of making the bomb more hazardous to the user. They had a history of accidental premature and unintentional detonations.
Shortcomings aside, the Gammon Bomb was an integral part of Airborne Infantry equipment for both British and American forces.
(* See clickable photo)
The plastic cover is unscrewed and discarded, the thumb placed over the safety tape weight to hold it in place.
When the grenade is thrown, the weighted lanyard unwinds and withdraws the safety bolt. The striker is left supported only by a light creep spring.
Impact from any direction causes the striker and pellet to compress, firing the sensitive primer.
The explosive flash is directed out the bottom and into the detonator below, which in turn energizes the booster pellet and in turn the main charge.
The red cap marking indicates the shortened arming tape. A strip of adhesive tape secured the cap to the grenade.
At left - Two U.S. Mk.II Fragmentation, one M15 WP, and one No.82 Gammon. A complement of grenade types known to have been issued to Airborne Troops during the invasion of Normandy.
- The Grenade Recogniton Manual, Vol2
Darryl Lynn (2001)
Rick Landers (2001)
- U.S. Small Arms of World War II
Bruce Canfield (2020)
I recommend all three publications, but especially Bruce's book, U.S. Small Arms of World War II !
He has three pages dedicated to just the Gammon, containing information never published before.
This web page is offered as an addendum to that, providing some additional photos.
(His book is a fantastic one of a kind publication. A definite need-to-have for your library.)