John C. Garand
N 42° 07.725 W 072° 29.667
The grave of inventor, designer, and engineer, John C. Garand, is located in section D of Hillcrest Park Cemetery in Springfield, MA.
The grave of John C. Garand is marked by a horizontal granite, ground level headstone and an inscribed granite bench at the foot of the grave. He is interred along with his wife Nellie.
The headstone is inscribed:
JAN. 1, 1888
FEB. 16, 1974
AUG. 3, 1900
FEB. 25, 1986
The granite bench has the insignia of the Springfield Armory and the is inscription:
U.S. RIFLE JOHN C. GARAND
CAL. 30 M1 INVENTOR - DESIGNER - ENGINEER
Jean (John) Cantius Garand was born in St. Rémi, Quebec, Canada on January 1, 1888. His father moved to the family to Jewett City, CT when their mother died in 1899. He became an accomplished machinist while working at the toolmaking company of Browne and Sharpe in Providence, Rl and in 1916 worked as a toolmaker in New York City. There he was able his pursue his life long interest in designing firearms.
In 1917 Garand's design for a light machine gun was selected by the War Department and Garand was given a position with the United States Bureau of Standards in Washington DC to perfecting the the machine gun. The first model was built in 1919, too late for the War effort. The Government then employed Garand as an engineer with the Springfield Armory in Springfield, MA. There he perfected his most acclaimed invention the mass-produced, self-loading M1 rifle. Not only did he invent the rifle but also the machines to enable its mass-production and the machines to make the production machines.
The M1 rifle was adopted by the United States military and used as standard small arm weapon throughout World War II. Lt. General George M. Patton said "In my opinion, the M1 Rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised." The M1 rifle was the first semiautomatic rifle to be adopted by a major military power.