December 7, 1941. A very important day to remember.

Winchester Repeating Arms and the Arsenal of Democracy.


December 7 marks the anniversary of the surprise attack by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan on the US Naval Fleet at Pearl Harbor, in what was then the US Territory of Hawaii. Although the world is vastly different today -- old enemies have become friends and old alliances have been broken -- it is still good to occasionally remember the sacrifices of so many who, as part of the "Greatest Generation." offered up their service and sacrifice to preserve the precious freedoms we enjoy in the United States and across the free world today.

This attack early on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, along with near simultaneous attacks on US and British bases throughout the Pacific instantly plunged the United States into a global conflict that would span the next half decade and ultimately reshape the political and economic world into the one we know today.


The attack left much of the US fleet a smoking ruin, and the loss of life among US military personnel neared 2,500, plus numerous casualties among the local civilian population. However, during the attack, the handful of US aircraft carriers were at sea and were spared from what would have been near-certain destruction. This allowed the US to maintain an effective defensive posture while rebuilding their naval assets. Due to the shallow waters of Pearl Harbor, many of the Navy’s damaged vessels were refloated, repaired and eventually rejoined the fight in the Pacific.

Here on the Winchester Repeating Arms website, we have posted a number of special historic features on how the firearms and other war materials manufactured under the Winchester banner helped the US and her Allies emerge victorious in WWII. 

For example, among the major contributions that Winchester Repeating Arms made to the US war effort was the development the M1 Carbine, the most widely produced long gun of that war, and the production of the M1 Garand. Proudly we note that Winchester Repeating Arms was the only private sector company entrusted by Uncle Sam to produce the M1 Garand during WWII.

"In my opinion, the M1 rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised.” George S. Patton.

Shown is the M1 Garand built specifically for General George S. Patton by Winchester Repeating Arms in New Haven, CT.. He died before it could be presented.

Maj. Gen. Charles M. Wesson, Chief of Ordnance, U.S. Army, takes aim with the first Winchester-made M1 rifle to roll off the firm’s production line on January 10, 1941. To the general’s left is John Cantius Garand, inventor of the M1 rifle. Photo and caption from NRA/American Rifleman Magazine.



A vintage M1 war poster.


Copyright Winchester Repeating Arms, 2016. Written by Winchester Repeating Arms staff writer, Scott Engen. Most photos are in the public domain, others sources are obscure. Thanks to American Rifleman for their photo.