Justin Taylan, founder of PacificWrecks.com (a site well worth visiting), recently visited the South Carolina Military Museum and took these photos of the displays dedicated to David Marshall Williams aka. Carbine Williams. The information below was kindly provided by Chris Webb.
You probably know “Carbine” Williams, he’s a legend! He was expelled from the Blackstone Military Academy and serving time at the Caledonia State Prison Farm in Halifax County, North Carolina during the ‘30’s for second degree murder! His sentence was cut short so the the could design firearms for the US military.
“Williams related that the superintendent, H.T. Peoples, noted his mechanical aptitude and allowed him access to the prison’s machine shop where he demonstrated a knack for fashioning replacement parts for the guards’ firearms from pieces of scrap and automobile parts. In prison, he would save paper and pencils and stay up late at night drawing plans for various firearms. His skills in the machine shop permitted him to stay ahead of his assignments and allowed him time for his own hobby.”
Williams also designed several .22 cal versions issued firearms including the Browning machine gun and Colt automatic pistol for use during training exercises.
In 1952, MGM released a film loosely based on his life starring James Stewart and Jean Hagen as his wife Maggie; Williams served as a technical advisor. The film was appropriately titled “Carbine Williams”.