Former Olympic Shooter New Range Officer At Weapons

A young Marine lieutenant, who tried in the Olympic pistol matches last year, assumed duties last week as a range officer at Weapons Battalion.

Second Lt. William W. McMillan of Turtle Creek, Pa., finished seventh in rapid pistol firing class at the Olympic games in Helsinki, Finland.

In addition, the lieutenant was a member of a the four-man team which set new records in .22 and .38 rapid fire matches at the World Matches in Oslo, Norway, last year.


He also placed fourth in individual competition at the Norway contests with a score of 579 out of a possible 600.

His team won the championship badge match with a score of 591 out of 600.

Ironically, in 1948 Lt. McMillan, then an enlisted man, was not permitted to stand guard duty at Brooklyn Navy Yard because he was not qualified with the pistol.

The 24-year-old officer never fired a pistol before enlisting in the Marines in 1946. He became interested in the pistol in 1949 and fired in the Marine Corps Matches that year. He was a member of Quantico's pistol team in 1950 and 1951.


Only two men -- the lieutenant and MSgt. Huelet Benner of the Army -- were selected for the rapid fire class. In addition to Lt. McMillan and MSgt. Benner, four others were selected to participate in the World Matches.

Lt. McMillan explains that silhouette shooting is the method used in Olympic competition.

He said five targets revolve, and the shooter fires one round on each target. He does this twice in eight seconds, twice in six seconds and twice in four seconds constituting a half of a course. For a full course of firing, the procedure is simply repeated.

Lt. McMillan said he was very much impressed by the Olympics. Of all participants, the lieutenant lauded particularly the feats of Bob Mathias, framed Stanford track star and also a Marine Corps reservist.


Lt. McMillan also said he met several pistol shooters from Russia. Through an interpreter, the Americans and Russians discussed differences in weapons.

The Russians, the lieutenant related, did not place in the rapid fire division. However, they won both third and fourth places in the slow fire contests.

Lt. McMillan returned from Korea in March as a staff sergeant. He received his commission March 15 and attended basic school at Quantico prior to reporting here.

News Photo

Second Lt. William W. McMillan of Weapons Battalion sights in during a practice session at the range. The lieutenant fired in the Olympics last year. The hand in the pocket is a practice followed by those firing in pistol competition.

Photo by Cpl. Olson

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