My thanks go to Michael Skriletz for today’s item.
The 3″ mortar was a heavy and awkward weapon to carry by man alone for anything but the shortest distances. Its ammunition was equally problematic, being heavy and bulky and used up very rapidly when a bombardment was needed. Wherever possible the weapon and its ammunition were driven into place by truck or carrier, however there were occasions where this was not a suitable option and in those cases specialist webbing equipment was used and it is one of those items we are looking at today.
The three inch bomb carrier was used to carry a single bomb. It was usually issued as a pair, with a yoke and worn in addition to standard webbing equipment, but could be fitted in place of a basic pouch if required:
The pouch consists of a webbing tube to hold the mortar bomb, with a webbing stirrup on the base to stop the bomb from falling out the bottom:
On the reverse a selection of fittings are available to secure the carrier and its contents
At the bottom is a webbing loop that is passed around the belt to hold the base of the carrier. It can either be worn in place of the basic pouch, or slipped over the belt next to a basic pouch if preferred:
Above this is a three bar buckle that allows the braces of the webbing set to be attached if being used in place of a pouch, or a yoke strap if being used as an additional load:
Finally at the top is a loop to steady the top of the carrier and prevent it pulling away from the body, the same principle seen in other lengthy pouches such as those used with the Lanchester:
The interior of the pouch is stamped and shows it was made by MECo in 1945:
It is unclear how much use these carriers actually saw in the war, they are very much like the other load carriers seen- produced in 1945 and often found in mint condition which suggests that if they did see much service, it was mostly in the post-war period as they arrived too late for the conflict.