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When did the Designation "Gunner" Start Being in Use?

Discussion in 'Military History' started by the_diego, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. the_diego

    the_diego Member

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    As the title says.
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Does musketeer count?
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  4. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner) Patron  

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    "Army. an occupational title in the artillery."

    The term gunner is also included in the MOS of several AAF crew positions.
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm pretty sure the title predates aircraft. Question is whether it first appeared in the army or the navy. I suspect the former but ...
     
  6. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner) Patron  

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    Yeah, all I was saying was not just artillery - as per that definition
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    So the question is what's the context? Overall usage? Military service? Job title? When did job descriptions become official ratings? Likely had something to do with pay. I know early artillery weren't usually officially part of the national military but hired civilian contractors. Don't think that applied to ships though.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The term has been in use in the US going back to the 1775 Continental Navy, and likely in the Royal Navy well before that.
     
  9. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WWII Veteran Patron  

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    Morning all !

    When I was conscripted into the British army in 1942 my rank was that of PRIVATE

    When at my first training unit it was established that i had an aptitude suitable for that of a wireless operator i was sent to a Royal Artillery Training Unit and my rank changed automatically to that of GUNNER

    When in 1944 my Ack Ack unit was disbanded, I was sent to a RAC Training Unit and then (automatically) became a TROOPER

    So now you know !

    Ron
     
  10. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    William Shakespeare
    Circa 1599

    Henry V, Act 3, Prologue:
    “. . .

    Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege.
    Behold the ordnance on their carriages,
    With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur.
    Suppose th' Ambassador from the French comes back,
    Tells Harry that the king doth offer him
    Katherine his daughter and with her, to dowry,
    Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.
    The offer likes not, and the nimble gunner
    With linstock now the devilish cannon touches,

    Alarum, and chambers go off


    And down goes all before them. Still be kind
    And eke out our performance with your mind.

    Exit”


    My trusty Oxford Universal Dictionary note that Gunner as a naval person “in special charge of the battery, small arms, ordnance stores, etc.” gives the year 1495 as an early use.

    A “Gunner’s Daughter” was the sardonic name for the gun to which sailors were ‘married,’ i.e., lashed, preparatory for receiving punishment.
     
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  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    "Kissing the gunner's daughter" - often used for midshipmen or boys who were considered too young or privileged to be lashed to a grating and given the cat o' nine tails.
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Were gunners in Shakespeare's time still civilian contractors or were they considered part of the army?
     
  13. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    The term "artillery" predates gunpowder. The Honourable Artillery Company was firtst equipped with the warbow.
    The term Master Gunner dates from 1540 and was useed d for the men who took charge of guns under the command of the Master Gunner of England.
     
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