Host City: Paris, France
Venue(s): ChÃ¢lons Camp, Mourmelon-le-Grand
Date Started: June 26, 1924
Date Finished: June 27, 1924
Format: 400, 600, and 800 meters. Five-man teams. 30 shots, 10 shots at each distance. 150 possible per shooter, 750 possible per team.
The United States team easily won this event, winning by 30 points with 676, using Springfield rifles, with Remington Palma ammunition, loaded with HiVel powder. But the real story was in third place. Haiti tied with France for second place with 646 from 750 possible. France won the barrage to earn the silver medal. In 1915, the US military, concerned about German influence and military presence in Haiti, occupied that country for the duration of World War I. A Haitian gendarmerie was formed, led by American Marines, Col. David McDougal and Major Harry Smith. Both had been involved in shooting sport, and taught the Haitian gendarmerie to shoot. The Haitians decided they wanted to compete in the Olympics, though they had no experience, and no funds to send a team. But they had desire. A team was formed and equipped by the U.S. Marines. Each man in the gendarmerie, not just the shooters, contributed to a fund by donating 5% of their salary for five months to raise a fund to finance the team. In Paris, the Haitian free rifle team was in second place for most of the competition, and it was only during the final series that they were caught by the French team.