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Posted: 2/23/2010 4:05:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/23/2010 6:01:47 PM EST by smokiexd45]
One of the older technicians at work was telling me a story today about a pistol that was in his in laws family.

He tells me that his wifes late father, who was a marine in the battle of Iwo Jima, had brought back his pistol from the war. I'm thinking, ok must be a nice old 1911 model, one that has probably seen more than a few soldiers hands. then comes the rest of the story.

Turns out that the guy's father in law, had a camera with him in his sack, and had taken some pictures of when they raised the flag on Mt. Suribachi. He submitted his photo, but it was not chosen as the one that is now famous. The family still has this picture hanging in their living room.

A few days after the flag raising, the Japanese attacked the marines, and another fight broke out. As they are in the middle of everything, a Japanese sniper takes a shot at him. The bullet hits him in the right wrist, and hits his gun hanging from his belt. The round, after completely disabling his right hand, penetrates his leather pistol holster, and embeds itself into the slide of his 1911. fragments from the round penetrate through the other side of the holster, and into his leg, injuring him further.
The marine was able to get to the medic, where he was then evacuated to care for his injuries.

So the technician asks me if I would like to see it. After telling him the obvious, he calls his wifes brother and asks if he could bring it up to the shop.

Here are the pictures I took after listening to the same story again from the Marine's son. (it was a good story, I had no problem listening twice.)
I asked him if he would mind me posting them on here, as long as I blocked out the serial number. He said go right ahead.

Although I had to blur out the serial #, it fell into the early/mid 600,000 range. Found this.
Colt: S/N 450,000 to 629,500 = Oct. 24, 1918 to April 10, 1919

If anyone can tell me a little more about this gun, I can relay it to the owner, who would be very grateful!
ETA...the Marine's name was Horace Arthur Smith "Arty". he passed away 3 years ago.












Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:07:02 PM EST
I can only tell you that it is awesome.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:08:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/23/2010 4:09:18 PM EST by targettarget]
What a story.

ETA - I'd shot it.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:08:47 PM EST
Wow, that's definitely worth trying to find a conservator.


Keep any more damage from ruining this piece of history
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:09:09 PM EST
That is very neat.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:10:20 PM EST
What an awsome piece of history to own, I would never get rid of it unless it went to a museum.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:10:25 PM EST


BADASS!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:11:19 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:11:36 PM EST



Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:12:36 PM EST
Wow!


Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:14:03 PM EST
wow

Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:14:46 PM EST
fuggin japs ruined a perfectly good colt
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:14:48 PM EST

Nice story. Not that I'm doubting it. I have insufficient information to even have an opinion.

But I collect WWI and WWII weapons. You realize that there are more stories than guns?

The pictured 1911 and holster certainly seem to fit the story.

If it was carried in combat at Iwo, it is likely to have been ready for use.

Doesn't look like that slide has moved since the bullet strike.

I guess the acid test would be that there is still a chambered round in the 1911.

Be careful handling that weapon!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:16:05 PM EST
Thank you for posting, an amazing piece of history.

In before some Glocktard says a Glock would still run after this.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:18:41 PM EST
cool
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:18:54 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:18:57 PM EST
that is sweet! I love that they didn't even try to pull the leather out where it must have been pushed into the gun by the bullet. Awesome!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:20:26 PM EST
Coolest thing I've seen all week! Thanks for sharing
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:20:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By Brownie63:

Nice story. Not that I'm doubting it. I have insufficient information to even have an opinion.

But I collect WWI and WWII weapons. You realize that there are more stories than guns?




The pictured 1911 and holster certainly seem to fit the story.

If it was carried in combat at Iwo, it is likely to have been ready for use.

Doesn't look like that slide has moved since the bullet strike.

I guess the acid test would be that there is still a chambered round in the 1911.

Be careful handling that weapon!


That was the first thing that came to my mind when he told me that the slide was locked up.

I was told that the hammer had been dropped numerous times already and nothing happened. I cringe when I think what could have happened.
I no doubt handled it very carefully and kept it pointed in a safe direction the whole time being nervous myself.

we have a video borescope at work, I'll get the technician to send it down the barrel for an inspection.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:20:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By Brownie63:

Nice story. Not that I'm doubting it. I have insufficient information to even have an opinion.

But I collect WWI and WWII weapons. You realize that there are more stories than guns?




The pictured 1911 and holster certainly seem to fit the story.

If it was carried in combat at Iwo, it is likely to have been ready for use.

Doesn't look like that slide has moved since the bullet strike.

I guess the acid test would be that there is still a chambered round in the 1911.

Be careful handling that weapon!


A lot of WW Vets carried the 1911 in condition one during wartime, even during battle. It was a last defense weapon as a rifle was far superior in most respects and as long as ammo for it held out, a pistol was unlikely to be withdrawn from the holster.

Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:22:11 PM EST
Amazing, absolutely amazimg. I hope the family will find the right person to help perserve such a great peice of history.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:23:23 PM EST
Put some oil on it!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:26:14 PM EST
Now that is just an awesome story......10 kinds of win here. Leave it to a 1911 to save lives without even firing a shot. Not only the greatest handgun ever but serves as expedient body armor when the Japs are getting testy.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:26:18 PM EST
Too cool!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:26:34 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:26:39 PM EST
All I can say is , Incredible.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:27:25 PM EST

Originally Posted By fxntime:
Originally Posted By Brownie63:

Nice story. Not that I'm doubting it. I have insufficient information to even have an opinion.

But I collect WWI and WWII weapons. You realize that there are more stories than guns?

The pictured 1911 and holster certainly seem to fit the story.

If it was carried in combat at Iwo, it is likely to have been ready for use.

Doesn't look like that slide has moved since the bullet strike.

I guess the acid test would be that there is still a chambered round in the 1911.

Be careful handling that weapon!


A lot of WW Vets carried the 1911 in condition one during wartime, even during battle. It was a last defense weapon as a rifle was far superior in most respects and as long as ammo for it held out, a pistol was unlikely to be withdrawn from the holster.


I don't necessarily disagree. Just hard to picture the fierce fighting at Iwo, especially on Mt. Suribachi without everything locked and loaded.

Still glad to hear the OP is going to run a scope down the barrel and check.

A flashlight would work too. A flashlight and a dental mirror would be even better (so we don't point a potentially loaded weapon at our eyeball).

Better safe than sorry.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:28:29 PM EST
the awesomeness of this story cannot be understated!

thanks for posting!!!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:29:02 PM EST
Most definitely a "cool story bro"!!!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:30:07 PM EST
That is a great story. Wow.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:30:49 PM EST
That would be an amazing temp loan to the Marine Corps museum Iwo Jima Display!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:31:40 PM EST
That looks like you threw it down the driveway to make it look legitimate.


JK...That is an awesome piece of history!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:31:58 PM EST
Wow. That's epic. A piece of history.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:32:04 PM EST
pretty neat!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:32:26 PM EST
This is one of the coolest things I have seen on Arf since I have been here..

Thanks OP and thank the family of that full fledged Marine hard ass..
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:32:29 PM EST
Thanks for sharing!

Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:32:38 PM EST
Goosebumps. Thank you.


My grandfather was a marine on Iwo Jima as well. I have a 1911 that he brought back but he bought it in Tokyo after the war––not his issued sidearm.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:34:08 PM EST
100% AWESOME
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:34:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/23/2010 4:35:33 PM EST by ARinKCMO]
nm, read further to see taht it appears to be empty, but you're going to check with a camera....so...tag for that update.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:35:14 PM EST
Originally Posted By smokiexd45:
Originally Posted By Brownie63:

Nice story. Not that I'm doubting it. I have insufficient information to even have an opinion.

But I collect WWI and WWII weapons. You realize that there are more stories than guns?




The pictured 1911 and holster certainly seem to fit the story.

If it was carried in combat at Iwo, it is likely to have been ready for use.

Doesn't look like that slide has moved since the bullet strike.

I guess the acid test would be that there is still a chambered round in the 1911.

Be careful handling that weapon!


That was the first thing that came to my mind when he told me that the slide was locked up.

I was told that the hammer had been dropped numerous times already and nothing happened. I cringe when I think what could have happened.
I no doubt handled it very carefully and kept it pointed in a safe direction the whole time being nervous myself.

we have a video borescope at work, I'll get the technician to send it down the barrel for an inspection.


I think it would be cooler to take it to the nearest International Airport, and have it X-rayed in one of those fucking machines we paid for.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:39:20 PM EST
That 1911 has quite the history!

As to questioning why that 1911 is not in Condition One.... I'd say the pistols at the time of battle were carried in various conditions of readiness. Some men may have felt comfortable with Condition One and others with Condition Two. Others may have preferred Condition Three. Just something we may never really know.

Thanks for sharing by the way!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:40:09 PM EST
In before the Glock people


lol jk



awesome 1911 story.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:41:53 PM EST
That is awesome!! Very cool!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:42:03 PM EST
Fucking AWESOME. These kind of posts are what keep me coming back to this site over and over!

And I agree.. if that ever leaves the family, it had better wind up in a museum for every American to witness and pontificate upon.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:45:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By Schadenfreuda:

I think it would be cooler to take it to the nearest International Airport, and have it X-rayed in one of those fucking machines we paid for.

And never get it back....

Very cool story.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:46:18 PM EST
That is the coolest thing I've seen in a while.

Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:47:53 PM EST
Thanks for posting this.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:49:52 PM EST
awesome, thanks for sharing that!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:53:16 PM EST
wow
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:53:39 PM EST
The 1911 likely saved the man's life, though not in the way it was designed to! Thanks for the pics!
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 4:54:14 PM EST
Well, damn.
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