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Posted: 11/15/2002 9:14:10 AM EDT
Would anyone know what sidearm an Army pilot (P-51 in the Po Valley)would have carried in WWII? Also would anyone know what, if any, sidearm would a crewman in a B-24 in the late Pacific campaign worn? I was named after two uncles who died 3 months apart in WWII and I'm working on their history as part of the family history.
Link Posted: 11/15/2002 9:33:27 AM EDT
1911A1s. my dad was a bombardier on B-17s AND B-29s. He told me that bombardiers were supposed to carry a .45 to destroy the bombsight with if the ship went down. same would hold true for B-24 guys. fighter pilots carried .45s, too.
Link Posted: 11/15/2002 9:36:09 AM EDT
Ok, I could be wrong but I remeber my Grandfather saying that he had a .38-Special. He flew a Corsair and was in the Pacific carrier wars.
Link Posted: 11/15/2002 10:02:09 AM EDT
My grandfather was a B-24 pilot in Italy, and he carried a 1911. Seeing as how many of the pilots from Italy went on to the Pacific after VE day, I would think that they would have carried the same thing. As far as a "crewman", I'm not sure if everyone was issued a sidearm in a B-24 or only the officers. According to Ambrose's "Wild Blue", everyone on board a B-24 was a sergeant or better, but my grandfather's brief memoirs claimed that most of his enlisted crew were privates of some variation. I wish he was still here for me to ask him for you. My step-grandfather (sadly also passed on) was a fighter pilot, but I know very little about him or his career. I do know that he was quite a celebrity around Eglin AFB, and was one of the fighter pilots to make the switch from props to jets. He was also a member of the predecessor to the Blue Angels. For the life of me I cannot remember the name of this group.
Link Posted: 11/15/2002 10:09:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By piccolo: 1911A1s. my dad was a bombardier on B-17s AND B-29s. He told me that bombardiers were supposed to carry a .45 to destroy the bombsight with if the ship went down. same would hold true for B-24 guys. fighter pilots carried .45s, too.
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my maternal grandfather was a b-24 navigator, and he verified this also.
Link Posted: 11/15/2002 10:12:26 AM EDT
The general consensus seems to be either the M1911 or a S&W .38 Revolver.
Link Posted: 11/15/2002 10:17:35 AM EDT
Thanks to all for the info. My Uncle Gordon was a radioman/gunner and a Corporal. Uncle Jack was a Flight Officer. Nearly sure they both died on their first mission.
Link Posted: 11/15/2002 10:45:14 AM EDT
My Father-in-Law is a genuine Ace from War2 flying Corsairs for the Marines in VMF211. He carried a 1911A1. He still has the 1911A1 that belonged to his best friend who was lost fighting Zero's over the South Pacific. I take pride in keeping that .45 in good shape.
Link Posted: 11/15/2002 11:05:01 AM EDT
My dad was a command pilot of a C-47 on D Day and in Operation Market Garden and he carried a .45 Auto.
Link Posted: 11/15/2002 11:10:32 AM EDT
Could be a number of different handguns. M1911A1, M1917 revolver in .45 ACP, S&W "Victory" model in 38 S&W or 38 S&W Spl.. or any type of private purchase pistol. Believe it or not, there was a shortage of handguns in all services in WWII due to theft, black market and non combat types hoarding them. Any handgun especially the M1911A1 was a coveted weapon.
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