A WW2 Marine's 1911 from Iwo Jima

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  1. Pops1967GTX

    Pops1967GTX FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Reposting....
    what an amazing piece of Marine Corps history!

    A WW2 Marine’s 1911 from Iwo Jima:

    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

    The Marine’s name was Horace Arthur Smith "Arty”. he passed away 3 years ago.“


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    • HD539

      HD539 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Very cool story, my father fought on Guadalcanal. The only time he would talk about his experiences was when he was with other vets. Thanks for sharing.
       
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      • 69a100

        69a100 Well-Known Member

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        Some of the stories over on arfcom are pretty good, thanks for sharing!
         
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        • Jerry Hall

          Jerry Hall Well-Known Member

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          Great piece of history, thanks.
           
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          • vintage chromoly

            vintage chromoly FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            Wow!
            That’s an amazing piece of history!
            Thanks for posting
             
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            • Cranky

              Cranky Banned Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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              Cool story and wow, what kind of a round did that much damage!?
               
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              • fratzog lover

                fratzog lover Well-Known Member

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                Arisaka 30 or 38? 6.5 or 7.7.
                 
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                • Bb70charger500

                  Bb70charger500 Well-Known Member

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                  Man I've seen many shot at guns but th story behind this is amazing
                  Shame the picture of them putting flag up isn't there! I'd love to see it!
                   
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                  • Wojo68

                    Wojo68 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    Ooh Rah! 0CC7CB88-257F-462F-929C-052648151E50.jpeg
                     
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                    • Sahara

                      Sahara FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                      Agree. Both are outstanding cartridges, fired from an excellent rifle. I’m no expert, but if it was from a sniper rifle I think it’s more likely to be 6.5. From an infantry rifle could be either.
                       
                    • fratzog lover

                      fratzog lover Well-Known Member

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                      7.7 was like the Japanese version of a .308. Hard hitting, accurate cartridge.
                       
                    • Sahara

                      Sahara FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                      Yup, like a 308 or 303 British. The 6.5 is very much like a 260 Remington, or several of the currently trendy 6.5’s. Both excellent cartridges.
                       
                    • cr8crshr

                      cr8crshr Well-Known Member

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                      Great story!!! I have a 6.5 type 38 Arisaka with the Chrysanthemum seal still on the breach and the serial number still in tact as well, that I had to "sporterize" with a Carbine barrel because of the original long barrel being worn out and the stock falling apart. It is now in the process of being finished and will make a very nice sporting/hunting rifle when done. There was the Type 99 which was the 7.7 caliber and that was the more predominant sniper rifle that the Japanese used for that classification. The type 30 was used for both training and for their Calvary troops in a Carbine set up but was not used as a sniper platform as my research shows...cr8crshr/Bill:usflag::usflag::usflag:
                       
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                      • Sahara

                        Sahara FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                        Thanks for the info. Arisaka snipers are super rare, certainly in Canada. I’ve only ever seen one, a 6.5. There are many more in the ‘states that were brought back from the pacific. I guess it would depend on when in the war it was made to decide caliber.
                        I wish I would have bought more of these rifles back when they were considered “undesirable” and were sold for $19 to $29, depending on condition. Now they are super collectible. Sniper rifles are super scarce.
                        Edit—- I also had a beautiful WWII vintage “U.S. Property 1911” that I bought back when you could buy them as surplus. Genuine Colt, bought and sold for $150. Bought a Vietnam Nam bring back SKS back when nobody knew or cared about them. Refinished the stock (ruining any value) and sold it to some kid. Sad, very sad.
                         
                        Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
                      • Pops1967GTX

                        Pops1967GTX FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                        b1c4b2248c6526759e1cbbe8329f5ffb19446df9.jpg
                         
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                        • 69a100

                          69a100 Well-Known Member

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                          That diagram seems to show that the mag well/grip is more upright then the later models actually have. I wonder if that was 1st gen. 1911?
                           
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                          • Sahara

                            Sahara FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                            That’s what I thought, as well. Seems more rounded at the back, too. Looks more like the shape of a model 1903 in 38acp. I guess because it’s a patent drawing and not an engineering drawing there may be differences.
                             
                          • Pops1967GTX

                            Pops1967GTX FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                            • 69a100

                              69a100 Well-Known Member

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                              • ukieone

                                ukieone FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                great story.
                                 
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