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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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  #51  
Old 06-28-2007, 03:49 PM
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I met Bill Jordan at the 1981 Bianchi Cup. Perhaps he was also at Second Chance, 1980, but I remember him from the Bianchi Cup because I got to talk to him for several minutes. He was a big man, very friendly, and much fun to talk to.
I did not know he cut away his trigger guards, but if he did, maybe he wrote about it and gave Phil the idea. It's always possible.
Cal
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:18 PM
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Cal, your friend Phil seems more amazing everytime you write something new about him. Olympic shooter! Guadalcanal! Noriega! Castro! The Guatemala coup! Ran a clandestine gun factory in Mexico for the CIA! Artist! Etcetera. What an amazing guy.

His would make a very interesting biography. Did he leave any writings or papers behind? Might be an interesting project for you after you retire from the ice cream business down there...
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:35 PM
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Other than having testified -- I think in the U.S. -- against C.I.A. excesses in Latin America (and who would know better?), Phil didn't write down anything he wasn't supposed to. His wife and daughter used to lament that he "never told them anything", although he always seemed to like to talk to me and I don't ever remember him trying to dodge a question or not answer something I asked him to the best of his ability.
I think he was just a man in the right place at the right time who loved to do this sort of stuff. I remember, growing up, that because I had a father who was a Vet and who would talk to me, I felt I should ask Dad everything I could think of to ask. Obviously, the questions went up in quality from a toddler's "Daddy, did you ever see a Tiger tank?" to more intelligent questions like, "Dad, did you ever see a Panther tank?". But, seriously, as I got older, I asked more intelligent questions. After Dad died in 1994, I had a fleeting moment when I thought; "at least I asked him everything I could think of to ask." THEN reality sunk in and as the years went by I realized I had NOT asked hundreds of questions I should have asked -- but had never thought of.
Spending time with Phil, I was determined to NOT leave so many questions unasked. I often, at night, would try to think "what am I going to ask Phil tomorrow when he comes down for his Ice Cream?" Then, the next day, I would ask him whatever it was I had thought of.
Now, just as in the case of my Dad, I can think of hundreds of things I would ask him. I never asked him much about Guatemala, or Castro. I remember one thing that struck me right between the eyes; at a gunclub day in Canada, my dad watched us peppering an IPSC Target and mentioned that some Hitler Youth kid had once popped out of a doorway and shot at the column of vehicles my dad was in with an MP-38/40. A friend of mine asked my Dad if he had fired back. My Dad thought about the question for a second, and then said, "yes, I fired...but there were a LOT of people firing. I may have hit him, I don't know. I think a lot of people hit him. But you have to remember, in instances like this, a lot of people are firing and you can't always tell who is hitting what for certain."
Years later, I was sitting with Phil, and I asked him if he had ever, well, you know...shot someone with the M27. I was a little nervous asking, but I tried to be cool when I did it as if I wasn't being a jerk for asking or anything.
Anyway, his answer was really interesting. He started off with, "You mean, other than...?" and made a gun with his finger pointing at the floor. I assumed he was referring to the Possum Squad style of shooting, and said, "Yeah, I mean other than....". Then he told me this. I cannot remember specific facts, but I believe it happened during the Banzai attacks around Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. It was at night, and Phil and some of his men had left a small hilltop position to go down a ridge to look for two missing Marines during a small break in the action. The Japanese returned suddenly, and the search was broken off and Phil and his men began backtracking uphill, in the dark, back to their position. Firing as they went, Phil told me, he emptied his rifle (which I believe was still a 1903) and pulled out his revolver. A dark shape was rushing towards him and he fired at it all six times without effect, telling me he knew he was empty when it went "click, click". The dark shape kept coming towards him, then suddenly fell face-first and was still. Phil said he didn't stay around and continued back to their hilltop position.
He told me, "I don't know if I hit him and he just took a second or two to fall, or if someone else hit him and I missed entirely. There were a lot of people shooting, you know, and it was dark... ". At the time, I remember being struck by the similarity of Phil's comment, and my father's comments about an action an ocean away made a dozen years earlier. I know Phil had taken .357 Magnum ammunition with him overseas, and I remember I asked him if that was what he had used that night and he had replied "Yes."
This was the other "sea story" I had from Phil on the M27 and it's use. I realize I do not have a lot of specific details -- at the time I think I felt awkward about asking more details and was happy to be told anything at all. This was not a "prepared question", it was one that just popped out at the time.
I wish I knew more, and if he was still around, I can think of sooooo much more I would ask him that I never asked. But you know, at the time, I thought I was asking everything I could think of, and I think I did pretty good. He kept coming for his Ice Cream, right up until he died. Chocolate Chip. That was his flavor, and he didn't ever try anything else.
Yeah, he was a really interesting man. The World is worse off without him...but despite all the whining and crying on the part of the hand-wringers, I think those guys did the World a real service and made it safer. The guys on the other side sure weren't choirboys.
Cal
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:53 PM
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I'm sure I speak for a lot of people here. I'm sitting here like a kid in a barber shop listening to all the old men telling tales. Wide eyed and in wonderment. What a truly amayzing story.
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:30 PM
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Best post on here in a long time! Thank you very much.
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:10 AM
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Yeah, he was a really interesting man. The World is worse off without him...but despite all the whining and crying on the part of the hand-wringers, I think those guys did the World a real service and made it safer. The guys on the other side sure weren't choirboys.
Cal
Cal,
Well said.
Thanks again for the story. Keep it comin' as you have time, please. Fascinating!
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:21 AM
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Cal, this is fantastic. You are truely a fortunate man. Thank you so very much for sharing.
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:11 PM
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I am somewhat surprised by the popularity of this story, nobody here in Left-wing Liberal Artist San Miguel would give a hoot. On the other hand, perhaps I should not be, usually the greatest patriots are the gun-owners, and it doesn't seem to matter from what country they come from. You all might remember that I was one of Canada's original IPSC Coordinators, so you will understand that I got to know large groups of shooters in a working environment. Here in Mexico, working with Mexican Shooters and Clubs that are trying their best to work within an incredibly restrictive system, I find that the attitudes of the people are exactly the same. It doesn't matter whether you are talking about my friend John from Manitoba, Canada, or my friend Juan from here in San Miguel, their love of the sport and the excitement of the Gun World are the same. Canadian and American shooters are FAR more developed, obviously, as they have access to a complete World of firearms that are prohibited here -- but the Mexicans do the best they can with what they have. It is amazing the similarity one finds amongst people who share a common interest.
I don't have many more stories about the M27 that was Phil's and is now mine. I remember Phil told me once that he went to some Consular Halloween Party thrown here in San Miguel by his friend, Colonel Phil Maher who was American Consul for many years, dressed as a Motorcycle Cop.
"I just wore the Model 27", he told me with a big smile. "Unloaded, of course. I think everybody thought it was a fake gun or something because nobody asked me about it." I remember getting a laugh out of that. Both Phil Roettinger and Phil Maher were Colonels in their respective services -- although Phil Maher PERHAPS was actually a Lt. Colonel (Airforce) wereas Phil Roettinger was a full Colonel (Marines). Maher tended to treat me like some sort of kid-interloper -- although HE was the one really interested in IPSC Shooting and techniques, so he certainly was very friendly to me. I always called him "sir" or "Colonel". I remember once -- after Phil Roettinger had died and Colonel Maher and I were left to ourselves shooting alone out in the desert before we got our little club going here in San Miguel, that the Colonel told me; "Cal, you know, when no one is around, you can call me Phil...".
I replied with a line out of The Wild Geese by saying, "Yes, sir, I suppose I could, sir." Which brought a smile to his face. Maher liked to be called Colonel, and the pomp and ceremony of his office. This is not to say he wasn't an effective consul, he was, he was EXCELLENT. The man of the hour. I say that without reservation. People who are perhaps interested in the contributions of Phil Maher as Consul can read more about him at;
http://www.atencionsanmiguel.org/arc...an_05_eng.html
Phil Roettinger and I, on the other hand, were genuine friends. I called him Phil, and he called me "boy" or "kiddo" or Cal. Roettinger talked to me with an ease that threw away the 40 years difference in our ages. Maher talked to me like a Colonel might talk to a favored Sergeant. There was a definite line between us neither of us would cross, and I think Maher always sort of resented the open friendship extended to me by Roettinger. Resented is perhaps too strong a word...as I said earlier, everytime the three of us got into a discussion of something and I made a telling point, Maher would point out that, "Cal wasn't even BORN when we were in that war..." and Roettinger would laugh that off by pointing out that I was the best shot out of the group. Friendly rivalry, I guess, was the spirit between the two of them in regards to me. I was lucky they took me in.
Someone pointed out earlier in this thread that perhaps foriegners (Americans, Canadians) can retire or move to Mexico and make a life here. Well, I'll tell you, it helps if you are rich (I wasn't and am not). But what helps more, is to "get connected" within the Mexican Community. Over the years, I have been able to do that but the MOST IMPORTANT THING, I think, was that these two old vets sort of "took me in" and kept an eye on me. It sure helped to know that if I had problems I could call up the U.S. Consul (there is not Canadian Consul in San Miguel and the Canadian Embassy in Mexico is farcical), and he would help me if he could. The only thing I really ended up using his help with was getting my gunpermits here, which obviously was invaluable to me, but it was nice to know he was there.
I remember one night, I think it was the night we all went to Stan Levine's birthday party (the guy who landed on Tarawa, Iwo, and Okinawa) that after a few drinks, Maher asked me; "Do you know WHY San Miguel is such a popular place for Americans and Canadians to come to?"
"Well," I replied, never missing a chance to kiss ***, "because you're the Consul here, sir!"
Maher sort of rolled his eyes, and Phil Roettinger said with a smile, "the library." I knodded my head at that. San Miguel, the legend goes, was originally populated by W.W.II and Korean vets who came here under the G.I. bill because the Spanish Schools were APPROVED, and disabled vets could retire here on their disabilities and live a comfortable life. Add to that, these disabled vets -- who may have lost a leg or an arm -- found that their Mexican maids (which they could afford on their limited disability payments because of the huge difference in the U.S./Mexican economies of the time) were often HOT looking women who saw NO PROBLEM in marrying a man with that disability cheque even though he might be missing a limb or two. AND, they wrote home to tell their friends who might have been similarly disabled or injured.
So the town started to grow, and an EXCELLENT English language library was installed by some benevolent U.S. organization, and the town took off. It became a center for Art, and later the hippies, and later, more Artists and Spanish Language Schools...and ended up the artsy-fartsy San Miguel of today. A budding baby-boomer Mexican/American Retirement Community.
"We put the library here," said Phil, looking at his glass of Jack Daniel's with a grin. "At least, the whole English side of it."
"Huh?" I asked. This didn't fit into any story I had ever been told.
Turns out, the C.I.A. in the '50's put EXCELLENT English Language libraries in Guadalahara, Mexico City, Guatemala City, Panama City, Tegucigalpa, Managua, and San Miguel.
"What we really wanted," Phil explained, "was EXCELLENT reference libraries for our agents working in Central American and Mexico at the time." Remember, we are talking the '50's and early '60's. Long before the Internet and fax machines. An agent who needed to research something needed the material to BE THERE, on the spot.
"What an excellent idea," I thought to myself. So CIA.
"We didn't want to arouse suspicion," Roettinger continued, with Maher looking on, "so we put in WHOLE English Language libraries. Fiction, Children's books, Educational Material, what-have-you, but top-notch reference material as well. We used fake companies and charities that we set up to fund the operation, and nobody ever caught on to it to this day."
I always get a laugh out of that; Artsy-Fartsy San Miguel, full of what many of my Canadian shooter friends would call "faggot liberal artists" actually was bred out of a CIA Cold War operation. Anyone I've ever told the story to here always looks at me like I just stepped off a ship from Mars or something, it is so contrary to "San Miguel Urban Legend".
After Phil Roettinger died, Maher and I continued to go out shooting whenever the Colonel could go. He imported a Dillon Press and lots of components for me (reloading is "prohibited" in Mexico) via his "Diplomatic Pouch" method, and I loaded for both of us. Maher -- like Roettinger, actually had permits for 9 m.m. and .45 ACP guns, but the best they could do for me was the standard .38 Special or smaller guns allowed under Mexican Law. I can live with it, it's better than nothing. Besides, I HAVE the M27, although I can't legally take it out.

A break in the story here; Mexico is considering a Pilot program to allow .45's and 9 m.m. handguns on a extremely limited basis to "sport shooters". As an original IPSC Director, I have managed to get myself a very coveted spot on this list, and we will see if over the next 6 months a dozen of us or so end up with permits for a .45 and a 9 m.m. for "sport shooting". This is Breaking News here in Mexico, believe me, but the negotiations look solid. I wish the two Phils were still alive to know how far along we have come.

Anyway, Maher and I continued to shoot after Roettinger died. One day I was helping him from his car, holding his arm.
"I can manage!" he told me angrily. I did not release his arm, and continued to help him along and said, "Yes, sir, I know you can, sir," but I noticed he did not pull away either. This was last summer, the last time we went shooting together. He was about 86 then. A man who flew P-51's off of Saipan and Iwo Jima, a man who killed a Japanese Sapper on Iwo with a M-97 trench gun.
"You are taking good care of Phil's revolver?" I remember he asked me.
"Yes, sir."
"Well," he continued, "hang on to that one. It's very valuable." I mean, I knew that, but coming from him just made it more so. Before this whole thread started, I knew the gun was valuable -- more so because it belonged to my friend. Still, after all this, I guess I appreciate it more now. Maher died in January, or so, this year.

Only about a month ago, Phil Maher's wife called me to come up to their house to "help her" with his guns. She did not know what to do with them and feared the Mexican Army or Police would simply "take them". I went through the guns with her, and some were legal for civilian ownership here in Mexico and I arranged for people I knew to come and get them and pay a fair price for them. The Colonel's S & W 669 (which he always wore) and his service 1911 were a bigger problem.
I made an arrangement with some good friends here to get the 669 smuggled in pieces up to the U.S. where the Colonel has a son who would appreciate having it. The 1911 will remain here -- close to the 1911 of his good friend Phil Roettinger -- registered as a .22.
"You know," his wife told me as I was sorting through the Colonel's possessions with some reverence, "Phil was always very fond of you. He always spoke highly of you. He would be very pleased that you came to help me with this. I think he would have expected it."
I waited a second before speaking so my voice wouldn't crack, and said, "yes, I know that, Ma'am."

I guess there isn't much more to tell. I was so lucky to have somehow managed to earn the friendship of these two great men, men who -- like my father -- in every way had the qualities we admire so much when we talk about "the Greatest Generation". These men LIVED. By God, how they lived, and I just shake my head sometimes when I think about what they did. I don't think they make them like that anymore -- but then again, there are a lot of young Americans in Iraq and Americans and Canadians in Afganistan who maybe ARE like that -- maybe we just have to look harder now in a Society that is so "me" oriented that Service and Duty are just words and Honor is somebody who sits on a bench in court.
I once made the mistake, when we were sitting together having a drink, of correcting Phil Maher on something to do with one type of gun or other he happened to be talking about.
"Back in my day," he said, chomping around his big cigar, "BOYS spoke when spoken to!" He said it with a serious face, and I SHUT UP.
Phil Roettinger looked at me, smiled, and then said, "He's an Airforce Colonel. He needs his fresh linen. Marine Colonel's aren't so touchy." Maher just gave Roettinger a glare and shook his head, but I chuckled and felt relieved that I hadn't committed any capitol crime by speaking up in the first place.
I guess I've rambled on and on without being able to enlighten you much more about the Model 27. To me, the gun represents an era of being able to associate with two great friends who were "wayyyy out of my league" and only the weird circumstances of being "strangers in a strange land" brought us together and allowed me the privilege of being able to befriend them. When I look at the Model 27, I think of my two friends -- now both gone -- and remember what it was like to be there with them and it makes me feel so proud to have been there and to have known them.
Sorry for the rambling, but that's the story.
Cal
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:44 PM
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Cal, I think every one of us here appreciates you sharing the stories of these two heroes with us. You're right, they were MEN and they lived like MEN, by God; larger than life.
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Old 07-02-2007, 07:54 AM
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Cal,

As another prewar Magnum collector and as one who appreciates the stories and working history of these guns almost as much as I appreciate the guns themselves, I have followed your thread with fascination. I can't recall any topic in the few years that I have been reading this Forum that has held my interest as much as yours has. Thank you for sharing all the information with us.

You have done a marvelous job of relating the history of Roettinger and his gun and I would encourage you to continue to record the information for posterity. At the very least, you should print out a copy of this thread but even better would be to record a computer disk and also make a hard copy that you could have notarized to keep with the revolver.

Congratulations on your gun and even more importantly, on befriending these two gentlemen and then reminding all of us of their contribution to the freedom that we celebrate on the Fourth of July.

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Old 07-02-2007, 10:26 PM
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Very well said, Bob, on behalf of us all.

Cal, thanks so very much for taking the time to let us know this history. And while you may be a Canuck, I hope you make it to a 4th of July party in Mexico with some of your US buddies. I am sure we'll all be thinking of you and the two Phils as we celebrate our national holiday, wherever we are.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:48 AM
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Yes, happy 4th of July to everyone of you.

I have nothing to add to this rather long thread, except for (perhaps) one thing; in 2002 just after Susan Roettinger told me to come and pick up her dad's gun, I came back with it here to the store and in my excitement wrote a rather long email to all my Canadian shooting buddies detailing the whole experience and how happy I was to have the gun sitting there in front of me. Included with the email was a photo I have of Phil on my office wall, taken 1947 or so, when he won his National Championship. Also included was a small blurb from our local English Language Newspaper "Atencion" about Phil, just after his death.
I no longer have that email in my computer system (which has had it's poor struggling memory wiped clean about 5 times since 2002 by any number of viruses abounding the Internet here in Mexico) and I no longer even have a copy of the Atencion article. I don't even have the scanned copy of my Office Wall photo anymore within my computer memory.
I have sent out an email to all my Canadian shooting buddies -- many of them very anal about keeping things years and years on their hard-drives -- in the hopes that one or two of them may still have this email that they could send back to me. For many of them, I was their first IPSC Director and their introduction to the joy of shooting and my personal vanity would like to think they would hold onto everything I send them as if it were the "cherished word", although reality is probably a bit more bitter I am afraid.
As with most things I write, it is rather long-winded, but will be interesting to read (even for me) as it was written immediately after the event. If I can get a copy of it, we will see how well my memory of specific instances is after the passage of time.
Should I get the email returned to me -- with the photos -- I will send it FORWARD to friend Onomea (who is mainly responsible for all this anyways for having taken the time to write me requesting more info on the gun in the first instance after reading a small blurb I wrote in another section of this forum) and hopefully he can find a way of posting it in it's entirety as sort of a "finale" to this thread with the picture of Phil and the short article about him from the local paper.
If I can get the email, you will find it here then. If not, well, you still all pretty much know what I know about the revolver in any case.
Keep the faith.
Cheers!
Cal
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Old 07-04-2007, 12:43 PM
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Thanks, Cal, I know we all look forward to reading it if it surfaces.
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Old 07-07-2007, 04:46 PM
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I too have been following this thread. It is one of the most interesting threads I have read on this forum.

I look forward to reading the orginal email Cal sent to his friends, as well as seeing the old photos.

Thanks again for providing not only an interesting "read" but some insight into history!
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:44 AM
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Cal,

I just stumbled across this great thread and it really resonates with me. My father just passed away a few weeks ago, and he was a Marine in the 50s and 60s.

I have a good friend who was a Marine in WWII and is about to turn 81. There is a nearly fifty year difference in our ages but like you and Phil, we really hit it off and he tells me things that he probably doesn't feel comfortable talking about with many other people.

After my father passed away, my friend sent me a little present to just distract me a bit he said. It was DCM sales Remington 03A3, minty, with its paperwork from DCM where it had been sold in 1963 for $14.50 including shipping. Just an amazing and correct specimen. My friend said he knew how much I had admired it when I last visited. I was pretty speechless, but thanked him and assured him it would have a good home.

Thanks for sharing your story about a great gun, a fine man who led a fascinating life, and a unique friendship.
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:21 AM
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Clyde;
You have a very unique opportunity having made a friend who was in World War II. That War was a defining moment in Human History and to be able to talk and correspond with someone who was "there" is something very few people now have the chance to do.
Make sure you talk to him as much as you get a chance to do so, and remember; if he doesn't tell you things, then perhaps much of what he knows and saw will die with him -- and perhaps he has never told anyone.
I always went into my discussions with my father or with the two Phils or with some of my father's friends with the attitude that I should not be "pushy", but at the same time if I did not "hang in there" to hear what they might have to say then perhaps some vital snippet of their lives would pass on with them and NOBODY would ever know what that snippet had been.
The people who fought World War II saw and did some pretty incredible things -- much of it never recorded -- and now they are passing on at a rapid rate and soon there will be none left. As I said, talk to your friend as much as you can -- be understanding -- and I am sure he will appreciate it. If he tells you something neat you think you can share, come back and tell us. You might be the only person left to draw some vitally unrecorded piece of human-interest-history from the mind and mouth of your distinguished vet. Don't screw up and don't piss him off.
Not having a digital camera myself, I cannot easily get more photos of Phil's gun, but I will when I get the chance. That aside, I'd like to see a photo or two of your 1903 if you can take some. I realize it's not a S&W but I think you could post it here anyway as it is story related. Someone will let us know if they don't think that's cool but I have a feeling everyone reading this thread would probably be interested in seeing it too.

I have not yet found the original email I intend to post if I can get my hands on it, but do not dispair, I continue to look and someone somewhere might have it. Also, one my Store's old computers now belongs to one of my employees, and I intend to ask her if I can pop by her house to check the hard-drive; it is probably there because it would have been THAT computer I used to send the original email.
So I continue to look. Don't give up hope just because it takes time!
Cheers!
Cal
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Old 07-08-2007, 01:22 PM
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Cal,

I will get some pictures of the 03A3 uploaded and post them for you. It is really a beautiful rifle, with the correct and pleasing mix of blued parts with parkerized receiver and barrel that original 03A3s came with. I'm sure they looked like hell to the oldtimers used to the finely machined pre-war 1903s, but its gorgeous to me.

My friend said he took it to the range and put some rounds in it, but just couldn't bring himself to fire it since it had probably survived over sixty years without being fired since leaving the Remington plant. I can certainly understand that and I will probably not shoot it myself. I have a good "shooter" 03A3 for that.

You're right about it being a unique opportunity to have a friend who served in WWII. They are getting fewer every day. When I visited Hawaii two years ago with my wife, I visited the Punchbowl cemetery for my friend. His friend and squad leader is buried there, KIA on Okinawa May 10, 1945 while serving with the 1st Marine Division. We took some pictures of the grave for him. It was very surreal, and very humbling, standing at the grave of a man dead for so long, a stranger to me, but a good friend to a good friend of mine and someone who is still remembered by an old man in Texas. Now he is remembered by me, too.

My friend gave me something else, too, when he gave me the rifle. My Dad had served in the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam- my friend's old outfit in WWII- and my friend gave me a 1st Division patch with the number one with "Guadalcanal" on it. That was just as meaningful to me as the rifle.

Best Regards,
Clyde
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Old 07-08-2007, 05:28 PM
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Say, is this a great thread or what?!

Cal, if you find that email and pics, I’d be happy to post for you.

Clyde, my dad was with the 1st Marine Division, too, as a 1st lieutenant and interpreter of Japanese. Here’s the patch you’re talking about. This is from my dad's uniform:



Not sure where this next one was taken. Somewhere out there in the Pacific in 1944. My dad is the tallest guy in the back row.



In 2005, on the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa, I published the following letter in the Japan Times:

Recently I have read articles and editorials about the Battle of Okinawa in The Japan Times and other newspapers. I have noted how some writers tie the battle to modern-day unhappiness with the American military presence on the island or to the war in Iraq. My late father's experience might be of interest.

A U.S. Marine Corps officer, he participated in the battle, serving as a Japanese-language interpreter for the U.S. forces. When I was a little boy half a century ago, he told me how the Japanese Imperial Army troops drove civilians on Okinawa between themselves and the American guns. He told of a young woman who held scissors to her throat in terror as he approached but whom he was able to convince to surrender. He spoke of a soldier he encountered in a cave, armed with a "bomb on a stick," to whom he said, "You don't want to die . . . I don't want to die." Somehow they both emerged alive into the sunlight.

My father went on to a long career with the CIA in Asia and Europe. He lived to see -- much to his satisfaction -- the Berlin Wall fall. On his deathbed in 1995, though, he looked to Okinawa in 1945 and said the most worthwhile thing he had ever done in his life was to convince Japanese civilians and soldiers to surrender rather than kill themselves.

In a letter to my eldest son, who is half Japanese, he once wrote: "We did not hate the Japanese soldiers. They were doing their job just as we were doing ours. We respected the ordinary Japanese soldier -- and he was a very good soldier. . . . We were mad at the people who started the war and wouldn't stop it even after all chances of winning were gone."

Few things are black and white. I would like to say to those who resent the U.S. military presence on Okinawa, and to those who think badly of the U.S. military in general, to remember what one proud U.S. Marine thought was the most worthwhile accomplishment of his life.


I also had a couple of sentences in there about how my dad believed that the atomic bombing of Japan had saved his life, as well as that of many other American soldiers and Japanese soldiers and civilians. The editors cut that out. Still a bit too raw, perhaps.

It’s been 12 years now, but I continue to miss my dad a lot. As Cal has written, there are so many things that I wish I had thought to ask him. The men and women of that generation were, indeed, the Greatest Generation.
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:33 PM
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I think I know what your father meant when he said the dropping of the atomic bomb saved his life.
At Stan Levine's Birthday party, as the two Phil's and I looked on, Stan Levine talked about the dropping of the atomic bomb.
He said, "I had invaded Tarawa, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. The day they dropped the bomb, I was in a landing craft off of Okinawa practising to invade Japan. I had survived three landings, and I knew that I would not survive another. I thanked God the day they dropped that bomb because it meant I wasn't going to have to go."
That may not be an exact-to-the-word quote because of the passing of years, but it is pretty damned close.
Great photo of that patch, by the way. I continue searching for my original email, but as I said, this may take a bit of time.
Cal
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:59 AM
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Yesterday on the way to do my bank deposit I saw Holly Sawyer, formerly Holly Roettinger (Phil's ex-wife mentioned throughout this thread) on the street. Holly lives in San Antonio, Texas these days. She is a cancer survivor and I must say she is still looking great -- and she has to be in her 70's now. She is here visiting old friends for another week.
Anyway, I stopped to talk to her for about half and hour and I told her all about this thread and this forum. She asked a lot of questions (I have sent her via email the entire thread so far) and at one point she actually started to sniffle when I told her how well received the stories of her husband and her husband's gun had been by the readers of this forum.
"You're not supposed to cry!" I told her.
"It's a happy cry," she responded. "I'm just so happy that people out there want to remember these guys and what they did."
Holly told me when her cancer was detected -- before Phil's death -- that she had gotten a direct offer from Cuba and the Fidel Government to come to Cuba for Cancer treatments. She told me that this had surprised her, but that she had no doubt that the offer was genuine and that it had stemmed from Phil's involvement in getting Fidel released from a Mexican Jail back in the times when Phil was "the man". Anyway, she said she did not go to Cuba but opted for some alternative treatments in the U.S. which appear to be working well because she is in good health.
Anyway, I asked her to read the forum thread and if she had something to add, to send it along for posting. We'll see if she does or not. I asked her if she had a copy of the original email I sent out when I got the gun (because I had sent it to her at the time) and she said she doubted it because she had switched computers about 3 years ago. This would make sense because that is about the last time I heard from her, so I suspect she "lost" a lot of stuff at that point from the way she talked about it.
If Holly elects to write either me or the forum directly about Phil, she could really fill in a lot of details of his C.I.A. service because she was his wife and was there for most of it. I am not trying to dangle carrots here, I am just stating that I ran into her and hopefully we might hear something from her. I certainly can't add much, but perhaps she has a gem to two she might decide to share.
Cal
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:19 AM
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Cal, Holly should be rightly proud of her husband's service. I think it's great that you've sent her the comments here and she can see the interest her husband and his pistol have generated.
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Old 07-12-2007, 12:27 PM
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Best regards to Holly and to a continued clean bill of health .
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:35 PM
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calmex: Thank you for sharing your story with us. You have been blessed in your friendship with those two heroes, and you have shared that blessing with us.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:46 AM
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Last night I was going through this thread with my girlfriend, who doesn't speak English all that well, nor does she read it. So, I spent more than an hour translating it all for her while we sat in front of the computer with Phil's gun laying there on the computer table. (She has actually fired it, about a year or so ago when we took it out with us to go shooting.)
At the end of having the forum translated for her, she asked me; "Why didn't you ever talk to Phil more about Cuba and Guatemala?" She's Mexican, so obviously more interested in the idea of CIA Intervention in Latin American affairs than in the history of any war that Mexico really had no part of.
I replied that, at the time, I was much more interested in Guadalcanal and the Island Campaigns and the fighting against the Japanese and there's only so much time in life, right? Phil and I just never got around to talking that much about Cuba or Guatemala, and I always felt that if there was something Phil wanted to tell me, he'd tell me. I know he felt that the U.S. went into the Guatemala thing way too heavy handed, and that he felt sure that innocent people had been killed who hadn't needed to be killed -- he testified about that late in his life.
"As to Cuba and Fidel," I told her, "he really only ever said something to me about it on one occasion."
"Oh?" she replied. "What did he say?"
With a grin I repeated what Phil had told me about the Fidel relationship once. He said to me, I told her, "THAT one didn't turn out quite the way I had planned."
Cal
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:23 AM
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Hi Cal,

Sorry its taken me this long to reply again, but you said you'd like to see some images of the 03A3 I was recently gifted by my Marine WWII friend. Hopefully, as you said, it will be cool to post a few pics of it here.

This rifle came to me with its original DCM sales paperwork from 1963. Sales price then including shipping was $14.50. All original and correct, a really nice old 03A3.





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Old 07-23-2007, 09:53 AM
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Clyde;
Cool looking rifle! Boy I wish I could get my hands on one here. There are some odd 1903's here, probably came down with Pershing, but they are in AWFUL condition. Abused by their owners, tinkered with by Mexican "gunsmiths", and generally over the years they all turned into something that one can recognize as having started out as a 1903 but now are not anything so desirable.
I wish we could arrange a photo of your rifle and Phil's revolver -- as I know that (at least at the beginning of Guadalcanal) he was using a 1903 and the M27 as his service weapons. For some time, at least, the two weapons were "fightin' companions". Thanks for taking the trouble to post the photos.
Keep that one shined up.
Cheers!
Cal
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:00 PM
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Some additional biographical information about Col. Roettinger


I have a current research interest in Marine operations in the South and Southwest Pacific, so I followed this wonderful thread with considerable interest. For the heck of it, I spent some pleasant time consulting my own reference materials, the web, and some of the commercial databases to which I have access.

I didn’t exhaust all the possibilities, but here’re some further details regarding Col. Roettinger’s career as a marksman, Marine officer, CIA agent, and very public critic of his former agency.
Thought this might be of interest. In more or less chronological order, I discovered the following.

Second place, Eastern Small Bore Association, All-Around Aggregate, 1941. Listed as living in Wyoming, Ohio (also second in Center Fire, Rapid Fire) (NYT)

I can find no record in Zimmerman, McMillan or Frank of his service on Guadalcanal, nor, as far as I know, did the Third Marine Division take part in that campaign. The engraving suggests that Roettinger may have been stateside during the 1st Mar. Div. operations on Guadalcanal (Aug. 7, 1942 – mid-Dec.1942), depending on what we understand the reference to the “1942 National Mid-Winter Center Fire Champion” to mean. This doesn’t mean he wasn’t there with, for instance, the 2nd Mar. Div., which served alongside Patch’s Americal Division for the remainder of the campaign on the Island, or he may have had some other duty with one of the numerous Marine detachments that remained or arrived on the island after the departure of the 1st Mar. Div..

Rentz shows him on the roster of the 1st Bn, 3rd Marine, 3rd Div. , First Marine Amphibious Corps, as Exec. Officer, 1 December, 1943, “Capt. Philip Roettinger” (Rentz, Marines in the Central Solomons, 1952)

Awarded a Silver Star during this campaign, “For Gallantry in Action on November 1, 1943 at Bougainville, Solomon Islands”

2nd in the Engbrecht .45 pistol competition—1947—Major Roettinger from Camp Lejune (NYT)

Chosen for the American Rifle and Pistol Squad, London Olympics, 1948, no mentioned rank, living in Cincinnati. Rapid fire pistol squad. (NYT}

United States Park Police Pistol Tournament, 1950—listed as Col.. Placed strongly in the Master Class matches. (Washington Post)

United States Squad, International Shooting Union World Championships, Caracas, Venezuela, Nov. 15-14, 1954. Listed as Lt.Col. USMC (Reserves), Washington, DC (Washington Post)

Admits to McCarthy that “he was part of the successful 1954 effort to overthrow left-leaning Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz.” (Washington Post)

[Ed. note: Arbenz resigned on June 27, 1954; the CIA actively pursued his removal in Operations Washtub and PBSUCCESS, both of which were executed through the winter of ’53 and the spring of ’54. One could infer much from Roettinger’s visit to Caracas Nov. 14-15, ’54—a station flush with success and hungry for new glory.. It would be fascinating to have a full record of his participation in international shooting events, and to map these out against the places in which he’s known to have served—with his pre-war shooting record, it makes a natural cover.]

Founder of ASRDIS, Association for Responsible Dissent. Quoted by Colman McCarthy in The Washington Post, Dec. 13, 1987: “We are going to try to expose covert action. We’re going to try to get it legally banned because we can find no reason, no justification, for covert action on the part of the American people.” ARDIS director was John Stockwell (another Marine), an old CIA Vietnam hand and author of In Search of Enemies (1978) and The Praetorian Guard: The US Role in the New World Order (1991), an outspoken, tough critic of the CIA.
.
Another appearance in a piece by Julia Preston, “Nicaraguans Hold ‘Cordial’ Talks” (Washington Post, March 22, 1988): “The government team arrived with a group of Americans opposed to the Reagan administration’s support for the contras, including actor and singer Kris Kristofferson and Brian Wilson, a Vietnam veteran who lost both legs when he threw himself in front of a Navy train during a protest in California last September. Also with them was former CIA agent , Philip Roettinger.”

Marvelous photo of Roettinger with Daniel Ellsberg and David Dellinger blocking the south entrance to the Pentagon during a demonstration against U.S. activities in El Salvador, (Washington Post, Oct. 18, 1988).

Appears in Secrets of the CIA, Turner Original Productions, 1998

Interviewed here:

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/CI..._ITTJun95.html

http://www.commongroundradio.org/shows/97/9741.html

Pictured in a USMC team photo (1957):

http://www.odcmp.org/103/inc_book.asp

The Colonel was so Old Breed that he went all Smedley on ‘em.; what a privilege to have known this interesting man! I’m envious.

Cheers!

Chandos Michael Brown
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:33 PM
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Chandos;
Man, you have dug up SO much stuff! Impressive. I am going to have to read through all this stuff, it is very interesting and I have not seen it before. I knew Phil, but he never told me about a lot of these things (because I never asked) and so this stuff is new to me too.
I always understood from Phil that he won the revolver before Guadalcanal. I believe he won it in February of 1942 -- but memory is hazy and I can only say "I think that's what Phil told me." . There MUST be some way to confirm that, or find out which month it was, in this age of information.
Remember; most of my conversations with Phil took place over 8 years ago now. In 2000 Phil started to suffer from Alzheimer's. I used to joke that it was a perfect ailment for an ex-CIA Station Chief to suffer from -- but by 2001 he was really having memory problems. Up until 2000 he was as sharp as a tack, and so it would have been between 1991 and 2000 that we had most of our "hearty" conversations.
I believe that Phil said he was on Guadalcanal from the beginning. I know for a fact that Phil Roettinger and Stan Levine originally met on Henderson Field at the end of the Guadalcanal campaign and that Levine was "just coming to the field" when they first met. I was there -- in my Ice Cream Store -- when they met each other again and recognized each other some some 43 years later.
I cannot remember which Marine Division Phil was with, but that also could probably be checked. I believe Stan Levine was with the 5th Marine Division, but again my memory may be faulty. It was years ago and I didn't write this stuff down, I was simply happy to be able to know and talk to these guys.
I might point out -- as I have said nothing about it yet and nobody has asked -- that the cut-down Pachmayr grip adapter found on Phil's revolver was there when I picked it up. Phil had cut it down like that and I do not know from what point in time in the life history of the gun he did that. Also, the stocks are "thinned" at the top on both sides -- I have never seen S & W stocks thinned like that. I don't know if they came that way or it is something Phil did. If Phil did thin down the stocks he did an excellent job as they do not show any signs of "tampering" and look like they might have come that way.
Thanks for the additional info, I'll read through it tomorrow. I still haven't come up with my original email, but I also haven't had a lot of time lately to check into stuff. The kids are out of school, I have an Ice Cream Store, and it's busy. In another month I'll be whining that there's no business but I'll have time on my hands.
Cheers!
Cal
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
I always understood from Phil that he won the revolver before Guadalcanal. I believe he won it in February of 1942 -- but memory is hazy and I can only say "I think that's what Phil told me." . There MUST be some way to confirm that, or find out which month it was, in this age of information.
Hi Cal,
The Mid-Winter matches have, I believe, always been in the early part of the year- in 55 they were in March. Probably should be called the "Late-Winters".
So, Yes, Phil won the gun before Guadalcanal, the battle beginning Aug 7, 42.

Quote:
I might point out -- as I have said nothing about it yet and nobody has asked -- that the cut-down Pachmayr grip adapter found on Phil's revolver was there when I picked it up. Phil had cut it down like that and I do not know from what point in time in the life history of the gun he did that. Also, the stocks are "thinned" at the top on both sides -- I have never seen S & W stocks thinned like that. I don't know if they came that way or it is something Phil did. If Phil did thin down the stocks he did an excellent job as they do not show any signs of "tampering" and look like they might have come that way.
Look close, Cal, and you will see the adapter is the old "Mershon" brand- might pre-date the Pachmayr. I noticed those grips, and just let it go as the quirk of a Target Shooter- they're ALL quirky. Definitely post-factory work.
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:28 AM
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Thanks for the additional info. I might point out that late last night I made an adding mistake; it was 53 years later that Stan Levine met Phil Roettinger for the second time here in my store. It was late when I was counting the decades on my fingers.
I remember the day it happened because I had met Stan Levine in January of 1995 or '96 when he came down with his wife. He was what we call a "snowbird" here, someone coming down to escape the winter up North. We got talking over the next few days when he would come in for coffee in the mornings and I found out he had been a Marine, and that he had landed at Tarawa, Iwo, and Okinawa. Obviously, I started going out of my way to talk to him -- just like I went out of my way to talk to Phil Roettinger each day when HE came in. It never really dawned on me that they actually might know each other. I mean, it was a big war, wasn't it?
Anyway, a week or two went by and neither Roettinger or Levine were ever in the store at the same time, but one morning Phil came in and ordered his chocolate chip Ice Cream and went and sat in the corner table near the window. I came out of my little office and sat with him and we were talking about something or other and Stan Levine came into the store. I said "hello" to him, and he stopped and looked at us and then walked over to the counter and ordered a coffee. The girls took their time getting him his coffee -- he must have ordered a cappuccino or something -- and then Stan came back to our table.
"Excuse me," he said, "but your name isn't Roettinger is it?" Big Phil looked up from the table (Phil ALWAYS wore a W.W.II/50's era O.D. Marine Corps cover every day) and then stood up and extended his hand.
"Yes," said Phil, "have we met?"
"We met on Henderson Field," said Stan, shaking hands with Phil. In a second or two they both were slapping each other on the back and grinning like children and I was pretty much forgotten and who can blame them? They sat down together and started to catch up on their lives. I hung around eavesdropping, bringing more coffee and Ice Cream to keep them there talking (and I didn't charge them either). It was an electric moment.
I remember, as a young boy, being with my father when he met a man in a wheelchair who had been in the same Bren Carrier crew and had been wounded in the fighting for Caen in some small town several hours from where we lived. The look that came over my father's face, seeing someone else who had "been there" at the same time and with him, and the way my dad's manner changed when talking to the man as if he was talking to someone "special". Both Phil and Stan Levine had that same manner with each other sitting there at that table that day.
It was just a special moment. Sorry I screwed up on the math on the number of years, though, I should try to be more precise.
Cheers!
Cal
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:40 AM
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I'll keep digging around; I've got more Guadalcanal material in the office.

But I want to be very clear here, gentlemen. I am *not* suggesting that he wasn't on Guadalcanal. I just haven't been able to locate a reference to his service there. Most of the historians I've cited limit their accounts to staff rosters (movers and shakers), with the exception of the colorful anecdote. There is a 1 MAR DIV roster (completed upon the division's boarding transports in San Francisco) in the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland. I do not believe that it is complete, and though I looked at it, I took no notes.

The other locations engraved on the frame (Cape Torokina, Moromakina, and Piva Forks) are all sites of engagements during the landings and defense of the beach heads on Bougainville during the battle of Empress Augusta Bay, in November, 1943.

The Marines of that era in the Pacific war were not invariably delighted with their issued sidearm, the 1911A1 (the 1 MAR DIV records attest to this repeatedly). Roettinger was almost certainly in good company carrying a personal revolver during the New Guinea campaign.

I'll keep looking as time allows.

Cheers!

CHandos Michael Brown
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:26 AM
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Don't worry, I never took your reply as anything other than additional information. As I have stated, my own memory is sometimes hazy for specific details -- and in other cases it is crystal clear. Depends on how much attention I paid at the time and the importance I gave specific facts I guess.

I am very pleased to see that this thread about an old revolver and the man who owned it has been as popular as it has been. 80 posts and over 5000 views. I guess it's not bad. I'm no expert on this forum, and no offense meant by this comment, but the only time I ever saw a recent post take off faster was for the plastering of Gunzerfunz.

Surely Phil would be pleased as well that people find the thread so interesting and THANKS!!! again to Onomea for starting it all.
Cal
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:14 PM
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Just for the record, elements of the 2nd MARDIV were around Guadalcanal from the beginning. They actually had a company hit Florida Island before the 1st Div went onto Guadalcanal itself.

My father was a 2nd Division Marine, so I've got to stick up for them.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:07 PM
Clyde from Carolina Clyde from Carolina is offline
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This has been a great thread.

At least one other Marine carried a personally owned Registered Magnum into combat in the Pacific that I know of...

Walter Walsh was a competitive shooter and FBI agent before the war as well as being a reserve officer in the Marine Corps. His most famous arrest was probably Doc Barker, the son of the notorious "Ma" Barker. Walsh won the Dupont Trophy in 1939 for the best overall aggregate score at the National Matches at Camp Perry, which I believe involved High Power rifle, centerfire pistol, and small bore rifle.

Colonel Walsh was interviewed by Skeeter Skelton, and I have the interview in Skeeter's book "Good Friends, Good Guns, Good Whiskey". Walsh said he resigned from the FBI to go into the Marines full time during the war. He took two pistols overseas, a custom Colt M1911 .45 automatic he had been presented for winning a shooting tournament, and his Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum from his FBI days. He said he only had one box of ammo for the .357 so he didn't shoot it much.

On Okinawa Walsh used his shooting skills and the .45 to kill a Japanese sniper at 90 yards, a heckuva shot in anybody's book! He was interviewed for the American Rifleman's 2003 article on the National Match 1903 Springfield. Colonel Walsh was still going strong at that time at the age of 95. He remembered the NM '03 as a fine rifle, and obviously he knew how to shoot one.

I'm posting a link to an article by John Taffin for GUNS magazine where he discusses Colonel Walsh and several other old time shooters and gun "characters." I wonder how many other pre-war .357 Magnums were carried into combat during the war?

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...9/ai_103381607
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:32 AM
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It might be of interest that Col. Roettinger was interviewed by Bill Moyers for the late 80s PBS documentary on the secret government. A transcipt, and link to a video of the program, can be found at http://www.wanttoknow.info/050423secretgovernment
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Clyde from Carolina:
This has been a great thread.

At least one other Marine carried a personally owned Registered Magnum into combat in the Pacific that I know of...
...I wonder how many other pre-war .357 Magnums were carried into combat during the war?
At least one more was ostensibly carried by a Navy Captain in Pearl Harbor in January 1942.

Bob
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:10 AM
Clyde from Carolina Clyde from Carolina is offline
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Steve,

That's pretty cool that Roettinger himself wrote an article about Walsh for American Rifleman over fifty years before the article that I read ran in the 2003 issue! Small world, eh? Well I guess they were both highly successful competition shooters, combat Marines and so forth. Not too surprising they should be friends.

And that's interesting what bettis1 said about a Navy Captain having a RM at Pearl Harbor in '42. I also enjoyed the interview of Phil Roettinger with Bill Moyers linked by gatorfarmer. This thread just gets better and better.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:10 AM
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Lee wrote me last night and said he was going to post some info here on some of the last Smith's made during the time-period we are discussing.
I think this is totally related and really look forward to seeing what he's going to post. This isn't really a "spoiler" because I haven't seen the material either and will have to wait for it to show up -- but it's going to be on this thread.
Cal
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
The Marines of that era in the Pacific war were not invariably delighted with their issued sidearm, the 1911A1 (the 1 MAR DIV records attest to this repeatedly). Roettinger was almost certainly in good company carrying a personal revolver during the New Guinea campaign.
One of the things my dad told me, when I was a little guy, one of the things meant to show me how the Marines were special, is that he said they were permitted to carry a personal sidearm of their choosing. Maybe what he meant is that while guys in the various services might do that, the Marines formally allow it. In his case, though, he carried the 1911.

He left the Marines in 1945, after assisting in the surrender of Japanese troops in China after the war ended.

My dad died an unrepentent, and victorious, CIA cold warrior. He believed very deeply in that near half-century conflict. But when he died 50 years after he left the Marines, he wanted nothing but USMC on his USG-supplied, veteran's tombstone. That's what was important to him, so that's what it says. Just that, his name, and 1917 - 1995.
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:47 PM
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In "Cooper on Handguns" (1974) Jeff Cooper mentioned another Marine Colonel known to him at the time who carried a S & W .357 Magnum with the long barrel onto Guadalcanal and who used to "go hunting" Japanese with it. I forget the name of the man now and my old thumb-worn copy of the book is back in Canada. I asked Phil Roettinger if he had known Cooper, and Roettinger said that he had not. It had NEVER occured to me to ask if he had known Bill Jordan -- a man I personally met and talked to for a while. Stupid of me, as I have found out from one of the posts here that Phil and Bill were actually friends!
I might point out that Cooper himself carried a Colt Single Action Army .45 onto Guadalcanal on the advice of (and I quote Cooper from memory here, so if I get a word or two wrong correct me) "a still active gunwriter who's honesty I have good reason to call into question". This, of course, was Elmer Keith, whom Cooper had written before shipping out to ask if the S.A.A. was a good defensive choice. Cooper went on to say something like "trying to reload that relic in the dark, in the rain, under fire, was an experience one only wants to live through once." At that point he decided the U.S. Army Ordnance Department knew more about the selection of personal weapons than he did and went back to his issue 1911A1. (Cooper fanatics may trip me up on a word or two, but remember I have none of my old books down here, and it has been some 25 years since I was more or less working for the MAN as an IPSC Section Coordinator, and I apologize if I don't have the exact quote handy. My wording is close and my gist of the meaning is pretty correct -- but feel free to give me the exact quotes if you have them, I won't be offended. In case it isn't clear, I pretty much esteemed Cooper and would not deliberately try to misquote him or misrepresent him in any way, shape, or form.)
Cooper's shooting of the Japanese soldier carrying the Type 99 in the chest while on Guadalcanal with the S.A.A. has been documented in other places and I bring it up to simply agree with the various posts regarding the carrying of "non-issue" personal weapons by the U.S. Marine Corps, certainly during the Guadalcanal campaign. I am no source of reference as to whether or not this went on through-out the war so other people will have to comment upon that. "American Handgunner" ran an article some years back on Cooper's three shootings -- damned if I remember but it MAY have even been written by Masaad Ayoob (another gunwriter whom I met and talked to, at the 1980 Second Chance, and came away with a very favourable opinion of). In 1999 the Mexican Army decided that "gun magazines" were the Devil's work and banned them. Can't buy them here, period. Oh, you can subscribe -- but I don't happen to have a subscription right now. Next chance I get, I'll go back to American Handgunner, I got sick of them stealing my issues at the Mexican Aduana (Customs). Anyway, I got off topic, but I mention the article in case anyone is specifically interested.
Back on topic; Marines carried a different assortment of personal weapons. That's obvious and we certainly have enough examples around to know it wasn't really an isolated occurance. That was my point. As usual, I took way too long and too many words to make it. Thanks for putting up with my rambling.
Cal
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:01 PM
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Here is the first one-
Shipped in the LAST order of Pre-War mags Dec 10, 1940, almost exactly one year before Pearl Harbor. Of course, the Czechs, Poles, Brits, and French didn't think this was Pre-War!
Part of an order of 25, all in like configuration, shipped to the Wichita, Kansas PD. This is Ser # 62409. There is one in the order with a lower number, the rest are spaced out to # 62483, two numbers below Phil's gun. This example shows honest wear, normal for a cop gun, but no abuse and no alterations. The grips are not the originals- it came to me with modern grips, but I'm certain these late guns shipped with magnas. It is what it is, and I am quite fond of it, but I would trade, Cal.


We don't really need this pic, but I like the perspective:
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:09 PM
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Wow. Identical basically to Phil's gun, except for some minor alterations done by Phil and also the fact that Phil's has a 5 inch barrel with a King's front sight that has a blaze red/orange square on it. They are beautiful guns. Phil's gun has more wear, by the way, than yours Lee.
Beautiful gun, thanks for posting it.
Cal
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Shipped in the LAST order of Pre-War mags Dec 10, 1940, almost exactly one year before Pearl Harbor. Of course, the Czechs, Poles, Brits, and French didn't think this was Pre-War! Part of an order of 25, all in like configuration, shipped to the Wichita, Kansas PD. This is Ser # 62409.
Quote:
On page 24 of the Jinks article, it says, “The last of the prewar Magnums were the 79 units finished in December, 1940. Three more magnums were built during World War II; two units in 1941 and one in 1942. No doubt these were for special high ranking officials.”
Lee, so Cal's gun, Phil's gun, which Phil won for shooting in 1942, and was a gift/prize from S&W, shipped later, right? So is Cal/Phil's gun the 1942 gun referred to in the Jinks article? If so, then is it the last, um, pre-postwar RM? Arlo
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
quote:
On page 24 of the Jinks article, it says, “The last of the prewar Magnums were the 79 units finished in December, 1940. Three more magnums were built during World War II; two units in 1941 and one in 1942. No doubt these were for special high ranking officials.”



Lee, so Cal's gun, Phil's gun, which Phil won for shooting in 1942, and was a gift/prize from S&W, shipped later, right? So is Cal/Phil's gun the 1942 gun referred to in the Jinks article? If so, then is it the last, um, pre-postwar RM? Arlo
Arlo,
Good questions. That article was published in 88, nearly 20 yrs ago, now. We must assume there was much time spent well BEFORE publication. So, we can also assume much more data has been discovered since. I don't see 79 guns in the available data that shipped in Dec, 40. Roy has stated these Wichita guns were the last ORDER shipped. Then, Phil's gun. Then, one was shipped in 43. We will know more later.
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:11 PM
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Just to stir the pot--this from my odd collection of Guadalcanaliana. An Australian photographed this S&W 1917 on a relic table in Honiara, the present day capitol of the Solomon, on Guadalacanal in 2004.

http://www.guadalcanal.homestead.com...BLE_PISTOL.JPG
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by chandos:
Just to stir the pot--this from my odd collection of Guadalcanaliana. An Australian photographed this S&W 1917 on a relic table in Honiara, the present day capitol of the Solomon, on Guadalacanal in 2004.

http://www.guadalcanal.homestead.com...BLE_PISTOL.JPG
I don't know what that gun is, but it is NOT a 1917 S&W. I don't even think it is a Colt 1917, but I'm not well qualified to say. My guess is a Spanish knockoff of a Colt.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:18 PM
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Calmex, I don't have Cooper's book in my library, however the other Marine Colonel who carried a .357 on Guadalcanal may have been my friend and college fraternity brother, Col. Maurice Holmes, USMC. ( later Brig. Gen. ret'd) We attended college together after WW2 on the GI Bill and I recall one time when we were talking guns Maurice mentioning something to the effect that Gen. George Patton wasn't the only officer to carry a Registered Magnum .357 into combat, as he ( Maurice) had carried his at Guadalcanal & other Pacific engagements. I don't know that he mentioned the barrel length, if so I don't recall it, however he said the gun was stolen from his luggage in Spain after the war. Ed.
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:38 AM
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Oh, losing a gun that way must have been very frustrating. Especially one that he had carried with him through combat.
I do not remember if Maurice Holmes was the name mentioned in Cooper's book or not. Somebody around here will have "Cooper on Handguns" and will be able to look it up maybe.
But whether someone can tell us or not, your post is yet another indication that Marines carried personal weapons other than the 1911 Series of pistols -- and the Model 27 seems to have been a popular choice.
Cal
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:24 AM
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"The .357 got into the Pacific Theater in WWII, in the hands of a few specialists. Major Hank Adams of the Marines, later under-sheriff of San Diego, used to "go hunting" with his on Guadalcanal."

No barrel length mentioned.

Cooper on Handguns, p.162

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Old 07-26-2007, 07:00 AM
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Ah hah! A Major! I thought it was a Colonel, but you see my memory is slipping. Thanks, Homie. Working together we are greater than the sum of our parts. Or something like that.
The barrel length. If it isn't mentioned, then I am confusing the fact that Cooper had a long-barreled early model 27 with the use of it by the Major on Guadalcanal. So, we don't know the length of the Major's barrel then. Sorry about the error.
I am jealous, I wish I had my old copy of that book here to thumb through when I eat my cereal. But thanks for taking the time to look that up, it is appreciated.
Cheers!
Cal
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