114. U.S. Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless General Officers Pistol belonging to Maj. Gen. Thomas W. Mellen

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serial #570976, 32 ACP, 3 3/4" barrel with a bright excellent bore. The metal surfaces on this fine Colt Model M retain about 98 to near 99% dark gray-blue parkerized finish with only the slightest hint of wear on some of the high edges and operational points. The checkered walnut grips with silver Rampant Colt medallions rate very good plus to perhaps near excellent showing some light wear along their butt edges with some minor compressions and a few chipped points. The "U.S. Property" and slide markings remain crisp, no remnants of the ordnance wheel stamping remain. The pistol comes with two blue magazines marked "Cal .32/Colt" in both small and large font stampings. Thomas W. Mellen was commissioned Second Lieut. of Infantry at Fort Benning Georgia in June 1943 and during the Second World War served with the 97th Infantry Division in Europe. It was with the 303rd Infantry, 97th Division that then Capt. Mellen was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action at Troisdorf, Germany, in April 1945. The captain led his men in an attack against a fortified factory area and by his skillful and courageous leadership, numerous hostile automatic weapons and direct-fire artillery emplacements were destroyed or effectively neutralized with his company suffering approximately twenty-five per cent casualties. Although completely out of contact with friendly forces and in a position to withdraw Captain Mellen courageously held the position and by dawn his company had forced the enemy into a confined area of the factory which hastened the surrender of all enemy in that position. During the Korean War he was assigned to the 10th Infantry Division and assumed command of Second Battalion 87th Infantry. It was here, then Major Mellen, was awarded the Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Silver Star for gallantry in action on 18 January 1951 in the vicinity of Wonju, Korea. Major Mellen leading a two squad patrol was suddenly subjected to enemy automatic weapons and small arms fire delivered from high ground. He immediately deployed his men to where they could bring fire upon the enemy. Major Mellen repeatedly exposed himself as he directed the withdrawal of the squads to a defilade position. Once again the squads came under intense machine gun fire wence Major Mellen advanced to an exposed position and covered the group's withdrawal by pouring a steady fire into the enemy positions. His heroic action and complete disregard of his personal safety enabled the two squads to withdraw from an impossible situation without sustaining a casualty. He would receive a second Bronze Leaf Cluster in lieu of a third Silver Star during that same conflict in February of that year. He would receive the Army Distinguished Service Medal for his service in Vietnam with the 25th Infantry Division from May 1964 to February 1967. In 1969 he was promoted to Brig. Gen. and was given command of California's March Air Force Base. Included with the arm are a number of photos of the good general, a copy of a Colt factory letter showing shipment in January 1945 to Springfield Armory, a copy of the Springfield Research Service letter showing issuance to General Mellen in March 1969, the original fabric bag in-which the pistol was shipped with the arm's serial number, included as well is a G.I. steel cleaning rod and brush, a reprint of instructions for the Colt Automatic 32 and 380 Pocket Model M Pistol and most importantly the original Certificate of Ownership presenting the arm to the general and listing it by serial number, dated 18 April, 1969. The Colt U.S. General Officers Pistol by Greeley and The Colt Pocket Hammerless Automatic Pistols II by Brunner both list the pistol by serial number. An additional interesting inclusion is a first-day cover of the Rough Riders three cent U.S. postage stamp. It features a Prescott Arizona 1948 postmark with "Thomas Mellen/Maj. Gen./U.S. Army" written on the front and there is a 10th Infantry Division, 87th Infantry "yearbook" from 1952 included with a photograph of Battalion Commander Lieut. Col. Thomas Mellen. Included as well are a regulation black leather officers holster and a dual magazine pouch from Brauer Brothers as would have been issued with the arm. Both slide and frame are numbered alike and the pistol seems to function properly mechanically.A very nice pistol overall, its issue to this valiant American hero makes it all the more desirable. (38668-8) {C&R} (5000/7000) SOLD FOR $6,037.50

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