139. U.S. Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless General Officers Pistol belonging to Brigadier General William Heavey

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serial #M131125, 380 ACP, 3 3/4" barrel with a bright excellent bore. The metal surfaces on this attractive model M pistol retain about 97-98% original blue, the loss is due only to sharp edge and contact point wear with overall extremely light and very sparsely scattered, very fine oxidation staining, it is very light and almost un-noticed. All of the principal markings are crisp including the "U.S. Property" marking and the very good ordnance wheel stamp at left rear of frame. The checkered walnut grips with silver Rampant Colt medallions rate very good plus to excellent showing only a very small handful of lightly chipped points or light compressions. Included with the gun is a single blued "Cal. 380/Colt"-marked the magazine and both serial number and magazine are "M" stamped, indicating function testing at Colt. William F Heavey, son of a distinguished infantry general was born at Fort McPherson Georgia in 1896. He graduated early from West Point in 1917 and was assigned to the Corps of Engineers, assigned to the 6th Combat Engineers. He was slightly wounded at Chateau Thierry and returned to the states to command a battalion in a newly formed engineer regiment. Between the wars he had a number of engineering duties primarily at Fort Belvoir and Fort Benning, when in August 1942 he was promoted to Brigadier General and ordered to Cape Cod to help with an entirely new type of Army Engineer Brigade, a group of Amphibious Engineers which would link between the Navy afloat and the infantry landing on enemy beaches. Heavey knew that the Navy would be highly skeptical of these "amateur yachtsman" which lacked naval training, and indeed they were and indeed knew some elements of the Army would as well. He constantly trained and drilled his men and they learned "on-the-fly" in many situations but gained the respect of both the Navy and the men they would ferry ashore. In 1943 he was assigned to General MacArthur and flew to Australia. His 2nd Engineer Special Brigade participated in numerous actions in the South Pacific accounting for 82 combat landings, Heavey himself being wounded at Leyte Gulf and in New Guinea. Post-war he became a consulting engineer for the port of New York and worked on some of the plans for Kennedy International Airport. In 1948 he was appointed general manager of the Port of Houston where he would become president of the World Trade Association and the Texas Ports Association. For his actions during the Second World War Heavey would be awarded the Distinguished Service Medal; the Legion of Merit; the Bronze Star Medal; the Commendation Ribbon; and the Purple Heart (3 times). Included are a number of photos of the general, a facsimile of his ribbon and service bar, brown leather officers holster, a copy of his recommendation for the Legion of Merit and the instruction pamphlet for the Colt pistol. The included Colt factory letter shows delivery in October 1944 to the Officer in Charge, Naval Supply Depot in Oakland California and the included Springfield Research Service letter shows the arm by serial number being issued to Brigadier General Heavey, no date given. The arm is listed in The Colt U.S. General Officers Pistol by Greeley, with no date of issue, however the pistols around it were all 1944-issued and The Colt Pocket Hammerless Automatic Pistols II by Brunner with the arm by serial number as being issued to Heavey. The slide is appropriately serial numbered to the frame and the gun functions well mechanically. Additionally Heavey authored a book Down Ramp!, the story of the Army amphibian engineers, an as-new copy of that book is included with the collection. Overall a very nice example, issued to a very bright military officer with a family history of military service, who stepped up and answered the call when brand-new amphibious forces were needed to be trained and policies and protocols developed and implemented, who would lead from the front, wounded three times in combat in the South Pacific. (38668-9) {C&R} (4000/6000) SOLD FOR $6,612.50

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