140. U.S. Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless General Officers Pistol belonging to General Carroll H Dietrich

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serial #M137544, 380 ACP, 3 3/4" barrel with a bright excellent bore. The metal surfaces on this handsome Model M pistol retain about 98% original polished blue, the wear being some very light high edge and operational wear with very sparsely scattered very light handling marks here and there, most of which do not even breech the blue. The checkered walnut grips with silver Rampant Colt medallions rate excellent. Included with the arm is a single "Cal. 380/Colt" magazine also marked "M" on its base. All of the markings remain crisp and clear including the "U.S. Property" and the left-side ordnance wheel marking. Maj. Gen. Dietrich was born in Watsontown Pennsylvania in 1898 and began his career as an Assistant Ordnance Officer with the Hawaiian Ordnance Depot in the 1920s, proceeding to Aberdeen Proving Ground as Assistant Proof Officer in 1930. He then spent subsequent years in the Office, Chief of Ordnance, with stints at the Ogden Ordnance Depot and Picatinny Arsenal. During the Second World War he held important staff positions in Washington and was Chief Ammunition Officer and Deputy to the Chief of Ordnance in the European Theater of Operations November 1944-May 1945. It was while in Europe that he worked avidly in determining the Army's ammunition requirements and ardently convinced the War Department of its needs, expediting shipments from the U.S. ammunition plants to the front lines. Post-war he was the Chief of Ordnance for the Cincinnati District, Chief of the Inspection Branch and XO for the Office of the Chief of Ordnance holding many important Commanding General and Ordnance Officer positions in the United States and Europe, until his final assignment as Commanding General of Aberdeen Proving Ground from 1956 to 1958. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, first Oak Leaf Cluster for this service, the citation reading "His personal aggressive efforts in weapons systems analysis continue to have far-reaching effects upon the selection of weapons by the United States Army. General Dietrich has established a brilliant and distinguished record in many important staff of command assignments. His forceful leadership and dedication to duty have contributed immeasurably to the enviable record of the Army Ordnance Corps.". The Colt U.S. General Officers Pistol by Greeley and The Colt Pocket Hammerless Automatic Pistols II by Brunner both list the gun by serial number and show issue to General Dietrich in 1951. Included is an official staff photo of Dietrich, a Colt factory letter showing delivery with 188 pistols to Springfield Armory in 1945, it also mentions the "M" prefix which was added when these Colt automatics were all factory-modified and checked for proper function and ejection. A printout of the general's Legion of Merit award is also included as well as of the a copy of the original Springfield Armory shipping document, showing shipment to the Detroit Arsenal for Brig. Gen. Carol Dietrich, listing the pistol by serial number. Slide and frame are numbered alike and the pistol seems to operate properly. Overall a very lovely blued Colt Model M in 380 issued to this dedicated and brilliant ordnance officer, that kept the guns fed when it was needed most, and was instrumental in the development of many of this nation's important weapons. (38668-11) {C&R} (3500/5000) SOLD FOR $5,750.00

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