By lex, on August 13th, 2011
A gun collector purchased a USMC-stamped M1911 .45 caliber pistol in an on-line auction. The gun was a bit knocked about, and it had been re-blued, diminishing its value. He got a good price on it.
And then he started researching the firearm’s provenance:**
Up popped numerous articles on a John J. McGinty (MoH citation at the link) a retired marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his courage in South Vietnam in 1966.
“The value of the gun just went up five-fold — that was my first thought, anyway,” Berry recalled.
As he read more about McGinty and his story, he knew he had to locate him to see if he was the same man who once owned the gun. He also wanted to find out how he parted with the pistol, and whether the former Marine wanted it back.
“His medal citation actually mentions the pistol,” Berry observed, referring to the fact the wounded McGinty used it to kill five enemy soldiers attacking his position.
However, Berry did not yet know whether it was the same McGinty associated with his newly acquired pistol. He used the Internet to track down McGinty, 71, in Beaufort, S.C. McGinty had retired from the corps as a captain in October 1976.
The retired Navy warrant officer called the retired Marine Corps officer and asked him if it was his pistol.
“He said, ‘Do you mean 0103889?’ ” Berry recalled, noting McGinty had just recited the gun’s serial number.
Read on to see what happens next.
I think you’ll be glad you did.
(H/T to occasional reader Joe.
** 11-01-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.