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some interesting "history" on a 1911

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by Cava3r4, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Cava3r4

    Cava3r4

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    A pass along.
    good story... see below.
    Bob

    Combat Experience with the .45 ACP


    Oft times, comments on this net are about GySgt. Carlos Hathcock’s sniping adventures in Vietnam. Here’s one that very few know about, but is probably just as good as far as accuracy during combat is concerned.
    A Navy SEAL Team was returning from a mission over North Vietnam in a chopper when it got hit pretty bad. The pilot and one crew member were killed and the copilot was wounded. Going into autorotation, the copilot managed to set the chopper down in a clearing. After landing, a few rounds of enemy fire were starting to come in. Seems the M60s were also damaged beyond use by the crash landing and initial RPG hit, the only M16 fell out on the way down.

    The only firearms left was M1911s.The remaining crew member was carrying a match conditioned M1911 and had a few boxes of ammo. As more enemy small arms fire started coming in, the copilot and crew member also noted that the VC were coming out of the jungle and approaching them; shooting as they came. The crew member took out his .45 and took careful aim as he shot at each attacking VC. About 30 minutes later it was all over. Between reloading magazines and radioing for rescue, the copilot was pretty busy, but a rescue chopper finally arrived on the scene.

    As the rescue chopper came in and landed, its crew noticed a lot of dead VC laying around. The downed helo’s remaining crew were picked up and on their way out, they counted the dead VC; 37 in all. Their distances from the downed helo were from 3 to about 150 yards; all shot by the crew member with his M1911 .45 ACP. About 80 rounds were fired by Petty Officer R.J. Thomas, a member of the USN Rifle and Pistol Team.

    Petty Officer Thomas was recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor, but by the time the recommendation got all the way up through the chain of command, the recognition was reduced to the Navy Cross.

    This incident has been cited this as the only known of example of top-level combat marksmanship since SGT Alvin York’s escapades in WWI.

    Mark Eberhard
    LtCol. USMCR (Ret.)
     
  2. BudMan5

    BudMan5

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    Some of that is factual but he was only known to actually kill one enemy soldier. It actually happened in the far soiuth of South Vietnam near the Cambodian border. Here's a copy of the actual citation for the Navy Cross:

    [​IMG]


    <!---->Navy Cross
    <!---->Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War
    The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Radarman Second Class Robert J. Thomas, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 23 March 1969 while serving with Sea-Air-Land Team TWO (SEAL-2), Detachment ALFA, Seventh Platoon, during combat operations against communist aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Embarked in a Seawolf helicopter on a visual reconnaissance and strike mission on Da Dung Mountain near the Cambodian border when the aircraft was struck by enemy ground fire and crashed in an exposed rice paddy, Petty Officer Thomas was thrown from the wreckage, sustaining multiple injuries. Fighting off the stunning effects of shock, he immediately moved to the aid of the helicopter crewmen who were still in the burning aircraft. Despite the intense flames and the heavy gunfire from both the mountain and a nearby tree line, Petty Officer Thomas managed to remove one of the crewmen to safety and, with the aid of another man who had been dropped onto the site by an accompanying helicopter, succeeded in freeing the trapped pilot from the flaming cockpit. Petty Officer Thomas then made a gallant attempt to rescue the two remaining men trapped beneath the twisted metal, discontinuing his efforts only when driven back by the exploding bullets and rockets of the burning helicopter. After moving the two previously rescued men to a greater distance from the crash site, Petty Officer Thomas realized that Viet Cong troops were steadily advancing on his position. He selflessly threw himself upon the body of one of the wounded men and began returning the enemy fire. His deadly accuracy accounted for at least one enemy dead and held the aggressors at bay until an Army rescue helicopter landed. By his valiant efforts and selfless devotion to duty while under hostile fire, Petty Officer Thomas upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
    General Orders: Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
    Action Date: 23-Mar-69
    Service: Navy
    Rank: Radarman Second Class
    Company: Sea-Air-Land Team 2 (SEAL-2)
    Regiment: Detachment ALPHA

    ********************************************************************************

    Here's an extract of the actual crash report. Two crewmembers were killed in the aircraft when it crashed, not one:

    Helicopter UH-1B 63-8607

    Information on U.S. Navy helicopter UH-1B tail number 63-8607
    The Army purchased this helicopter 0464
    Total flight hours at this point: 00002474
    Date: 03/23/1969 MIA-POW file reference number: 1412
    Incident number: 69032323.KIA
    Unit: HA(L)-3 DET 3
    South Vietnam
    UTM grid coordinates: VS416532
    Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: 1412 ()
    Loss to Inventory

    Crew Members:
    P LJG PAWLOWSKI EDWARD WESLEY KIA
    C ADJ MEUTE HOWARD MICHAEL KIA
    This record was last updated on 05/25/1998


    <HR>
    The following is crew member information for this incident:
    <HR>Name: ADJ Howard Michael Meute
    Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 03/23/1969 while performing the duty of Crew member unspecified.
    Age at death: 20.6
    Date of Birth: 08/22/1948
    Home City: Alamogordo, NM
    Service: regular component of the U.S. Navy.
    Unit: HA(L)-3
    Service: U.S. Navy.
    The Wall location: 28W-019
    Aircraft: UH-1B tail number 63-08607
    Call sign: Seawolf 305
    Service number: B701908
    Country: South Vietnam
    MOS: ADJ3
    Started Tour: 11/09/1967
    "Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
    Length of service: 02
    Location: Kien Giang Province IV Corps.
    Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
    Casualty type: Hostile - killed
    single male U.S. citizen
    Race: Caucasian
    Relgion: Protestant - no denominational preference
    This record was last updated on 11/16/1996


    <HR>
    <HR>Name: LJG Edward Wesley Pawlowski
    Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 03/23/1969 while performing the duty of Pilot.
    Age at death: 25.3
    Date of Birth: 12/20/1943
    Home City: Union, NJ
    Service: reserve component of the U.S. Navy.
    Unit: HA(L)-3
    Service: U.S. Navy.
    The Wall location: 28W-020
    Short Summary: Location vs430 520. destroyed in place
    Aircraft: UH-1B tail number 63-08607
    Call sign: Seawolf 305
    Service number: 710635
    Country: South Vietnam
    MOS: 1315 = Unrestricted Line Officer (Pilot)
    Primary cause: Hostile Fire
    Started Tour: 01/01/1969
    "Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
    Length of service: 02
    Location: Kien Giang Province IV Corps.
    Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
    Casualty type: Hostile - killed
    single male U.S. citizen
    Race: Caucasian
    Relgion: Roman Catholic
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010

  3. MADBMW

    MADBMW

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    Regardless, it's a good story and a shining example of how heroic our fighting men can be when it counts. Plus I'll bet he has balls that clank when he walks :wow:
     
  4. BudMan5

    BudMan5

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    absolutely, they don't award the Navy Cross for best mess kit display.