Interesting Tidbit: MacArthur's pistol

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by arclight610, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. arclight610


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    Dec 2, 2009
    So I work in the Pentagon, and inside is a display case with a pistol that MacArthur carried around during World War II. A 1911? No, a Colt Pocketlite .380. It has the signed supply and acquisition papers and the holster as well in the display. That pistol is in PRISTINE condition, almost looks brand new with just a bit of wear near the end of the slide from holstering it.

    How it was told to me is that during World War II, MacArthur's athritis prevented him from handling the recoil of a 1911 .45, so he opted for a smaller .380. His athritis is the same reason that he had zippers installed on his uniforms instead of buttons, so he wouldn't need help changing.

    Well a few years back the exhibit was undergoing renovation, so they took all the MacArthur stuff and packed it away for storage. After the renovations were complete, they started to unpack and put the items back into the display cases. The people in charge noticed one problem, MacArthur's pistol and magazine was missing! They panicked because they had lost a priceless piece of history, as well as a live firearm. Some time later, Washington D.C. Metro Police called over to the Pentagon reporting that they had picked up a firearm from a crook, and the serial number traced back to the Department of Defense owning it. It was used in an attempted 7-11 robbery. It was MacArthur's .380. Eventually the pistol got returned and sits safe behind it's 1/8" glass display case.

    This also gives ammunition to the .380 crowd for thier arguments. "If MacArthur carried one during WWII, then it is good enough for me."
  2. Faulkner

    Faulkner Patriot Millennium Member

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    Aug 21, 1999
    Arkansas Ozarks
    It was a Colt's Model M in .380 ACP. Also unofficially known as the model 1908 Pocket Pistol. Patton carried one as well.

    The Colt's Model M in .32 ACP and later in .380 ACP were the original "officer's model" pistol issued to general officers when they achieved their star. As I understand it, it was only later in the post Korean War era, that 1911's were issued as "officer's model" pistols after the Model M ceased to be produced and inventory was depleated.

    Here is a picture of one that was issued to General L.A. Smith in 1945.


  3. Mrs. Tink

    Mrs. Tink Semper Fidelis

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    Mar 1, 2005
    It is a neat display case. Too bad they won't even let us lowly DoD employees take a picture of it. :supergrin:
  4. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Oct 23, 2000
    Tejas, US
    Not just "Officer's Model" but "General Officer's Model". It comes with fancy leather gears as well. Current general officer's handguns come with fancy wooden grips and leathers too.