Side arms in WW2

Side arms in WW2

This is a discussion on Side arms in WW2 within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The other day I was talking to someone about WW2 and th 1911, I was wondering If the soldiers got to keep their 1911. The ...

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Thread: Side arms in WW2

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    Senior Member Array fernset's Avatar
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    Side arms in WW2

    The other day I was talking to someone about WW2 and th 1911, I was wondering If the soldiers got to keep their 1911. The guy told me that not all the soldiers had them. He said the ordinary infantry only got rifles and only officers got 1911, is that true? What about today? does every soldier get a M9? Do any soldiers get to keep them?


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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I can't say who gets issued what, but I'm pretty darn certain that noone gets to keep their issued weapon. Battle conditions are such that weapons can get "lost" though... probably much easier to get away with in WW2 than nowadays.
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    My father in-law (RIP) was WWII & Korean vet engaged in many battles in both. Because he had a 1911, a carbine & much equipment, ie. belt with 1911 holster, bayonets, 2 swords, helmets (GI & German), canteen & utensils, compass, ammo pouches, ammo cans with assorted ammo & magazines at his home, I asked him this very question years ago. His answer was no, vets were not allowed to keep military equipment & firearms (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), but with thousands of vets returning in wave after wave immediately following each war, the collection process of the smaller military eqt. was chaotic & loosely controlled in that regard.

    Retiring as a Leutenant didn't hurt, but he certainly didn't hold that rank as a gunner ending WWII. He was stationed in Europe for a couple years following WWII, that likely played a part as well in him keeping what he did. Times were much different then & I'm sure the celebratory atmosphere & mindset of surviving, winning the war & retaining the English languag in the homeland had a large role to play in the mindset of "who cares about the small stuff ... we're still alive & we still have our country" type attitude. Also the attitude towards guns was obviously much different then. A soldier with a gun on home soil wasn't the jaw-dropping event that it is now.
    Last edited by KimBobTex; February 21st, 2010 at 11:19 AM.
    Asked by a CNN reporter "What do you feel when you shoot a terrorist"?, the Marine sniper simply shrugged & replied "recoil".

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    There were several people caught during Vietnam War sending back AK47's in pieces,you could keep any SKS or handgun that you liberated from NVA or VC,by having it tagged and stored until you derosed,problem is the stuff usually came up MIA
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    Distinguished Member Array Pro2A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fernset View Post
    The other day I was talking to someone about WW2 and th 1911, I was wondering If the soldiers got to keep their 1911. The guy told me that not all the soldiers had them. He said the ordinary infantry only got rifles and only officers got 1911, is that true? What about today? does every soldier get a M9? Do any soldiers get to keep them?
    My father in law said that you had the option to buy your service weapon if you wanted to, but I think they did away with that in the 60's. He said he had wished he bought his service Garand because the thing was brand new out of the crate when he got it.

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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    They were not allowed to keep their weapon, maybe with the exception of some pilots that were issued survival side arms that went with them from duty station to duty station and flag officers. I think the mind set during WWII was to bring home captured weapons.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    Member Array gmark340's Avatar
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    My father was an Air Force pilot in WWII. For $10, he was able to purchase the Colt 1911A1 that he carried in a shoulder holslter every flight. I still have it and it still shoots fine.

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    During the period between 1951-55, I served in the Army in several units and Divisions, including an 18 month tour in Korea during the war, all military weapons were Company issue and were turned in to supply when you left the unit. No body, and I mean no body, were permitted to keep their weapons.

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I forgot to add my credentials... I was in the Air force and that one time that I actually handled a weapon, they made me give it back at the end of the day.
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    Distinguished Member Array Guardian's Avatar
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    I can only speak for the Air Force. We were issued our weapons (Sidearms or M-16) back then prior to Guardmount and then at the end/after our shift, we turned then back in to t he armory. It's still that way today that I am aware of, my son-in-law is Security Forces, were keeping it in the family.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guardian View Post
    I can only speak for the Air Force. We were issued our weapons (Sidearms or M-16) back then prior to Guardmount and then at the end/after our shift, we turned then back in to t he armory. It's still that way today that I am aware of, my son-in-law is Security Forces, were keeping it in the family.
    I was also an SP 1976-1978,we were issued S&W model 15 38 spcl,M16 A1,Saco Lowell M-60 machinegun,XM203 40mm grenade launcher,Uncle Suger let me fondle them while I was on duty,but had to give them back to the Armorer at the end of my shift,they actually had somebody that tried to steal an M16,he spent some time at Fort Leavenworth
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    Generally, sidearms are issued to officers at the company command level and higher, and to certain "specialty" personnel. This can include medics, pilots, machine gunners, snipers, vehicle crew members, or other people who don't normally have a rifle as their primary weapon.

    No one is allowed to keep any firearm issued by the government. Captured firearms can be taken back to the states, but only by units, not by individuals, and even then there are VERY strict guidelines and a huge amount of paperwork involved, and the weapons must be made completely inoperable (de-milled).

    ANYTHING once owned by the enemy is considered a "war trophy," and it's a process to get even the simplest thing taken home... Also, the re-deployment screening process is pretty thorough - it's not IMPOSSIBLE to sneak something out, but it's very difficult.

    (OPFOR had the ancillary duty of "Battalion Historian" for his unit in Afghanistan, and got to deal with a lot of these issues first hand.)
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Senior Member Array fernset's Avatar
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    Cool Thanks guys.

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    Distinguished Member Array Siafu's Avatar
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    This Radom VIS35 is perhaps one of the best pistols of WWII.


  15. #15
    Senior Member Array fernset's Avatar
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    So it really was officers or special units guys who got the 1911s?

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