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-   -   Info on Marine who owned my S&W 1917 (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=150941)

Davidwhitewolf 02-03-2009 4:15 PM

Info on Marine who owned my S&W 1917
 
I know this isn't really a C&R question, but I figured you guys would know.

My S&W 1917 revolver has "A. Bierkle USMC" stippled on the rear of the grip frame. How would I go about finding information about this gentleman? I've Googled but that didn't come up with much.

jamesob 02-03-2009 4:42 PM

it would be damn near impossible to find that out.

Pthfndr 02-03-2009 6:25 PM

Turned up this. From the Korean War.

Easy Co 2d Bn 7th Marines / ORVILLE A. BIERKLE

Saigon1965 02-03-2009 6:30 PM

11Z50 - A member here that can probably help you look for anyone -

jamesob 02-03-2009 6:36 PM

the 1917 was retired in 1949, so korea would be to pushing it a bit.

usmcchet9296 02-03-2009 6:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesob (Post 1987246)
the 1917 was retired in 1949, so korea would be to pushing it a bit.

Yeah but Marines keep everything till it falls apart

Tweak338 02-03-2009 6:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by usmcchet9296 (Post 1987271)
Yeah but Marines keep everything till it falls apart

And even then, they try and fix it...

Hope you can find some info on the guy. Would be cool to know some history behind your 1917.

Rogerbutthead 02-03-2009 7:47 PM

It is a good bet that the Bierkle's had more than one Marine in their family.

Gryff 02-03-2009 8:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tweak338 (Post 1987330)
Hope you can find some info on the guy. Would be cool to know some history behind your 1917.

And what better way to honor a man who served and protected this country than by remembering him?

Davidwhitewolf 02-04-2009 6:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pthfndr (Post 1987187)
Turned up this. From the Korean War.

Easy Co 2d Bn 7th Marines / ORVILLE A. BIERKLE

Damned if there isn't an "O" there above the "A." :shock::King:Thank you so much!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3024/...087ee9.jpg?v=0

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3360/...3a0405.jpg?v=0

MPMillen 02-04-2009 8:22 AM

I had a similar historical inquiry recently on a S&W 1917 on which the former owner (an officer) had penciled in his name and unit name on the inside of the grips. I contacted the unit's historian. In my case it was a midwest based Army unit.

The unit historian had records with complete biographies of almost all the unit members and pictures of unit members. The former owner of my 1917 was an officer in the 1920's.

They were happy to help me, and emailed me scans of photos and unit histories and a short bio of the former owner of my 1917. They found it fascinating that I was even interested.

Give it a try - you will be surprised what you learn!

Mark

Davidwhitewolf 02-04-2009 8:29 AM

Thank you, I'll try that!

And I'll check in with member 11Z50 if I run into a dead end.

I didn't notice the name until about a year after I bought the gun (a consignment) from Diablo Valley Gun Works in Pleasant Hill. I took it back in but none of the guys recalled who had brought the gun in. I stupidly didn't think to ask them to check their records. Anyway, I've been wondering about this gentleman for the last few years now -- it's great to have such a tangible connection with history and finding out more about him and this gun is going to be a fascinating adventure for me.

Thanks again, everybody. I'm very excited.

smle-man 02-04-2009 12:26 PM

Congratulations on chasing down a bit of history of the previous owner. I bought a BSA-Lee sporter several years ago that had originally been sold through the Army and Navy cooperative society in Great Britain. With the help of a member of another forum I found that the firearms sales inventory records for this company were held at the university of Glasgow, Scotland. A small fee and I received the photocopied page that listed the purchaser of my rifle: J.W. McGowan Esq in November of 1914. Further research turned up a Captain by that name living in London in 1905 and a Private with the same name KIA in France in 1916. Was the KIA the son of the Captain? The Captain himself perhaps back in the service as a gentleman ranker only to be killed in action? Unfortunately my research ended there.

rerussell 06-24-2009 3:39 PM

Orville A Bierkle is my father. He was a sailor during World War 2 and was A Marine at the Chosin Reservior during the Korean War. My grandfather had gotten the gun in World War 1 and gave him the pistol before he shipped out to Korea. He carried during his time in Korea.

As a previous poster suggested, daddy's side of the family has been serving in the Marines since 1913. Daddy originally joined the Navy to become a corpsman so he could serve in the Marines.

Daddy died in August 2003. He enjoyed being a Marine and was very proud to serve his country. He was also very active in the Navy-Marine Corps League and donated his time to the Devil Dog program. He was also active in the Chosin Few group and had a poem published in their newsletter.

My mom was a little over-zealous in disposing of his things, which is how the gun ended up at the Diablo gun store. He'd wanted me to have it, but I'm glad that you do -- it gives me the opportunity to share a little bit about him and he'd be tickled pink that you asked about the gun and him.

Daddy never met a stranger and he loved to talk about his guns, history and the military. He wrote to several bay area papers and had his letters published. He was able to give information to Iris Chang when she was writing the Rape of Nanking -- if you put his name in Google, the letter he wrote will be in one of the enteries. He also contributed to several books about the Korean War.

I don't know what happened to the vhs tape he mentions in his letter to the editor, but a complete copy of the film was found in my grandmother's (his mother) effects after she died. It was donated to the Library of Congress and the family was told it was the only surviving full copy of the original film. It was fully restored and a special showing was arranged in Washington D.C.

Hope this helps and thank you for asking about him. Please look him up in Google and read his letters to the editor -- they'll also give you an idea of who he was.

Ruth -- proud daughter of a proud Marine.

Lateralus 06-24-2009 3:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rerussell (Post 2681450)
Orville A Bierkle is my father. He was a sailor during World War 2 and was A Marine at the Chosin Reservior during the Korean War. My grandfather had gotten the gun in World War 1 and gave him the pistol before he shipped out to Korea. He carried during his time in Korea.

As a previous poster suggested, daddy's side of the family has been serving in the Marines since 1913. Daddy originally joined the Navy to become a corpsman so he could serve in the Marines.

Daddy died in August 2003. He enjoyed being a Marine and was very proud to serve his country. He was also very active in the Navy-Marine Corps League and donated his time to the Devil Dog program. He was also active in the Chosin Few group and had a poem published in their newsletter.

My mom was a little over-zealous in disposing of his things, which is how the gun ended up at the Diablo gun store. He'd wanted me to have it, but I'm glad that you do -- it gives me the opportunity to share a little bit about him and he'd be tickled pink that you asked about the gun and him.

Daddy never met a stranger and he loved to talk about his guns, history and the military. He wrote to several bay area papers and had his letters published. He was able to give information to Iris Chang when she was writing the Rape of Nanking -- if you put his name in Google, the letter he wrote will be in one of the enteries. He also contributed to several books about the Korean War.

I don't know what happened to the vhs tape he mentions in his letter to the editor, but a complete copy of the film was found in my grandmother's (his mother) effects after she died. It was donated to the Library of Congress and the family was told it was the only surviving full copy of the original film. It was fully restored and a special showing was arranged in Washington D.C.

Hope this helps and thank you for asking about him. Please look him up in Google and read his letters to the editor -- they'll also give you an idea of who he was.

Ruth -- proud daughter of a proud Marine.

That has to be the single greatest post on CGN. I just love when stories come full circle. Kinda like those ones you hear about every now and then where someone lost a wallet/ring 40 years ago and found it later. Im sure your father would be happy knowing the one who ended up with his firearm cared for it, and took the time to search out and recognize the man who engraved it.

glennsche 06-24-2009 3:46 PM

amazing stuff. hat in hand. no really i'm fine just have something in my eye.

PolishMike 06-24-2009 3:53 PM

WOW

savasyn 06-24-2009 3:55 PM

Dang, what are the chances of that?? Ruth, out of curiosity, how did you find this thread? And welcome to calguns, btw!!

barrym66 06-24-2009 4:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lateralus (Post 2681485)
That has to be the single greatest post on CGN. I just love when stories come full circle. Kinda like those ones you hear about every now and then where someone lost a wallet/ring 40 years ago and found it later. Im sure your father would be happy knowing the one who ended up with his firearm cared for it, and took the time to search out and recognize the man who engraved it.

+1 on this post - :79:

I hope the OP, should he ever decide to part with this special weapon, offers it to Ruth first.

Agustav 06-24-2009 4:10 PM

This is an amazing story... :clap:

maxx424 06-24-2009 4:12 PM

Personally I think it sould be offered to her now. Just my $.02

Spiggy 06-24-2009 4:18 PM

subscribing to this thread! :eek:

can we get a picture or paper documents? It'd be cool to add

sdyeti 06-24-2009 4:22 PM

here's a thought
 
I don't know if this story is true. I was taught never to believe anything that you read and only half of what you see. I have trouble living by those standards but I digress..... Given that this is true and that the owner of the gun would be willing to give the gun to her, I say we start a donation to the owner to help him recoup the cost that he paid for it. I will definitely kick in a few bucks for this!

blackberg 06-24-2009 4:33 PM

:eek:

-bb

brassburnz 06-24-2009 4:35 PM

Great thread. Great story.

cackinthebox 06-24-2009 5:04 PM

wow

socaldsal 06-24-2009 7:51 PM

New. Best. Thread.

If this all checks out, this is stuff you can make in to a movie. If that is indeed all on the up and up, Ruth, your father is one of the men that made today possible.

Now it makes me wonder what would happen to my guns after I can't hold them anymore.

GoodEyeSniper 06-24-2009 8:12 PM

WOW. Epic thread.

I wonder how she found this post?

Pthfndr 06-24-2009 8:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rerussell (Post 2681450)
Orville A Bierkle is my father. He was a sailor during World War 2 and was A Marine at the Chosin Reservior during the Korean War. My grandfather had gotten the gun in World War 1 and gave him the pistol before he shipped out to Korea. He carried during his time in Korea.........

Ruth -- proud daughter of a proud Marine.

Wow. Just wow. That is just too cool. To actually know something personal about the history of a firearm one owns. David, you are very lucky.

Ruth, thanks for posting this.

user name 06-24-2009 9:36 PM

DAMN!

Tweak338 06-24-2009 9:41 PM

Whoa.
What are the chances of this.

glockman19 06-24-2009 9:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rerussell (Post 2681450)
Orville A Bierkle is my father. He was a sailor during World War 2 and was A Marine at the Chosin Reservior during the Korean War. My grandfather had gotten the gun in World War 1 and gave him the pistol before he shipped out to Korea. He carried during his time in Korea.

As a previous poster suggested, daddy's side of the family has been serving in the Marines since 1913. Daddy originally joined the Navy to become a corpsman so he could serve in the Marines.

Daddy died in August 2003. He enjoyed being a Marine and was very proud to serve his country. He was also very active in the Navy-Marine Corps League and donated his time to the Devil Dog program. He was also active in the Chosin Few group and had a poem published in their newsletter.

My mom was a little over-zealous in disposing of his things, which is how the gun ended up at the Diablo gun store. He'd wanted me to have it, but I'm glad that you do -- it gives me the opportunity to share a little bit about him and he'd be tickled pink that you asked about the gun and him.

Daddy never met a stranger and he loved to talk about his guns, history and the military. He wrote to several bay area papers and had his letters published. He was able to give information to Iris Chang when she was writing the Rape of Nanking -- if you put his name in Google, the letter he wrote will be in one of the enteries. He also contributed to several books about the Korean War.

I don't know what happened to the vhs tape he mentions in his letter to the editor, but a complete copy of the film was found in my grandmother's (his mother) effects after she died. It was donated to the Library of Congress and the family was told it was the only surviving full copy of the original film. It was fully restored and a special showing was arranged in Washington D.C.

Hope this helps and thank you for asking about him. Please look him up in Google and read his letters to the editor -- they'll also give you an idea of who he was.

Ruth -- proud daughter of a proud Marine.

WOW...This just brought a tear to my eye.

Ruth...Your father was a Hero. Thanks for sharing with us all. He lives on.

Czechsix 06-24-2009 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rerussell (Post 2681450)
Orville A Bierkle is my father. He was a sailor during World War 2 and was A Marine at the Chosin Reservior during the Korean War. My grandfather had gotten the gun in World War 1 and gave him the pistol before he shipped out to Korea. He carried during his time in Korea.

As a previous poster suggested, daddy's side of the family has been serving in the Marines since 1913. Daddy originally joined the Navy to become a corpsman so he could serve in the Marines.

Daddy died in August 2003. He enjoyed being a Marine and was very proud to serve his country. He was also very active in the Navy-Marine Corps League and donated his time to the Devil Dog program. He was also active in the Chosin Few group and had a poem published in their newsletter.

My mom was a little over-zealous in disposing of his things, which is how the gun ended up at the Diablo gun store. He'd wanted me to have it, but I'm glad that you do -- it gives me the opportunity to share a little bit about him and he'd be tickled pink that you asked about the gun and him.

Daddy never met a stranger and he loved to talk about his guns, history and the military. He wrote to several bay area papers and had his letters published. He was able to give information to Iris Chang when she was writing the Rape of Nanking -- if you put his name in Google, the letter he wrote will be in one of the enteries. He also contributed to several books about the Korean War.

I don't know what happened to the vhs tape he mentions in his letter to the editor, but a complete copy of the film was found in my grandmother's (his mother) effects after she died. It was donated to the Library of Congress and the family was told it was the only surviving full copy of the original film. It was fully restored and a special showing was arranged in Washington D.C.

Hope this helps and thank you for asking about him. Please look him up in Google and read his letters to the editor -- they'll also give you an idea of who he was.

Ruth -- proud daughter of a proud Marine.

THAT ABSOLUTELY ROCKS!

Sounds like he was a good man, and he surely has an interesting history. Great post, and many many thanks for letting us know. I do historical research, and I know how hard it is - I've never been able to find any survivors from my dad's unit, so to see a post like this....terrific.

Mr.Pickles 06-24-2009 10:07 PM

This thread is epic. I love to see connections with history and great men.

SCOOTERVB 06-24-2009 10:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lateralus (Post 2681485)
That has to be the single greatest post on CGN. I just love when stories come full circle. Kinda like those ones you hear about every now and then where someone lost a wallet/ring 40 years ago and found it later. Im sure your father would be happy knowing the one who ended up with his firearm cared for it, and took the time to search out and recognize the man who engraved it.

+1, I love history and to hear a story like this it just simply amazing. Wish I had something like that in my gun safe!!

Gunaria 06-24-2009 11:28 PM

Now if we can just get your father's gun back into your hands so that you can pass it along to your children would make this story a truely happy ending.

5hundo 06-25-2009 12:54 AM

I've got a WWII KA-Bar with the name J.B. Lowrimore enscribed on it. I've always wondered what he would say if I handed that knife to him... :eek:

odysseus 06-25-2009 1:12 AM

This is a significant thread. I am amazed by it.

rerussell 06-25-2009 9:38 AM

WOW -- I didn't expect this much response to my post. And let me make this clear up front -- I don't want the gun back, I'm very happy it's with the OP and that he asked about daddy. My only request would be that a copy of my post(s) be kept with the gun as a tribute and history for my dad.

I found this post/site by googling daddy's name on a whim -- to see if there was anything on him besides his death record. When I open the link for this post and say the gun and read the question about it, it brought a tear to my eye and many happy memories.

Here's a copy of the letter daddy wrote regarding The Rape of Nanking:

RAPE OF NANKING
Editor -- It was with a deep sense of sadness that I read Charles Burress' article (Sunday, July 26) about the rape/ holocaust/massacre of Nanjing from December 1937 through January 1939.
You see, Nanking was the city of my birth, 72 years ago. My parents were Seventh-day Adventist missionaries, and my dad was attending the Nanking University Language School, learning Mandarin, when it was time for my arrival. I was born in the university hospital. Naturally, I would have an interest in the sad events that Mr. Burress writes about.
It is a shame that this atrocity was buried for so long. I am grateful to Iris Chang for bringing this horror to our attention. True, there were those of us who were aware of this crime and spoke out, but we were in the minority. The Japanese government was busy spinmeistering and denying that such a thing as that had happened, or could happen. Sadly, a lot of people believed them, especially the apologists and historical revisionists.
I have in my possession a VHS copy of the film taken by Dr. John Magee, and smuggled out of Nanking by Dr. George Fitch, the YMCA director. It is rather graphic. My dad got a copy of the film and showed it to service clubs, veterans organizations, church groups, and even to Hollywood dignitaries.
Suggested reading: ``Hidden Horrors'' by Yuke Tanaka; ``Blood and Bushido'' by Bernard Edwards; and ``Kempeitai'' by Raymond Lamont-Brown.
What goes around, comes around. Japan's economic woes may be a form of retribution.
ORVILLE A. BIERKLE, Pacheco

I'll look for the information on one of the books he contributed to and for the poem he wrote for the Chosen Few Newsletter -- if you'd be interested.

I also have the copy of daddy's birth record and service papers for Korea -- aside from that, I can think of no other way to prove who I am and that Orville A Bierkle is my father.

Thank you again for asking about him.

mls343 06-25-2009 10:26 AM

Truely an awsome thread.

Thank you!


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