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  #1  
Old 02-03-2009, 4:15 PM
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Default 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.
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2009, 4:42 PM
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it would be damn near impossible to find that out.
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Old 02-03-2009, 6:25 PM
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Turned up this. From the Korean War.

Easy Co 2d Bn 7th Marines / ORVILLE A. BIERKLE
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Old 02-04-2009, 6:41 AM
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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." Thank you so much!



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Old 02-04-2009, 8:22 AM
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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

Last edited by MPMillen; 02-04-2009 at 3:34 PM..
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2009, 8:29 AM
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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.
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  #7  
Old 02-04-2009, 12:26 PM
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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.
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  #8  
Old 02-03-2009, 6:30 PM
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11Z50 - A member here that can probably help you look for anyone -
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  #9  
Old 02-03-2009, 6:36 PM
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the 1917 was retired in 1949, so korea would be to pushing it a bit.
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Old 02-03-2009, 6:41 PM
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the 1917 was retired in 1949, so korea would be to pushing it a bit.
Yeah but Marines keep everything till it falls apart
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Old 02-03-2009, 6:53 PM
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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.
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Old 02-03-2009, 8:58 PM
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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?
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Old 03-17-2010, 6:14 PM
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Yeah but Marines keep everything till it falls apart
Yeah, I can vouch for that, and even when it broke we had to "improvise" lol
And Semper FI! This story is awesome!
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2009, 7:47 PM
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It is a good bet that the Bierkle's had more than one Marine in their family.
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Old 06-24-2009, 3:39 PM
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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.
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  #16  
Old 06-24-2009, 3:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rerussell View Post
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.
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  #17  
Old 06-24-2009, 4:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
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 -

I hope the OP, should he ever decide to part with this special weapon, offers it to Ruth first.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
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!!
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Old 06-24-2009, 8:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rerussell View Post
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.
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  #20  
Old 06-24-2009, 9:36 PM
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DAMN!
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  #21  
Old 06-24-2009, 9:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rerussell View Post
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.
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  #22  
Old 06-24-2009, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rerussell View Post
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.
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  #23  
Old 04-08-2010, 8:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rerussell View Post
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 is probably the most amazing post I have ever seen.

I am dumbstruck.
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  #24  
Old 10-15-2013, 5:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rerussell View Post
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.
Kinda makes me tear up to read this

Last edited by Lebaneseblonde; 10-15-2013 at 8:32 PM..
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  #25  
Old 06-24-2009, 3:46 PM
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amazing stuff. hat in hand. no really i'm fine just have something in my eye.
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  #26  
Old 06-24-2009, 3:53 PM
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WOW
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  #27  
Old 06-24-2009, 3:55 PM
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Dang, what are the chances of that?? Ruth, out of curiosity, how did you find this thread? And welcome to calguns, btw!!
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Old 06-24-2009, 4:10 PM
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This is an amazing story...
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Old 06-24-2009, 4:12 PM
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Personally I think it sould be offered to her now. Just my $.02
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  #30  
Old 06-24-2009, 4:22 PM
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Cool 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!
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  #31  
Old 06-24-2009, 4:33 PM
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-bb
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  #32  
Old 06-24-2009, 4:35 PM
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Great thread. Great story.
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  #33  
Old 06-24-2009, 4:18 PM
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subscribing to this thread!

can we get a picture or paper documents? It'd be cool to add
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  #34  
Old 06-24-2009, 5:04 PM
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wow
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  #35  
Old 06-24-2009, 7:51 PM
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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.
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Old 06-24-2009, 8:12 PM
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WOW. Epic thread.

I wonder how she found this post?
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  #37  
Old 06-24-2009, 9:41 PM
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Whoa.
What are the chances of this.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:07 PM
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This thread is epic. I love to see connections with history and great men.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:28 PM
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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.
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:54 AM
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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...
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