1943 Ithaca with history

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Copper BB
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:02 am
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:10 am
Hi, new member here...just signed up to share some history with you.

Ithaca 1911 from 1943. Belonged to LTC Croll from the 103rd Cactus Division that liberated the Landsberg concentration camp.

Gun looks original to me but maybe some Ithaca expert like 1977Cutcher can shine some light on it. Finish seems way too good....grips are perfect...maybe it was refurbed at the end of the war. Gun has been in the possession of his daughter since 1968...so not sure what was done to it between 1945 and 1968.

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Did some searching and found a site for the 103rd

Dear Dave,

What a trove of history you have here! Are you related to Colonel Croll? I am absolutely amazed, as a retired Army officer, at the pristine condition of the .45 and the other items you display. Wow!!

Thank you for sharing these pix. I will put them on the website for all to see.

Lieutenant Colonel Croll was the Division Adjutant General. It appears that he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel at some point between January 1943 and April 1943, as the General Orders bearing his signature show him as a Major in January and then LTC in April. He served as the 103d Infantry Division Adjutant the entire war, leaving the Division sometime between August 21 & August 28, 1945, probably to rotate back to the States or act as advance party for deactivation of the Division when it came back to the States in September, 1945. He served under MG Hafner, MG McAuliffe, and BG Robinson, Robinson assuming command from "Nuts" McAuliffe August 7, 1945. Colonel Croll's last General Order signed as Adjutant General was August 21. Major Dorn signed the next GO on August 28th. We will be able to better track the exact dates when the HQ 103d Morning Reports are completed, projected completion sometime in the next 3-5 years based on the rate of completion todate.

He most likely wore the piece daily, unless the CG was lenient enough to allow his Senior Officers to keep it handy, but not wear the weapon. During my service, we were required to have a weapon, and as a Senior Field Grade, mine was a .45 until the 9mm replaced them. Many officers wore a shoulder harness with a holster, I preferred a belt version as it was less cumbersome for me. I've queried one of my good friends down in Texas, who was an officer with the 103d, to see if he remembers the HQ element officers having to wear a side arm. Will let you know when I hear.

I'd say definitely Alfred wore his weapon to the Landsberg Camp, as I have heard stories that there were still German soldiers in the area.


Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas.

Larry Wayne
LTC, USA, Retired
VP & Webmaster
103d Infantry Division World War II Association

http://www.103didww2assn.org/Spc_Trps_biographies.htm

.270 WIN
Posts: 401
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:50 am
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:14 pm
I know more about the model 37 than the 1911. At this point to me it looks really pretty good but I do have some questions about a few details that I will have to research. I do have some books available and will read up when I get a chance.

Copper BB
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:02 am
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:47 pm
Thank you...I really appreciate that....:)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:02 pm
What an awesome piece of Military History...you sir, are a lucky man !!

Welcome to the Ithaca Owners Forum Dave !!

Copper BB
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:02 am
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:18 am
Thank you. It's great to be here. I am a reserve sheriff in Los Angeles and fell in love with the Ithaca 37 duty shotgun. We now use 870s with adjustable stocks and flashlight forearm, mut I still prefer the simple, light Ithaca. Conversely, I had a Kimber TLE that I never really warmed up to..enjoy my plain Jane GI Ithaca much better...guess I'm a bit of dinosaur when it comes to guns but I like the KISS principle.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:47 am
davedi wrote:Thank you. It's great to be here. I am a reserve sheriff in Los Angeles and fell in love with the Ithaca 37 duty shotgun. We now use 870s with adjustable stocks and flashlight forearm, mut I still prefer the simple, light Ithaca. Conversely, I had a Kimber TLE that I never really warmed up to..enjoy my plain Jane GI Ithaca much better...guess I'm a bit of dinosaur when it comes to guns but I like the KISS principle.



From one dinosaur to another, I can't disagree with you. I just picked up one of those police special's recently and it is something special.

And there is nothing "plain" about your 1911. it is like a pretty girl who doesn't need alot of makeup to look nice
--Jim

.270 WIN
Posts: 401
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:50 am
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:23 pm
Well I am not an expert on the 45 by any means but I did spend some time skimming threw Collector's Guide to Colt .45 Service Pistols Models of 1911 and 1911A1 by Charles W. Clawson . Early Ithaca 1911A1's where put together with a combination of Ithaca produced components and from other manufactures. For example early Ithaca 45's where built using unfinished Colt frames left over from WWI. Here is what I can figure on your example.
-The markings on the barrel indicates a pre war Springfield Armory production.
-The main spring housing has fine checkering possibly indicating early Remington Rand production.
-The hammer may be Colt.
-The safety lock seems to be Colt.
-The serial number range places the frame in a time when Ithaca was using BOTH WWI vintage AND new production Colt frames. I believe this frame to be a new production Colt.
-Over all I believe the pistol to be an early Ithaca production original and not re-furbished.
Please keep in mind that I am a novice and any of the above may not be spot on. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful piece.

Copper BB
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:02 am
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:58 am
Thank you for the info Cutcher!

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