The Colt 1911A1 pistol was a development of the Colt Model 1911 (see FIR 11087). Over 1,800,000 Model 1911A1 pistols were produced during the Second World War, by Colt and other contractors.
This particular pistol, made by the Ithaca Gun Company, was issued to Major R T S (later Sir Tommy) Macpherson who operated with the French resistance on behalf of the British Special Operations Executive. He was the leader of the Jedburgh Team 'Quinine'. Jedburgh Teams were created to assist local resistance groups and to attack enemy communications. 'Quinine', which was parachuted into the Auvergne region on 8 June 1944, consisted of Macpherson, a French officer - Lt M. de Bourbon-Parme - and a radio operator, Sgt O A Brown. The team operated with distinction during the liberation of France.
Of the 335,000 M1911A1s made by Ithaca, only those numbered between 909000 and 914000 were marked M1911A1 US ARMY on the right of the slide. FJA mark is for Army Inspector of Ordnance Colonel Frank J. Atwood. Crossed cannon mark is a final inspection mark.
1. stamped on left of slide
2. stamped on right of frame
3. stamped on right of frame and slide
4. stamped on left of frame
5. stamped on rear right of frame
6. stamped on right of frame
1. ITHACA GUN CO.,INC. ITHACA,N.Y.
2. UNITED STATES PROPERTY
3. M 1911 A1 U.S.ARMY
5. Ordnance crossed cannon
Over two million American servicemen passed through Britain during the Second World War. In 1944, at the height of activity, up to half a million were based there with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Their job was to man and maintain the vast fleets of aircraft needed to attack German cities and industry.