Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless 32ACP SN:566911 MFG:1944 - Brigadier General Scherrer

  • Caliber: 32ACP
  • Era: Pre-War
  • Finish: Parkerized
  • Serial Number: 566911
  • Shipment Type: Military
  • Year: 1944

This Colt 1903 General Officers Pistol was issued to Edward C.D. Scherrer of Shawneetown, Illinois and was a gifted student.  Brig. Gen. Orval P. Townsend, also a native of Shawneetown, got Scherrer an appointment to West Point at the age of 19 and he graduated the U.S. Military Academy in 1937, was promoted to captain in 1940 and by 1943 was stationed in the Fiji Islands. He earned the Distinguished Service Cross while serving with the Reconnaissance Force, 43d Infantry Division, July 1943, at New Georgia, Solomon Islands.

Scherrer was also severely injured by a Japanese mortar shell during the Munda campaign, he would also receive the Purple Heart with three oak leaf clusters. After recovery, General Scherrer was transferred to the European Theater and served under Gen. George Patton in the 4th Armored Division, his unit was among the first to enter Berlin in 1945. Upon his return to the U.S. he became the last Chief of Horsemanship at Fort Riley Kansas for the U.S. Cavalry and in 1953 he served in Korea as Chief of Staff for the 40th Infantry Division .

He was later transferred to Japan where he served as Chief of Staff of the First Cavalry Division and in July 1956 was made Commander of Combat Command B, 4th Armored Division at Fort Hood Texas. Scherrer served two tours of duty at the Pentagon, first in 1958 as Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations and in 1965-7 he was the Special Assistant for Military Assistance Affairs in the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1961 he was promoted to Brigadier General and became Chief of Staff of the U.S. M.A.C. group Cambodia and upon his return to the United States he was assigned to Fort Hood as Assistant Division Commander, 1st Armored Division, until he was promoted to Major General.

In 1967 he fulfilled his dream of someday commanding the 4th Armored Division in Germany, the same division he served in underneath Gen. George Patton, and in 1972 he retired from 39 years in the military as Chief, Joint U.S. Military Mission for Aid to Turkey. While in Turkey he, Brig. Gen. Claude M. McQuarrie, pilot Maj. James P. Russell and Turkish liaison officer Cevat Denli accidentally crossed into Soviet airspace and Russell landed in Soviet Armenia, at Leninakan rather than Kars in eastern Turkey, 20 miles from the Soviet border. The men were held for a number of days and then returned to Turkey unharmed, Russell blaming a downdraft for his confusion.

The general was nicknamed "pony" due to his skilled horsemanship, later becoming a riding instructor, polo player and even polo referee; later becoming a recognized judge of equestrian events. Included with the arm are regulation black leather general officers belt, holster and dual magazine pouch from Brauer Brothers and a 4th Armored Division patch.

The pistol is mentioned by serial number as being issued to Scherrer in the Colt Pocket Hammerless Automatic Pistols by Brunner and in the Colt U.S. General Officers Pistol by Greeley, as having been issued in 1961, it is featured in the book U.S. General Officer Pistols: a Collector's Guide, Williams and Brunner.