This Colt 1908 Pocket Hammerless was shipped to the Officer in Charge at the Naval Supply Depot in Norfolk, Virginia on June 14th 1944 in a 150 gun shipment.
This pistol is accompanied by a provenance letter stating that this pistol was originally the property of one J.C. Wills, a Lieutenant with the United States Navy Reserve and member of the Naval Technical Mission in Europe(NavTecMisEu) who gave it as a present to J.W. Meader, a consultant with the Naval Air Material Center and fellow NavTecMisEu member in February in 1945.
Among the duties of NavTecMisEu was combing captured Nazi German and liberated French industrial facilities and probing them for useful advances and techniques, particularly ones with strategic implications such as aircraft, radar and weapons manufacturing. When Meader came home on the Queen Mary in September, he brought the pistol back with him, and it was retained by his family until about 2013.
It's a type IV pistol with the rounded front and rear sights. 3 3/4" barrel w/ integrated barrel bushing, 17 slide serrations and checkered walnut grips.
This pistol is known to collectors as a "Double Header". As you can see from the photograph the "5" has been over stamped with a "6". This practice would occur if another pistol with the same serial number had also been produced by colt. Very few of these pistols are known to exist.
Also with this group is a shoulder holster, brown leather with and adjustable shoulder strap, white canvas chest strap, "32A" on the back of the body and a "U" shaped spring clamp retention device. It is believed that this holster originated from the OSS for "plain clothes" wear.