This Colt .22-45 Conversion Unit was shipped to Lt. Col. Lyle J. Fitzpatrick at the 37th, Infantry School Headquarters in Fort Benning, Georgia on October 31st, 1946 in a single gun shipment. The letter also states that the pistol was shipped with Colt Government Model C220146.
This post-war conversion unit is one of the very few that are serial numbered. Colt ceased the practice of Serial Numbering Conversion Kits in 1946 with U2670 being the last number recorded.
Accompanying the pistol and conversion unit is the original Colt Packing Slip 3225-A which notes Sold to: Lt. Col. Lyle J. Fitzpatrick along with the conversion unit. The pistol is in a custom made case which has some of Lt. Col Fitzpatrick's Combat Infantryman medal along with his other marksmanship qualification badges.
Lyle Jerry Fitzpatrick was born June 3rd, 1907 in Farmington, Iowa. He enlisted in the army on September 12th 1932. Attached is his Draft registration card from 1940 when he was residing in Culver City, California. Eventually his 27-year military career would come to an end when he was released on May 31st 1959.
Records show that Fitzpatrick was one of the leaders who was involved directly with the Philippine resistance at Corregidor until American forces were officially ordered to surrender by General Wainwright on May 8th, 1942. It is our assumption that it was here that Lt. Col. Fitzpatrick was taken as a POW by the Japanese.
Fitzpatrick appears on the roster for the Kobe House which would ultimately transfer him and other officers to the Zentsuji Camp of Shikoko. Eventually he would be transferred to the Rokuroshi Camp in Osaka and eventually rescued from this location.
Post war he and other colleagues would testify in a deposition naming 3 Japanese prison guards in a case brought forward for their illegal and inhumane treatment of themselves and others during their time in their respective POW camps.
After his liberation he would ultimately end up at Ft. Bragg for some period of time where he would order this Colt and Conversion unit.
In 1951 he was appointed to the head of the California Military District where he would organize the reserve corps.
Lt. Col. Fitzpatrick passed away on April 26th, 1985 in San Bruno California.