Colt M1911A1 45ACP SN:733241 MFG:1941 - USS HORNET

  • Caliber: 45ACP
  • Era: Pre-War
  • Finish: Brushed Blue
  • Inspector: RS
  • Serial Number: 733241
  • Shipment Type: Military
  • Year: 1941

This Colt M1911A1 was built and shipped in 1941.  The Majority of these pistols were shipped directly to the commanding officer at Springfield Armory and then distributed to various service arms from there.

The records of the U.S. Navy Chief of Ordnance's office show that a Colt .45 caliber automatic pistol with this serial number was in service with the U.S. Navy on the USS Hornet(CV-8) in 1942.

The document containing the serial number of this pistol is a "Survey Request, Report and Expenditure" form reporting the loss of 40 pistols with belts, holsters, etc. due to "war action".  This report was submitted through Ordnance channels with recommendation that the pistols be surveyed and dropped from the ship's property books as combat losses.

At the time of this report, the USS Hornet was being refitted at Pearl Harbor after her participation in the Battle of Midway.  The pistols were apparently found to be missing during the inspections that made the incident to refit and/or change in vessel command that occurred after the Midway action.  A similar inspection would have been made before the vessel left for the April 1942 Doolittle raid on Tokyo, so this pistol was onboard for both of these historic events.

The USS Hornet was in Pearl Harbor August 1st to August 17th 1942 for repairs and new radars and left on the latter date for Guadalcanal.  The new captain at this time and the officer who signed this document was Captain Charles Perry Mason, who was awarded the Navy Cross for action on 26th October 1942 in the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, in which the Hornet was lost.  

The RS Inspection mark is for Colonel Robert Sears.  Col. Sears was the the Army Inspector of Ordnance at the Hartford Ordnance District office from August 3rd 1937 - June 30th, 1941.  His inspection mark is seen on pistols in the 723000-750500 range.