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Is it possible to find the soldier's name that a WWII Remington Rand 1911 was issued to? I have the campaigns the pistol was used in but the old vet did not sign his name! He moved away and I have no way of locating him or even know if he is still living. I have been told that I can send the serial # to the manufacturer and they could advise what armory it was issued to. Then contact the armory and they could look in their archives and find the soldier the pistol was issued to. Any advice or info would be appreciated.
 

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Ben,
The reason it's not possible is that the "armory" it was shipped to (actually they were ordnance/supply depots) acted only as the Army's weapons "distributor." Once received from the manufacturer, the depot typically filled "orders" from the Army supply system and sent the weapons wherever they were needed for the war...usually through higher level (corps/division) ordnance channels. The weapons would then filter down to small units (battalion/company) where the arms rooms/armorers took over. Any individual soldier records would have been held at the small unit level. It's not unheard of to find isolated armorer records, but in terms of matching a weapon to a soldier it's a needle in a thousand haystacks situation...

This is why collectors try so hard to dig from the bottom up...meaning when we find a weapon we like, we also ask the seller for as much other information ("provenance") as he/she has on it. Unfortunately, the M1911 is reaching the stage in its history when original owners are no longer around and we rely on heirs or other family to provide this info.

Worst case, you find nothing out about the gun and (like all of us) can only wonder about where it's been and what it's seen. You say you know the campaigns it's been in...can you share how you know this?

Welcome to the forum...

MO
 

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I have been told that I can send the serial # to the manufacturer and they could advise what armory it was issued to. Then contact the armory and they could look in their archives and find the soldier the pistol was issued to. Any advice or info would be appreciated.
This is complete hogwash. It is just not possible.
 

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Remington Rand no longer exists, by the way. You might be able to find an approximate shipping date in Clawson's large book but it will likely only say it went to Springfield Armory or somewhere similar. Whatever records existed of where the pistol went from there, let alone who it was issued to are either buried in a warehouse somewhere or long since disposed of.

Don't feel bad, I've got a near-mint Ithaca that was sold to my LGS by the family of the vet who brought it home, but unfortunately I have no way of contacting them to find out anything about him.
 

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Remington Rand no longer exists, by the way. You might be able to find an approximate shipping date in Clawson's large book but it will likely only say it went to Springfield Armory or somewhere similar. Whatever records existed of where the pistol went from there, let alone who it was issued to are either buried in a warehouse somewhere or long since disposed of.

Don't feel bad, I've got a near-mint Ithaca that was sold to my LGS by the family of the vet who brought it home, but unfortunately I have no way of contacting them to find out anything about him.
Run an ad in the local paper explaining who you are and what you're looking for. It's worth a shot, probably cost you less that $50 for 2 weeks and think of the possible return. The family is probably local, too.
 

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Run an ad in the local paper explaining who you are and what you're looking for. It's worth a shot, probably cost you less that $50 for 2 weeks and think of the possible return. The family is probably local, too.
I'd be wary of posting an ad in the newspaper as it might draw some bad results.
I would try to work thru the dealer and see if he could get permission from the family for you to contact them directly.
 

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Remington Rand no longer exists, by the way. You might be able to find an approximate shipping date in Clawson's large book but it will likely only say it went to Springfield Armory or somewhere similar. Whatever records existed of where the pistol went from there, let alone who it was issued to are either buried in a warehouse somewhere or long since disposed of.

Don't feel bad, I've got a near-mint Ithaca that was sold to my LGS by the family of the vet who brought it home, but unfortunately I have no way of contacting them to find out anything about him.
Huh? The dealer would know where it came from because he had to log it in his books.

James
 
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