Thirty years later, man returns rare M1911 awarded to Medal of Honor recipient

A historic Colt .45-caliber, semi-automatic pistol stolen more than 30…

A historic Colt .45-caliber, semi-automatic pistol stolen more than 30 years ago from a Medal of Honor winner in South Carolina has been returned to its rightful owner.

The gun and owner were reunited after a history buff in Medford, who bought the old handgun in an online auction last month, tracked down the retired Marine whose name is engraved on it.

Early in July, he began searching the Internet and discovered that Alderfer Auction, a well-known auction firm in Hatfield, Pa., would be offering three of the Colt .45s in a July 12 auction.

In particular, lot No. 78 caught his eye: “Colt 1911 A1 semi-automatic pistol. Cal. 45. 5″ bbl. SN 0103889. Reblued finish on all metal, plain walnut Colt grips, after-market rear sight, no magazine,” the description read.

“Faint ‘USMC’ stamped on right side of slide, partial ‘United States Property’ wording is visible,” it continued. “The name ‘John J. McGinty USMC’ stamped on left side of slide. Very good.”

Berry was hesitant because it had been “reblued” and no longer had its original sights or grips, all factors decreasing its value.

“And it had somebody’s name engraved on the left side of the slide,” he observed.

He had no idea that McGinty was a war hero, let alone a recipient of the nation’s highest military medal for valor.

Read the rest of Paul Fattig’s article at Mail Tribune.

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