Mexican Punitive Action? A little help, please.
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Thread: Mexican Punitive Action? A little help, please.

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    Mexican Punitive Action? A little help, please.

    Late last year, a good friend and retired Army aviator brought me this 1915 Springfield Armory. I'd seen it years before while purchasing other guns from him, but he wasn't ready to sell this one at the time. It was the first M1911 he'd ever purchased...and ended up being the last he sold from his collection.

    I had remembered that the gun was believed to have been used during the Mexican Punitive Expedition in 1916-1917, but didn't remember the specifics. So my friend, Paul, emailed me this memo with the details after I acquired the rig.


    The gun is all original. That was the easy part for me. But while photographing the rig, I noticed the M1912 holster was marked on the back "C.H. Hecker (over) O.R.C.".


    I was able to determine the "O.R.C." stood for Officers' Reserve Corps.

    That led me to do some online research, and I eventually found this reference, showing 1st LT. C.H. Hecker, M.R.C. being attached to a Cavalry unit at Ft. bliss, TX in 1916.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=-l...0corps&f=false

    Well, showing LT. Hecker as being attached "sanitary" with the "M.R.C." (Medical Reserve Corps) confirms he was a doctor. So far, so good.

    I did more reading about the Mexican Expedition online, and know we did incur losses throughout the campaign. There are several listings of killed and wounded. And during the Battle of Carrizal, on 21 June, 1916, we had 24 10th Cav. troopers captured.

    It makes sense to me that a doctor may have been killed or captured while attending to wounded on the battlefield. In fact, I have another 1914 SA with verified proof that the doctor to whom it was issued was KIA in France, 1918, while treating wounded on the battlefield.

    Now, this is where I need a little help. I know some of you fellows are quite proficient at turning up information on persons with just a name, rank and some basic information. I hope I've found enough already to get things rolling. In the past, I showed an O.S.S. M1903 that was purchased in China right after WWII by a USMC Major, and some of you provided all kinds of information about him. That information came from various sources online, but I don't remember where. I don't know, it may have been Ancestry.com or some such site. Not sure.

    And finally, here is the pistol rig.




    I do appreciate any additional information about LT. Hecker you may be able to provide. I realize there is no way to prove anything at this late date, but the story with the gun dates all the way back to 1946 or 1947. Hecker was assigned in the area. So? Hopefully, we'll learn more about him and how this rig may have ended up in Chihuahua, Mexico. Thanks.

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    Most Excellent addition to your collection.
    Thanks for sharing.
    I hope you find the information your looking for.
    ei8ht of 9ine
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    Scott, would there be any information on him archived at Ft. Bliss?
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    Quote Originally Posted by smutt View Post
    Scott, would there be any information on him archived at Ft. Bliss?
    I'm not sure. I suppose that could be an option. Thanks.
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    Good Luck on your search and that is one fine looking 1911 rig.
    Congrats !!


    Chuck
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    So far, a member has provided some good info on Lt. Hecker. He was a doctor in St. Louis before joining up in 1916 and transferring down to Ft. Sam Houston, before being attached at Ft. Bliss. Found a few other hits online about positions he held as a doctor before joining the Army. Still searching for more. Thanks.
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    Somewhere in DOD land, there should be a list of all the killed and mia. There may be a museum and a list at Ft. Bliss. Since 9/11, the general public does not enjoy the same access to many forts and bases as before. There may be a historian at Fort Bliss who could be reached by phone.

    There is a potential problem with the Fort Bliss angle. United States forces were deployed all along the southern border during the Mexican Revolution to prevent "incursions." Border area revolutionary battles took place primarily in Chihuahua, Sonora and Coahuila. Fort Bliss at El Paso lies right in the geographic center and was the primary staging area for the Pancho Villa Expedition. There were three major revolutionary battles in Juarez Chihuahua across the border from Fort Bliss.

    Carrizal is not that far from Juarez in the Municipio (county seat like political subdivision) of Villa Ahumada. My information is the cavalry soldiers captured at Carrizal were elements of the 10th Cav (Buffalo Soldiers). The 14th Cav (Buffalo Soldiers) were stationed at Fort Clark. Not sure where the 10th Cav was garrisoned prior to the Villa Expedition.

    A medical reservist called up could have been assigned to any unit from anywhere at Pershing's Fort Bliss HQ. Regular units were already re-deployed to border surveillance during the Revolution. Other regular units were later re-deployed for the Expedition. Reservists of all varieties were called up for the expedition. The point is a temporary assignment to Fort Bliss of a reservist can be misleading as to where the records may be found.

    General Villa had extensive knowledge of Durango, Chihuahua and Sonora as well as points further to the south. He was surrounded by Carranza to the east, Obregon to the west and Pershing to the north. He was never captured. He was assasinated three years after the official end of the Revolution as his popularity with the ordinary people was considered a threat by the new elitist government who replaced the pre-revolution elitist government.

    Surely, the pistol was a battlefied pick up in Chihuahua. It could have been lost when a position was over taken or the medic may have perished in the performance of his duty.

    While Carranza gave Washington the green light to come in to get Villa; Carranza ended up fighting Pershing's forces prior to the end of the expedition. While this fighting was Carranza's idea to gain popularity with the people of the Republic: it was not enough. President Carranza later fled the Capital and was assasinated on the run and in hiding in the northeast far from DF. The lost pistol could have gone missing during the portion of the Carranza vs Pershing fighting after the capture Villa effort was considered a failure in private.

    I might reach out to my U S Congressman. His staff will have faster access to data if the boss authorizes staff to proceed on your behalf.

    ETA: I see you received additional information during my typing.

    Note: Lt. George Patton was credited with taking three of Villa's men out of the fighting with his SA revolvers.
    Last edited by EXFI; 01-09-2017 at 08:03 PM.

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    Best places to start are the post museums at FT Bliss, FT Huachuca (10th Cav) and FT Sam Houston. Good people there who will be able to access records and advise on where to look for more info. Post museums are accessible to civilians and researchers. You should be able to access his army records on-line also. Obituaries are good, too.
    Bob
    Last edited by OIF2; 01-09-2017 at 07:58 PM.
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    Good luck in your search. Do you know the meaning of the proof mark on the right side of the slide?
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    Thanks, guys. I really do appreciate the help. This rig just has history written all over it, one way or another. I did search my SRS database back when I first started looking, but no hits there on the serial number.

    I agree, having access to the local records may provide the most pertinent information available. I realize everything that happened doesn't show up in the records. But by having a name, general location and a pistol serial number, it at least is a good start.

    Edit: Same forum member just sent me a lot more info, including full name, SSN, death and military burial record, etc. Thanks. You guys are great!
    Last edited by Scott Gahimer; 01-09-2017 at 09:05 PM.
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