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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over this past weekend, I attended the annual Colt Collectors Association show in St. Charles, Mo. One of the auction highlights was this Aircrewman which is lettered and has other documentation. I was fortunate enough to win the high bid at auction and become it's new caretaker. I have been on the hunt for one for years. These guns are very interesting as is the history behind them. I am actively looking for an original USAF marked black issued holster if you happen to have one laying around. I also want to say that the CCA show was great. It was the first one that I have been able to attend. I really enjoyed sharing information and stories with everyone there. It was nice to put a face to the names of some of you guys here. If you haven't attended a show, I'd strongly recommend you do. I have some pictures that I want to share and a link to information that I found courtesy of Kevin Williams.
Aircrewman Revolvers
 

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The Consummate Collector
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Andy

Great to finally meet you at the show and congratulations on your terrific purchase. The CCA Show offers guns that you will not see anywhere else and there are always lots of opportunities to add one of these fine Colts to a collection.
 

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A really great find. Beautiful.

Had a now deceased friend and veteran that had an interesting take on the Colt Aircrewman. Take an airplane weighing 185,000 pounds that could carry 70,000 pounds of bombs, and design a handgun for it to save 5 ounces.
 

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A really great find. Beautiful.

Had a now deceased friend and veteran that had an interesting take on the Colt Aircrewman. Take an airplane weighing 185,000 pounds that could carry 70,000 pounds of bombs, and design a handgun for it to save 5 ounces.
Perhaps the weight thing was a consideration if they had to ditch.
 

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He wasn't seriously puzzled. You would just had to have known him.

Talked to a veteran than flew out of the Aleutians during WWII. Took his issue Colt 1911A1 on the first mission, and left it in the barracks after that. He said he quickly figured out that it was useless should they have to ditch, and would only serve to make him sink quicker.
 

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I have a holster if I can find it. There is a box of missing holsters somewhere on the premises.
 

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I hope Andy doesn't mind if I offer a few comments:

1. A.F.No. 1 was removed from the butt of this gun before it was given to Ditmars. There is another Aircrewman (SN 4903-LW) that was given to Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg when he was CoS of the Air Force. This is purely speculation but I suspect that A.F.No. 1 was stamped on the gun they gave to Vandenberg and since this gun (SN 3473-LW) was still in Colt's possession at the time they removed the issue number so there wouldn't be two of them in the world. I don't know why they didn't just give Vandenberg this gun but perhaps it had condition issues or some other defect. Vandenberg's gun has his name inscribed on the front strap (see below).

2. The correct holster would be a cordovan shoulder holster supplied by Evaluators LTD, not the black Murrey holster that accompanied S&W Aircrewman revolvers.

3. Ejection seat technology was coming on line when the Aircrewman revolver was developed. The weight savings is significant when it is in a fairly loose holster close to your face and you are suddenly experiencing upwards of 15Gs.

Regards,
Kevin Williams
A.F.NO. 1 (2).jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Andy

Great to finally meet you at the show and congratulations on your terrific purchase. The CCA Show offers guns that you will not see anywhere else and there are always lots of opportunities to add one of these fine Colts to a collection.
Thanks Cam, it was also a pleasure to finally meet you. I look forward to next years show!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I hope Andy doesn't mind if I offer a few comments:

1. A.F.No. 1 was removed from the butt of this gun before it was given to Ditmars. There is another Aircrewman (SN 4903-LW) that was given to Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg when he was CoS of the Air Force. This is purely speculation but I suspect that A.F.No. 1 was stamped on the gun they gave to Vandenberg and since this gun (SN 3473-LW) was still in Colt's possession at the time they removed the issue number so there wouldn't be two of them in the world. I don't know why they didn't just give Vandenberg this gun but perhaps it had condition issues or some other defect. Vandenberg's gun has his name inscribed on the front strap (see below).

2. The correct holster would be a cordovan shoulder holster supplied by Evaluators LTD, not the black Murrey holster that accompanied S&W Aircrewman revolvers.

3. Ejection seat technology was coming on line when the Aircrewman revolver was developed. The weight savings is significant when it is in a fairly loose holster close to your face and you are suddenly experiencing upwards of 15Gs.

Regards,
Kevin Williams
View attachment 405025
Thank you very much for the input, I hope you don't mind that I linked a post I found of yours
 

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Quote from Kevin Williams:
"3. Ejection seat technology was coming on line when the Aircrewman revolver was developed.
The weight savings is significant when it is in a fairly loose holster close to your face and you are
suddenly experiencing upwards of 15Gs."

Thanks for the explanation. Like others, I always wondered why this revolver was designed to
save just a few ounces of weight. Now, it makes sense.

To the OP -- congrats!! That was the buy of a lifetime!
 
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