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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This one came home with my father who served as a B-24 tail gunner in the 15th Air Force in southern Italy. Dad said that he preferred the tail gunner spot since he couldn't see the flack they were flying into! He flew 22 missions with the "Cottontails" and was staging in NE to go to the Japanese theater when the war ended. Its a Beretta model 1934. .380 cal ("9 corto") with Italian army acceptance markings "RE" on the beavertail.

Who else has interesting WWII bring back guns? Each one has a story connected to a veteran...

Beretta 1934.jpg
 

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This one came home with my father who served as a B-24 tail gunner in the 15th Air Force in southern Italy. Dad said that he preferred the tail gunner spot since he couldn't see the flack they were flying into! He flew 22 missions with the "Cottontails" and was staging in TX to go to the Japanese theater when the war ended. Its a Beretta model 1934.
.380 cal ("9 corto") with Italian army acceptance markings "RE" on the beavertail.

Who else has interesting WWII bring back guns? Each one has a story connected to a veteran...

View attachment 726749
A nice family treasure! Thanks for showing.
 

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Hi thanks for sharing.... I have the 1935 which is 32cal. These little berettas are so well made and tight its crazy....they feel like that melt into you're hand and the finishing work is awesome. Your gun is wonderful thanks for sharing...what a brave man your father was to think young men did such thing compared to what is going on today boggles the mind. thank you for sharing. Just Purchased another
726760
Radom VIS should have it in a few days.
 

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Nice one! And the Italian army stamp creates several possibilities how a 15th AF member could have gotten it. By that time the Italian forces had first been disarmed by the occupying Germans after Mussolini's fall, and then surrendered to the Allies. Both captured German and Italian officers and soldiers could have turned these in. Besides, the economic situation was dire, and enterprising US personnel could likely trade American food and cigarettes for pretty much anything from civilians on the black market. ;)
 

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My dad also served with the 15th AF on a B-24 and was stationed at San Giovanni. He wasn't a gun guy and didn't bring home any souvenirs. He did say that they traded cigarettes to the local farmers for real eggs. Otherwise, breakfast was usually powdered eggs, Spam or S.O.S.

Those are a couple of good looking Berettas. I have had one on my list for a while, but it seems all the ones that I see at gun shows are rough finished, late war examples and I'd like something earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here's another Beretta 1934. This one is a "blank slide" version. After the fall of Mussolini and the fascists in May 1943, Beretta still had military contracts but didn't want to mark their guns with the previous fascist markings. Look at the first photo above and note the "XIV" after the manufacturing date (1936). Year one of the fascist calendar was 1923 and all military contract guns had to be marked according to the fascist calendar. From May until September 1943 and the dissolution of the Italian armed forces, Beretta simply put no markings on the slide except for serial number and caliber ("9 cal.") on the right side. This one wears the Italian Air Force acceptance "crown & eagle" mark, but not "RA". Wish it could talk...


Beretta 1934 Blank Slide.jpg
 

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As to WW II bring backs, here is a Mauser M1910 my brother brought back. He served with the Eighth Air Force in England and a brief period with the Ninth AF on occupation duty. Never got a straight story from him about his acquisition:



This pistol, in .25 ACP, was the first handgun I ever shot. At my brother's death my nephew acquired it, than before his death he gave the gun to me.

Bob Wright
 

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A beautiful War souvenir and the original box is the icing on the cake. Thanks for showing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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My Dad a 15th USAAF vet Naples,Italy sent me a Steyr M-95 in 1944 which was my play gun for a few years. It arrived with the bolt uncocked and none of the few remaining local men knew why the bolt didn't fit. Still have it. I noted the mention of S.O.S. as I remember he called that " Sh*** on a shingle" aka: chipped beef and gravy on toast.
 
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