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Re: Information about my TD

Posted by John on Thursday, 28 April 2011, at 11:25 p.m., in response to Re: Information about my TD, posted by Dick Hosmer on Thursday, 28 April 2011, at 2:17 p.m.

Frank Mallory's passin was finding serial numbers, and he was expert at it, and spent an unbelievable amount of time working at it, over something like 25+ years in the Archives. He, and a number of other highly dedicated researchers interested in U.S. martial arms would often help each other when they found items someone else was more interested in, thus multiplying the volumes of records which have been combed for numbers.

The old SRS Newsletters contained copies of many of the different types of documents in which numbers were found, ranging from letters reporting some transfer or defect or problem, or supply documents, or Springfield Armory reports, or some Span Am War volunteer regiment's company notebook which listed each soldier by name, and all the gear they were issued, and when it was returned, etc.

However, "records retention" policies have pretty consistently directed that when records were no longer needed they should be trashed, not stored away. Remember, warehouses cost money, and during the depression nearly all the Pedersen devices were destroyed as being obsolete and not worth the continued cost of storage.

It is often by mere chance, or failure to thoroughly dispose of "unnecessary" records that some ended up in the Archives.

It would be interesting to see if Jeff could find a single piece of paper related to any weapon he was ever issued during his service. My guess is that every one of those has been trashed by now, and unless he is a very recent retiree, all the weapons have been scrapped, given to "allies" or sold off.

In my opinion finding even a single small piece of documentation on a U.S. military weapon which you own is a near miracle, and adds greatly to its enjoyment, and also to the value. Some, like the trapdoor that never got further south than Tampa are merely interesting, but others like the Lee-Navy from the USS Maine, or the Colt Artillery Model issued to one of Roosevelt's "Rough Riders" get quite a bit of added value from the documented usage. (All these were discovered at gun shows, and the owner unaware of any history about them!)

The SRS data is a potential gold mine, and I just wish it were more easily accessible, but the present owner has set his own policies for access.


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