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FN M-1910 W/ capture tag


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This souvenir is really just a run of the mill FN Model 1910, in good condition, with the military style holster and spare magazine. Im sure youve heard the saying, Buy the gun, not the story. Well, I heard the story long before I was able to buy the gun.

The vet showed me this pistol in 1984 when I did an informal interview with him. I told him if he ever wanted to sell it to let me know. For whatever reason, he sold it to a wheeler-dealer barber in town. Another local militaria collector in town bought it and offered it to me. It was interesting in that I had just won $200 in a radio contest and I spent most of that ($150) for this pistol, so my wife wasnt likely to give me any grief on spending the money! Also good news is that the holster and paperwork stayed with the gun.

Note the name on the tag: J. W. Hastings. Jack Hastings was a member of Anti-Tank Company, 152nd Infantry, 38th Division, Indiana National Guard when the guard was called up for one year service in 1941. As the one year turned into the duration of the war, he ended up volunteering for the new Rangers. So, we find Private Jack W. Hastings, 2nd Platoon, C Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion, in a British landing craft heading for the Normandy beach in the early hours of June 6, 1944. As he told me, he had just stepped off the ramp of the craft when a mortar round hit the LCA (Landing Craft Assault), it peppered his back with fragments, he lost his rifle and his Bangalore Torpedo. He struggled to the beach. As he looked around, he saw many of his buddies also wounded and struggling toward the beach. He went back several times helping the other wounded. He didnt really remember how many he helped. He did say he grabbed one guy and discovered he had a hole the size of his double fist through his back, he knew he was beyond help, so let him go. All the while, German machine gun fire raked the beach and hit Hastings several more times. The hit that stopped him was in the buttocks. He told me he had a very strange image in his head of him walking into the Model Clothing Store of his home town of Portland, IN, with no rump. He also told me the water was red on that beach that day. He eventually was evacuated to a hospital ship for treatment. His Paratrooper boots were stolen while on that ship and even 40 years later he was still very mad about it! As he recovered he was unable to return to the rangers, but served in some type of supply unit till the end of the war. Sometime during that time he acquired this pistol. He gave me this Ranger patch.

Oh, did I tell you he was awarded the Silver Star for his actions on D-Day! Mr. Hastings passed several years ago, but I feel blessed to have met and talked with him. I am also happy to care take some of his souvenirs. I believe his medals went to a nephew when his passed. His Silver Star was engraved with his name. I joined the same local National Guard Unit Hastings was in and he was only the second D-Day Vet I met, knowing he was a D-Day Vet. The first was a Glider Pilot!

Thanks for looking, comments welcome!

BKW

More to follow.

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Brian,That's a great piece of Hoosier history!

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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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That's a fantastic souvenir Brian, I envy you. I too think that the personal connection to the veteran makes that a true gem, especially in light of his being a D-Day Silver Star recipient. Wow!

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