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Found 2 papered Lugers.... Which one should I buy?

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As to the Luger owned by a PTO soldier, you want to remember that a large number of men moved from Europe to the the Pacific for the invasion of Japan. He could easily have brought it with him from Europe......or he may have acquired it from another soldier who came from the ETO. I assume that there is some indication of his unit on the capture paper and a little research on where they served might answer that.

 

I was thinking perhaps the PTO Luger was sent to China between the world wars....China purchased many weapons from Germany until Japan signed the non-comintern with them (Germany).....Bodes

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I want to thank everyone for their opinions on the Lugers. I decided to go with the S/42 and bought it this morning. The main reason was the condition and being matching. Secondary was capture document of the soldier who brought it back. I thought it was real interesting that he was from the 1051 Engineer Port and Repair Group. I am posting more pictures of the gun.

 

 

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Now the search for info on the vet begins. I found the DI for his outfit the 1051 Engineer Port and Repair Group. It must be rare because its not cheap!

 

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Some interesting info on the 1051st:

The 1051st, 1052nd, 1053rd and 1054th Engineers, Port Construction & Repair Battalions were organized and constituted at Fort Joseph Screven, Georgia over the years of 1941-1943.

The 1051st served in the Mediterranean/Europe. Their sole purpose was port restoration. During the very early days of World War II, the Military recognized the need for specialized Engineer outfits that could repair damaged harbors so that large ships could dock and unload their much needed supplies. So in the spring of 1943 the U.S. Army Port Construction and Repair Groups were formed. Each group consisted of 255 enlisted men and 17 officers. Most of the men were already professionals in their line of work, but there was also a need for Salvage Divers and there was not many of these to be found. The Divers would have to be trained.

The first Army Divers were trained by the U.S. Navy at Pier 88, on the North River in New York City beside the berth where the former liner “Normandy” was laying on her side after burning and sinking. The school later moved to the New York Naval Shipyard in Bayonne, New Jersey.
The strenuous training took 14 weeks and consisted of underwater welding and burning, rigging, the use of pneumatic tools, and various other skills that would be invaluable to them in the months to come.

Upon graduation from the Navy School of Diving and Salvage as Navy certified Second Class Divers, these Army Divers were sent to Fort Screven, Ga. in 1943 where they established and operated the U.S. Army Engineers Diving and Salvage School under the command of A.L. Mercer, Capt. C.E.

The curriculum at this school was patterned after the Navy school but stressed underwater welding, burning, rigging, and added the underwater use of explosives for demolition.
There were 16 Divers assigned to each of the following units:

1051 Engineer Port Construction and Repair Group
1052 Engineer Port Construction and Repair Group
1053 Engineer Port Construction and Repair Group
1054 Engineer Port Construction and Repair Group
1055 Engineer Port Construction and Repair Group
1056 Engineer Port Construction and Repair Group
1057 Engineer Port Construction and Repair Group
1058 Engineer Port Construction and Repair Group
1059 Engineer Port Construction and Repair Group
1060 Engineer Port Construction and Repair Group
1061 Engineer Port Construction and Repair Group


Link to how they helped restore a severely damaged port in Italy:

https://www.usace.army.mil/About/History/Historical-Vignettes/Civil-Engineering/067-Italian-Port/

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Congratulations on your purchase.....Your pistol however is not an S/42 but rather a 42 code.....An S/42 would be the more scarce and desirable...The 42 code is a common Mauser code....Still a nice pistol, matching magazine being a bonus....Bodes

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Congratulations on your purchase.....Your pistol however is not an S/42 but rather a 42 code.....An S/42 would be the more scarce and desirable...The 42 code is a common Mauser code....Still a nice pistol, matching magazine being a bonus....Bodes

 

Thanks for the info Bodes. I guess that explains the price. The shop has over 800 Lugers for sale there were many were in the $3500 + range. I just checked his inventory of S/42's and most were $1500+ more than mine. I'm still happy with it. I'm not a Luger collector I'm a paper collector. Now I have a nice matching example!! :D

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One other point to make re: "Capture Papers". A lesson that I learned from the ETO vet (an officer whose P.08 "Luger" pistol had PTO capture papers) is that the unit shown on the capture papers is NOT necessarily the unit the soldier spent his wartime service with. In the post-war period when troops were being rotated back to the US on the "points" system (both from ETO and PTO), "high points" qualified men were often transferred out of their wartime units into other units that were coming home more quickly. Plus, if a solder stayed in theater long enough post-war, many of the original units were being demobilized with their troops spread out among other occupation units.

 

War trophy retention papers were typically filled out as part of the soldier being processed back home to the US (note the mid- to late 1945 or early 1946 dates so often seen on capture papers). As such, in many cases the war trophy retention paperwork was filled out by whatever unit the solder happened to be assigned to at the time he was preparing to ship back home for discharge. So, when researching soldiers based solely on the unit listed on the capture papers for his war trophy, you can not simply assume that the soldier had been with that same unit during hostilities.

 

I've seen a similar issues with other soldiers . . . years ago I bought some German daggers and a flag from a WWII vet's widow. She also had a unit history book (for the "Cactus Division" - I forget which division # it was). She told me that her husband had NOT been with the Cactus Division during the war; it was the unit he was transferred into, post-hostilities, for shipment home. That unit, however, was publishing its history book at the time so he bought a copy because it contained photos, narratives, etc. that depicted actions similar to what he had encountered in combat in his old wartime unit. The widow wanted to keep the Cactus Division unit history book so I did not get it. The widow is long since deceased, but I suspect that surviving family members simply assume that the soldier served in the "Cactus Division" just because that theater-published unit history book was among his war souvenir items.

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One other point to make re: "Capture Papers". A lesson that I learned from the ETO vet (an officer whose P.08 "Luger" pistol had PTO capture papers) is that the unit shown on the capture papers is NOT necessarily the unit the soldier spent his wartime service with. In the post-war period when troops were being rotated back to the US on the "points" system (both from ETO and PTO), "high points" qualified men were often transferred out of their wartime units into other units that were coming home more quickly. Plus, if a solder stayed in theater long enough post-war, many of the original units were being demobilized with their troops spread out among other occupation units.

 

War trophy retention papers were typically filled out as part of the soldier being processed back home to the US (note the mid- to late 1945 or early 1946 dates so often seen on capture papers). As such, in many cases the war trophy retention paperwork was filled out by whatever unit the solder happened to be assigned to at the time he was preparing to ship back home for discharge. So, when researching soldiers based solely on the unit listed on the capture papers for his war trophy, you can not simply assume that the soldier had been with that same unit during hostilities.

 

I've seen a similar issues with other soldiers . . . years ago I bought some German daggers and a flag from a WWII vet's widow. She also had a unit history book (for the "Cactus Division" - I forget which division # it was). She told me that her husband had NOT been with the Cactus Division during the war; it was the unit he was transferred into, post-hostilities, for shipment home. That unit, however, was publishing its history book at the time so he bought a copy because it contained photos, narratives, etc. that depicted actions similar to what he had encountered in combat in his old wartime unit. The widow wanted to keep the Cactus Division unit history book so I did not get it. The widow is long since deceased, but I suspect that surviving family members simply assume that the soldier served in the "Cactus Division" just because that theater-published unit history book was among his war souvenir items.

 

MS Collector what you are saying is true. I guess I've been lucky with some of my vets that I have been able to do research on. Their paperwork was signed from an officer of their unit. For instance, PFC Francis V. Muszynski bring back paperwork was signed by his Captain in the Cannon Company 63rd infantry. I was able to get his service records and they matched. At least 3 more of my bring backs the signing officer matched their unit. I guess the closer after the end of the war the better chance the paper work will match their outfit. Yes, you are definitely correct that guys were transferred out of their original units during demobilization. So paper work signed in 46 may not match their original unit. I am working on getting a roster of the 1015st so that will be definitive proof he was a member.

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I forgot to mention my bring back Walter PP has 2 set of bring back paperwork two months apart signed by officers from different units so more proof of your statements.

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I contacted the US Army Corps of Engineers and they sent me information on 1051st. M/SGT Vaillancourt is listed on the roster.

 

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I had a very interesting set of capture papers for some German items sent back well before the end of the war. In that case the papers were for a dress bayonet and other small items, no firearms. The man was later killed in December 1944 at the Battle of the Bulge. Those papers were a singular set and basically written - by hand - on blank paper. Had the mans unit info and his CO signature and all that too, like the later standardized ones did.

 

But they were like no other capture papers I have seen before or since.

 

They were for souvenirs he sent home well before he was killed, and probably well before the ETO command for a good handle on a standard way of handing such things.

 

So there are some definite variations in paperwork.

 

Anyone ever seen capture papers filed in someones service records??


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I saw a lady who posted on an Engineer site looking for info on her grandfather who was a member of the 1051st and died on duty. I was able to contact her and share the history of the unit. For the first time, she was able to find out what his assignment was which was very interesting to her. She was grateful for the info and thanked me. I was happy to do it. I was also able to get a hold of a man whose father was a captain in the outfit. He shared a group photo. Unfortunately, the only one identified was his father. It looks like a group of officers so my guy being a master sergeant, is probably not in the photo.

 

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Brown plastic grips= awesome!


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