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Captured By Marines During The Retreat From The Yalu River


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This M-1 Thompson submachine gun was captured from the Chinese at the Chosin Reservoir and was presented to First Lt. Dill by officers of the 3rd Battalion, First Marines for his actions on 25 September, 1950. I found a note from Lt. Col. Dill in the hole behind the trap door in the butt stock. The note explained that the Marine Officers who presented him with the Thompson told Dill that his Thompson was one of the hundreds TSMG's the Marines captured from the Chinese during their retreat from the Yalu. Entire Chinese Regiments were armed with Lend Lease Thompson's and thousands more were captured from the Nationalist's during the civil war.

Lieutenant James H. Dill was the forward observer for the Seventh Division’s 31st field artillery and was the only forward observer attached to the First Marine Regiment during the battle for Seoul. On September 25, 1950 the Marines were charged by a dozen tanks and self-propelled guns of the NKPA Brigade. The Marines fired their howitzers until the tubes became so hot that they had to cease fire. The Marines asked for 155mm howitzer fire from the Army. The 31st Field Artillery Battalion responded with awesome firepower, 360 rounds along the 3rd Battalion, First Marines direct front. The fire mission destroyed remaining NKPA tanks. First Lt. Dill was the FO standing with Colonel Puller who directed the 31st Field Artillery Battalion’s fire. Dill later served as executive officer of Battery B, 31st Field Artillery during the march to the Yalu River and during the disastrous retreat to Hamhung.

Dill wrote the book "Sixteen Days at Mungol-Li" (1993) and the American Heritage Magazine article “Winter of the YaIu” (December 1982) which tells of his escape from the Yalu in 1950.

 

 

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outstanding!!!

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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The story behind Dill’s M-1 Thompson is very interesting. I bought a beat up Thompson submachine gun parts set with a group of insignia at the Allentown gun show in 2011. The dealer I bought the group from purchased everything from an estate sale in Arkansas. He was told that everything had belonged to Lt. Col. James H. Dill who had brought the gun back from Korea. He also said that Dill had cut up the receiver to make it legal when he was told the gun was illegal and no longer able to be registered. The dealer told me Dill’s medals might out there somewhere because Dills footlocker containing his uniforms and medals was also sold at the sale. He said he would email me if he turned up anything. He did email me that Dill’s medals were on EBAY. I placed a bid and won Lt. Col. Dill’s group of medals. When I received the medals there was also an engraved plaque in the box presenting a “TSMG” to First Lieutenant Dill from officers of the Third Battalion of the First Marine Regiment. When I looked at the Thompson stock there were holes where the screws had been. I also found a note from Lt. Col. Dill in the hole behind the trap door in the butt stock. I had an 80% receiver machined by Philadelphia Ordnance with all markings and serial numbers taken from the original parts of the receiver. I patinated the metal to match the original receiver, grip frame and barrel which had turned brown and showed a great deal of wear. Here is part of the three page article published by the Thompson Collectors Association Newsletter in 2014 about Lt. Col. Dill’s Thompson. Click on the picture to see a larger image.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fantastic save! Great piece and excellent sleuthing. Do you have the rest of that treasure trove in the photo! KW souvenirs are pretty uncommon. Thanks for posting it and thanks for returning it to an awesome looking souvenir. The photo of the cut receiver looks like a beautiful Hollywood actress with her front teeth missing. Great dental surgery work!

BKW

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  • 1 month later...

those thompsons could have come from 1 of 2 places-------------- when we supplied china with weapons to fight the japs or from the stock pile of 134,000 sent to Russia during ww2.

 

This M-1 Thompson submachine gun was captured from the Chinese at the Chosin Reservoir and was presented to First Lt. Dill by officers of the 3rd Battalion, First Marines for his actions on 25 September, 1950. I found a note from Lt. Col. Dill in the hole behind the trap door in the butt stock. The note explained that the Marine Officers who presented him with the Thompson told Dill that his Thompson was one of the hundreds TSMG's the Marines captured from the Chinese during their retreat from the Yalu. Entire Chinese Regiments were armed with Lend Lease Thompson's and thousands more were captured from the Nationalist's during the civil war.

Lieutenant James H. Dill was the forward observer for the Seventh Division’s 31st field artillery and was the only forward observer attached to the First Marine Regiment during the battle for Seoul. On September 25, 1950 the Marines were charged by a dozen tanks and self-propelled guns of the NKPA Brigade. The Marines fired their howitzers until the tubes became so hot that they had to cease fire. The Marines asked for 155mm howitzer fire from the Army. The 31st Field Artillery Battalion responded with awesome firepower, 360 rounds along the 3rd Battalion, First Marines direct front. The fire mission destroyed remaining NKPA tanks. First Lt. Dill was the FO standing with Colonel Puller who directed the 31st Field Artillery Battalion’s fire. Dill later served as executive officer of Battery B, 31st Field Artillery during the march to the Yalu River and during the disastrous retreat to Hamhung.

Dill wrote the book "Sixteen Days at Mungol-Li" (1993) and the American Heritage Magazine article “Winter of the YaIu” (December 1982) which tells of his escape from the Yalu in 1950.

 

 

 

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Amazing group and historic account! My uncle was in 25th Div. and turned 18 in Korea. He told me the same accounts about what they had! He also said a lot of the ammo and rations they captured were barely a year old, while the US supplies were almost all WWII surplus with '44 and '45 dates! What a story this TSMG could tell. My uncle brought back a Moison Nagant rifle!

 

Tennessee

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  • 4 weeks later...

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