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Actions that make heroes(OR) ^ | 8 August, 2011 | Paul Fattig

Posted on 08/10/2011 5:44:01 AM PDT by marktwain

A historic Colt .45-caliber, semi-automatic pistol stolen more than 30 years ago from a Medal of Honor winner in South Carolina has been returned to its rightful owner.

The gun and owner were reunited after a history buff in Medford, who bought the old handgun in an online auction last month, tracked down the retired Marine whose name is engraved on it.

Marine John J. McGinty's brave act on March 12, 1968

"I knew if I found him and it was his gun, I couldn't keep it," said George Berry, 71, who knew little about the history of the gun when he purchased it from an auction house in Pennsylvania.

The story begins when Berry, a retired Navy warrant officer who also served in the Marine Corps, decided this summer to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning one of the historic handguns.

"I've always wanted to own a Colt Model 1911 .45 automatic — always wanted one," he says. "John Wayne had one in every World War II movie I've ever seen him in."

Early in July, he began searching the Internet and discovered that Alderfer Auction, a well-known auction firm in Hatfield, Pa., would be offering three of the Colt .45s in a July 12 auction.

In particular, lot No. 78 caught his eye: "Colt 1911 A1 semi-automatic pistol. Cal. 45. 5" bbl. SN 0103889. Reblued finish on all metal, plain walnut Colt grips, after-market rear sight, no magazine," the description read.

"Faint 'USMC' stamped on right side of slide, partial 'United States Property' wording is visible," it continued. "The name 'John J. McGinty USMC' stamped on left side of slide. Very good."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Oregon
KEYWORDS: banglist; gun; medalofhonor; or
Feel good story of the day.
1 posted on 08/10/2011 5:44:05 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

I’ll have to return and read this one again later. I think I might have missed parts of it because I seem to have gotten something in my eyes...

2 posted on 08/10/2011 6:06:01 AM PDT by WayneS (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: marktwain

Nice story, thanks for sharing it.

3 posted on 08/10/2011 6:22:16 AM PDT by NowApproachingMidnight (purple durple lips)
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To: marktwain

I have passed this on to my family as we were former residents of Beaufort, SC, although we did not know this gentleman. I APPLAUD this generous action and would indeed love to see more stories like this!

4 posted on 08/10/2011 6:22:37 AM PDT by SES1066 (1776 to 2011, 235 years and counting in the GRAND EXPERIMENT!)
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To: marktwain

First story up on my screen this morning and a good one to start with.

5 posted on 08/10/2011 6:57:18 AM PDT by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: marktwain; stephenjohnbanker; NFHale; sickoflibs; hiredhand; Squantos; Eaker

*All* is not lost yet...

6 posted on 08/10/2011 7:47:08 AM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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To: marktwain

Thanks for posting this great story. Glad there are still a few uplifting ones to read.

We are all brothers in arms.

7 posted on 08/10/2011 8:13:00 AM PDT by wizr (Keep the Faith! Even when it gets tough! Nothing else will do.)
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To: marktwain
God bless George Berry for returning this weapon to Marine John J. McGinty, MOH recipient.


Rank: Staff Sergeant
Organization: U.S. Marine Corps
Company: Company K, 3d Battalion
Division: 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division
Born: 21 January 1940, Boston, Mass.
Departed: No
Entered Service At: Laurel Bay, S.C.
G.O. Number:
Date of Issue: 03/12/1968
Accredited To: Laurel Bay, SC
Place / Date: Republic of Vietnam, 18 July 1966


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 2d Lt. McGinty's platoon, which was providing rear security to protect the withdrawal of the battalion from a position which had been under attack for 3 days, came under heavy small arms, automatic weapons and mortar fire from an estimated enemy regiment. With each successive human wave which assaulted his 32-man platoon during the 4-hour battle, 2d Lt. McGinty rallied his men to beat off the enemy. In 1 bitter assault, 2 of the squads became separated from the remainder of the platoon. With complete disregard for his safety, 2d Lt. McGinty charged through intense automatic weapons and mortar fire to their position. Finding 20 men wounded and the medical corpsman killed, he quickly reloaded ammunition magazines and weapons for the wounded men and directed their fire upon the enemy. Although he was painfully wounded as he moved to care for the disabled men, he continued to shout encouragement to his troops and to direct their fire so effectively that the attacking hordes were beaten off. When the enemy tried to out-flank his position, he killed 5 of them at point-blank range with his pistol. When they again seemed on the verge of overrunning the small force, he skillfully adjusted artillery and air strikes within 50 yards of his position. This destructive firepower routed the enemy, who left an estimated 500 bodies on the battlefield. 2d Lt. McGinty's personal heroism, indomitable leadership, selfless devotion to duty, and bold fighting spirit inspired his men to resist the repeated attacks by a fanatical enemy, reflected great credit upon himself, and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.

8 posted on 08/10/2011 8:22:24 AM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: Gilbo_3


9 posted on 08/10/2011 1:21:23 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: jazusamo

Thanks for that info jaz...

10 posted on 08/10/2011 1:53:33 PM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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To: marktwain

Wow...thanks for posting that.

11 posted on 08/10/2011 2:04:23 PM PDT by GenXteacher (He that hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart!)
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