WWII Camp Ritchie Colt Detective Special .38 Spl Revolver, 1942/1944 C&R

Sold for $5575.47

The Detective Special had been very popular with law enforcement and civilians who carry a concealed revolver as it allowed for a six-shot revolver in the same frame size as other revolvers which only offered a five-round capacity. This example is a little more interesting, having been shipped to Camp Ritchie during WWII.

Camp Ritchie was the site of the Military Intelligence Training Center (MITC) which began in 1942 to train approximately 19,600 troops in intelligence operations including some 15,000 who would go on to perform front line tasks related to interrogation, battlefield intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other clandestine work, mostly in the European theater. Referred to as the “Ritchie Boys”, about 14% of these operatives had fled from Germany and Austria due to their Jewish heritage. The primary characteristic sought for these troops was the ability to speak both English and another language such as German, Italian, French or others which would be useful for their intended role. Post-war studies would find that nearly 60% of credible intelligence gathered in Europe came from the Ritchie Boys.

It’s not clear whether this example stayed stateside or went overseas, but it was delivered just a few months before the D-Day invasion, during and after which many Camp Ritchie trained operatives entered Europe. For collectors of WWII military and clandestine weapons, this is a wonderful and well documented find