SOLD FOR: $6026
LSB#: 230331DC012, 230331DC013, 230331DC014, 230331DC015
Model: WWI Commemorative Series 1911 Set, DC012: 2nd Battle of the Marne, DC013: Château Thierry, DC014: Belleau Wood, DC015: Meuse Argonne
Serial Number: DC012: 4742-M2, DC013: 2849-CT, DC014: 2027-BW, DC015: 7500-MA
Year of Manufacture: Chateau Thierry: 1967, Belleau Wood & Second Battle of the Marne: 1968, Meuse Argonne: 1969.
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Automatic Pistols with Removable Magazines. Please note, only the Chateau Thierry pistol comes with a magazine and the rest do not.
Markings: The right side of each of the slides is marked with a banner reading “1917 / WORLD WAR I COMMEMORATIVE / 1967” and “COLT’S PT.F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A.”. The chamber on each pistol is marked “COLT .45 AUTO” and also has a “VP” proof. The right side of each of the frames with the serial number. The underside of each slide is matched and marked “1411”.
The left side of the Chateau Thierry slide is engraved with a battle scene of a machine gun crew with a town in the background and at the rear with the Rampant Colt logo.
The left side of the Second Battle of the Marne slide is engraved with a scene involving American soldiers firing at German soldiers across a river and at the rear with the Rampant Colt logo.
The left side of the Belleau Wood slide is engraved with a battle scene in the woods and at the rear with the Rampant Colt logo.
The left side of the Meuse Argonne slide is engraved with a scene of American soldiers attacking Germans barricaded behind pill boxes and at the rear with the Rampant Colt logo.
Barrel Length: Each barrel is 5.”
Sights / Optics: The pistols all have the same sight configuration. The front sight is a short blade with a ramped serrated rear face fixed to the slide. The rear sight is a square notched sight dovetailed into the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The left grip panel on each pistol has a medallion of an American eagle marked “1917*1918 / WORLD WAR”. The right grip panel on each is marked with a medallion of an American soldier, and marked “U.S.A. / THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILIZATION” and with the names of our allies. The left grip panel on each also has a metal plaque marked with the particular battle the pistol commemorates.
The Chateau Thierry grips are checkered double diamond select American Walnut. There are light handling marks and the right panel has some faint white discoloration on the upper right corner. The checkering is sharp. The grips rate in about Fine-Excellent condition.
The Second Battle of the Marne grips are smooth French Holly. There are light handling marks and storage marks, no major defects. The grips rate in about Fine-Excellent condition.
The Belleau Wood grips are smooth wood, they appear to be rosewood. The right panel shows some scuffs and draglines, and also a few small compressions, mainly near the top edge. There are no chips or cracks. The grips rate in about Fine condition.
The Meuse Argonne grips are smooth Crotch Walnut. There are some notable compressions and light scuffs the top and bottom of the right panel. There are no chips or cracks. The grips rate in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: All of the pistols have a Blued finish.
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: Each bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion. All bores rate 10/10 in this writer’s opinion.
Overall Condition: The Chateau Thierry pistol retains about 98% of its metal finish. There are only faint handling and storage marks. There is some light operational wear. The markings are clear and the screw heads are sharp. The pistol rates in about Excellent condition.
The Second Battle of the Marne pistol retains about 98% of its metal finish. There are a few scattered light handling marks. The slide stop, safety, and grip safety have taken an ever so slight plum hue. There is faint operational wear. The markings are clear and the screw heads are sharp. The pistol rates in about Fine-Excellent condition.
The Belleau Wood pistol retains about 97% of its metal finish. There are some tiny nicks and scratches on the rear half of the slide, behind the ejection port. The markings are clear. The screw heads are sharp. The pistol rates in about Fine-Plus condition.
The Meuse Argonne pistol retains about 98% of its metal finish. There is a tiny freckle of loss and some faint marks on the front strap. The markings are clear. The screw heads are sharp. The pistol rates in about Fine-Excellent condition.
Mechanics: Each action functions correctly. These pistols have manual and grip safeties. We have not fired these pistols. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is one 7-round magazine (one for the Chateau Thierry pistol) and four presentation cases.
Our Assessment: The best of man can only be seen in the worst of circumstances. This gorgeous 1911 pistol set commemorates the Second Battle of the Marne operations that signaled the end of a long string of German victories. The Germans had pushed forward and reached the north bank of the Marne River at Chateau-Thierry, a mere 59 miles from Paris, in May 1918. June 1, 1918 would see the beginning of the Battle of Belleau Woods, where Allied and German forces would fight back and forth over wheatfields, forests, and trenches for the next several weeks. The Germans would attempt to split the Allied forces in two with a great bombardment and assault on the Allied forces on July 15, 1918, only to be bombarded and entrapped themselves. On July 18, 1918, a combined force of French and American soldiers launched a counteroffensive on the front between Fontenoy and Chateau-Thierry, now known as the Battle of Chateau-Thierry. This was one of the first operations the American Expeditionary Forces under General John Pershing undertook, and what could have been a disaster for new soldiers on the front actually started a string of forward pushes that was a turning point in a years-long war.
The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, a 47-day operation fought between Allied and Central Powers that concluded the Allied forces’ Hundred Days Offensive and ultimately led to the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. This was, and still is, the largest military offensive operation undertaken by the United States, with over one million American soldiers fighting, but it was also the deadliest battle in American history. Individuals like John “Black Jack” Pershing, Medal of Honor recipient Alvin York, and George S. Patton all earned glory and notoriety during this operation.
The Battle of Belleau Wood occurred during the German spring offensive in World War I, near the Marne River in France. The battle was fought between the U.S. 2nd and 3rd Divisions along with French and British forces against an assortment of German units including elements from the 237th, 10th, 197th, 87th, and 28th Divisions. German commanders ordered an advance on Marigny and Lucy through Belleau Wood as part of a major offensive, in which other German troops would cross the Marne River. The commander of the Marine Brigade, Army General James Harbord, countermanding a French order to dig trenches further to the rear, ordered the Marines to “hold where they stand”. With bayonets, the Marines dug shallow fighting positions from which they could shoot from the prone position. In the afternoon of 3 June, German infantry attacked the Marine positions through the grain fields with bayonets fixed. The Marines waited until the Germans were within 100 yd before opening deadly rifle fire which mowed down waves of German infantry and forced the survivors to retreat into the woods. The battle has become a key component in the lore of the United States Marine Corps.
These are beautiful Colt Government Model 1911’s with a high luster blued finish and gold-filled engraving. The pistols also have custom grips with WWI medallions and the name of the battle the pistol commemorates. This series from Colt commemorates the four major battles our soldiers fought in World War I, the “War To End All Wars”. This is an amazing tribute to the contribution America has made to keep the world free. It usually takes the dedicated collector a bit of time and patience to piece this series together. This is a great opportunity for the Colt fan and history buffs to pick up a nice set. Please see our pistols and good luck!