Our goal is to preserve history by pairing weapons with the Heroes that made them famous. This is the third offering in our series of fine weapons and is the most exclusive to date. Only 20 Colt 1911s with serial numbers ECODDAY01-20 by Colt's Custom Shop are being offered in our 75th D-Day Anniversary design. The 75th Anniversary D-Day1911a1 was hand-signed by:
Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, veteran of D-Day, Market Garden, Battle of the Bulge and beyond. Earl was 3rd Platoon's First Scout & the first American to reach the Eagle's Nest.
Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne. Bazooka man, jumped on D-Day. Ed was heavily wounded by a mortar during the battle for Carentan on June 12, 1944, destroying his right eye and breaking both legs.
Designed by John Browning, the M1911 pistol was well-used in World War I before becoming the primary sidearm for US military forces during World War II. Of the more than two million sidearms procured by the government, at least 1.9 million were the M1911 pistol, purchased from Colt and other manufactures. For the paratroopers of D-Day, the M1911 proved a valuable commodity, especially when so many primary weapons were lost in the opening shock of jumping from a C-47 at high speed. Throughout the war, more than twenty Medal of Honors would be awarded to recipients whose heroics utilized the M1911. Your 75th Anniversary Easy Company D-Day 1911 pistol is the same design used during World War II and manufactured by Colt, the most iconic manufacturer of wartime M1911s. Whether you display it with pride or take it the range, know that you are holding a piece of American history, hand-signed by the men who made history on June 6, 1944 in Normandy, France.
For the paratroopers of Easy Company, 506th P.I.R., 101st Airborne, Operation Neptune, the invasion of Normandy, began under a half-moon at 11:13 p.m., when their C-47s began taking off from Upottery airfield in England. They were among the 13,000 paratroopers that 821 C-47 aircraft would drop over France that night. Their mission: to secure the causeways leading from the D-Day beaches, to control vital bridges, and to prevent German counterattacks. After reaching Normandy’s Cotentin Peninsula around one a.m., the C-47s carrying Easy Company were scattered by a cloudbank. In the blackout, some pilots plowed ahead, while others climbed or dove. Soon after, German anti-aircraft fire peppered the sky, resembling “10,000 Fourth of Julys.” Easy Company paratrooper Ed Tipper would recall in the book “We Who Are Alive and Remain”: “It was violent and intense, beyond what we had imagined.” For his comrade, Earl McClung, the solution was simple, “You just wanted to get out of the plane.” Some pilots slowed their planes and allowed their paratroopers to make a clean drop, whereas others panicked and increased their speed in an attempt to dodge the enemy fire. When Tipper leapt into the night, he was met by an opening shock so great that it tour his musette bag from his chest. “I went down almost immediately,” he recalled, “I went right through a tree and landed unhurt. I had my rifle in three pieces in my pack and was holding my bazooka– I didn’t know how I was able to hold on to it, but I did...” Soon after hitting the ground, he was met by his friend, Frank Mellett, and they joined others to begin their D-Day odyssey.
For McClung, the jump and its aftermath were more harrowing. Floating into the center of Ste. Mere Eglise, he saw locals working to put out a barn fire before landing on the roof of a shrine near the village church. “I slid down and thought I was going to break a leg,” he recalled. Then McClung heard the chilling sound of German hobnail boots on the cobblestones. “There were two Germans there to greet me when I landed, to welcome me to Normandy.” The Germans began firing at McClung’s chute which was snagged at the top of the shrine but McClung, lying unseen in the tall grass at their feet, took the first shots: “I always jumped with my rifle assembled,” he remembered. “I’m laying there about three feet from them (and) that argument got settled pretty quickly.”
The paratroopers of Easy Company would spend the next twenty-three days in the combat zone and eighteen of them would never return. Tipper and McClung would be among the fortunate troopers to return from Normandy to tell the story, eyewitnesses to that historic “Night of Nights” and the fury of D-Day, seventy-five
*This Colt is model 01970A1CS in.45ACP
**The grips are hand-signed and sealed. This does not mean that the signatures cannot be removed while handling or cleaning. Valor Studios and the Keystone Armory are not responsible for damage to Veteran signatures. For your convenience, a spare set of current production 1911a1 grips are included.
We have made the decision to auction these firearms one-at-a-time online due to an extreme high-demand. After securing your 75th Anniversary D-Day 1911a1 via online auction, the item will be paid for, and then must be shipped to a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder - a gun store. We can help if you have questions or are unfamiliar with purchasing a firearm.
This is a fully functioning firearm and the purchaser must be able to pass a background check. Purchaser is responsible for knowing and complying with all Federal, State and Local Laws. Seller is not responsible for transfer fees that may be charged by your local FFL.
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