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Old September 16, 2017, 15:26   #1
2barearms
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Ithaca 1911

I have a friend of the family that discovered
he has his dads WW2 Ithaca 1911. It may or may
not been issued to him but it appears to be new
in the cosmosline. His dad was my doctor whe
we were children and young adults.

There were 2 letters in the suitcase along with his
dog tags and other stuff. He opened it after
having it for 40 years. The 2 letters are dated the
same says as the rescue of the USS Indianapolis!
He was a Doctor on board The USS Doyle.
The letters mention the horrific mess at sea
and trying to save those who survived being
in the ocean for 5 days. It also mentions atomic
bombs and ending the war.

Any idea what a NOS Ithaca 1911 would be worth.
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Old September 16, 2017, 16:05   #2
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Originally Posted by 2barearms View Post
Any idea what a NOS Ithaca 1911 would be worth.
No I don't, but I will claim "first right of refusal" when you find out
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Old September 16, 2017, 16:23   #3
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Ithaca serial numbers started at 856405, and the first ~6200 had Colt frames.
10 years ago they were going for $1500-$1600. Those are the desirable ones. I have no idea what the current market is.
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Old September 16, 2017, 16:35   #4
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There are two for sale on GI right now, both claiming 98-100% condition. One is POR and the other is $2500 (although the pictures dont look like an original gun to me.)
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Old September 16, 2017, 16:58   #5
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They are still $1500-$2200 for a nice original finish gun with some honest wear with the price climbing as condition increases. With the described condition and provenance on this pistol the sky could be the limit...
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Old September 16, 2017, 19:35   #6
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Dad left the Air Corps with 2. The Colt was in the top of his duffle bag and was seized. The Ithica was in the bottom and was overlooked. I was offered $1200 for it a couple of years ago. It has a 7 digit serial number. I guess I ruined it by replacing the corroded out original barrel with a NM one. I believe nearly all .45acp ammunition during WWII was corrosive or at least it was until late in the war. It handles everything in the way of ammunition. Round nose, semi wad cutters or hollow points. Yes, horror of horrors, I still shoot it some.
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Old September 17, 2017, 00:03   #7
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Any chance of getting a copy of the letters?

That asked I honestly think 2500 to 3000 for the firearm. Of course if they put the letters with it and put it with an auction house that has a good reputation, who knows. I believe the sky is the limit comment is probably the most accurate.

Good luck

Tom
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Old September 17, 2017, 08:54   #8
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Originally Posted by croftonaviation View Post
Any chance of getting a copy of the letters?

That asked I honestly think 2500 to 3000 for the firearm. Of course if they put the letters with it and put it with an auction house that has a good reputation, who knows. I believe the sky is the limit comment is probably the most accurate.

Good luck

Tom
Yeah tend to agree
Ithica's tend to draw a premium
same with Union Switch & Signal 1911s

Back in the 90s we sold an Ithica, like new pistol in the craft board box for well over $1500, well we actually traded it for several extremely clean matching PO8 Lugers
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Old September 17, 2017, 08:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by croftonaviation View Post
Any chance of getting a copy of the letters?

That asked I honestly think 2500 to 3000 for the firearm. Of course if they put the letters with it and put it with an auction house that has a good reputation, who knows. I believe the sky is the limit comment is probably the most accurate.

Good luck

Tom
At this point no copies. They are being told that even the copies could be worth something? I'm not sure it's the gold mine he believes it is. The guy was the only
Doctor on the SS Doyle but he was a surgeon. There is no telling how many men
He saved in the couple days it took to get them to hospital ship.
The letter says he worked 54 hours straight. Definitely hero
level stuff. I not convinced he was issued the pistol...but it has a 150 EC 43 rounds with it and 3 magazines. Someone could have given him the pistol. There is a battle field pick up katana in the scabbard in the deal too. I'll get to see the suit case and the contents next Wednesday. All that stuff has been in that box unopened since WW2 ended.

The more interesting part is that he lived in Houston as does Paul Tibbits.
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Old September 17, 2017, 08:59   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riversidesports View Post
Yeah tend to agree
Ithica's tend to draw a premium
same with Union Switch & Signal 1911s

Back in the 90s we sold an Ithica, like new pistol in the craft board box for well over $1500, well we actually traded it for several extremely clean matching PO8 Lugers
I offered him $2500.00 and he accepted it. There are a few on GBr around 2k
but none in this condition.
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Old September 17, 2017, 09:40   #11
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At this point no copies. They are being told that even the copies could be worth something? I'm not sure it's the gold mine he believes it is. The guy was the only
Doctor on the SS Doyle but he was a surgeon. There is no telling how many men
He saved in the couple days it took to get them to hospital ship.
The letter says he worked 54 hours straight. Definitely hero
level stuff. I not convinced he was issued the pistol...but it has a 150 EC 43 rounds with it and 3 magazines. Someone could have given him the pistol. There is a battle field pick up katana in the scabbard in the deal too. I'll get to see the suit case and the contents next Wednesday. All that stuff has been in that box unopened since WW2 ended.

The more interesting part is that he lived in Houston as does Paul Tibbits.
meh' the letters only have value as originals.
Buddies late father was an Army Photographer during WWII. Family has shoe boxes of mostly unpublished combat footage including pix of his post war documentation of various Concentration Camps.
Unfortunately buddies older sister, a welfare rat who has watched to many episodes of Pawn Starz & the Pickers thinks they are sitting on as you stated, a Gold mine. I figure a few grand tops, much of that would be in the post war Holocaust footage. He was a member of the team to Reds brought in to Poland.

Honestly there isn't high demand for paper

Now the Katana "could" be anything
Understand the Japanese were fitting centuries old family blades up with Shin Gunto military mountings and thus you can have blades in them that are worth tens of thousands or mere hundreds of dollars.
All depends on the maker and condition of the blade, meaning even if beat up can it be repolished by a specialist.

That it's been tucked away for decades is a positive
thing was some damn precious blades were utterly destroyed by the kids hacking at trees with them. I wreaked a couple Katana in the early 70s being a boy. Back then they were still cheap as dirt Stateside.

Vet groupings are a weird market. The paper won't add much in this case. It's different when you have actual combat documentation that mentions the gun in question, even just letters from the front and a DD on capture. This was straight out stolen from military stores, happened all the time back then.
Probably just swapped some smokes or booze for it, same with the sword.

After VJ day the Japs were required to turn in all deadly weapons. There were huge piles of swords at secured compounds in Japan. As a GI, particularly any Officer you could pick through them and bring one or more home. The left overs were either dumped in the Ocean or burnt.
Sad truth is most of the Ancestrial blades ended up in America, some in Australia and NZ

Myself I'd split off the Katana if the blade is anything special
might even do the same with the paper
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Old September 17, 2017, 09:42   #12
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I offered him $2500.00 and he accepted it. There are a few on GBr around 2k
but none in this condition.
Cool beans, if it's as described you won't get hurt

was that for the whole package including paper & katana...?
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Old September 17, 2017, 11:27   #13
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I offered him $2500.00 and he accepted it. There are a few on GBr around 2k
but none in this condition.
You did well. With the extras and the story you bought yourself a treasure.
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Old September 17, 2017, 18:44   #14
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You did well. With the extras and the story you bought yourself a treasure.
I couldn't let someone on the street buy this, I'd hate myself forever.
My buddy and I had no idea the role his dad played that day. It's very likely the
Letter is worth some dough. He visited some of the guys he saved in the early 80's just before he died and many said they never knew who the doctor on the ship was.
Both of our fathers served in WW2. My guess is the Museum will make some sort of offer
but it could be a tax deductible type deal.
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Old September 18, 2017, 13:49   #15
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Dang Ben I'd love to get a look at that history. That's "white cotton glove" stuff right there. I think the best place for all of it though, if the provenance is unquestioned, is the WW2 museum. Of course you could donate, but they might pay a premium for such things.

Edit: Wanted to add...

To date the most epic piece of WW2 history I've seen or handled outside a museum was original copies of the signing of the surrender by the Japanese. One of my patients at the wound car center was drafted into the Navy during the war. His best buddy from boot camp became the Photographer's Mate on the Missouri. When the surrender was signed there were 2 photographers, one down at the level of the table that had been set up, the other from up higher that captured more of the entire scene. I have personally held copies of those, developed by the photographer himself. I was in awe an anonymous retired carpenter would possess such things, but there they were. Too bad it was before the days of 20mp phone cameras.


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Old September 19, 2017, 08:06   #16
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His sister just found a letter that was sent by a guy writing a book on the Indy in 1992.
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Old September 19, 2017, 08:54   #17
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Fantastic!

And I'd like to goad...



^^ That one pic is impressive though, I must say.
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Old September 19, 2017, 23:35   #18
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Fantastic! f

And I'd like to goad...



^^ That one pic is impressive though, I must say.
I have some pics but don't have a means to post them....I can email them
to someone so inclined. Mint condition...new in box is probably the best description. I have removed the 3 original mags and the pistol from the wrap
in the cosmoline. The box is in good condition too.
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Old September 26, 2017, 18:37   #19
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Dang Ben I'd love to get a look at that history. That's "white cotton glove" stuff right there. I think the best place for all of it though, if the provenance is unquestioned, is the WW2 museum. Of course you could donate, but they might pay a premium for such things.

Edit: Wanted to add...

To date the most epic piece of WW2 history I've seen or handled outside a museum was original copies of the signing of the surrender by the Japanese. One of my patients at the wound car center was drafted into the Navy during the war. His best buddy from boot camp became the Photographer's Mate on the Missouri. When the surrender was signed there were 2 photographers, one down at the level of the table that had been set up, the other from up higher that captured more of the entire scene. I have personally held copies of those, developed by the photographer himself. I was in awe an anonymous retired carpenter would possess such things, but there they were. Too bad it was before the days of 20mp phone cameras.

A wonderful WWII friend of mine that i go to Church with and is in my VFW post was on the "Big Mo" at this time and witnessed this moment in time. He and another B-17 pilot can sure make you stand up and listen to what they have to say.
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Old September 26, 2017, 19:21   #20
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A wonderful WWII friend of mine that i go to Church with and is in my VFW post was on the "Big Mo" at this time and witnessed this moment in time. He and another B-17 pilot can sure make you stand up and listen to what they have to say.
My friend, the late Andrew Nelson was an interpreter at the surrender ceremony.

He may be the man standing with the Japanese delegation in the picture above.


An interesting man, I must say.


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