Dad had three weapons that he carried. The
first two were issued to him. They were the Model
1911 Colt 45 semi auto pistol and the M1
Carbine. He was also given a 38 revolver by a Navy pilot (for
what reason, I've never found out). He carried the 45 on his hip,
the 38 in a shoulder holster and the Carbine was strapped inside his
According to him, the only times he ever used any of them was when they had to "bug-out". One of the stories I remember him telling was that one time he had 50 gal. drums of gasoline piled up and they had to be destroyed. He took out his 45 and fired 3 or 4 shots at them. The bullets bounced off! Big surprise! So he went and got the M1 Carbine from his jeep and with just a couple of shots the drums were exploding and burning.
He never had to use his side arms to defend himself or shot in anger. Although, if I remember the story correctly, they were harassed on numerous occasions by Japanese fighters who would strafe
the field and drop any unused ordinance on their way home. Their distractions would interrupt important things like dinner. On a few occasions Dad and one or two other guys would jump into the jeep and head for the cemetery on the hill where they had a trench with a 50 Cal. set up. They would fire at the planes but never seemed to be able to hit them.
Dad always regretted not bring his weapons home. As the story goes, when the Liberty ship was getting close to Seattle everyone was instructed to throw their weapons over board. My Dad followed orders. When he disembarked he noticed that most of the other guys had kept their weapons and no one was stopping them from taking them home.