Author Topic: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info  (Read 512 times)

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Online martin08

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Why buy fifteen collectible SKS carbines when you can have just one Krieghoff Luger?  :o











(GM, the follow part of the post is for you.  As a C13 Mechanic, I'm sure you'll be able to relate.  And thank you for your service to Country!)

 clap2

Sgt. Eugene "Gene" Townsend of the 32nd Squadron of the 301st Bombardment Group kept the following War Trophy from 1945 until his passing in 2009.  A local collector bought it from his widow, and I bought it from the collector over the weekend.

Aside from the excellent condition of a grail Luger, I also received quite a surprise when I researched Sgt. Townsend's service records.  "Gene" M. Townsend, noted on the War Trophies document, was an MOS Engineer for the B17 Bomber and has a history of moderate celebrity with the 32nd Bombardment Squadron of the 301st Bombardment Group (H) AAF.

In addition to keeping the bombers mechanically sound, the Nose Art designs of over forty B17 Bombers are attributed to Townsend's painting skills, and is well documented on Boyd Thompson's 32nd Bomb Squadron, 1942-1945, Web-Site.

http://32ndbombsquadron.com/32ndart.html









The names of two other Servicemen which appear on the document, George E Kolodziej and Richard E. Blodeau, were also from the 301st Bombardment Group.  War Trophy firearms whereabouts from those two men are unknown, but are documented by serial number.  And although John H. Lurhs does not appear on the document, his name appears on the roster for the 32nd Squadron of the 301st, and on the body and shoulder strap of the US M3 1911 holster which accompanied the Krieghoff Luger.

http://www.301bg.com/32nd_squadron_servicemen.cfm







Only 13,000 HK Lugers were contracted and built specifically for the Luftwaffe from 1935-1945, with approximately 1,100 made in 1940.  To put these production numbers into perspective, the Mauser Factory was producing almost as many units per month (10,000) as Krieghoff did over the entire ten years of output.

As one might conclude from the low overall production, the high desirability among collectors and the ample realized prices for the scarce specimens, the HK Luger is one of the most highly faked guns in history.  It's a jungle out there if you're a motivated buyer.  So some serious homework is recommended before purchasing.  If not for the assistance from noted expert, Pete E. of Luger Gunboards, I'm not sure that I could have taken the plunge with confidence.  But with his help, I was able to authenticate.  Thanks a bunch, Pete!

The pistol itself is matching to include the magazine, and in incredible condition at 95% with some expected holster edge wear.  A small issue, it is missing the toggle hold-open device, and I'll try to locate an unmarked piece for replacement.  Fortunately, not all HK hold-open devices were numbered or Luft-2 inspected, and it is also a commonly broken/replaced part.  All other parts are properly inspected with matching numbers.

Pics don't do it justice, as the straw colored parts are much more vibrant than depicted.  Note the "thumbprint" existence which appears in the finish on the rear of the frame above the lanyard staple.  This is phenomenon is a result of flame polishing which causes the bluing to take differently than the non-flame treated areas.  The front legs of the "ears" on the rear frame were also flame treated to promote durability, and took on a higher polished look.  If a pistol has been refinished, these flame polished areas would not appear at all, or would be highly diminished.   

I did not detail strip the pistol, but did take pictures of all the visible Luft-2 inspected parts.  I have full confidence that all parts which are supposed to be marked would have the proper inspection stamps as well.  It's a nice, clean and honest Krieghoff Luger.  I feel privileged and very lucky to have an original one for the collection.

Enjoy, and thanks for looking.


































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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2018, 12:09:20 PM »
Oh wow... holy s??t  :o  very impressive, M08, that deserves not one, but two  thumb1 thumb1  15 SKS's.....heck, thats a nice new car, an economy model w/ A/C, but a new car none the less... chuckles1

I wanna take my Lugers and go home now..  cry1 chuckles1


On the hold back... I thought they all had HK proof stamps on that part, at least thats what I remember reading, but I'm no Lugerogist, and couldn't even afford to hold a Heinrich Krieghoff? 

I have also had collectors tell me, it's pretty much deemed a consumable part, like a spring..  it was suggested if like in my instance, remove the original, and just swap it with a unnumbered one or even just use a modern aftermarket one, since they are fairly commonly available, keep the original in a safe place.. it takes away the chances of any future damage or wear from use and such.


So, when does the Black Widow Luger arrive. :) or the Death Head.. :o
I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse......

Leave the gun – take the cannoli.

Never rub another man's rhubarb!!!

Online martin08

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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2018, 12:26:49 PM »
Thanks, GM.

No need for a Black Widow (yet), as a lot of them with the black plastic grips are quite difficult to prove as original anyway.  Overrated in my opinion.  My '42 byf has nice matching walnut grips.

On the toggle hold-open, it is noted among a lot of HK Lugers that it is not always marked.  Here's a link to the gold-standard  conditioned 1940 example, and the breakdown of all the internal markings. 

Note that on item #12, it states that some hold-open parts might be unmarked.

http://luger.gunboards.com/showthread.php?79514-LWaA-markings-on-1940

Also note that both my firing pin and spring guide are numbered, and his are not.  I think that the inconsistent markings, even those from the same year of production, are a factor of the slow production process for the Krieghoff.  They didn't produce enough to them to become robotic in their parts stamping practice.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 12:32:52 PM by martin08 »

Online Phosphorus32

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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2018, 10:48:41 PM »
Wow!  :o  8) M.08’s rare P.08

Looks immaculate, from the grips to those strawed parts  thumb1

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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2018, 11:56:07 PM »
It's Luger p0rn at its best.. almost like being 12 years old and finding pappy's Playboy stash.. drool2

M08... Just a question I wondered.. What would the odds be of the unmarked parts found in these, could they not have been field or arsenal replacements? The originals removed due to a failure or wear, necessitating replacement and fitment with a sterile, generic part ?  Granted a Luger is a tough old bird, but parts and pieces wore and broke in it's service life, I'm sure more than a few got field repaired with blank parts.
I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse......

Leave the gun – take the cannoli.

Never rub another man's rhubarb!!!

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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2018, 05:42:12 AM »
Okay, the provenance on this Luger is, if possible, even more amazing. A Luftwaffe Luger brought home by a USAAF Sgt. is especially appropriate  thumb1

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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2018, 09:38:03 AM »
enjoyed the info and pics, thanks for sharing.  thumb1 being so rare and valuable, would you ever shoot it?  :o
ARMY NAM VET, SO PROUD!

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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2018, 10:02:48 AM »
enjoyed the info and pics, thanks for sharing.  thumb1 being so rare and valuable, would you ever shoot it?  :o

Ya how many rounds you have through it now? I wouldn’t trust it until you put atleast 2-3k through it...... where are the target pics!!!!! . rofl

Online martin08

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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2018, 05:59:50 PM »
Target pics?  Shooting?  Are you guys crazy?  It shoots like a dream!  Er... in my dreams.

Good point on the internal parts, GM.  Yes.  A lot of Lugers were field repaired during the war, and generic parts without marks were used as replacements.   One of the most common replacements is the firing pin.  Fortunately, mine is still numbered to the gun.  Another common part to break is the toggle hold-open, which is missing on my example.

I just so happened to be talking to Tom Whiteman of Legacy Collectibles today.  I have met Tom a few times at the Poulin and Julia Auctions.  He has bought/sold/handled/inspected over 50 of theses Krieghoff Lugers, and many of them have unmarked hold-open bars.  And fortunately he had one in stock, and it is already in the mail.

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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2018, 06:45:06 PM »
Target pics?  Shooting?  Are you guys crazy?  It shoots like a dream!  Er... in my dreams.

Good point on the internal parts, GM.  Yes.  A lot of Lugers were field repaired during the war, and generic parts without marks were used as replacements.   One of the most common replacements is the firing pin.  Fortunately, mine is still numbered to the gun.  Another common part to break is the toggle hold-open, which is missing on my example.

I just so happened to be talking to Tom Whiteman of Legacy Collectibles today.  I have met Tom a few times at the Poulin and Julia Auctions.  He has bought/sold/handled/inspected over 50 of theses Krieghoff Lugers, and many of them have unmarked hold-open bars.  And fortunately he had one in stock, and it is already in the mail.

Ha ha I wouldn't shoot that thing either. Nice going Moose ! Such a beautiful Kraut !! In fact ill bet a Nurse packed that thing as her side arm. I have to settle for dreaming of just owning a luger. Soft , well cared for piece you have there sir ! Congratulations : )  thankyou1

Anyone remember Dave Krieg former QB for the Seahawks in the 80's ?  I wonder if the name relates ?   Naaa
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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2018, 11:01:01 AM »
I have 15 SKSs around here somewhere....  Ill even toss in an extra one and make it 16.  PM me your contact info, and lets light this candle.    thumb1

Would have really been cool if it had some blood-rust-pitting, or perhaps some hacksaw kill-notches. What are your plans for this one....  Khyber Pass?    ;)
      
1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms... It doesn't matter how many Lenins you get out on the street begging for them to be taken.

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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2018, 11:30:51 AM »
Plans?  No trades at this time, unless it's 16 original '53 Izhevsk.  Then, we might talk.   :)

But I am in the process of researching the Veteran, as his last known address was here in Maine.  If possible, it would be nice to add another period item or two to the package, such as an original picture of the nose art on a plane.  It's always difficult contacting family members, as the subject can sometimes be emotional.  As nine years have passed since his death, it might make it easier.

An item like this, with excellent provenance, deserves a nice display.  So when I've gathered what I can, I'll build a tasteful case for it.

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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2018, 08:36:42 PM »
I was able to contact Sgt. Gene Townsend's widow, Patricia.

What an absolutely lovely lady.



Pat has no heirs to whom she can pass along any keepsakes. So she has entrusted me to carry on Gene's Legacy.  There is really too much to show and tell.  But I'll cover some highlights.

1.  Actual period photos of Townsend's nose art from North Africa and Italy.
2.  His original Awards and Decorations document.
3.  More of his artwork, including Christmas Cards, photocopies of an original nose art rough draft, the Thanksgiving Day menu, and an actual propaganda leaflet which was dropped over Italy to rally the resistance, which reads "Hitler brings oppression.  Mussolini carries the illusion.  And the Italian People bleed".
4.  His hat and dress uniform, which still had is "bus ticket home" stub in the pocket.
5.  An ashtray made from an artillery shell and 50 cal and 30 cal cartridges.  Four twenty cent coins with Mussolini's face were fashioned for cigarette rests.
6.  And last but not least, a SECOND MATCHING MAGAZINE TO THE KRIEGHOFF LUGER!!!

Enjoy.





























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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2018, 10:52:06 PM »
 :o 8) :o 8)

Amazing historical record you’ve been entrusted with. Congratulations! I think the picture in front of the “Section 8” tent is my favorite  chuckles1

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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2018, 11:22:18 PM »
Utterly amazing.  Damn near unbelievable even.  Amazing opportunity to carry on the Townsend story there Matt.  Kudos to you! thumb1

      

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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2018, 01:57:40 AM »
This is absolutely amazing Matt. Thanks for sharing all of this info with us and the follow ups too. keep them coming !  Martin you are smooth ! And I dont mean that in a bad way.  Like Phos, the section 8 photo is special.. How old are those guys in the pic ? Hard to tell 30's maybe ? What a lovely picture of Pat ! You can tell she was proud of her husband. An authentic real American Woman in that picture ! Thats my favorite : ) Awesome !!!
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time,
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Re: 1940 Heinrich Krieghoff Luger , and Historical Veteran Info
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2018, 09:09:47 AM »
The boys in the pictures were just 'boys' in 1942-45.  Most were in their early to mid 20s.  Gene Townsend was born in 1921, so he was no more than 24 years old in the pics.

In the Section 8 pic, Gene is on the far left with his sketch book.  Pat is still trying to locate this book, as she remembers seeing it as late as the 1990s.