Family Donates Historic Revolver to Museum


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Drizzt
February 21, 2003, 10:21 AM
Family Donates Historic Revolver to Museum

by Staff Sgt. Cortchie Welch
Air Force News
February 13, 2003


Tech. Sgt. Paul Posti Sr.'s .38-claliber Smith and Wesson revolver and leather bomber jacket will soon be on display at the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

LOS ANGELES -- A .38-caliber Smith and Wesson service revolver used by a World War II hero to shoot down a German attack plane will soon be on display at the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

The family of retired Air Force Tech. Sgt. Paul Posti Sr., who died in December at age 89, donated the weapon to the museum during a tribute to the hero in Santa Monica on Feb. 4. His leather bomber jacket was also donated to the museum.

As a B-17 Flying Fortress tailgunner, Posti shot down a German Messerschmidt ME-109 with his revolver in 1942.

Officials disputed the achievement until a few days later when Capt. Clark Gable presented proof of the kill. Gable, who left his movie career to become an aerial photographer with the U.S. Army Air Force, took Posti into a darkroom and ran off a strip of movie film. The captain had operated a gun camera aboard another bomber during the mission and filmed the German plane in its death dive.

The kill was the only feat of its kind in World War II and has not been repeated since. The achievement helped the Boston native earn a Silver Star, the nation's third-highest decoration for heroism.

Donating the historical items to the museum was a long-time dream for Posti.

Posti "said on many occasions that he wanted the gun and jacket to be donated to the museum for everyone to see after he passed away, instead of being tucked away in the corner of the closet," said his wife, Irene. "In my heart, I know he's celebrating this occasion."

http://www.military.com/NewsContent?file=usaf1_021303

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falconer
February 21, 2003, 10:44 AM
This sounds like the perfect excuse for me to go visit the Air Force Museum again.

DonP
February 21, 2003, 11:40 AM
We know the stories. I though it was a .45 that shot down a bunch of zero's, wasn't it?

What a great story. Does anybody know where can we get the details of how a tail gunner wound up using his .38 to take out an Me109? (Wow, not even a 38 special!)

The museum is great to visit for anyone passing in the area. Seeing the XB-70 Valkyrie towering over eveything else in one hanger is an incredible sight.

Don P.

seeker_two
February 21, 2003, 11:47 AM
And who said that the .38 SPL doesn't have any stopping power...:D :D :D

Elmer Snerd
February 21, 2003, 11:52 AM
Did the museum pass a background check to obtain this eeeevil handgun? What about the waiting period?
We must close the "Museum Loophole".
:D

Blackhawk
February 21, 2003, 12:13 PM
Very hard to believe....

4v50 Gary
February 21, 2003, 12:29 PM
Hope they have postcards of that gun.

Triad
February 21, 2003, 07:37 PM
I don't think that's the only time that happened. I've read a couple of stories about guys flying observation planes who shot down fighters with handguns. Also, wasn't there a P-51 pilot who shot down a Me-262 with his .45?

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