Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Michigan Man Tracks Down Father’s Korean War Garand

Talking about an amazing birthday present! According to this story on Yahoo Jim Richardson has managed to track down the M1 Garand his father used in the Korean War. Not just any Garand, but the actual one that his father used in that conflict.

Virgil Richardson, who turns 79 on October 26, served from 1951 to 1953 in the 25th Infantry Division as a Radio Operator. The 25th Infantry Division fought with distinction for a total of 37 months in Korea receiving two South Korean Presidential Unit Citations.

According to the article, Richardson “fondly remembered the… M1 Garand” and he even retained his rifle’s serial number. Given that over 7 million M1 Garand rifles were produced in total by four manufacturers, and that many still remain in Korea, Asia, and Europe in the arsenals of nations who received the rifles as surplus, finding any one particular rifle is tantamount to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Jim managed to track down the rifle through a Kentucky gun broker, who didn’t even believe that the numbers actually matched. The price of the rifle hasn’t been disclosed. The article mentions that Garands frequently bring up to $3000 – but such specimens are rare. The Civilian Marksmanship Program has examples starting at $600 and lower.

Needless to say, the elder Richardson was stunned by the gift:

"I couldn't even talk when he gave it to me," Virgil Richardson told The Flint Journal. "It didn't even have to be the same gun to be important to me."

He goes on to state:

"What shocked me the most is how very heavy it is. I have trouble now holding it up and aiming it. I guess they were made for 20- and 21-year-olds."

Just an amazing story and an amazing bit of detective work. To Virgil Richardson – Happy Birthday, and thank you for your service to your country. To Jim Richardson, great job – you are truly a man of class and honor!

Until next time!

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