Coltautos.com Gun of the Month - December 2020
Colt Government Model .45 ACP U.S. Navy Presentation Serial Number C203746 - Manufactured ca 1940. This Colt is the Secretary of the Navy's Pistol Trophy won by Midshipman Robert Martin Strieter in 1941. The gun is equipped with a special set of presentation stocks, each containing a silver disc at the top commemorating the occasion for the trophy and the winner.
The left silver disc is inscribed "Secretary of the Navy's Pistol Trophy" and the right disc is inscribed "Won by Midshipman R.M. Strieter U.S.N. 1941"Despite the late production, this pistol is not equipped with the Swartz Safety (NSD - New Safety Device). The finish is factory blue.
The Colt Historical letter indicated that this pistol was sold to the United States Government and shipped to Springfield Armory in Springfield Massachusetts on September 6, 1940. The gun was processed on Colt Factory Order #9440 in a one gun shipment.
PARTIAL LIST OF PRIZES AND AWARDS, ACADEMIC YEAR 1940-41 - SECRETARY OF THE NAVY'S TROPHIES FOR EXCELLENCE IN SMALL-ARMS FIRING: The Navy department annually awards a trophy to the midshipman of each graduating class who has demonstrated outstanding proficiency in the use of service rifle, and also a trophy to the foremost pistol shot of each graduating class. These trophies are designated at the "Secretary of the Navy's rifle trophy" and the "Secretary of the Navy's pistol trophy," respectively.
Midshipman Robert Martin Strieter, class of 1941 was awarded both the Secretary of the Navy's rifle trophy, and the Secretary of the Navy's pistol trophy.
Secretary of Navy Pistol Trophy to Rock Island Youth - Midshipman Robert M. Strieter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin E. Strieter, 3918 Fourteenth street, Rock Island, will be awarded the secretary of the navy's pistol trophy as the foremost pistol shot of his class at Annapolis members of which will be graduated in February because of the defense emergency. Announcement of the award and of the graduation date was received today from the academy's superintendent, Wilson Brown.
Young Strieter's class will be graduated Feb. 7. Aside from gaining honors as a pistol shot, the Rock Island youth is captain of the academy indoor rifle team. His parents returned last week from Annapolis ans were at that time informed of the early graduation plans. The class was to have been graduated in June. After graduation, young Strieter will be assigned to active duty. (source: The Daily Times (Davenport, Iowa) - 24 Dec 1940, p.20
Colt Government Model .45 ACP C203746 - right side with period holster, Navy insignia and Navy wings.
Colt Government Model .45 ACP serial number C203746 - Showing both inscribed Secretary of the Navy's Pistol Trophy inscribed silver discs in the same photo.
Robert Martin Strieter, USNA Class of 1941 - Lucky Bag Yearbook Entry
Strieter, Robert M. ENS, USS Upshur (DD-144) - 1941 Assignment
USS Upshur (DD-144) underway circa 1940-41 (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Upshur_(DD-144))
LT. ROBERT M. STRIETER - Lt. Robert M. Strieter, son of Mr and Mrs Martin E. Strieter, 3918 Fourteenth street, Rock Island, who for the last two years has served as an engineering officer on board a destroyer in the Atlantic and Caribbean areas, received his wings and was designated as a naval aviator at Pensacola, Fla., today. Lt. Strieter, a graduate of the United States Naval academy in February of 1941, will go to Jacksonville, Fla., for special training.
History of Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred Forty Two - 25 January 1946: Lt. Comdr. Robert M. Strieter, of Rock Island, Illinois reported aboard and became acting Commanding officer and preparations for fitting out VPB-142 were begun.