Odds and Ends
At the last ASLET seminar that I attended (Albuquerque, January 1999), I had a chat with Peter Tarley, who told me the story of how a chance encounter with a much more senior officer had gotten him assigned to OSI. During that assignment, he was able to get the program initiated for the chopped-and-channeled 1911's.
Years later, I had a coworker who had been in OSI and had initially been issued one of those 1911's. He told me that when word came down to go back to .38 Special revolvers, the agents first begged to keep their .45's, then to be allowed to purchase them. Both requests were refused and, to my knowledge, those guns were destroyed.
The 2" S&W Model 15 was the "commercial" spin-off of what was created as the USAF's Model 56, produced in 1962-63. I used to believe that the Model 56 had been spec'd to replace those chopped-and-channeled 1911's but, as I look at its production dates, I'm more inclined to believe that it preceded them.
I had another coworker who retired as a USAF Combat Rescue Officer. He told me that he preferred to carry a 6" .38 Special revolver as he could hit better with it at longer ranges than he could with the M9 pistol. He also told me of the greatest compliment he had received in his 22 years of service: He was on an extraction mission with a group of SEAL's, one of whom began questioning his as to who he was, why he was on the mission and where his firearms were. When the SEAL heard that he was only armed with the revolver, he said, "You're crazy!"
"When a SEAL calls you crazy, that's a compliment."