February 20, 2016

The Mighty M1911: Legendary .45 Pistol

Wow, during World War II, a USAAF bomber is shot down by Japanese fighters over Burma. Several crew members are killed while parachuting to safety .... except for one.
On March 31, 1943, when they were stationed in British India, Baggett’s squadron was ordered to destroy a bridge at Pyinmana, Burma. But before reaching their target, the B-24 bombers were intercepted by Japanese fighter planes. Baggett’s plane was badly hit, and the crew were ordered to bail out. The Japanese pilots then attacked U.S. airmen as they parachuted to earth.

Two of Baggett’s crew members were killed, and Baggett, though wounded, played dead, hoping the Japanese would ignore him. One Zero approaching within several feet of Baggett, then nose-up and in an almost-stall, the pilot opened his canopy. Baggett shot at the pilot with his .45 calibre pistol. The plane stalled and plunged to the earth, with Baggett becoming legendary as the only person to down a Japanese airplane with a M1911 pistol.
The co-pilot of that B-24, Owen John Baggett (August 29, 1920 – July 27, 2006), was a second lieutenant in the United States 7th Bomb Group based at Pandaveswar, in India, during the Second World War.

More about this amazing story here, here and here:


Kid said...


Fredd said...

I have to doubt that statement: the only Japanese aircraft downed as a result of a hit by a .45 cal M1911 Colt. That would be awfully hard to verify, as common sense suggests that quite a few WWII servicemen shot at quite a few Zeroes with quite a few M1911 rounds.

No way to prove a body count. Absolutely no way.