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Thread: Pistol found in RAF Bomber wreckage

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    Default Pistol found in RAF Bomber wreckage

    Greetings,

    this weekend we attended the commemoration in France for my wifes Grandfather John Lloyd Edwards of 75 Squadron who was killed when Stirling Mk 1 BK646 was shot down. It was an amazing weekend and the reception from the local people and their warmth and gratitude was truly humbling. I will write this up in full, but wanted to mention that at a special display we were shown a the propeller hub and gears + a cylinder in it's damaged case from one of the aircraft's Hercules engines. These had been found with a metal detector by one of the local history group in the area. Another person showed a revolver which he said had been taken from the Stirlings wreckage. The pistol was quite small. Definitely not a Webley/Enfield. I'd say it was small calibre either .22 or .25, but the cylinder was quite long, so perhaps .22 LR. The hammer was completely concealed, so it was double action, and the straight trigger folded forward when not in use. There was no trigger guard either, so the pistol had very few protrusion, which would make it ideal for air or tank crews.

    Perhaps a member of the crew took this along anyway or maybe it was part of a survival kit ? I'd think it would be pretty poor for hunting with as the barrel was only a few cm long. The aircraft was on a mine laying mission, so not carrying any SOE agents or other special forces.

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    Hello Jives,

    The handgun you describe is definitely not for hunting, which would be a curious thing for a revolver anyway, but for self protection and concealed wear. Did you take a picture of the thing? That would normally lead to its identification. Without any clear and real knowledge of the subject of RAF handgun supply to aviators, I would guess that this is a custom provision for needs seen by the person involved. The combination of a concealed hammer and a folding trigger could even indicate a custom modification.

    Rob

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    Thanks Rob,

    doing some google image searching it appears to be a type of weapon called a velo-dog for the protection of cyclists from dogs ! I found this example which is very similar :

    http://www.mausercentral.com/mcgallery/data/media/5/Velodog_3.jpg

    It may have come from the wreckage but perhaps it came from nearby and was assumed to have come from the plane. It's probably French/Belgium though English examples exist. A very interesting artefact

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    Hi Jives,

    The original Velodog is French, calibers 5,5, 6 & 6,5 mm, relatively long cartridge casings, hence the long cylinder. Very unlikely to be a standard issue RAF thing, and you may be right that there may be no connection to the wreck other than found at close proximity to the wreck. The name indicates one of its intended uses, but it really comes from a period that people felt the need, and were allowed to, arm themselves against what would later be called highwaymen. Period would be the first quarter of the previous century. Certainly an interesting find.

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