FirstSpear

“Son, only a pimp in a Louisiana whore- house carries pearl-handled revolvers. These are ivory.”

The quote actually belongs to Army LTG George S Patton, responding to a reporter during World War II, who asked about his “pearl handled” revolver.

However, it’s the first thing I thought of when I ran across this photo taken in June, 1953 of USAF SSgt Billy Davisson standing guard at the entrance to the Headquarters facilities of the Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Nebraska.

9 Responses to ““Son, only a pimp in a Louisiana whore- house carries pearl-handled revolvers. These are ivory.””

  1. Jon C. says:

    I just learned that 2nd Lieutenant Patton re-wrote the 1914 manual for saber training and evaluation. I was watching Antonio Banderas as Zorro, fighting an Army Cavalry officer villain, and was wondering what kind of qual course they made for that sort fighting.

    • Scott says:

      I own a copy of Patton’s manual, as well as the unofficial supplement he later wrote. It’s pretty detailed, detailing the use of the saber both mounted and dismounted, but very different from what came before. Patton went to France for his saber training (he was also an Olympic fencer), and he preferred the French model of cavalry saber which was to thrust instead of cut. So when Patton designed the Model 1911 Cavalry Saber he chose a straight thrusting sword more like a rapier than the curved sword people associate with cavalry. The common criticism of the French model was that swords would get stuck and troopers pulled from their horses if they thrust, but in theory there was a way around it, which Patton had learned and explained in the manual. By delivering the thrust with the blade horizontal instead of vertical, the sharp back edge would cut its way free as the trooper rode past. Of course there was never much of an opportunity to test this, as we had already seen the fate of cavalry in No Mans’ Land before we entered the war.

      But it is amazing, in retrospect, that a young lieutenant designed a standard arm of the US military, and wrote the manual on it. A bit different from what lieutenants are allowed to do today.

      • Sommerbiwak says:

        The US Army was a much much smaller army before WW1. In the cavalry every officer knew every officer or had at least heard of him. A young talented officer like 2LT Patton had made a name for himself and the higher ups in the cavalry recognized his expertise, because they had heard of him and probably knew him personally even. A quick search spit out 98,000 soldiers in the US Army before WW1. Today US Army is about 1.2 million soldiers. Today the US Army is just too big to know many and thus 2LTs are just numbers in a list.

  2. AbnMedOps says:

    That’s probably a stag-handled revolver. Possibly from the antler of the Sambar stag, of India, which has some favorable durability properties for knife handles and pistol grips, or so I’ve read.

    Also possibly General LeMay (a bit of a gun enthusiast) authorized these “exotic” grips, along with the other flashy uniform accoutrements, for his SAC HQ security force, but I don’t know. Interesting history if anyone knows.

  3. Hubb says:

    And the holster is reversed for a cross-body draw…

  4. mudd says:

    Hmnnn…. somebody seems to know alot about whore houses.

  5. Uncle Dan says:

    At SAC’S 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, and its permanent detachments, c. 1977-81 every document had “Peace is Our Profession” on the bottom the page.

    We’d add: “War is just a Hobby!”

  6. Nicks87 says:

    Having worked the SAC gate at Offutt AFB, I can tell you that most of the people coming through the gate would have an absolute melt-down if we carried our pistols cross draw or god-forbid had anything but USAF issued grips on our side-arms.

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