Like many Americans during World War II, Carl Anderson felt the patriotic pull and in 1944 joined the Army. In January of 45 he landed in France and along with the rest of the 66th Infantry Battalion, started a long and cold march across Germany. During one stretch they were engaged in combat for 58 days straight!
Like many American soldiers Corporal Anderson collected a few trinkets along the away. His record of items shipped home included a German hunting knife, a baby dress and various other incidentals for family and friends. One thing not listed was a 9mm German Luger pistol. CPL Anderson’s grandson, Chris Ellis remembers, “When I was young I would go over to visit Poppa Carl and we would set on his bed and he would show me how to take the Luger apart.”
Unlike some of the other souvenirs Anderson acquired, he came about the Luger in a rather unique way. It seems CPL Anderson and several other soldiers were clearing a building in a German city. Anderson stepped around a corner and a German soldier began shooting at him with a Luger. A bullet grazed Anderson’s neck but he quickly returned fire with his rifle, killing the German. Figuring he’d earned it, CPL Anderson took the pistol and the holster. He carried that Luger the rest of the time he was in Germany. Ellis said, “Pops told me he used the pistol frequently in combat.”
The Luger is in excellent shape and appears to have been manufactured about 1909. Unlike many of the military Lugers you see at gun shows this pistol is of commercial manufacturer and both the holster and pistol are marked with what seems to be police unit markings. If that’s the case it would be interesting to know how the German soldier came to be armed with the Luger. Or maybe Pappa Carl shot it out with a German policeman. In any case, the Luger still functions perfectly and shoots very well.
It is without question one of the coolest guns I have ever fired.