||Posted: 08/06/2008 at 14:55:07
|Thread Title: "Way back in ought '63...."
||I was stationed in Berlin, Germany from 1960-1964 with the Army Security Agency. My family was there as well, so I lived off post with a German physician, and her son. One of my buddies on my trick belonged to the Rod & Gun Club, and one Saturday, told us that he had to go pick out his choice of firearm from the grouping that the West Berlin Police had given to the Club. They had started a pile in May or June of 1945 out back of the main police station, and when a Berliner turned in a pistol that they found in the rubble, they simply tossed it on the pile. It kept growing and growing, until to clear it out, they gave the guns to the Club in the fall of 1963. My friend helped with the sorting into M-1 rifle cases by make, and actually found a few that were still loaded.
After all the members had their choice, they were going to allow new members to join, and pick up what was left. I did so, and found that all the Lugers and Mauser Broomhandles were already gone. One officer in front of me in line had a Luger that must have been buried. It was solid rust. I think they charged him a quarter for it. I did find a couple of not too rusted P-38s. Included in my haul was a Spanish Copy of the S&W Hand Ejector, a Star 9MM Parabellum clone of the 1911, and a cute Browning/Colt style .25 auto. I think I paid somewhere around eleven dollars for the whole bunch.
Over the next few days, I tried to figure out how the P-38s came apart, as there were some broken springs. Finally, I found a Gun Digest that got the job done. I had to buy some really trashed P-38s for parts to fix the two "good" ones, and while I was looking, I found a 1910 Mauser 6.35, a Czech C-27, and a PPK minus the grips. Over the winter, I repaired the guns by buying ruined ones for parts if they were available, and then started in to get rid of the various pits adorning the surfaces where they had lain in wet. I found some ratty files and emery paper at the PX, and started in. It took quite awhile, but I managed to clean one P-38 up quite nicely, and the other was decent. The PPK had an abcess on the LH flat of the slide that took quite a bit of filing and polishing to get off.
The next spring, I took several of them out to the range, firing the P-38s, and the Star. All three seemed to be no worse the wear for being "stored" outside for so long.
The only thing I wish was that I had done was to purchase the remainder of the few drawers full of odds and ends. I did find most of a Walther #4 that I bought as well. My gunsmith dad made quite a haul fixing several pistols from the grouping of parts I did bring home in a coffee can.
Hope you enjoyed this war story that really happened.