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Firearms records recovered from Little Bohemia?


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#1 levallois

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:55 PM

I've seen that some here know the serial numbers of the Thompsons recovered from the Dillinger gang at Little Bohemia. Are there records of the serial numbers of the other guns that were found there? Thanks!

John
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#2 OCM

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:47 PM

I think some of them ( 2- revolvers & vests) were listed as they came from the Warsaw Police station , when Dillinger & Van Meter robbed it on April 13.

The handguns were returned to Warsaw, maybe the vests

These may be listed in the FBI files.

The numbers of the Thompsons were recovered also, by raising the numbers. Both were part of the Nelson weaponry, via HS Lebman.

Board member Colt Chopper owns one of these Thompsons now, #5487  

It was reported that Dillinger had a Thompson at the  Warsaw robbery, would of probably been # 7387 which he had at Little Bo also.

Interesting, both the Dillinger Thompson and the Nelson/Meador Thompson end in 87.

 

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#3 levallois

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:25 PM

I read the FBI official accounts on Larry Wack's greatHistorical gmen site but no mention of the serial numbers or even a list of the guns recovered. Are the FBI files available somewhere online?
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#4 Colt Chopper

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:36 PM

Go the FBI Vault, Dillinger files. There is a couple different list of the guns depending on who made the report. There are serial numbers listed for some, (the 351 and Winchester lever action come to mind). 

 

Lot of info there, Happy Hunting !

 

 

https://vault.fbi.go...John Dillinger

 

Go to part 29


Edited by Colt Chopper, 19 April 2017 - 04:37 PM.

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#5 OCM

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 05:40 PM

Levallois -

Better sit down with a 750 of Scotch when you start looking in the Dillinger files. Keep a pad & pencil next to you, to write down the locations.

50,000 or something pages in the Dillinger file-

And John was on his historic rampage for barely a year- What a year tho!

 

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#6 levallois

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 05:48 PM

I've got an unopened bottle of Makers Mark. That should do the trick . Thanks very much guys!!
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#7 OCM

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 07:50 PM

Haaaaa, good for you-

This is a fun historical visit for a lot of us

 

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#8 darrylta

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 05:53 AM

Sandy,

You have the city as Warsaw WI., should it be Wausau WI.

I own the (2) Wausau Colt Navys that they bought in 1934.

The guns serial numbers are 7879 and 7022.

Darryl


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#9 OCM

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:32 AM

Warsaw, Indiana, Friday, April 13, 1934 . 10 days later, April 23, was the Little Bohemia battle, where the items ( revolvers & BP vests) were recovered.

5 days PRIOR to the Warsaw, Indiana PD robbery, April 7-8,  he was enjoying an open picnic at the family farm in Mooresville, holding the wooden pistol and the Crown Point Thompson # 7387.

 

Sorry, I didn't make that Warsaw thing clear.  

 

BTW, reason the photo is so darn clear it came from the original Dillinger family negative  

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Edited by OCM, 20 April 2017 - 10:35 AM.

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#10 historicalgmen

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:19 PM

Attached is record of weapons and vests returned to Warsaw, IN PD in the event anyone needs it.  

 

Larry Wack

FBI - Ret.

 

 

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Edited by historicalgmen, 20 April 2017 - 10:21 PM.

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#11 OCM

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:38 AM

Thanks, Larry.

Solved a couple of things, at lease two BF vests recovered at Little Bohemia lodge are accounted for, and returned back to Warsaw.

Here's another little thing on the event.

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#12 levallois

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:41 AM

Thanks for the extra information!  Looking through the vault has been both exhilarating and mind numbing so far; it is amazing the number of pages in these files!


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#13 Colt Chopper

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:05 PM

Had never really looked hard at the Dillinger pic before, I notice the Thompson he's holding does not have a butt stock attached , wonder if the outlaws discarded the stocks on most occasions, or even tossed the stocks in the trash.
Thoughts ?
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#14 historicalgmen

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 06:08 AM

Here is a list with serial numbers of Dillinger gang weapons from Bohemia.  While I don't have immediately avail what Chicago FBI is referring to in the opening "reference line," it appears to me someone at HQ wanted a listing made avail to them.  During my own tenure as a Bureau agent, it was not uncommon to receive requests of this nature from HQ or other offices especially in fast moving nationwide cases where extensive evidence is being collected daily and numerous suspects are beginning to show.  Summary type docs of this nature are extremely helpful to Federal prosecutors,  investigators and supervisory personnel for a variety of reasons in just "keeping a handle" on what the latest info is.

 

For purposes here, disregarding why this document was done, it provides the info being sought.   

 

There are a couple of notes of caution I mention with regard to this document from Purvis/Chicago FBI.  Had I written it, I would have made clear to recipients that the other Thompson machine gun found was taken to the St. Paul Office and "details of tracing etc. should be obtained from them." Although obviously agent reports are not written for interpretation of historians 100 years later, this Chicago document could lead the common layman by itself to assume that only 1 Thompson had been recovered at Bohemia, as you'll note with the showing of the one Thompson.

 

I suggest to those here not totally familiar with inner report workings of the Bureau, that some caution be taken on ASSUMPTIONS being made by examining various investigative documents.  I don't have to remind some that it's very easy to make false conclusions based on wrong assumptions. Different documents from different field offices in the 1930s are following the existing investigative procedure which was still in existence during my own service and is still there today. All of these reporting procedures are in place, and have been in place since early law enforcement, for a variety of important and necessary reasons.  

 

larry wack

FBI - Ret.

 

  

 

 

 

 

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#15 historicalgmen

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 06:24 AM

By the way, I did forget to mention one thing! 

 

Downing your favorite scotch, whiskey, or whatever while reviewing files is more than welcomed!  Being an insider, and having been assigned numerous designated "Major Cases," I have found myself at times doing the same thing.  Reading a report or communication, and sitting here wondering "what is this agent doing, and why is he doing it?"  Then again, I try to remember that the early pioneers were all still in the learning stages for the most part of criminal investigations.  I also note that at times the extent of the details, as readily seen in this case and others, for the time period is sometimes mind boggling.  Think I'll have another hit of my favorite Canadian whiskey called "Piehole."  


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#16 HANS

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 08:32 AM

Had never really looked hard at the Dillinger pic before, I notice the Thompson he's holding does not have a butt stock attached , wonder if the outlaws discarded the stocks on most occasions, or even tossed the stocks in the trash.
Thoughts ?

 

I've compiled a long list of incidents in which Thompsons were used by gangsters in the 1920s and 1930s, and can confirm that removing the stock was favoured by many. There are many references to this, ranging from eye witness reports and biographies to photos made of seized arsenals to police reports that often state that guns were without stock -- or that police found stocks but no guns!

 

The reason is simple to guess -- just like the sawn-off shotguns and sawn-off BARs, removing the stock made the Thompson much shorter and a bit lighter. This is important when the gun is carried concealed upon entry of a bank or wielded in a car. Also, when shootouts occurred, they were invariably at very short range, making the lack of the stock not that much of a disadvantage.

 

Cheers

 

HANS


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#17 OCM

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 09:30 AM

C. Chopper- My mixed up thoughts-

 

I don't think they just tossed the butt stocks, we see the butt stocks still attached on a number of The Dillinger gang's weaponry. I would imagine the stocks were removed depending on the usage.

We see the captured Thompsons in Tucson, still retaining the butt stocks with the exception of the # 3363 Racine gun, but it was taken to the robbery without the butt stock in the first place ( Makley Thompson ) .

I could be mistaken here but I think I remember # 7387 was taken from Crown Point without the butt stock attached and kept that way till it was recovered in Lake Michigan So we always see John with it without the butt stock attached.

The photos of MG Kelly's Thompson has butt stock still attached. SVDM guns the same I believe.

I think the Little Bo Thompsons had the stocks removed, but this could be for the various staged photographed taken, some things were added some removed, depending on the setup.

I haven't but you might check out the Barker guns displayed and the Birger photos. As far as using one in the bank robbery, I'm sure the butt stock was removed and they used XX box magazines not L drums. That's just practical and good bank robbing technique. Right ?

 

 

OCM   

 

 

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#18 levallois

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 10:17 AM

Thanks Larry for the Bohemia list but you're taking all the fun out of it.  I was only a third of the way through the bottle.

 

OCM - where were the guns in the bottom photo recovered from - Thompson, 1907, and the two 1911s?

 

Thanks!


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#19 OCM

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 10:33 AM

Don't know or remember, Bart will know if he chimes in.


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#20 jim c 351

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 10:52 AM

The 21 in the bottom pictures appears to have a 1923 military fore end. That's very unusual.

Jim C


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