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Camden N.J. P.D. 1927A Colts Called Machine Guns By Period Press

Unruh Model 1927 Camden New Jersey Police

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#1 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 01:57 PM

The Camden Police Department purchased  six Colt Model No. 27A in 1928.  Gordon Herigstat had accounted for three of them, #4390, #5239, #5286, but not their original purchase dates.  

 

Discussed in these threads:

 

http://www.machinegu...=+howard +unruh
http://www.machinegu...l=+camden +p.d.
http://www.machinegu...p.d.#entry71692
http://www.machinegu...l=+camden +p.d.
http://www.machinegu...p.d.#entry84261

 

Chief of Police James E. Tatem arranged for the purchase of the Colts  back in February. 1928 and a month later, Mayor Winfield Price fired  Tatem  and replaced him with Chief Stehr. The firing might have stemmed from the following newspaper account of this transaction.

Camden Courier-Post - February 4, 1928

POLICE INVITE BANDITS
TO NICE SHOOTING PARTY


But Yeggs Must Leave Gats at Home While Cops Practice
With Camden's new Desperado Eliminators

Wanted: Targets for Camden’s new desperado eliminators. Bandits, burglars, snipers and their ilk are requested by Chief of Police James E. Tatem to apply at police headquarters Monday morning at 10 o’clock, when a practice shooting party will be held.

Chief Tatem said today Camden’s bandit-chasing squad is “just rarin’ to go” with six new automatic rifles guaranteed to shoot full of holes the toughest bandit in less time than it takes to say “Aligoop.”

 

For the further enlightenment of the bandit fraternity, Chief Tatem announced detailed instructions on how to use the new carbines will be given this afternoon at 3 o’clock to bandit chasing police by Captain Arthur Colsey and Herman Engle, a representative of Stein Brothers, this city.

The rifles arrived at police headquarters yesterday afternoon. They will be distributed in each of the city’s three police districts in the campaign to rid the city of desperadoes.

 

The weapons can fire a magazine of 20 shots in a few seconds. They will be mounted in the three red bandit chasing coupes used by the district squad members. One of the coupes is now being used by Archie Reiss and Vernon Jones in South Camden, while two others are expected to be delivered within a few days, according to Chief of Police James E. Tatem. They will be assigned to Walter Smith and Joseph Carpani, First district detectives and Louis Schlam and Richard Donnelly in the East Camden district.

 

Swivel attachments make it possible to fire the guns from a fixed point in an automobile. Detached they may be fired from the shoulder. Besides firing a magazine of 20 shots without stopping, they can be adjusted to single fire, using .45 caliber cartridges.

Instruction in the adjustment and use of the weapons will be given today by a representative of the company that sold them- at $175 each— to the city.

Camden Courier Post February 6, 1928  photo showing the above mentioned  "red bandit chasing coupes used by the district squad members."

Attached File  003.JPG   220.68K   16 downloads

 

Board members currently own #5239 (as seen in Nelson's "The World's Submachine Guns with WWII grip)  and #5286 (with property tag)

Attached File  Colt 1927A 5239 Camden P.D. pic from 1963 World's SMG.JPG   122.16K   21 downloads

Attached File  Camden P.D. Colt 1921A #5286 property number 320.jpg   121.29K   31 downloads

 

 

Owners have stated that they retain their original semi-auto only parts.  This is relevant when considering press reports of the Camden police firing their "submachine guns" during shootouts including the well-publicized Howard Unruh "Walk Of Death" in September, 1949. Described in this newspaper account.

Attached File  Camden P.D Howard-Unruh-Kelly-Hance.jpg   156.07K   27 downloads

Attached File  Howard-Unruh-arrest-a.jpg   31.08K   21 downloads

Same officer as seen in first picture on roof with Colt 1927A

Attached File  LEO with Colt TSMG on roof Howard-Unruh-arrest-a.jpg   40.46K   15 downloads

 

"As neighbors milled about, more than 50 officers surrounded the two-story stucco building, and began blasting away at the apartment with machine guns, shotguns, and pistols, even though some in the crowd, estimated to be a thousand people, were in the line of fire."

 

And this Cleveland Plain Dealer August 25, 1931 account:

Attached File  001.JPG   116.15K   12 downloads

 

While AOC might have figured there was a law enforcement and penitentiary market for the Thompson Semi-Automatic Carbine (presumably because some officials did not trust their people to handle submachine guns), the distinction was lost on the press. The more things change, the more they stay the same. 


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#2 TD.

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 10:22 AM

Arthur,

Excellent research! Just back from a Skeet Tournament. I will read this thread in detail with great interest later tonight. 


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#3 rpbcps

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 03:04 AM

Arthur,

Excellent post, I love reading about the historical accounts of the Thompson gun.

 

Noticed the term Gats used in the quote "But Yeggs Must Leave Gats at Home While Cops Practice". I have heard that term used before, to refer to firearms, but it is not something we hear often in the UK. I presume its origin is a shortened reference to the 'Gatling' gun? 

 

​Stay safe

Richard


Edited by rpbcps, 31 May 2018 - 03:10 AM.

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#4 jojeep

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 06:24 PM

I live about 15 miles south of Camden NJ.
My Grandfather, an Employee at RCA Camden, was down the street when Howard Unruh was shooting everyone.

The city went on a Lock Down with people hiding in their homes.
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#5 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:00 AM

Arthur,

Excellent research! Just back from a Skeet Tournament. I will read this thread in detail with great interest later tonight. 

 Other questions arise from when and where  #5239 picked up the WWII frame grip by the time of the 1962/63  Nelson book photo and why #5286 has a PD property tag, but not  #5239.  Does  #4390  have the tag or the other three Colt 1927A's?  The tag may have something to do with  Ivy Armament of Wind Lake, Wisconsin that  obtained #5286 from  Camden P.D.  in 1961(?). Apparently, they did DEWATs back in the 1960's.  Too bad the following case: Dennis Patrick Mower, Appellant, v. United States of America, Appellee, 402 F.2d 982 (5th Cir. 1968), doesn't mention the TSMG serial number.

 

 (1) The submachine gun was an unserviceable firearm within the meaning of § 5812(a) (3). The barrel had been arc-welded and closed at the breech end.

"The Government proved that Baker had purchased the gun from the Ivy Armament Company of Windlake, Wisconsin. That company filed "Notice of tax exempt domestic transfer of firearm," on Form 5 in the Office of the Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, D. C. The form shows that the transfer to Baker was made on May 8, 1965"

 

https://law.justia.c...402/982/446514/


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#6 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:02 AM

Arthur,

Excellent post, I love reading about the historical accounts of the Thompson gun.

 

Noticed the term Gats used in the quote "But Yeggs Must Leave Gats at Home While Cops Practice". I have heard that term used before, to refer to firearms, but it is not something we hear often in the UK. I presume its origin is a shortened reference to the 'Gatling' gun? 

 

​Stay safe

Richard

 Richard, 

 

Guns & Ammo came to the same conclusion as you.

http://www.gunsandam...earms-nicknames


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#7 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:04 AM

I live about 15 miles south of Camden NJ.
My Grandfather, an Employee at RCA Camden, was down the street when Howard Unruh was shooting everyone.

The city went on a Lock Down with people hiding in their homes.

 This incident continues to haunt contemporary America.

 

"Granddaughter of Unruh survivor hid in Florida school"
Jim Walsh, @jimwalsh_cp Published 9:44 p.m. ET Feb. 15, 2018

 

https://www.courierp...hool/343716002/


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