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Thompson # 13798

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#1 DTD


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Posted 15 June 2004 - 01:00 AM

Well, I'm really getting deeper and deeper into this "Thompson thing"
[I am currently purchasing my first - a SA Kahr that has had extensive
work done to it by PK]

So I picked up a copy of Tracie Hill's book, and looking through the shipping
records I discovered that in 1922 a Thompson submachine gun [#13798]
was sent to the Moline, Ill. Police Dept. At that time my grandfather,
Ben DeJaeger, was the Chief of Moline Police, so guess who requested
the purchase of that Thompson!
The acquisition of this Thompson occured during the greatest crime wave
in Moline's history. Police records reveal a continuous series of robberies,
burglaries, hijackings, and murders. In 1921 six bandits in a large open car
held up the Commercial Savings Bank for $15,000 in cash and securities.
They escaped after a gun battle with two police officers, during which one
spectator was wounded by the bandits
I can just picture my grandpa saying: "By Golly that's enough of this #@*&%!
We're getting a Thompson submachine gun!

I also recently found [in the family scrapbook] a newspaper account of a
gun battle in Moline involving the use of this Thompson.
According to the article, dated June 30, 1941, a certain Sostenes Barrientos,
a Moline steelworker, was "apparently crazed by liquor and the heat."
He subsequently began firing his revolver, a 32-20 Spanish make, about
11:00 that night in downtown, Moline. Officers William Kribble and John
Livaditis were dispatched to the scene. As the policemen entered the
area, Barrientos retreated through the rear entrance to his room and started
firing. A bullet went through Kribble's trouser leg and caused a slight flesh wound.
The officers then asked by radio for tear gas shells. In the meantime, Officer
Joseph Raiche, informed of the shooting, picked up the Thompson and a teargas
gun and hurried to the scene. Two tear gas shells were fired into the room but
proved ineffective because Barrientos was standing near a window he had broken.
In the meantime, Officer Livaditas was forced to remain crouched in a corner by
the "crazed steel worker's fire from the window. Bullets were coming closer and
Barrientos answered with more shots to the repeated requests of the officers
that he surrender. Officer Trout, carrying the Thompson, ran along the wall to the
side of the window, and Barrientos fired at him. The bullet went over the policeman's
head and into a tree. Believing there was no alternative, Officer Trout fired one
burst of the machine gun through the window, aiming by the light of a flashlight
held by Livaditis. Four bullets struck Barrientos, who later died at Moline Public
Hospital. Officer Livaditis credited Trout's accuracy with the machine gun with
saving his life. He said he expected to "get it any second".
After the investigation Chief Ben DeJaeger said Officer Trout fired in the performance
of his duty, when he had no other choice, and he commended the policeman for his
efficient handling of the machine gun. Pointing to the holes in the trees Chief DeJaeger
marveled that some members of the crowd which had gathered were not wounded.

Neat stuff huh?!
By the way I would like to locate the whereabouts of # 13798.
[I would like even more the opportunity to purchase it!]
I do have a e-mail in to Gordon Herigstad, requesting any information he may have,
and I may also begin at the beginning in contacting the current Chief of Police
in Moline - they may still have it in storage or on display.
So if anyone has any information, I would appreciate the help.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I was fascinated in finding out about this,
and thought the Forum members might enjoy hearing it also.

Dave DeJaeger

Another interesting note: My grandpa served as Chief from 1918 until
he retired in 1945 - the longest term ever served by a Police Chief
in the United States.

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#2 colt21a


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Posted 15 June 2004 - 01:06 AM

as far as i know i was offered the moline gun year's ago,did not buy it along with rochford's and rock island,il.

check the source i am sure it sold in the last ten year's...with that history i wish i would have bought it.was about $5,000.00 at the time.......if i remember was about a 85% cond gun..........with extra's...........the owner will probably turn up somplace here to fill you in...........nice story, take care,ron
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#3 Norm


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Posted 15 June 2004 - 06:56 AM


Great story.

I hope you find (and are able to purchase) Thompson # 13798.

And as for being long winded, we don't mind. We love every Thompson story we hear! wink.gif

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#4 gijive


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Posted 15 June 2004 - 07:53 AM


Nice story and neat history on the gun. I think, however, you may be misinterpreting the shipping dates listed in Tracie Hill's book regarding the gun in question.

The dates listed in Hill's book, by serial number, refer to the dates the guns were manufactured and left Colt's for storage at the Auto-Ordnance facility.

A gun with a serial number that high, manufactured in 1922, probably wasn't purchased and shipped to the Moline P.D. that early. Although, the guns weren't shipped by serial number, a gun purchased that early in the production would likely have been a lower serial numbered gun.

My guess would be the gun was purchased by the Moline P.D. sometime in the 1930's. Keep us informed about the history of the gun if you hear from the Moline P.D.
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#5 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 10:36 AM

The term "shipping date" is confused with manufacturing date, since the Colt TSMG's were stored in the same Colt Hartford, Connecticut building that Auto-Ord used for storage. The first 1000, or so, Colt TSMG's have published records of when they were sold, but beyond those serial numbers, the manufacturing dates seem to be confused with sold dates. As G.I. Jive says, that high serial number probably didn't leave the wharehouse until the 1930's. I have seen this gun recently. The current owner, a Las Vegas Class III dealer and LEO, was offered over $30K for the gun at least 2 years ago. He declined.
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#6 sten guy

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 02:34 PM

You guys are more knowledgeable than I, so here is my question::

When would you expect the ship date to be for a Colt in the mid 8000 range to be??

I am just curious..
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#7 John Jr

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 02:58 PM

The current owner, a Las Vegas Class III dealer and LEO, was offered over $30K for the gun at least 2 years ago. He declined.

This is what happens when two fools meet.

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#8 TNKen


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Posted 15 June 2004 - 03:38 PM

Now, that'll leave a mark!!!

If you can't get the Moline gun, would a Mobile one do????

Just kidding. Good luck.

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#9 DTD


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Posted 15 June 2004 - 11:19 PM

Thanks to everyone for your interest and helpful
information [especially Arthur].
Who knows, someday I may be lucky enough to end
up with it!

What stories some of these these guns
could tell! It was fortunate that I was able to uncover
this particular story due to my interest in both my grandfather's
history as Police Chief, and my rekindled interest in Thompsons.
Don't you think most of the police departments that unloaded
what they thought were usless dinosaurs would now love to
have them back to display as part of their past history?
If I do ever acquire this Thompson, I would like to
eventually return [will] it to it's original P.D. home for permanent
display and safekeeping.........
But only after I'm too old and too far gone to even lift it up! Ha Ha!

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#10 john


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Posted 16 June 2004 - 04:46 PM

neat story, DTD!
BTW, welcome to these fine boards.....always glad to hear new stories and have new blood contributing!!

john rolleyes.gif
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#11 Walter63a


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Posted 16 June 2004 - 05:16 PM

DTD, what an interesting story. smile.gif Welcome to these boards, since we definately like to learn new things regarding Thompsons and their history! rolleyes.gif Phil is correct about modern government "weenies"; Don't trust them with anything you care about!!! blink.gif Best Regards, Walter
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