Sig Sauer Honors Pearl Harbor With Three Commemorative M1911s
Two pistols honor the sunken battleships USS Oklahoma and USS Arizona, while the third includes marking denoting the time of the attack.
December 2021 marked the eightieth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which resulted in the United States' entry into World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt described that horrible day as one that will live in infamy, and it is an event that should never be forgotten.
Firearms maker Sig Sauer, in partnership with the Best Defense Foundation, released three custom-designed Model 1911 pistols to commemorate the bravery of the American military personnel on December 7, 1941. The choice of firearms is noteworthy as the M1911 was a standard issue sidearm carried by U.S. military forces throughout World War II.
Each of these 1911 Pearl Harbor pistols features engravings designed in collaboration with Outlaw Ordnance customizations with a Battleship Gray Cerakote matte finish on the frame and slide. Each of the three pistols, which are chambered in .45 ACP (AUTO), features an SAO trigger, Gold Dot Novak front sights and Wilson Combat serrated rear sights.
“It was truly an honor to create these custom pistols and we are humbled to have the opportunity to partner with the Best Defense Foundation to salute these men and women of the greatest generation,” said Tom Taylor, chief marketing officer and executive vice president at Sig Sauer, Inc., in a press release.
“The foundation is providing any World War II veteran that wants a measure of closure the opportunity to return to their battlefield and we hope these pistols will bring recognition to their efforts,” added Taylor. “From the shores of Normandy to Pearl Harbor, the foundation has made it their mission to honor these veterans sacrifice and we are forever thankful for their dedication to that mission.”
Remember Pearl Harbor
In addition to the engraving, the pistols feature custom grips that were designed and manufactured by Chad Schumacher at Allegory Goods, and were crafted from teak decking salvaged from the USS North Carolina (BB-55) which had been completed in April 1941. North Carolina was sent to the Pacific after the attack to strengthen allied forces during the Guadalcanal Campaign. It was later part of offensive operations supporting the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Battle of Okinawa. The warship is now undergoing a renovation in Wilmington, N.C.
The three custom-designed Model 1911 firearms include:
Pearl Harbor Commemorative Pistol: It includes engravings that mark the date and time of the attack, December 7, 1941, 7:55 am when Japanese warplanes descended on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor; as well as the address by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the U.S. Congress formally requesting a declaration of war between the U.S. and Japan where he began with “A day which will live in infamy.”
USS Arizona (BB-39) Commemorative Pistol: This special pistol commemorates the USS Arizona, which was hit by Japanese torpedo bombers which detonated in a munitions magazine, which violently exploded and sank the ship, killing 1,177 officers and crewmen. It also features engravings of the USS Arizona Memorial at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial was dedicated on May 30th, 1962 to honor all those who died during the attack.
USS Oklahoma (BB-37) Commemorative Pistol: Its engravings commemorate the USS Oklahoma, the Nevada-class battleship that entered service during World War I and protected allied convoys across the Atlantic. During the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese torpedo bomber airplanes hit the Oklahoma's hull causing it to capsize.
The commemorative 1911 pistols have been presented to the leadership of the Best Defense Foundation, and will be on display with other noteworthy commemorative firearms. A video of the presentation was released on YouTube earlier this month.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.