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Colt Ace .22 LR - Colt Ace Serial Number 7030 belonging to Lieutenant Thomas P. Dunleavy, Navy Chaplain, USS Callaway


Photo courtesy of Tom Dunleavy

Pre-war Colt Ace Model .22 blue, serial number 7030 circa. 1937-38, with original finish, late front sight.  The left side slide marking has two lines, one is the address, the other just under, are the patents (1913), the rampant is not just after these two lines, but behind the serrations close (of the hammer), the right side is: Colt ACE .22 Long Rifle.

This gun belonged to Lieutenant Thomas P. Dunleavy, who was the Navy Chaplain aboard the USS Callaway. It is a commercial example purchased by the Lieutenant in Michigan in 1937-38.

Here is a brief account of Lieutenant Dunleavy's military service ad provided by his nephew, Tom Dunleavy:

"Fr. Par, as he was called, was the chaplain for the Iron Mountain (MI) Vets Hospital until his retirement in 1985. He served in the Pacific Theater aboard the USS Callaway APA 35. After WW2 he was again called up for the Korean War but fortunately saw no combat. Aboard the Callaway from its beginning as a attack troop transport in 8 October 1943 he was to see plenty of action to include Kwajelein Atoll 4 February 1944; 20 March, 1944 Emireu Island; 15 June 1944 Saipan; 17 Sept 1944 Island of Anguar In the Palau Group of Islands, Carloine Islands;16 October 1944 Leyte (San Pedro Bay) ; 23 November 1944 Leyte Gulf. On 8 January 1945 on the way to Luzon, the ship was attacked by a Japanese plane called a Tony. This plane made a suicide run and hit the Callaway resulting in the death to 31 men (USCG) that day. Other men died of their injuries a few days later; Iwo Jima 1 March 1945. This ship landed thousands of Marine and Army men on Japanese held Islands and was there, especially at Iwo, to bring wounded aboard and care for them. To me my Uncle is a real hero. Lt. Commander Dunleavy died in January of 2002. We will miss him. TD"

Amidst a scene of horror on the deck of the USS Callaway, the Navy chaplain, Lieut. Thomas P. Dunleavy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dunleavy, Champion Hill, administers the rites of his church to two dying Coast Guardsmen after the invasion transport had taken a bomb from Jap aircraft off the coast of Luzon.  The Coast Guard combat artist, Norman M. Thomas, chief specialist, of Portland, ME, witnessed the explosion, helped put out the fires and then made the above drawing.  Chief Thomas describes the scene "The air is filled with screams of wounded and dying men.  The smell of burning flesh fills the nostrils; the eyes smart from thick smoke.  The chaplain administers the rites to the dying."

USS Callaway APA 35

The USS Callaway was one of twenty-nine C3 hulls completed as assault transports. They comprised the Bayfield class. Fitted with booms enabling them to launch landing craft, they carried a mixed armament of 5", 40mm and 20mm guns. All class members survived the war. As befits her merchant bloodlines, the Callaway was returned to the merchant marine in 1949 where she served as the President Harrison.

This a picture from 1943 or 1944 on Namur Island. Note: the chaplains have .45's. Lieutenant Thomas P. Dunleavy had his Colt Ace .22, since according to him, he could not hit anything with the .45. This picture was never released for press due to armed chaplains.

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October 2016


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