Dr. Thomas G. Gault
JULY 1943 - AXIS ASS ACHE # 229490 -
Left to Right (Front Row): Tom Gault - Bombardier; Norm (Bud) Kaufman - Pilot;
Bill Holt - Co-pilot; Bill Haddock - Navigator
Left to right (Back Row): Dominic Demick - Tail Gunner; ? Pusanne (Walter?) -
Waist Gunner; Ed Malinski - Radio; Reuben Wilburn - Flight Engineer; Ed LaRoche
- Ball Turret; ? Repp - Waist Gunner
(Photo Source - James Redick, Detroit MI)
Gault entered the U.S. Army Air Corp in 1941 for pilot
training. He completed primary and basic training and was
transferred to bombardier/navigation training school. Tom
was assigned as commissioned officer to the a B-17 Group
(99th BG,15th AF, 347th Squadron stationed at Constantine,
Algeria and Bezertia, Tunisia) and served nine months in
North Africa, receiving decorations for fifty missions over
France, Italy, Sicily and North Africa. The name of the
B-17 was AXIS ASS ACHE (Triple A). After military
service, he devoted his life to teaching.
Here is the history of my Colt 1911A1
pistol serial number 860991. Itís so long ago, the
story starts when I had finished 50 missions in B-17s
in North Africa, Italy, France and Sicily. I received
orders to return to the U.S.A. at my earliest convenience
and by whatever transportation was available. As you may
guess, it didnít seem to me that they were in any rush for
me to get home. As it happened to be at the end of rest
camp at Cape Bone, Algeria, that I began a sort of vacation
tour of North Africa.
I visited places where army air craft went,
like Egypt, Tunis and Algeria, ports of Algeria and Oran
then to Marrakech, Morocco, there I caught a DC-3 to
Timbuktu carrying mail and wound up in Dakar, West Africa.
I spent several days there with others trying to get home by
hitching a ride on a plane coming home. Life there was
restful and full of movies and at the PX.
One could buy almost anything. After about
three days, I came in one night to be greeted by the MPís
who informed me that ďI had been selected for a plane trip
courtesy of Uncle Sam and the plane left in 39 min., Lets
go!Ē At the plane they cuffed me to a briefcase, and
strapped on me the belt with my Colt 1911A1 .45, with two
magazines of .45 Ammo and gave me instructions that no
one was to touch the case until I arrived in Miami at the
risk of death. Well, as you may guess I was scarred Shi---.
When I arrived in Miami, I tried to give the case to the
officer who met the plane and he acted as if I had tried to
give him a case of Clap.
He steered me, keeping about ten paces away,
to base security shack where they made a big to-do about
unfastening the cuffed case and thanking me for a job well
I served in U.S. Army Air Corp from Aug.
1941 To Aug. 1945 as Bombardier on B-17 Bomber and 2 years
instructor on B-29ís at Pyote, Texas. After service I
devoted my life to teaching.
Thomas G. Gault
Model 1911A1 No. 860991 - One of 6,575 unsold
commercial Government Model pistols transferred by Colt to
their existing Military contract (No. W-478-ORD-1528). The
GOVERNMENT MODEL inscription on the frame was removed
and was restamped UNITED STATES PROPERTY in its place
and M1911A1 U.S. ARMY in front of the pin for the
takedown lever. The commercial serial numbers were removed
and they were renumbered in the military serial number range
beginning with number 860003. Then the guns were parkerized.
This pistol was manufactured with the
Swartz Safety (which was a firing pin block safety added
to Government Model pistols around 1938) but the internals
have been removed upon conversion to the military contract.
This pistol also has the letter S (the commercial
sale mark) stamped inside the slide and frame. This pistol
has three original commercial magazines which were also
transferred to the military contract. They are full blued,
with riveted bases and are marked COLT over .45
AUTO. The bottoms of all three magazines have been
sand blasted to make them non-reflective.
There is a P proof on the top of the
slide, in front of the rear sight and alto a P on the
left side of the frame near the magazine release button.
The barrel in this gun is a commercial barrel marked COLT
.45 AUTO on the left side, with the commercial sale mark
S in front of the barrel lug on the underside of the
chamber. There is no P on the left lug.
Gun has Type 2 Coltwood plastic grips
with strengthening ribs, mold numbers and large reinforcing
rings around screw holes.
Commercial slide marking on right side of
G.H.D. - Inspected by Ordnance Inspector Brig.
General Guy H. Drewry, Springfield Ordnance District,
Army Inspector of Ordnance June 17, 1942 - July 15,
1945, 1911A1 Pistols serial numbers 845000 - 2360600
(approx.) (860003 - 860500 marked W.B.)
Rear grip strap retaining virtually all original parkerized
Front grip strap retaining virtually all original parkerized
DR. THOMAS GOWER GAULT
September 2, 1919 - December 10, 2010
Dr. Thomas Gower Gault, age 91, Professor Emeritus of
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, died December 10, 2010
at McKendree Village, Hermitage, TN. Dr. Gault, a native of
Cornersville, TN., was the son of H.W. and Arlene Gault and
a grandson of Dr. Fred Gault of Lewisburg. He was preceded
in death by his first wife, Virginia Garner Gault, his son;
Richard T. Gault, and one brother; Fred Harold Gault.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth Gault of McKendree Village,
Hermitage, TN., a sister; Dorothy Gault Zemanek of Glen
Falls, N.Y. He attended Cornersville School and Martin
College before obtaining a B.A. degree in Math from the
University of Chattanooga; a B.S. Degree in Education at
M.T.S.U.; an M.A. degree in Economics at Peabody College for
Teachers; and an Ed.D. in Geography from Peabody
College/Vanderbilt in 1959.
A veteran of WWII, he served as 1st Lt. Bombardier of 50
missions in a B-17 crew in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy,
for which he received ten air medals and three Presidential
Citations. Returning from overseas, he served as instructor
for B-29 crews and ground classes for navigation and
weather. After WWII, he became a teacher, coach, a
principal, a superintendent of education in Tennessee.
Later, he taught 27 years in colleges in Pennsylvania and
developed the Department of Geography and Regional Planning
at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and its Chairman for
20 years. He was a Rotarian (President for 1975-6 Indiana,
PA.) and was secretary to the National Council for
Geographic Education. He retired to a new career as a
Realtor with Century 21 at Tullahoma, TN. in 1979-1990. He
was a member and Elder of the Presbyterian Church before
entering McKendree Village.