Coltautos.com Gun of the Month - October 2003
Colt Model M .380 serial number 136626 - An exceptional Model M .380 pistol issued to Major General James Lawton Collins - In 1939, he was appointed to the rank of Brigadier General and was presented his Colt 1908 .380 caliber sidearm, serial number 136626 in 1945. There are records of General Collins also receiving the following .380 pistols, presumably for presentation to other General Officers: 137498, 137542, 137559, 137651, 137838.
General Collins' .380 pistol pictured on top of the original foil shipping bag for his son's (Brigadier General James Lawton Collins, Jr.) military 1903 Colt .32 ACP serial number 568479 issued to him on on 3/4/65.
General John J. Pershing
with his aide Lieutenant James Lawton Collins, 1916
Lt. James Lawton Collins (far left) and General Pershing near El Valle, Crossing the Maria River, with Expeditionary Forces in Mexico. (ca. 1916)
Two original covers: Top addressed to Lt. Col James L. Collins, American Expeditionary Forces, France; bottom addressed to Mrs. James L. Collins from Col. J. L. Collins, General Staff.
James Lawton C ollins
Born in Louisiana on December 10, 1882 he was a graduate of the West Point class of 1907. He served in the Philippine Insurrection (1912-1913), initially with the 8th United States Cavalry and then as aide-de-camp to General John J. Pershing. He was also Pershing's aide during the Mexican Punitive Expedition and accompanied him in that role to France during World War I.
Border Conference in El Paso, 1914
He later became Secretary of the General Staff at General
Headquarters, American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in France during that
war, leaving that position to lead a battalion of the 7th Field Artillery,
1st Infantry Division during the last months of the war.
Excerpts from a Letter written by James Lawton Collins, III:
My grandfather, Major General James Lawton Collins, died in 1963 when I
was eleven, and as I had spent those years in various military postings in
Europe and the United States, I only got to know him during the times we
lived in Washington, DC, from 1954 to 1956, and from the summer of 1962
until he died in July of the following year. My first memories of him were
at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, at 308 Queen Street, which is a
pre-Revolutionary War brick house just up the hill from the Potomac. I
remember he used to take me down to the river with a pole and some fishing
line to try to catch fish. Mostly we were there to get out of the house,
(and my Grandmother's hair), and to spend some time male bonding. I don't
think we ever caught any fish.
General Collins received the following promotions throughout his
On April 8, 1947, he was appointed to the rank of Brigadier General.
He was presented his Colt 1908 .380 caliber sidearm, serial number 136626
Major General Collin's citations and decorations included two Distinguished Service Medals and a Silver Star.