Colt Automatic Pistol and Revolver Information - 25 years of Service to Colt Firearms Collectors

COLT MODELS Gun of the Month - March 2007
Colt Model M "U.S. PROPERTY" Marked .380 ACP
Serial Number 136813
Issued to Brigadier General Lotha A. Smith, USAF
 with Details of his Distinguished Military Career

Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP pistol serial number 136813 - Model M .380 pistol issued to Brigadier General Lotha A. Smith, USAF - In 1945, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and was presented his Colt 1908 .380 caliber sidearm, serial number 136813.  This gun is accompanied by the original brown holster issued to General Smith.


8 January 1894 Born in Kentucky
  Admitted - North Dakota
6 June 1917 -
14 November 1917
Private and Private 1st Class
Aviation Section Signal Corps
North Island, San Diego, California
25 October 1917 Commissioned 1st Lt. Aviation Section Officers Reserve Corps (ASSRC)
North Island, San Diego, California
7 November 1917 Ordered active duty at Rich Field, Waco, Texas
15 November 1917 active duty

Assignments November 1917 - September 1918

6 November 1917 -
10 November 1917
Commanding Officer, Rich Field
  Officer-in-Charge of Flying
  Commandant of Cadets
  Flying Instructor

American Expeditionary Forces

September 1918 -
February 1919
Advances student
Issoudun, France
  Temporary Service in England
  Commanding Officer, 476th Casual Company
St. Aignan, France
April 1919 Temporary Duty Newport News, Virginia and Mitchel Field, New York to April 1919.
April 1919 Assigned Bolling Field, Washington, DC


  Engineering Officer. Squadron Commander. Assistant Officer-in-Charge of Flying
1 July 1920 1 Lieutenant, Air Service
17 September 1920 vacated
17 September 1920 accepted
November 1920 Relieved Bolling Field
November 1920 Assigned Border Patrol, Sanderson, Texas
  Commanding Officer, Flight "A", 90th Surveillance Squadron.
June 1921 Relieved Sanderson, Texas
June 1921 Assigned Kelly Field, Texas
  Project "B"
  Commanding Officer, 13th Attack Squadron
  Commanding Officer, 8th Attack Squadron
  Commanding Officer, 60th Attack Squadron
  Commanding Officer, 43rd Attack Squadron
11 March 1925 Major (temp)
April 1926 Relieved Kelly Field, Texas
April 1926 Assigned to Hawaiian Department
  Engineering officer, 73rd Observation Squadron
  Commanding Officer, 59th Service Squadron
  Commanding Officer, 6th Pursuit Squadron
  Luke Field, T.H.
  Wheeler Field, T.H.
1928 Represented Hawaiian Department in National Aerial Gunnery Meet at Langley Field, Virginia.
16 August 1928 Captain
May 1929 Relieved Hawaiian Department
May 1929 Assigned to Selfridge Field, Michigan
  Commanding Officer, 27th Pursuit Squadron
January 1930 Relieved Selfridge Field.
January 1930 Assigned 3rd Attach Group, Fort Crockett, Texas


  Commanding Officer, 8th Attack Squadron
September 1933 Relieved from 3rd Attack Group, Fort Crockett, Texas
September 1933 Assigned Student Air Corps Tactical School, Montgomery, Alabama
23 June 1936 accepted Major (temp)
June 1934 Completed course and assigned as instructor, Air Corps Tactical School, Chief of the Attack Section, and Assistant Director Air Tactics and Strategy
1934 Graduated Air Corps Tactical School
Rated: Comd. Plt.; C. Obsr.
1934 - 1938 Instructor at Air Corps Tactical School
25 June 1936 relieved Major (temp)
19 October 1937 Major
June 1938 Relieved assignment Air Corps Tactical School
June 1938 Assigned to March Field, California
  Commanding Officer, 95th Attack Squadron
  Executive Director, 17th Attack Group
  Commanding Officer, 28th Composite Group
  S-2, 1st Wing
  Acting G-2, Fourth Air District
  Acting A-2, Fourth Air Force
1939 Chief Air umpire fro CPX, 4th Army at Presidio, San Francisco, California
1940 Commanding officer of Air Provisional Group Alaska
1 March 1940 Lieutenant Colonel (temp.)
11 March 1940 accepted
29 November 1940 vacated, Lieutenant Colonel (temp.)
29 November 1940 Lieutenant Colonel
April 1941 Relieved March Field
April 1941 Assigned Hammer Field, Fresno, California
  Commanding Officer
15 July 1941 Colonel (temp.)
22 July 1941 accepted
5 December 1941 Relieved from Hammer Field
5 December 1941 Assigned Hamilton Field, California


  Commanding Officer
March 1943 Relieved from Hamilton Field
March 1943 Assigned Central Pacific Area
April 1943 -
26 December 1943
Island Commander and task Force Commander, Canton island, Central Pacific
26 December 1943 Relieved Canton.
26 December 1943 Assigned Air Task Forces Commander, Neukeufetau, Ellis Islands
1943 - 1944 Served with Seventh Air Force as field inspector
January 1944 Relieved from Neukeufetau
January 1944 Assigned War Plans Officer for Army Air Forces Central Pacific Area
February 1944 -
December 1944
Served with Seventh Air Force as assistant chief of staff for plans.  
January 1945 Brigadier General
  Oahu, T.H. and Guam
8 June 1945 Relieved from Central Pacific Area
8 June 1945 Assigned Fourth Air Force
  Commanding General, 318th Wing
  Commanding General, 319th Wing
  Commanding Officer, Hammer Field
June 1950 Retired
11 April 1970 Died

Brigadier General Lotha A. Smith, USAF
(January 8, 1884 - April 11, 1970)


General Smith received the following promotions throughout his military career:


Temporary (AUS)

Permanent (RA)

Brigadier General


January 1945

Brigadier General - Retired


June 1950


General Smith's citations and decorations included the Legion of Merit by Lieutenant General Robert C. Richardson, Jr. for his achievements at Canton Island and the Bronze Star by Lieutenant General Barney M. Giles, Army Air Forces, for meritorious service as War Plans Officer for the Army Air Forces in the Central Pacific.

28th Bombardment Group

Constituted as 28th Composite Group on 22 Dec 1939. Activated on 1 Feb 1940. Redesignated 28th Bombardment Group (Composite) in Dec 1943. Aircraft included P-38's, P-39's, P-40's, B-26's and LB-30's during 1941-1943, and B-24's and B-25's during 1944-1945.

Operated in Alaska from Feb 1941 until after the war. Trained for Arctic warfare in 1941 and served as part of the defense system for the region. Helped to force the withdrawal of Japanese ships that attacked Dutch Harbor in Jun 1942. Flew missions against Kiska until the Japanese evacuated that island in Aug 1943. Bombed and strafed shipping, harbor facilities, canneries, fisheries, and military installations in the Kurils. Also flew photographic reconnaissance missions to obtain material for planning operations. Received a DUC for the period Apr 1944-Aug 1945 when the group's attacks on the Kurils caused Japan to divert some of her air power to that northern area, thus weakening Japanese opposition to Allied forces in the south. Flew its last bombing mission on 13 Aug 1945 but continued reconnaissance operations in the Kurils after the war. Inactivated in Alaska on 20 October 1945.

Redesignated 28th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). Activated in the US on 4 Aug 1946 as part of Strategic Air Command. Equipped with B-29 aircraft. Was stationed in Alaska from Oct 1946 to Apr 1947. Redesignated 28th Bombardment Group (Medium) in May 1948. Redesignated 28th Bombardment Group (Heavy) in May 1949 and equipped with RB-36's in Jul. Redesignated 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Group in Apr 1950, and 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Group (Heavy) in Jul 1950. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952.

Squadrons. 11th Pursuit: 1942. 18th Pursuit: 1941-1942. 34th Pursuit: 1940. 36th: 1940-1943. 37th: 1940-1941. 73d: 1941-1943. 77th: 1942-1945; 1946-1952. 404th: 1942-1945. 717th: 1946-1952. 718th: 1946-1952.

Stations. March Field, Calif, 1 Feb 1940; Moffett Field, Calif, 10 Dec 1940-12 Feb 1941; Elmendorf Field, Alaska, 23 Feb 1941; Adak, 14 Mar 1943; Shemya, 26 Feb 1944-20 Oct 1945. Grand Island AAFld, Neb, Aug-Oct 1946; Elmendorf Field, Alaska, 20 Oct 1946-24 Apr 1947; Rapid City AAFld, SD, 3 May 1947-16 Jun 1952.

Commanders. Col William H Crom, 1 Feb 1940; Lt Col Lotha A Smith, 12 Feb 1940; Maj William O Eareckson, 1 Sep 1940; Maj Donald W Titus, 20 Oct 1940; Maj William O Eareckson, 26 May 1941; Maj Norman D Sillin, 7 Nov 1941; Col Earl H DeFord, 23 Jan 1943; Maj Robert C Orth, 19 Mar 1943; Lt Col Jack N Donohew, 27 Mar 1943; Lt Col Ralph W Rodieck, 18 Apr 1943; Lt Col John W Massion, 27 Oct 1943; Lt Col Alexander W Bryant, 4 Jan 1944; Col Robert H Herman, 1 Apr 1944; Col Walter L Wheeler, 21 Jul 1945; Lt Col John C Larson, 27 Sep-20 Oct 1945. Col Richard M Montgomery, 4 Aug 1946; Col Thomas Gent Jr, 23 Aug 1946; Lt Col Donald W Lang, 15 Aug 1947; Lt Col Everett W Best, 24 Dec 1947; Lt Col Frank W Iseman Jr, 16 Apr 1948; Lt Col Solomon Cutcher, 27 Jun 1948; Col John B Henry Jr, 10 Jul 1948; Lt Col Everett W Best, 25 Apr 1949; Col William P Brett, 2 May 1949; Lt Col Solomon Cutcher, 21 Mar 1950; Col Donald W Eisenhart, 3 Apr 1950; Col Frank W Iseman Jr, 24 Jul 1950; Col Bertram C Harrison, 18 Oct 1950; Col Richard E Ellsworth, 10 Feb 1951-16 Jun 1952.

Campaigns. Air Offensive, Japan; Aleutians.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Kuril Islands, 1 Apr 1944-13 Aug 1945.

Insigne. Shield: Per pale nebuly or and azure. Crest: On a wreath of the colors, or and azure, a fleur-de-lis vert the outer leaves terminated in the form of wings or. Motto: Guardian Of The North. (Approved 14 Nov 1941.)

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