Ensign John H. Wesson’s family hookup

model 1917 SW 45 presented to Ensign John H. Wesson, grandson of S&W founder, on graduation from USNA. One side of this revolver's frame bears the seal of the Naval Academy3

This immaculate Smith & Wesson Corp. Model 1917 Revolver was once used to shoot flying fish off the fantail of a destroyer during WWII by its owner, then LCDR Joseph Hawes Wesson II (NSN: 0-74971), grandson of S&W founder, Daniel B. Wesson.

The wheelgun was presented to Wesson on his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1935, where he served on the Annapolis lacrosse team.


With this revolver at his side, he picked up the Silver Star in the Pacific.


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. HICKOX (DD-673), in action against enemy Japanese forces during the capture and occupation of Saipan, the First Battle of the Philippine Sea, the capture and occupation of Guam, raids on Palau-Yap-Ulithi, Mindanao, Visayas, Luzon, Nansei Shoto and Formosa, and support raids against enemy installations in the Philippine Islands, from 9 June to 27 November 1944. Fighting his ship with skill and determined aggressiveness, Commander Wesson rendered valiant service during a protracted period of intensive warfare, maintaining his command in superb combat readiness and hurling her full strength against frequent hostile air attacks and enemy installations. Under his courageous direction, the HICKOX achieved an outstanding record for providing gunfire protection for our heavy units against enemy air attacks and succeeded in destroying one enemy aircraft and in rescuing the crews of eighteen planes downed in hostile waters. His inspiring leadership and zealous devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Wesson continued his career through WWII and into the Cold War, attending the 1952 Strategy and Tactics class at the Naval War College as a full Commander. He retired as a Captain and died June 11, 2001.

He is buried in the Wesson family plot in Massachusetts and donated his M1917 to the National Firearms Museum.

One side of this revolver’s frame bears the seal of the Naval Academy.

model 1917 SW 45 presented to Ensign John H. Wesson, grandson of S&W founder, on graduation from USNA. One side of this revolver's frame bears the seal of the Naval Academy2 model 1917 SW 45 presented to Ensign John H. Wesson, grandson of S&W founder, on graduation from USNA. One side of this revolver's frame bears the seal of the Naval Academy

More on the gun here

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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