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Celebrating 100 Years of Distinguished Service to America
America Remembers and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation present the Centennial of Naval Aviation Tribute Pistol commemorating 100 years of distinguished service that Navy Aviators have given to America.
The legend of U.S. Naval Aviation began 100 years ago. In the decades that followed, Navy aviators have distinguished themselves in every major conflict. They flew biplanes and dirigibles during the 1920s and staged fierce dogfights over the Pacific in World War II. They broke flight records and ruled the sky in jets over Korea and Vietnam. In the Persian Gulf, they proved there was no force more impressive than an American carrier group. Today they remain ready to defend our nation whenever and wherever duty calls.
There is a popular saying in Pensacola, where the Navy trains the best of the best to become even better, “Fight to fly, fly to fight and fight to win.” It is much more than a motto. It is about honor. The roar of a jet engine is called, “the sound of freedom” for good reason. The men and women who serve in Naval Aviation are at the front lines of combat. They are the defenders of freedom who proudly serve America every day.
America Remembers is proud to mark this historic milestone with the Centennial of Naval Aviation Tribute Pistol. Craftsmen commissioned specifically for this Tribute by America Remembers decorate each working Colt® Government Model Pistol in 24-karat gold with the symbols and insignia of Naval Aviation history. We are honored that the Tribute Pistol is proudly presented in cooperation with the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. Formed in 1966, the Foundation was created to support the development of the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.
When it came time to choose the best firearm to commemorate 100 years of Naval Aviation, the choice was simple. Not only is the legendary firearm celebrating a centennial of its own, but the Colt Model of 1911 pistol was the preferred sidearm for generations of U.S. Navy pilots. Countless Navy aviators wore it on their hip, and we are honored to present the Colt .45 Pistol as a handsome canvas for this historic and important military Tribute.
No firearm in military history can boast a more impressive record of American military service than the Colt Model 1911. This .45 caliber pistol served as the official sidearm for our country’s Armed Forces for almost 75 years. The pistol was a workhorse that survived nearly a century of military service spanning from the era of bi-planes to the supersonic jet age, through the greatest campaigns of the 20th Century. That same sidearm adopted a century ago is still considered by generations of American veterans to be the finest and most dependable pistol ever issued. Countless Navy aviators wore it on their hip, and we are proud to present the Colt .45 as a handsome canvas for this historic military Tribute.
On the left side of the Tribute, an unfurling banner reads, “Centennial of Naval Aviation 1911-2011.” Above it, you will find a trio of familiar insignia, recreated in exacting detail with golden eagle’s wings spread wide. Featured from left to right are the Naval Aviator wings, the Aircrew wings and the Naval Flight Officer wings. Each service award is identified with a decorative banner.
The right side features a dramatic illustration of the Curtiss A-1 Triad in flight. The A-1 holds the distinction of being the first aircraft employed by the U.S. Navy. Flying proudly beside the aircraft are three banners representing the military branches — US Navy, US Marine Corps, US Coast Guard — served by naval aviators during their hundred year history. On the rear of the slide you will also find a logo representing 100 years of Naval Aviation featuring the F/A – 18 Hornet, a F4U Corsair, a Curtiss Pusher and the USS Yorktown.
In addition to the stunning 24-karat gold artwork on the blued steel slide, the grips for this exclusive Tribute are crafted of rich, hand-polished rosewood. Laser-etched on the left grip is the anchor that served as the U.S. Naval aircraft insignia from 1915 to 1917. The right grip displays the iconic tailhook, an ingenious device invented to slow naval aircraft. Designed by circus performer and aviator Hugh Robinson, some version of the tailhook has been in use since Ely’s first successful ship landing on the USS Philadelphia in 1911.
Display Case Available
An optional luxuriously lined, custom built wooden display case is available for purchase.
Only 500 Centennial of Naval Aviation Tribute Pistols Available
Reservations will be accepted in the order they are received. America Remembers will arrange delivery of your working pistol through a licensed firearms dealer of your choice. If you are not completely satisfied with your Tribute after your personal inspection, you may return it in original, unfired condition within 30 days for a complete and courteous refund.
The Centennial of Naval Aviation Tribute Pistol is issued by a private organization to honor America’s Armed Forces. Nothing in the decoration added to the basic firearm (including the informational content therein) is used as a trademark. Neither the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, United States Coast Guard nor any other component of the Department of Defense has supplied, approved, endorsed, or authorized this product or any portion thereof.