He was known simply as “Mr. Pistol.” But this U.S. Marine lieutenant colonel wasn’t always a sharpshooter. In fact, when he was a young private first class in 1946, it was his lack of pistol training that led to him being assigned to the only rifle sentry post in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. As he was the only Marine at Marine Barracks not qualified with the pistol, it was the only post he could stand.
His time on that lonely post quickly came to an end, though, as the private soon began pistol training. He quickly discovered he was a pretty good shot, and spent much of his spare time practicing. By 1952, he was accomplished enough to compete in the Olympics, and would go on to compete in every Olympic Games save one through 1976. In 1978, the Marine Corps established a shooting trophy in his honor.
Click here to learn more about the sharpshooting legend of “Mr. Pistol,” and see one of the guns he used in competition. His is just one of the many great treasures found at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va.