Seventy years ago, this Thompson M1A1 submachine gun was part of the armament of Sweet Chariot, the B-17 bomber flown by Lt. Dwight Edwin Markley, a Kansan who went to war. As part of the 8th Air Force, Markley participated in many missions over German cities in 1945, even surviving a midair collision that tore off part of the left wing of his plane.
At the end of the war, Markley smuggled home his Thompson and later registered it during the 1968 amnesty. Last year, NRA member Wallace Weber, who has endowed our modern military arms gallery, donated Markley’s Thompson, A-2 leather jacket and a treasure trove of wartime accouterments to the museum collection.
The NRA National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va.; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo.; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M.; each have fine selections of historic arms on display. Admission to each is free, and donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, visit nramuseums.com, phone (703) 267-1600 or email [email protected].