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  #361  
Old 10-09-2013, 3:17 PM
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I rarely come to the C&R section and just skim when I do. Little did I know what I might find when I clicked this thread. WOW!! I have seen people say "Greatest thread ever" countless times...they are all wrong because this one truly is. Thank you for sharing David & Ruth!
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  #362  
Old 10-15-2013, 5:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rerussell View Post
Orville A Bierkle is my father. He was a sailor during World War 2 and was A Marine at the Chosin Reservior during the Korean War. My grandfather had gotten the gun in World War 1 and gave him the pistol before he shipped out to Korea. He carried during his time in Korea.

As a previous poster suggested, daddy's side of the family has been serving in the Marines since 1913. Daddy originally joined the Navy to become a corpsman so he could serve in the Marines.

Daddy died in August 2003. He enjoyed being a Marine and was very proud to serve his country. He was also very active in the Navy-Marine Corps League and donated his time to the Devil Dog program. He was also active in the Chosin Few group and had a poem published in their newsletter.

My mom was a little over-zealous in disposing of his things, which is how the gun ended up at the Diablo gun store. He'd wanted me to have it, but I'm glad that you do -- it gives me the opportunity to share a little bit about him and he'd be tickled pink that you asked about the gun and him.

Daddy never met a stranger and he loved to talk about his guns, history and the military. He wrote to several bay area papers and had his letters published. He was able to give information to Iris Chang when she was writing the Rape of Nanking -- if you put his name in Google, the letter he wrote will be in one of the enteries. He also contributed to several books about the Korean War.

I don't know what happened to the vhs tape he mentions in his letter to the editor, but a complete copy of the film was found in my grandmother's (his mother) effects after she died. It was donated to the Library of Congress and the family was told it was the only surviving full copy of the original film. It was fully restored and a special showing was arranged in Washington D.C.

Hope this helps and thank you for asking about him. Please look him up in Google and read his letters to the editor -- they'll also give you an idea of who he was.

Ruth -- proud daughter of a proud Marine.
Kinda makes me tear up to read this

Last edited by Lebaneseblonde; 10-15-2013 at 8:32 PM..
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  #363  
Old 10-19-2013, 5:36 AM
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For the last few days, this stickied thread had been catching my eye, but I hadn't opened it because I had a feeling it would be a good one that I would want to read all the way through. Boy, was I ever right. Earlier today, I re-read "Leading Marines," a motivational read that is part of our Professional Military Education as Marines. It is full of stories of bravery and honor, including many from the Korean War. It was by coincidence that I decided to read this tonight as I sit in my barracks room, deployed in Iwakuni, Japan, on the same day as reading "Leading Marines."
I've been a Marine for a little over 23 years now, and it's being part of a group of men and women like Sgt Bierkle that has kept me around. The squadron I serve with now, VMA-214, flew Corsairs during Korea (VFA-214 at the time). You may remember the TV Show "Black Sheep Squadron" (AKA "Bah, Bah Blacksheep") about the squadron. I can't help but wonder if any of the Corsairs he wrote about in his diary were from the Blacksheep.
I also can't help but wonder if Sgt Bierkle was one of the WWII/Korean War Marines who used to come to MCRD San Diego to talk to the recruits when I was a D.I. in '99.
This is, by far, the best reading I've seen on any forum. I'm going to print the PDFs of the diary for my Marines to read.
Thank you David for starting this thread, and thank you Ruth for contributing all you have to it to make it what it is. Most of all, Thank you Sgt Bierkle- Semper Fidelis, Brother.
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Last edited by 64physhy; 10-19-2013 at 5:39 AM..
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  #364  
Old 11-27-2013, 12:30 PM
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God bless us all...Thanksgiving
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  #365  
Old 11-27-2013, 1:19 PM
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Just read it all. No words but, no freaking way, and sobbing. This is needing an update are these folks around?! Honored to have just read about him. WOW!!!!!!


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  #366  
Old 11-29-2013, 10:16 PM
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I am speachless. I am forwarding this to my friends dad who was a Marine pilot in the Korean war.
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  #367  
Old 02-06-2014, 9:01 PM
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Pretty great story
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  #368  
Old 02-06-2014, 9:41 PM
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Semper Fi and good night Chesty Puller (And Orville A Bierkle)....wherever you are!
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  #369  
Old 02-06-2014, 9:51 PM
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Totally awesome.

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  #370  
Old 03-31-2014, 7:41 PM
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I was watching a documentary on the Chosin few and it reminded me of this thread. I first remember reading this thread when I first joined calguns over a year ago and I just reread the entire 10 pages TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE.
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  #371  
Old 04-07-2014, 3:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MountainDew View Post
I was watching a documentary on the Chosin few and it reminded me of this thread. I first remember reading this thread when I first joined calguns over a year ago and I just reread the entire 10 pages TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE.
I saw that same documentary. I too was reminded of this thread.
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  #372  
Old 05-08-2014, 12:26 AM
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Default Orville Bierkle's Revolver at Boomershoot 2014

So, this happened:



More pics and video in the next few days.

At this event, several new shooters viewed the Sergeant's war diary, handled the revolver, learned its history, and shot it. (My ammo; all I ask is that shooters clip in new cartridges and unclip the empties from the moon clips so they can have the full experience of a 1917).

Finally, and what I am most excited to report: renowned professional firearms photographer Oleg Volk graciously provided a full photo session with the revolver -- in photos by itself; with the case and kit I've built up for it; and in the hands of a model for shots I anticipate will be part of Oleg's ongoing firearms civil rights series. You can see more of Oleg's images and writing at his blog.



(Photo -- not by Oleg! -- of kit above from an appearance at a past Gunbloggers' Rendezvous).

Many thanks to Joe Huffman and the rest of the Boomershoot crew, and to Oleg Volk.

More on all of this as I get time to write and upload.
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Last edited by Davidwhitewolf; 05-08-2014 at 1:28 AM.. Reason: More to say!
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  #373  
Old 05-08-2014, 5:36 AM
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Excellent news, Davidwhitewolf! I know this has been in the works for a while. Congrats and keep up the great work of sharing Sergeant Bierkle's story and legacy!
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  #374  
Old 05-08-2014, 6:28 AM
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You are doing an incredible job of stewardship. Thank you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidwhitewolf View Post
So, this happened:



More pics and video in the next few days.

At this event, several new shooters viewed the Sergeant's war diary, handled the revolver, learned its history, and shot it. (My ammo; all I ask is that shooters clip in new cartridges and unclip the empties from the moon clips so they can have the full experience of a 1917).

Finally, and what I am most excited to report: renowned professional firearms photographer Oleg Volk graciously provided a full photo session with the revolver -- in photos by itself; with the case and kit I've built up for it; and in the hands of a model for shots I anticipate will be part of Oleg's ongoing firearms civil rights series. You can see more of Oleg's images and writing at his blog.



(Photo -- not by Oleg! -- of kit above from an appearance at a past Gunbloggers' Rendezvous).

Many thanks to Joe Huffman and the rest of the Boomershoot crew, and to Oleg Volk.

More on all of this as I get time to write and upload.
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  #375  
Old 05-08-2014, 7:51 AM
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Default Info on Marine who owned my S&W 1917

Wow! Awesome tread! This would make a good movie.


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Last edited by BabyBen; 05-08-2014 at 7:54 AM..
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  #376  
Old 05-08-2014, 8:14 AM
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Default More fireball

Here are two great videos of the fireballs. Ours is about midway through. In these there is sound because they are not slo-mo.



In this one you can hear all of my little speech.



It's hard to say definitively but in that last one I think you can see the revolver's bullet setting off the boomer, which is really cool if true.

I have more videos coming with closeups of the revolver both at the fireball and being fired by new shooters.
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Last edited by Davidwhitewolf; 05-08-2014 at 8:18 AM.. Reason: More to say!
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  #377  
Old 05-17-2014, 12:49 AM
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Awesome, thanks for the update David. Have you met with Ruth yet?
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  #378  
Old 07-31-2014, 5:33 PM
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I just read this entire thread and I'm absolutely amazed by this chance connection. Possibly one of the best things I've ever read. I am grateful to have experienced this story.
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  #379  
Old 07-31-2014, 6:12 PM
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I agree, this was a winner thread and one of my all time favorites.
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  #380  
Old 08-02-2014, 11:11 AM
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Awesome, thanks for the update David. Have you met with Ruth yet?
I have not, and in fact her email address is buried ... somewhere .. in my files. Just starting to organize them so hopefully I will be able to reconnect later this year and set up a face-to-face meeting with her.
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  #381  
Old 09-01-2014, 7:54 PM
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I've been reading CG forums for nearly 5 years, I'm doing something wrong because I am just now seeing this thread.

Amazing.
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  #382  
Old 12-09-2014, 9:01 PM
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Sorry to bump this, but I just found this thread and read through it all, and my God! What a story and small world!!!!! It really makes me wonder just where the M1 Garand, and 1911 my Grand daddy carried in Europe ended up, and the story behind the German Luger and Walther he brought back! When I saw the daughters reply, I was stunned!
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  #383  
Old 12-10-2014, 8:49 AM
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Bump is always appreciated -- this thread exists to be discovered!

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Originally Posted by 09cs View Post
When I saw the daughters reply, I was stunned!
Yeah, it still gives me chills whenever I sit down and think about it again. I still have not met with her face to face, but that is going to be a New Year's resolution for 2015.
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  #384  
Old 12-10-2014, 9:45 AM
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Please keep us up to date!
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  #385  
Old 12-10-2014, 5:19 PM
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Free bump to this thread....I have read it two or three times now and get an allergic reaction.....my eyes get all wet. Just wanted to be a part of it.

My grandpa is a Korean War vet......Army, 24th Infantry division. He saw a lot of hard fighting himself and saw some buddies shot down right next to him. I honor him more every day and I am glad I am close to him.
He is 85 and still givin 'em hell.
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  #386  
Old 02-13-2015, 7:47 AM
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Great story indeed.
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  #387  
Old 02-13-2015, 8:05 AM
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very cool!
:thumbs up:
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  #388  
Old 02-20-2015, 1:25 AM
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I'm really glad you did this. It's something I could never bring myself to do. In my life I've purchased a few antiquities which were marked with a former owner's name. I have even stumbled upon persons whom I believed I was related to but had not previously met. I never once attempted to contact those persons for fear of starting a "whole big megillah".
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  #389  
Old 04-23-2015, 7:26 PM
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Just bumping this thread for them who haven't read it yet.

Carry on.
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  #390  
Old 05-27-2015, 1:27 AM
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Goosebumps, on so many levels.

I just read this thread (and Marine Bierkle's journal) from start to finish.

Just thinking that this gun was with him through that journey. The calm and clear accounts of the battle. I smiled when he mentioned the Marine corps birthday-I have a close friend who is a Marine and always mentions that.

To hear about him from his daughter. To think of the historical events Bierkle was in the middle of. And the constant danger and injuries and mother natures impact.

Im left in awe that such men lived and fought for this nation.

And to see the fireball. Truly a wonderful story I wont forget.
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Old 05-27-2015, 5:47 AM
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I ran across this thread accidently, and I am glad I did. The only words that come to mind is "amazing" and "wow."

Thank you Orville A. Bierkle, USMC. You are truly an American Hero.
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Old 06-02-2015, 2:51 PM
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Hoorah! Motivated! Dedicated! This thread got me pumped up
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Old 06-02-2015, 3:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidwhitewolf View Post
I know this isn't really a C&R question, but I figured you guys would know.

My S&W 1917 revolver has "A. Bierkle USMC" stippled on the rear of the grip frame. How would I go about finding information about this gentleman? I've Googled but that didn't come up with much.
Ancesty.com maybe

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Old 06-02-2015, 3:54 PM
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What a great thread!

Calguns is the best!

God bless you Orville A. Bierkle, USMC.

And Ms Ruth and Mr Whitewolf- thanks much for sharing this story.

Last edited by Ugly Hombre; 06-02-2015 at 3:57 PM..
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  #395  
Old 06-02-2015, 4:47 PM
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caught this thread a few years ago and what an incredible story..

definitely heart warming, glad it's still circulating



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Ancesty.com maybe

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  #396  
Old 06-02-2015, 4:52 PM
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Originally Posted by aacx22 View Post
Ancesty.com maybe

Sent from my XT557 using Tapatalk 2


You didn't read much of this thread, did you?
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  #397  
Old 06-03-2015, 6:01 PM
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Quote:
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You didn't read much of this thread, did you?
lol

No, its easy to miss stuff when I'm browsing on my phone.
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Old 06-03-2015, 9:33 PM
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Very cool story though. Just read on my comp when I got home.
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Old 06-04-2015, 5:03 PM
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I would be honored to just hold that pistol once.
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Old 06-04-2015, 5:15 PM
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I remember reading the story the first time and it was very amazing..

it's been a while now and it's still incredible.

Thank you for doing what you can to preserve history.
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