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 LOT 441
Historic Mexican Campaign I. Bernstein U.S. Navy Officer’s Sword and Scabbard Inscribed for Medal of Honor Recipient Gunner Robert Semple by the Chief Petty Officers of the USS Texas in 1915 - The sword has a 30 inch blade with scroll and U.S. Navy themed etching along with “PRESENTED TO ROBERT SEMPLE, GUNNER U.S.N., BY THE CHIEF PETTY OFFICERS OF THE U.S.S. TEXAS. 1915.” on the obverse and the maker’s mark “I./ BERNSTEIN/BROOKLYN/N.Y.” on the reverse. The gilt brass hilt has oak leaf and acorn and “USN” decoration and a wire and white shagreen wrapped grip along with a sword knot. The black leather scabbard has brass fittings with classic navy and oak leaf and acorn themed patterns “RS” inscribed on the obverse of the upper band and “Presented to/Robert Semple/Gunner U.S.N./by the Chief Petty Officers/of the U.S.S. Texas/-1915.-” inscribed on the reverse.
Robert Semple (1887-1943) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in February 1906. He was promoted to the rank of chief gunner. He received the Medal of Honor for his meritorious service under fire as the chief turret captain on the dreadnought battleship USS Florida (BB-30) during the U.S. occupation of Veracruz in 1914 during the Mexican Revolution. The Florida was then
the largest battleship in the world and the lead ship of its class, and its crew along with that of her sister ship USS Utah and the USS Prairie landed over one thousand U.S. Marines and sailors at Veracruz on April 21, 1914, and engaged in battles with Mexican defense forces. The gunners trained their guns on the Mexican Naval Academy but withheld their fire. Captain Knapp had the other cruisers and destroyers begin the bombardment but had his own crew withhold fire because they had a man in the sick bay who would die. The Marine fell from his cot during the battle but was sedated and survived, endured two surgeries at sea, and was medically discharged more than a year later. In addition to Semple, twenty-four other men from the USS Florida crew were also awarded the Medal of Honor. The USS Texas (BB-35) was one of two New York class super dreadnought battleships and also traveled to Veracruz in 1914 and returned to the New York Navy yard for repairs at the end of the year.
In December 1915, Semple was commissioned as a gunner and served on the USS Frederick. Semple also went on to receive the Navy Cross for his service in the ne fields in the North Sea during World War I on board the USS Oklahoma. He served in various capacities over the next two decades. He retired in 1937 with the rank of lieutenant but soon returned to service with the U.S. entry into World War II and died in San Diego, California, while on active duty and received a promotion to lieutenant commander the same day. CONDITION: Very fine with a bright blade with distinct etching, aged patina on the hilt, great grip with minor aging, and dark patina and mild storage wear on the knot. Aside from a break above the drag, the scabbard is also very fine and has crisp inscriptions and minor age and storage related wear. Overall, this is a very attractive sword presented to Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Navy Chief Gunner Robert Semple. Estimate: 6,000 - 9,000
LOT 442 Extremely Rare U S. Springfield Armory Model 1915 Bolo Bayonet for U.S. Model 1903 Rifle - Developed in the early 20th century, the 1915 Bolo Bayonet was one of the U.S. Army’s attempts at a hybrid weapon that could reduce the loadout an individual soldier had to carry into the field. Intended for use in jungle environments, the bolo could serve as both a bayonet and a brush clearing tool. Though the daylight bayonet charge was becoming a thing of the past, observers of WWI and the Russo-Japanese War noted the rise of the night attack and its resultant brutal hand-to-hand combat; the determination was made that a bayonet should be a fighting weapon and nothing more, and all the odd ducks and promising experiments were pulled from the field. oyed or discarded as surplus, it is believed that only about fifty 1915 bolos remain. 20 3/4 inches overall, with a 15 5/8 inch lade marked “SA/(bomb)/1916” on the left ricasso and “US/837” on the right. Wood grips, with an “eagle beak” pommel and standard 1905-style locking hardware. Scabbard is absent. CONDITION: Fine. Mild spotting and a mixed gray patina on the fair original bright polished blade, with 50% of the original blue finish on the furniture and some light dings on the otherwise fine grips. Estimate: 6,500 - 9,500
LOT 443 Very Fine U.S. Springfield Armory National Match Model 1903 Bolt Action Rifle - Serial no. 1271386, 30-06 Springfield cal., 24 inch round bbl., parkerized finish, walnut stock. Early production M1903 NM pattern with “SA/flaming bomb/10-26” marked on top of the barrel and a star gauge mark on the bottom face of the muzzle, as typically seen on National Match rifles made in this same time frame. The bolt body is polished bright and electro-pencil marked with the last five digits of the serial number. The receiver rails are polished. It features a standard blade front sight and tangent rear sight with a polished face and no volley notch. Fitted in a straight grip “S” type stock with two reinforcing bolts. The left of the stock has a boxed “D.A.L.” inspection cartouche with a circled “P” proof on the underside behind the trigger guard, and fitted with a checkered steel buttplate. Includes a M1907 leather sling. CONDITION: Very fine overall, with 80% plus original parkerized finish retained with moderate edge wear, handling marks, and light spotting, especially around the muzzle, butt, and barrel band. The nose band screw head is broken. The stock is also very fine, with light handling marks, scratches, and scuffs, crisp cartouche and firing proof, along with attractive original raised grain. Mechanically excellent.
        Either destr b
  Estimate: 2,500 - 3,750 329

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