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Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP - Issued to Lt. General Marshall Sylvester Carter

An exceptional Model M .380 pistol issued to Lt. General Marshall S. Carter - On April 8, 1947, he was appointed to the rank of Brigadier General and was presented his Colt 1908 .380 caliber sidearm, serial number 137666 on May 5, 1948. The Certificate of Ownership for this pistol was later presented to Lieutenant General Carter on May 12, 1965, while stationed at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. 

This gun has the "M" stamp preceding the serial number on the frame and on the toe of the magazine, which indicated that it has been either issued from the factory with or sent back to the factory for modifications to the ejector and magazine to correct a problem that caused a stovepipe jam.


Lieutenant General Marshall Sylvester Carter
(September 16, 1909 - February 18, 1993)

Marshall Sylvester Carter was born into a military family September 16, 1909 at Fortress Monroe, located in Elizabeth City County, Virginia, to Brigadier General Clifton Carroll Carter[1] and Mai Coleman Carter[2]. At age 2, when his father was assigned in Hawaii, a Japanese nurse began calling him "Pat," and he was known by that nickname for the rest of his life.

General Carter attended West Point grammar school in West Point, New York (1922), Cornwall on Hudson high school in Cornwall on Hudson, New York (1926) and The Tome School, which was a preparatory school located in Port Deposit, Maryland (1927).

General Carter was appointed to the United States Military Academy from the State of New York by Senator Royal S. Copeland. He began his career at the Academy on July 1, 1927. He graduated from there and received a Bachelor of Science degree on June 11, 1931. Upon graduation from the Academy, he was awarded the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. While at West Point, he played on the ice hockey team, and the sport became one of the great loves of his life. He later served as a director of the International Ice Hockey Federation and on the U.S. Olympic Committee. In 1936, General Carter earned a Masters of Science degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 1934 he married Préot Nichols[3], his wife of 58 years. They had three children Josephine Stoney Carter (b. August 1, 1938), Marshall Nichols Carter (b. April 23, 1940) and Mary Coleman Carter (b. March 18, 1945).

Upon graduation from the USMA, General Carter was assigned Special Liaison Duty as First Military Observer with the United States Naval Academy on the U.S.S. Wyoming from June 22 to August 26, 1931. From September 14, 1931 to April 11, 1932, he was a Battery Officer in the 12th Coast Artillery at Fort Monroe, Virginia. From Virginia, General Carter was next stationed as Battery Officer and Battalion Adj. for the 64th Coast Artillery, (Anti‑Aircraft) at Fort Shafter, Honolulu, HI from June 1, 1932 to March 23, 1935. While completing his Masters Degree at MIT on June 9, 1936, General Carter worked as an instructor in the Department of Natural & Experimental Philosophy at the USMA from April 21, 1935 to July 9, 1939.

He completed the Battery Officers Course at Fort Monroe, Virginia as a student officer at the Coast Artillery School from September 8, 1939 to February 1, 1940. Upon completion of this course, General Carter served as an instructor there from February 1940 to August 1940. Additionally, General Carter was a student instructor at the Stereoscopic Height Finders School detail through May 1940. In June 1940, General Carter was in Washington, D.C. attending the Student Naval Optical School.

In August 1940, he went to Quarry Heights in the Panama Canal Zone and served as the Battery Officer for the 73rd Coast Artillery (Anti-Aircraft). In July 1941, while stationed at the Panama Canal Zone, General Carter became the Organizer and Director of the Enlisted Specialist School, a position he held until December 1941. In December 1941, he became Assistant ACofS, G-3 for the Panama Coast Artillery Command.

Shortly after Pearl Harbor and for the duration of World War 2, General Carter was ordered back to Washington, D.C. where he was a Staff Officer assigned to the Operations Division War Department General Staff, (OPDWDGS), through June 1945.

In the Spring of 1945, General Carter was in Paris, France for the celebration of V‑E Day. For a year and a half, from July 1945 through January 1946, he was posted in Chungking and Shanghai, where he was Deputy and Assistant Chief of Staff (G-5) at China Theater headquarters.

From January 1946 through March 1946, General Carter was stationed in Washington, D.C. as the Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of War. Upon completion of this duty, he was appointed Special Representative for General George C. Marshall to "hold General Marshall's horse for the year he was in China[4]", while General Marshall served as a Presidential Messenger to China from March 1946 through January 1947.

In the course of his military career, General Carter was a key staff assistant to General George C. Marshall, the Army chief of staff. He attended six major international conferences and accompanied Marshall to five of the six: the World War II Allied summit in Cairo, Egypt in 1943; the Council of Foreign Ministers in Moscow in 1947; the Inter-American Conference for Maintenance of Peace and Security in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1947; the Second Session of General Assembly of the United Nations, New York, NY in 1947(without Marshall); the Ninth International Conference of American States in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1948; and the Third Session of the United Nations General Assembly in Paris in 1948. He served as Marshall's special representative in Washington while Marshall was serving as special envoy in China.

This position he held until named Special Assistant to the Secretary of State in January 1947 when General Marshall became Secretary of State after the war. Two years later, in March 1949, General Carter became Deputy to the Ambassador for Military Assistance Programs for Europe with station at the American Embassy in London. Concurrently, he served as Deputy Chairman, European Correlations Committee. In these capacities, General Carter held the personal rank of Minister.

In March 1949, he went to London, England as Minister of the American Embassy, Deputy Chairman of the European Correlation Committee for Military Assistance to work on military assistance programs for Europe. He returned from Europe and became a Department of State student at the National War College from August 1949 to June 1950.

Following a short tour as Commander of the 138th Anti-Aircraft Group in Japan, in 1950 General Carter was recalled to Washington by General Marshall, to become Director of the Executive Office of the Secretary of Defense. General Carter served in this capacity during the Korean War under General Marshall and his successor, Mr. Lovett until November 1952.

From 1952 to 1955, General Carter was at Fort Richardson, Alaska as Deputy Commanding General of the 71st Infantry Division. His next post was Fort Sheridan, Illinois, where from June 1955 until June 1956, he was Commanding General of the Fifth Region, Army Anti-Aircraft Command.

For the next five months, he served as Deputy Commanding General of the Army Anti-Aircraft Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, leaving this assignment to become Chief of Staff of the newly formed Continental Air Defense Command at Ent Air Force Base from October 1956 until September 1957. When this command was expanded into the North American Air Defense Command in September 1957, General Carter also became Chief of Staff of this two-nation unified command, the first command of this type in the United Stated. While serving there, he was a prominent member of an informal group called the Range Riders, whose members regularly rode horseback around Pike's Peak. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, ice skating and skiing.

General Carter's final two assignments before his appointment as deputy director of the CIA in April 1962 were as Chief of Staff of the 8th Army in Korea from December 1959 to January 1961 and commander of the Army Air Defense Center and Air Defense School at Fort Bliss, Texas from March 1961 to March 1962.

The White House announced on March 9, 1962, that President John F. Kennedy had selected Major General Carter to be Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1962 to 1965. He was nominated by President Kennedy on March 12, 1962 and confirmed by the Senate on April 2, 1962, with the rank of Lieutenant General. President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated General Carter to be Director of the National Security Agency, a position which he held from 1965 to 1969. General Carter was known in the military and intelligence communities as an efficient but relaxed and informal "feet-on-the-desk" type of officer with a vast and detailed knowledge of world figures and events.

In 1969, after four years of service as director of the National Security Agency, General Carter retired from the Army. He had lived since then in Colorado Springs. From 1969 until 1985, he was president of the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, Virginia.

At the age of 83, Marshall Sylvester Carter, died of liver cancer February 18, 1993 at his home in Colorado Springs. His survivors include his wife, Préot Nichols Carter, whom he married in 1934, of Colorado Springs; three children, Stoney Carter of Colorado Springs, Mary Carter Nickerson of Denver and Marshall N. Carter of Boston; eight grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.


General Carter received the following promotions throughout his military career:


Temporary (AUS)

Permanent (RA)

2nd Lt


11 June 1931

1st Lt


1 August 1935


9 September 1940

11 June 1941


1 February 1942


Lt. Colonel

14 October 1942

1 July 1948


24 July 1944


Brig. General

8 April 1947



3 August 1949

3 August 1953

Brig. General

27 July 1951

15 March 1959

Major General

21 December 1955
(w/DOR I July 1951)


Lieut. General

1 April 1962


On April 8, 1947, he was appointed to the rank of Brigadier General. He was presented his Colt 1908 .380 caliber sidearm, serial number 137666 on May 5, 1948. The Certificate of Ownership for this pistol was later presented to Lieutenant General Carter on May 12, 1965, while stationed at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.


Lieutenant General Carter's citations and decorations included a Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, a Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, a Bronze Star, Special Breast Order of Yun Hui(Cloud and Banner, Republic of China), Special Breast Order of Yun Hui(Second Award, Republic of China), and the Order of Orange Nassau with Swords, Commander(Netherlands Government).


Colonel Marshall S. Carter, while serving as a member of the Logistics Group, Operations Division, War Department General Staff, from July 1942 to June 1945, was charged with developing the troop basis for production requirements of the Army. As representative of the Operations Division in matters involving the Army Supply Program and as logistical policy advisor to the General Staff member of the Joint Logistics Committee and the Combined Alternative Committee, he made recommendations which virtually influenced the conduct of the war. He was selected by the Joint Logistics Committee to attend the Conference of Allied Leaders at Cairo, where his untiring energy and clear thinking were of great value. As a member of a special committee appointed by the Chief of Staff to revise the military program in the interest of higher combat efficiency and greater economy, he displayed a high degree of initiative, sound judgment, and breadth of vision. Through his leadership, tact and untiring energy Colonel Carter brought great credit to the military service and contributed in a high degree to the successful prosecution of the war.


Colonel Marshall S. Carter, 0-18359, General Staff Corps, Regular army, is awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services during the period 7 July through 11 August and 2 September through 15 December 1945. As Deputy to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G‑5 Headquarters, United States Forces, China Theater, Colonel Carter was directly responsible for the concept, initiation, development and implementation of all plans and policies concerning lend‑lease, procurement, civil affairs, and clandestine activities in the China Theater. He displayed exceptional force, great skill, clear understanding and sound judgment in guiding and controlling every major action of the G‑5 Section. By his ability to analyze, interpret and simplify complex issues, and his high quality of leadership, he eased and shaped the performance of difficult duties by all members of the G‑5 Section. His ready acceptance of responsibility, facility for solving emergency problems calmly and effectively, steadiness under continuous pressure, and capacity for working accurately and tirelessly resulted in relieving the Assistant Chief of Staff G‑5, of many delicate, difficult, and time consuming tasks. He also maintained close daily liaison with the highest Allied military and civil representatives. He demonstrated a high degree of tact and diplomacy in his dealings with these representatives and gained their complete confidence and genuine respect through his professional knowledge and expert counsel. As a result, he contributed immeasurably to the efficient and frictionless integration of the activities of the Chinese War production Board, Chinese Ministry of War, Chinese Executive Yuan, American Production Mission, Foreign Economic Administration, Foreign Liquidation Commission, Headquarters, China Theater, British Military Mission, French Military Mission, United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, and the United States and other Allied Embassies. His exceptional ability to work successfully with these varied agencies on problems of paramount importance to the war effort attest to his outstanding qualities as a skillful and versatile planner, organizer, and negotiator. Colonel Carter's performance of duty during this period was in the highest traditions of the military service, was of inestimable benefit to the Republic of China and the United States, and reflects great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.


Colonel Marshall S. Carter, 0-18359, General Staff Corps, is awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service and achievement during the period from 12 August 1945 to 2 September 1945. During this period Colonel Carter was directly charged with complete responsibility for the initiation, supervision, control and direction of all activities concerned with establishing contact and rendering emergency aid to Allied Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees under Japanese control in China Theater. In discharging this responsibility, he was required to make and implement decisions on behalf of the Theater Commander, in many cases involving direct action by and with the War Department, the Military Mission to the USSR., and Headquarters, Pacific Ocean Areas. In addition, he was the Theater Commander's personal representative in dealing with all United Nations Embassies in China on matters connected with this problem. Throughout this period, Colonel Carter demonstrated an exceptional degree of foresight, drive and clear judgment, working without regards to hours, under pressure at all times, but without detriment to the performance of his regular duties. As a result of this operation, the care and safety of Allied nationals in Japanese hands was assured well prior to the actual surrender, and their rapid evacuation to safe zones was immeasurably expedited. The complete success of the operation, and Colonel Carter's outstanding part in it, reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.

The Washington Post, February 20, 1993, Saturday, Final Edition, Metro Section D6 General Marshall S. Carter Dies at 83; Leading Intelligence Official in '60s, Bart Barnes, Washington Post Staff Writer.

[1] Brig. Gen. Clifton Carroll Carter was born in Lexington, Kentucky on July 12, 1876. He was a graduate of the USMA Class of 1899.

[2] Miss Mai Coleman was born in Baltimore, Maryland on November 2, 1876. She was known as "Aunt Mai" to thousands of graduates between 1914 and 1940.

[3] Miss Préot Nichols was born in Fort Totten, NY on November 5, 1912. She and Gen. Carter were wed on July 14, 1934.

[4] Quote from The Twenty-fifth Anniversary HOWITZER of The Class of Nineteen Hundred and Thirty One.

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