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Recollections of a Combat Master

  • Writer's pictureElden Carl

From the Archives – Detective Jack Donihoo

Here is another find from Elden’s archives. This 1960’s era photo and letter from Dallas Police Department Detective Jack Donihoo was found at the bottom of a box where it had been for over 50 years.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Elden,

This picture was taken in the squad room before I had aquired my 45 Colt Commander. The Smith & Wesson sighted 1911 45ACP wore more comfortably cross draw in hot weather with leather extending under the pistol to protect both the piece and my clothing – not fast, but it wore well this way!

Jack Donihoo

P.S. Sometime if you have an extra photo, send me one.

photo of Jack Donihoo
Jack Donihoo

Jack was Elden’s most memorable pen pal. He improved his 1911 according to Elden’s recommendations, specifically, Smith & Wesson sights, improved thumb safety and trigger job. Later, acting on Elden’s advice, he went to the lighter and easier to conceal 45 Colt Commander.

Elden and Jack never met face to face. But news of Elden’s pistol shooting skills and accomplishments in Southern California had intrigued this detective in Dallas, Texas, and so started a string of letters back and forth.

As Elden read this letter, he leaned back in his chair, and wistfully said, to no one in particular, “You know, I never got around to sending him the photo he asked me for.”

Written by: Todd Vosper

Editor of Top Gun Motorcycles


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