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Flying Into Limbo


by NRA Staff

John Cameron Hume-Storer went to war as an officer in the Canadian army, serving the first two years of the Great War on duty with an ammunition train in France ferrying munitions to and from the front lines. By his side was his Colt .45 Government Model, a privately purchased pistol hand-engraved with his name and regimental information.

Accepted by the Royal Flying Corps in 1916, Hume-Storer went to England and soloed in December. On Feb. 17, 1917, he climbed into his biplane’s cockpit and took off into a wintry morning sky for a patrol from Ramsgate to Dover, never to be seen again. No trace of his plane was ever found. Only his .45 pistol remains. Was it something he had left behind or given to a friend?

Just one of the thousands of stories visitors can hear daily at the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va., this pistol is part of the centuries of history on display.

Visitors can view thousands of guns daily at no charge in the National Firearms Museum’s extensive galleries. For more information, e-mail or call (703) 2670-1600. Visit the museum’s new web channel at