Griffin & Howe Custom 1903 Springfield .30'06 Engraved by Josef Fugger
Presentation escutcheon to Col. Scott from his wife Catherine after his safe return from World War II.
Description: 24" star-gauged barrel with hooded full band front sight and swivel base. Springfield 1903 action with jewelled bolt and follower, 2-panel checkered bolt knob. Lyman 48 receiver sight. Hensolt Ziel Dialyt 2 3/4X scope with fine crosshair reticule on windage-adjustable all-steel G&H QD sidemount. Figured walnut stock with beaded cheekpiece, steel pistol grip cap, classic point-pattern wrap-around checkering, horn forend tip and gold oval. 13 3/4"pull from checkered trigger to hand-checkered trapdoor steel buttplate. Engraved by Josef Fugger: moose head on floorplate, Rocky Mountain sheep head on PG cap and bison head on receiver all in raised gold. Gold monogram JGH on triggerguard. Gold oval engraved: "SCOTTY" from Catherine 1946. Windage adjustment, bolt stop and safety all lettered gold. Virtually all metal surfaces covered with very deep chiseled vine leaves, including half the barrel. One of the finest examples of classic American exhibition engraving I have seen. Weight: 9lbs, 4oz. Built 1936. Retaining 99%blue.
Provenance: Built for Mr. James G. Hall in 1936, a member of the New York Stock Exchange and pilot in the Lafayette Escadrille who fought in France in WWI. Consigned by him for sale on September 12, 1946 at Abercrombie & Fitch. Purchased in 1946 by Col. (later General) Robert L. Scott Jr. Sold on January 23, 1952 to A&F by Colonel Scott. Later, in 1952 the rifle was sold to John R. Topping of Dunellen Hall (the grandest estate in Greenwich, Connecticut, later owned by Harry & Leona Helmsley). Returned two weeks later and then sold to Walter J. Baumann. On January 28, 1980, it was received at G&H in NYC from Safari Outfitters in Ridgefield, Connecticut as a courtesy transfer for the Secretary and General Counsel of Slumberger Ltd., from whom Hallowell & Co purchased it on August 8, 1995.
Robert Scott was graduated from West Point in 1932. When the US entered World War II, he joined Task Force Aquila flying a group of Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers to the China Burma India Theater. While he professed to be an experienced B-17 pilot, he actually learned to fly it en route to Africa. He was involved in the foundation of famous transport missions over “The Hump” from Burma to China, then joining the, at the time, little known Flying Tigers, formed under Gen. Claire Chennault.
Scott began flying missions, piloting a P-40 as a single ship escort for the transports and on ground attack missions. During this period, he frequently repainted the propeller spinner in different colors to create the illusion of a much larger fighter force in the area than a single aircraft, becoming in effect a "one-man air force".
Colonel Robert L. Scott Jr. in his Curtiss P-40 Warhawk in 1943. (USAF photo)
In July 1942, at the request of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, Scott was named commander of the 23rd Fighter Group, when the Flying Tigers were incorporated into the USAAF.
Colonel Scott flew 388 combat missions from July 1942 to October 1943, shooting down 13 Japanese aircraft to become one of America's earliest flying aces of the war.
In October 1943, he became deputy for operations at the Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics at Orlando Army Air Base, Florida. He returned to China in 1944 and then to Okinawa flying fighter aircraft equipped with experimental rockets.
Scott then returned to the U.S. at the end of the War a hero, becoming a celebrated author whose many titles include God is My Co-Pilot, made into a movie starring Dennis Morgan and Raymond Massey in 1945. As noted in the engraved inscription, his wife Catherine presented him with this rifle the following year.
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