WWII “Sweetheart” pistol grips made from wreckage of downed planes (28 Photos)

During war, trench art was common.
One of the most unique forms is the story behind WW2’s “Sweetheart” pistol grips.
Soldiers would replace their side-arm’s original grip with a photo of loved ones.
Or for the young guys; they’d raise moral with pin-up gals by their side.
Hence the name “Sweetheart” grips…but it’s the story behind how soldiers made the grips (while in combat zones) that make these works of art truly interesting.
Back in 1928, 11-years before WW2 began, scientists were developing a clear plastic named Plexiglass.
It was malleable (easy to shape) which lent itself perfectly for making side windows on war planes.
From Plexiglass a second material, named “Lucite”, was developed. This lightweight acrylic invention was a thin film layer placed over the windows for added strength.
Plexiglass with layer of Lucite.
Moving on.
The skies over WW2 was a very deadly place to be AND it led to how these grips were first made.
When a plane was shot-down or crashed from mechanical malfunctions, soldiers would go through the wreckage to find these side windows. They would then melt the “Lucite” layer to form the clear replacement grip.
The process was fairly simple.
Remove the original wooden grip…place the photo in the warm Lucite and hand-mold a new “Sweetheart” grip.
Although U.S. soldiers primarily replaced their Colt M1911A1 pistols with their modified grips, the idea spread to other soldier’s weapons (including their knives’ grips).

German .25-Cal Walther Patent Mod. 9
Many carried stories such as this 8mm Nambu. It was handed down from a Dad that served as a medic in the South Pacific during the Navy/USMC’s ultra scary island hopping campaign.

German .25-Cal Walther Patent Mod. 9
The pic is of a famous actress from the 1940s named Carole Landis.
She was known as “The Ping Girl” and “The Chest”.

WWII “Sweetheart” pistol grips made from wreckage of downed planes (28 Photos) WWII “Sweetheart” pistol grips made from wreckage of downed planes (28 Photos) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 03:07 Rating: 5

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