The Führer With the Golden Gun

Who would have thought that Adolph Hitler was the original man with the golden gun? That’s one thing I love about the internet, endless amounts of useless information.

Hitler’s 50th birthday present was one of a kind. Image Credit:

This .32 caliber gold-washed pistol (sporting floral engravings and Hitler’s initials on the ivory grips) was given to the Führer as a 50th birthday present on April 20th, 1939, by Carl Walther and his family. That’s right, the PPK people. It was one of the hundreds of ornate gifts the German dictator received that day.

Fast Forward to the Final Days of the Third Reich

Our story picks up six years later in Munich when US Army Lieutenant Ira Palm was on a mission with a small group of men to capture or kill the German leader.

Palm, a member of Company B of the 179th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division, had, with his men, fought his way across France and into the heart of Germany, aided by a small group of German soldiers who were revolting against the Nazis.

Palm burst into Hitler’s apartment to find it empty. The date was April 29th, 1945. The Führer was in his bunker many miles to the north in Berlin, just hours away from suicide. A more mundane weapon, and not the golden gun, was used in that act.

Lieutenant Palm made his way into Hitler’s office, where he found the gilded pistol in the top drawer of a desk. He put it in a jacket pocket, and he and his men left the abandoned apartment.

Coming To America

A few hours later, Palm was wounded in a firefight, and by September of 1945, he and his prize were on their way home to Palm’s wife in Salisbury, NC. For a reason lost to history, he gave the golden firearm to Reverend Charles Woodbridge in Savannah, GA. Woodbridge was a dear friend of Palm. The two were like brothers.

Woodbridge enjoyed showing off the weapon to friends and members of his congregation. However, he didn’t end up having it for very long. It was stolen during a burglary of the Woodbridge home in 1947.