JAMES F. BANNAN
Jim Bannan was one of the most difficult and interesting people I have ever met.
Jim was a World War II veteran, but he had also spent a lot of time in China, before the US entered the war. Jim spent his entire military career in the US Army as an enlisted man. He was an armorer and a combat veteran. Jim once said," I have seen more Thompsons than anyone else in this hobby. I was on board a troop ship with 30,000 Thompsons doing re- pairs and inspections." However, he also carried the Thompson in combat in the pacific. This is what made Jim unique in the Thompson hobby... his first hand experience.
I first met Jim in 1986 after I moved back to Ohio from Ft. Walton, Florida, where I had worked for the Air Force. I was introduced to him through his first book "Notes On Auto-Ordnance", only to find out he lived in Ft. Walton, Florida. From that point on Jim became a mentor and father figure in teaching a rookie collector. Just like a father, sometimes we fought, but in the end there was a great deal of respect. We co-authored a second edition of "Notes On Auto-Ordnance" and had a lot of fun and work together. However, time catches all of us sooner or later. I knew things were not too good for Jim's health when two years ago I got a call to come to Florida ASAP from Jim.
He was having serious health problems and was having to move into a nursing home and had to sell off his entire Thompson collection. I knew the end could not be far. He passed away from a heart attack on February 2. I will miss this man of steel and the hobby has lost a lot of experience.