Weapons used by Dillinger on display at FBI headquartersThe best-known American bank robber of the 20th century was John Dillinger. Although his career lasted only a little more than a year from June 1933 to July 1934 he gained nationwide notoriety as the country's most wanted criminal.

Dillinger was born in Indianapolis, Ind., on June 28, 1902. He grew up there and in nearby Mooresville. In 1923 he joined the United States Navy but deserted the service within a few months. He reappeared in Mooresville on Sept. 6, 1924, and was caught robbing a store. He served time in Indiana prisons until 1933, becoming a hardened criminal.

Paroled in May 1933, Dillinger formed a gang and set out to rob banks. Captured four months later, he was rescued by gang members. After robberies in several states, he was arrested in Arizona and returned to Indiana and jailed. He executed a remarkable escape on Mar. 3, 1934, and continued his bank robberies. The object of a massive manhunt by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), he was so legend says lured to the Biograph Theater in Chicago on July 22, 1934, by Anna Sage, the mysterious so-called Lady in Red. There FBI agents gunned him down.

This photograph was taken at FBI headquarters in Washington DC.. It shows the weapons that were used by the Dillinger Gang.

Note the modified Colt government model M1911A1 pistol in caliber .38 Super in the lower left portion of the photograph. It has been modified to use a Colt Thompson vertical foregrip, extended box magazine, and fired fully automatic.

This photograph is courtesy of Mike Stannard.

The image at left is a photograph of John Dillinger's 1921 Colt Thompson.   This image was sent to me courtesy of Tony Stewart, author of "Dillinger, The Hidden Truth," due to be released this winter (2001-2002).

You can visit Tony's two web sites for more information about John Dillinger.

John Dillinger

Dillinger The Hidden Truth

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