Elden Meets Thell Reed and Ray Chapman

Thell pistol

There were two towns in southern California that played quite an important role in my early adult life: Corona and the small community at the northern edge of town called Norco.

Immediately after graduating from the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps School with Honor Company 20 of 1953, I was transported by train 100 miles north of San Diego to my new duty station at the Naval Hospital in Norco.

The usual progression of events was to do several months of ward duty, and then possibly go with the U.S. Marines to Korea. While I was waiting for my turn to join the Marines, the Korean War ended, resulting in my continued duty at the Norco Naval Hospital until my enlistment ended in July 1955.

In the spring of 1955 I purchased my first pistol, a 22 caliber Ruger single action revolver from Corona Sporting Goods. On that same day I also bought several boxes of 22 long rifle ammunition and a copy of