In the dead of winter 1944, U.S. Navy officer Frank Grismer discovered an unknown British soldier who had perished on the beachfront of Anzio, Italy, still clutching a .45 caliber submachine gun affectionately known by G.I.s as the Tommy Gun. His body lay in the vicinity of 19 deceased German soldiers.
Grismer was deployed as part of Operation SHINGLE, an assault force of 36,000 men lead by U.S. MG John P. Lucas that stormed the beaches of Anzio on Saturday, January 22, 1944. Initially, progress was swift with Army Rangers quickly capturing the port, paratroopers taking Nettuno, and the 3rd Infantry Division advancing three miles inland. The Brits were also on the move, with their 1st Infantry Division marching two miles toward the interior of the country.
It was during one of these battles that Grismer stumbled upon the M1928A1 Thompson, bearing serial number #S-169807, in the hands the fallen Brit, as told by Shooting Illustrated The form was familiar to the American, but the sling swivels were in an unusual position. The one on the buttstock was opposite where it normally was, placed on the top as opposed to the bottom. The other was on the left side of the foregrip.