By: Jim Foley - AO Chief of Security from 1966-1982

Response to question on WWII period Smith and Wesson .38 caliber AO revolvers and the meaning of AOP

Question Jim responded to: "...After reading about the large business AO Did with the Gov't during and after WWII, we were wondering if AO had a Police force during WWII. We have not been able to establish what the AOP on the backstrap of the revolvers means".

Jim Foley's response written shortly before his death in May 2007

"American Optical had a guard force during WWII which consisted of 20 to 30 men. They were armed with .38 caliber revolvers with 6 inch barrels. Who sold them to AO is unknown to me. The force was also sworn in as local police officers in the town of Southbridge. They used th towns police shooting range for target practice.

The Amerian Optical at the time was doing Department of Defense (DoD) classified contraccts. "AOP" American Optical Police was stamped on all of their leather goods. Hope this helps in your research."

Jim Foley
May 2007

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