Militaria

by Daniel Stern

This page covers most of my present collection of militaria.  I will add other items when I have the time to do so.  Some of the items on this page are family heirlooms, others I have acquired over the years from family and friends, in thrift stores, garage sales, or just lying around on the ground (see the Leicestershire Badge).  I buy those items that interest me and seem reasonably priced, even though I do not always know what it is exactly I am buying.  I am far from an expert on this stuff. 

FYI, I also have a separate page dedicated to my grandfather, who fought for four years in the trenches of Europe in WWI...on the German side, in the 43rd Field Artillery Regiment, 9th Battery.  You can see his picture postcards here:

http://ph0ebus13.googlepages.com/

For a little old-time 'military' music while you look, select the file 'cusb-cyl5703-d' from the drop down, and  just press play.

"A Submarine Attack" by the Premier Quartet, c. 1918

Get FREE WWI-era Mp3 downloads like the track above from

the Cylider Preservation and Digitization Project:

http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/index.php

THE COLLECTION

I got the helmet below in a thrift store for $10.00.  I am fairly certain it is a WWII-era M1 helmet, made by McCord circa October 1943; it has a heat temperature stamp '166', but no letter 'S' like you would find on Schlueter-made helmets.  It has swiveling bales, the seam on the rim joins at the front of the helmet, and the helmet's chinstrap is located at mid-helmet, and not further back as it is on later helmets.  It appears to have what is termed a 'Second Type' high pressure liner with cotton suspension and  'A'-type washers.  The helmet liner was manufactured by Mine Safety Appliance (MSA).  Manufactured in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this "high pressure" manufactured M-1 helmet liner is identified by an embossed "MSA" in the crown (mine has the number 5 below the maker's mark).  Mine Safety Appliance started M-1 helmet liner delivery to the US Army in September 1942.  They produced approximately between 2,000,000 - 4,000,000 M-1 helmet liners and discontinued production around August 17, 1945 when the war ended.  My helmet's liner appears to be missing only the removable chinstrap that mounted to the plastic liner; the helmet's chinstrap is a later replacement, likely from the 1960's or 1970's.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The next few pictures are family heirlooms.  For example, the picture below are my dad's tags, ribbons and medals.

Left is his ID bracelet.  In the center is his Good Conduct Medal.  On the right, his dog tag. 

Below that, his triple ribbon rack with (from left to right):

Good Conduct Ribbon 

Asiatic Pacific Service Ribbon (with one bronze battle star and one spearpoint)

Philippines Liberation Ribbon (with one bronze battle star)

The bottom row has: Asiatic Pacific Service Ribbon (with one bronze battle star) and WWII Victory Ribbon.

 

 The picture above has items I picked up.  Top is a piece of trench art from Guadalcanal; below that is a WWI-era British Officer's cap badge.  it says "Hindoostan" above the tiger ands "Leicestershire" below.  I found the badge just lying on my local beach, of all places.

 

 My uncle Johnny was in the Signal Corps in North Africa in WWII.  He gave the the Air Medal above to my mom when he came back.

The pins and ribbons above I either bought or were given to me.

On the left hand side, top is a MSH pin, date unknown.  In the middle is a Expert Weapons Qualification Badge (Army).  On the bottom is a Quartermaster (Officer) – Branch Insignia (Army).

 

In the center column top is a Signal Corps (Officer) Branch Insignia (army).  Below that, a Service Star Pin (Why does it have the two loops on it?  On the back it has 'Pat'd Nov. 6 1917', if that helps...).  Second from the bottom is a Adjutant General (Enlisted) – Branch Insignia (Army).

On the right hand column, from top to bottom: American Defense Medal Ribbon (Army), Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Air Force), and American Campaign Medal Ribbon (Army), and U.S. Letters (Officer) – Branch Insignia. 

Can you identify the rest?

 

 My father's souvenir from his assignment in the Philippines, and his combat knife.

 These are the markings on his knife.  It lost two pieces of the handle over the years and was wrapped in tape at one point.

 My dad's army jacket.

 

This Navy Uniform is from the U.S.S Rockbridge.  I am not sure how old the jacket is...perhaps when she was at Bikini Atoll?

(To read more about the U.S.S. Rockbridge, go here: http://home.hiwaay.net/~aewhite/Rbridge.htm)

Patch on left sleeve.  The jacket is named to an E.A. Baker.

Patch on right sleeve.

I guess Mr. Baker liked mermaids...a great example of 'Liberty Cuffs'.

My grandfather's 'toolbox'.  I have been told it is a WWI grenade box...what do you think?

Interior of the grenade box.

A Vietnam-era Cluster Bomb.  Don't worry, it is a dummy.

(See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BLU-3_Pineapple for more info...)

Another Navy Uniform; interestingly, this one has no ship's name on it.  It does have some customization, like the other jacket above.

I gather this fellow (named Loughlin) went to Shanghai?  My second great example of 'Liberty Cuffs'.

This is Navy Jacket #3.  This one is very interesting...

This gentleman (Mr. Davisson) served on the U.S.S. Fred T. Berry.

(For more about the U.S.S Fred T. Berry, go here: http://www.fredtberry.org/history.htm)

The 'Seafarer' does some nice work...

Nice Dragon!  An example of a 'Tailor-Made' uniform piece.  You can read more about Liberty Cuffs and Tailor-Made pieces at:

http://www.navydp.com/Navy_Traditions.htm

I just picked up this US Marine Corps Sergeant's shirt...for $2.49!

Detail on the patch.

A nice pair of USMC Uniform pants, circa 1979.  Also $2.49!

Tag on the uniform pants.

I just got this...The Great War Magazine, Part 141.  The chap on the cover is Captain James Blaikie, who was the Captain of the Anchor Line's T.S.S. "California" that brought my mom's family to the Unites States from Scotland.  What he is better known for, of course, was his stint as Captain of the California's sister ship, "Caledonia".  Captain Blaikie was in charge of the ship the "Caledonia" when she met her fate in the Mediterranean on December 5th, 1916. When 125 miles east of Malta she encountered the German submarine U-65, which torpedoed her without warning.  Upon being torpedoed, Captain Blaikie decided to take the submarine with him and rammed the submarine with his sinking ship, but unfortunately the impact was insufficient to sink her.  Though the submarine was not destroyed when the "Caledonia" ran over her, she was flattened out on the port side forward for about 130 feet to a depth of eighteen inches.  The stem had been bent to starboard, the periscope doubled up and the wireless gear on the port side carried away.  These injuries resulted in leakage around some of the plates, and after the submarine had gained the surface she was unable to submerge.  The Caledonia sank within 45 minutes.  Captain Blaikie was taken prisoner by the Germans, but was eventually released.

A little more light reading...the issue on the left described the campaign in the Philippines, of which my dad was a part.

Four WWI-era Postcards; From top left: Submarine Chaser SC-87 (Built at Hiltebrant Dry Dock Co. Commissioned 2/21/18, and served in Plymouth. Sold 6/24/21 to Joseph G. Hitner, Philadelphia.) approaching at high speed, and three views of the German High Fleet anchored at Scapa Flow (before they all were scuttled, that is...).

I just got this old postcard recently; a great old ship.

Late model ammo can.

Uncle Johnny's 48-star American Flag.

Yes, it's an actual piece of H.M.S. Victory, Admiral Horatio Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar.  I bought it in the gift shop in St. Paul's Cathedral in London, so I am pretty confident it is legit.

I need to get a few more patches...three is pretty sad.

Last but not least...an Israeli gas mask.

Jewish War Veterans of the US Lapel Pin, Circa WWII

Usually the enamel is dark blue...have you seen a light blue one before?  The other pin is not military-related; it is from the Free Sons of Israel, a Jewish philanthropic organization.