Thursday, February 28, 2013

Post WWII Air Force Technical Sgt. Transitional OD

While I generally collect only Iwo Jima related items, I also collect items from local vets, jackets that I find in local antique stores. This is one such jacket, this amazing transitional Army Air Corps to Air Force Ike jacket with Technical Sergeant ranks on both sleeves. I was able to trace this jacket to an amazing three war vet who served in WWII, Korea and the Viet Nam war retiring in 1966. In WWII he was an aerial gunner on a B-24 serving in the PTO and later became a ground crew chief. Unlike the USN/USMC records in St Louis, Most all the Air Corps records burned up in the records fire which makes it more difficult to locate the histories of these great airmen of WWII. I will update when I get more info. 5/13 update: I did get partial records back from this airmen and although I wasn't able to get everything, i did get the citation to his Soldiers Medal ( which was way unexpected!) Soldier's Medal Citation For distinguishing themselves by heroism on 30 September 1945 at *** India, when a C-87 type aircraft crashed into the Air Corp Supply Warehouse, 1330th AAF Base Unit, India China Division, Air Transport Command. With Complete disregard for their own safety and in spite of the possibility of fire and the explosion of gas fumes, they voluntarily assisted in the rescue of the entire crew of the aircraft who were physically unable to help themselves out of the wreckage due to the force of the impact. When all the survivors had been removed, they continued to probe the wreckage of both the plane and the warehouse for any other personal who might have been injured. Their heroic actions on this occasion were such as to reflect much credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces of the United States.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

WWII USMC Corporal 2nd Marine Division White Diamond Patch

This WWII USMC 2nd Division jacket ended recently and a very interesting jacket it is. This jacket has the white diamond honorable discharge patch on the right sleeve, which pre dates the "Ruptured Duck" Honorable Discharge patch seen later in the war. I like the forest green wool backing on the diamond patch with some nice close up photos of the patch. Congratulations to the winner of this coat, it is a fantastic example of a legit WWII 2nd Marine Division coat.

WWII USMC Corp. 5th Marine Division

Unfortunately I did not pick this set up, but is one of the best 5th Marine Division groupings I have seen in awhile, complete with a signed roster list from the Marines in his unit. Wonderful set from a great Marine.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WWII USMC PVT Marine 2nd Div Photo

An excellent period photograph of a Private who was in the 2nd Marine Division.

USS Sanborn APA 193 Pin Up Matchbook

A nice 1940's era Matchbook for the USS Sanborn Attack Transport, which disembarked the 4th Marine Division on Iwo Jima. A saucy item for the APA collection.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WWII USMC Platoon Sgt. VCorps

A Iwo Jima Related V Amphibious Corp coat has been eludeding me for awhile now but I believe I finally picked one up. This Platoon Sgt. was attached to the Signal Battalion and listed on the V Corp rosters. As you notice he already had 8 years of service on his coat sleeve making him enlisting in the late 1930's. There is a good chance he might have been present at Pearl Harbor on Decemeber 7th 1941. More info when I receive the records.

WWII USMC Technical Sgt. VCorps

I picked this one up last week on Ebay, it was being sold as parts or material as it was rotted out due to water damage. Looking at the photos the jacket was named and looked like it once had a V Amphibious Corps patch on it at one time. I went ahead and bid on it and won the jacket, receiving the coat yesterday. Upon receiving the coat it looks like it was named to a Marine in a AA Battalion attached to VCorps. The real damage is that the thread is rotting away and the coat is coming apart at the seams. Overall I think I can save this one with some TLC. Since its not Iwo Jima related it will be awhile before I get the records.

Friday, February 8, 2013

WWII USN Corpsman PhM3c 3rd Marine Division

I picked this Corpsman Jumper up a few months ago but hesitated a bit to blog it as I wanted to do some more research on it. This Jumper has two names in it, the first belonging to a Corpsman who was in the 21st Marines, 3rd Marine Division who participated in the Battle of Guam and Battle of Iwo Jima. Iwo Jima was particularly not a great experience for this Corpsman who survived a rather vicious shelling which was visibly shaken and was taken off the line. He was sent back to the states where he recovered from his experience on Iwo Jima. Sometime while in the States two of his uniforms was given to another Pharmacists mate who crossed out his name and stamped his name in the jumpers and wore them through the rest of the war. This is where things get complicated. First off I tend to ignore the numbers behind the name on WWII jumpers as they tend not to match the sailor's service number. Talking to some USN collectors we come to the conclusion it is their platoon number in training, as usually written in ink on the tag on the navy blues jumpers. The Whites the sailors stenciled those numbers in. Second, although the second name is to a WWII sailor, he is not listed on the Navy rosters on Ancestry. He was forced to stay stateside due to his color blindness and bad eyesight. This is a first for me of a WWII sailor who isn't on the rosters, due to him not being assigned to a ship or overseas base. I do believe this does belong to the Iwo vet as there isn't any other sailor who was a PhM with his last name and intials(and to double check the other sailors don't have service numbers that match the four digits behind the name.) The Patches were never removed, as both sailors were PhM3c at the same time. A complicated history!

WWII USN PhM1c USS J. Franklin Bell (APA-16)

The third and last of some old Pharmacist mate Navy Jumpers photos, this one belonged to a sailor who was on the USS J. Franklin Bell (APA-16), an attack transport that served in many amphibious operations including Tarawa, Aleutian Landings, Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian, Leyte, and Okinawa. An incredible war record and well deserved Amphibious Forces SSI.

WWII USN PhM1c USS Wharton AP-7

This sailor served from 1939-1947 and accordingly was on more than a few ships which include USS Vega AK-17, USS Ortolan ASR-5, USS Chaumont AP-5, USS Wharton AP-7, USS Bluebird ASR-19 just to name a few. A nice PhM1c patch with a Amphibious Forces SSI.

WWII USN PhM1c USS Bowie APA-137

There hasn't been much purchasing on my side for the last month or so but I did find a few pictures I haven't had a chance to post here. This one is a Jumper belonging to a Pharmacist Mate who was on the USS Bowie APA-137, a late war attack transport that participated in the Battle of Okinawa dropping off her troops on May 10th. Since it isn't an Iwo Jima related jumper I didn't pick it up but a very solid jumper none the less!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WWII USMC White Undershirt

A while ago I posted a photo of the pea green WWII USMC undershirt, here is a photo of a WWII USMC white undershirt which is equally as difficult to find as the pea green version. Both shirts were used by Marines during WWII, and if I recall correctly this one belong to Marine on a Ships Detachment. These mostly are found in WWII marine groupings and near impossible to Identify as such unless it has a Marines name on the front, which seems to be the common way it was stenciled during WWII.

WWII USN Amphibious Patches Group Photo

As you can see by things here on MIFG I enjoy collecting and researching WWII USN Amphibious Forces items, especially Patched Navy jumpers. Since the Marines and the Navy only used SSI for a short while in WWII (All SSI had to be off their uniforms by Jan 1st 1947) it is a unique moment in US Navy History. Here is a fascinating photo of some of the first Sailors to receive their Amphibious Assault Forces Patches. Amphibious Forces sailors were some of the bravest of all the forces, as they had to bring the Marines and Army Soldiers to the waters edge under heavy shelling and fire. A great press photo, I should research where these sailors were eventually stationed at.

1950's Attack on Iwo Jima?

Is this a correspondent photo of an alternate WWII reality? This was one of those photos that made me double and triple check the details. This is a photo of one of the many training assaults on Iwo Jima done in the 1950's and 1960's. At first glance one would think that it is a Battle Of Iwo Jima photo, but upon looking at the details such as the boots and field equipment it is a much later photo. Until Johnson Administration gave back Iwo in 1968, Iwo served as a training area for amphibious assaults.

WWII Pacific Stars and Stripes War Reporter Patch

Here is a photo I found of a WWII Pacific Stars and Stripes war correspondent patch. Although both ETO and PTO styles are difficult to locate, it is the Pacific patch that hardly ever shows up, I've never seen one before I seen this one for sale. A very cool patch!

Happy Valentine from Marines in Forest Green!

"Tell it to the Marines"....Happy Valentines with this vintage WWII USMC Valentine card!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

WWII M1 Helmet Shell Swap Meet Purchases

I just haven't got lucky with finding WWII M1 helmets at swaps meets and flea Markets in recent times. The last one I found was in the 90's so it has been awhile. Low and behold in one morning a few weeks ago I found two front seam helmets within 20 minutes of each other. Both are McCord swivel loop M1 helmet shells. The one on the left is a Viet Nam era reissue with the ball latch chin strap. It is in great condition and repaint color has a nice patina to it. Overall the helmet looks great! The second helmet needs some TLC. The front brim was bent up and some strange chin straps were attached. It had been repainted at least 4 times (Green, Black, bright Blue, Forest Green) with "US Navy" painted on the front. Doesn't look original more like a theatre prop used in different productions. I am going to attach some repro straps and put a USMC WWII camo cover on it as a public display helmet as I rather keep my original at home. Two wonderful WWII Helmet shells at a great price.