Wednesday, December 24, 2014
I was talking with some Iwo Jima vet families and it turned out that many of them had the same artwork on V-Mail they received from their Marine family member while the 5th MarDiv was in Hawaii in Christmas 1944. An artist in the division had created special Christmas artwork to be sent home to the family members back in the USA, with the only difference between them is the personalized message below the artwork. Two of the V-mails below are still in possession of the families of the vets while two others are in my personal collection. An incredible peek into Christmas of 1944 before anybody in the division had ever heard of the island Iwo Jima.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Hitting up the local Antiques fair I came across this excellent WWII US Coast Guard AS1 Navy jumper uniform. What is great is that it has the Amphibious Forces Patch SSI on the sleeve and the USCG shield on the sleeve. One of the other jumpers I bought had a pointer striker on the sleeve. I was able to ID this uniform to a sailor who lived here in California, he served from 1942-1946. Because of the SSI and pointer striker I'm led to believe this Coast Guardsman was a combat vet, perhaps part of a Gun crew on a USCG manned ship. I requested the records and hope to update you in the near future.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Friday, December 5, 2014
I've been a long time Doctor Who fan since the 1980s and I am currently watching the series in order from episode 1 and currently just started watching the War Games, the second Doctors last adventure. So I was blown away this morning when I saw this photo of a Marine in his dress Blues standing next to the legendary 4th Doctor Tom Baker. Being a Fan of our beloved Corps and the Doctor Who, this is both worlds coming together in one great picture. I would love to know the background of this photo!
Thursday, December 4, 2014
On Saturday 6th, my friend and writer Dan King will be discussing his new book A Tomb Called Iwo Jima at the Planes of fame Museum in Chino California. A unique book where he interviewed Japanese vets from the Battle Of Iwo Jima in their own language and weaves an untold story not found in any other books. I will be also displaying some of my WWII USMC uniforms that belong to vets who were both present at December 7th 1941 and the Battle of Iwo Jima. Visit the Planes Of Fame website for more info. Hope to see some of you there! A Tomb Called Iwo Jima is Available on Amazon
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
This one came by way of a Japanese vintage clothes dealer, a WWII USCG white jumper. belonging to a cook or steward, I bought this one at a risk as there is no way to research Coast Guard uniforms due to no USCG roster available online. I will update this post as soon as I find out more info about this Coast Guardsman.
Friday, November 7, 2014
I've always had a love for the WWII carrier USS Cowpens (CVL-25). One of the US Navy's most hard fighting Carriers of WWII, the ship also participated in the invasion of Iwo Jima. One uniform that has always been on my short list for my Iwo Jima collection is a Navy Jumper from one of the Sailors on the Mighty Moo. Low and behold I came across this Marine Jacket belonging to a Ships Detachment Marine who spent his entire wartime career on the Cowpens. This was a nice catch for me as this is my first Ships Detachment Iwo vet uniform I have found for my collection. When I received it a few days ago it appears that someone along the line took off his Seahorse Ships Detachment patch. Although I have four Detachment Marine coats in my collection, this is my first that actually had the Seahorse patch on the sleeve. I found a Seahorse replacement patch and looking forward to restoring back to the coat. An incredible coat and hopefully I will still run across a companion Navy Jumper from the Mighty Moo.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Here is a nice one that appeared recently: An HBT coat belonging to a three war vet, WWII Korea and Viet Nam. This coat belongs to his 50's era. This is a very nice example of a 50's Corpsman HBT coat complete with a hand stenciled navy rate on the sleeve and round pocket. Some nice research material here for the collector who purchased it.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
My friend Pat over at Ikesgrunt is also a Battle of Iwo Jima collector. Pat has also put together a 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions display representing the three divisions that landed at Iwo Jima. Like my display, each jacket is IDed to a Marine who participated in the Battle. Not only did he do a great job putting together a tribute for these three particular Marines, it is an visually impressive display that captures the pride of the USMC. Well Done!
Friday, October 10, 2014
From the Archives: I picked up this officer dress White uniform at the Great Western Gunshow back in the 1990's for my The Sandpebbles impression I did at the time. I had this uniform in storage for a few years and didn't even know if was named or not. I managed to locate it this week and incredibly it had a name stamped and written in the coat. Although it was a common name the letter combination wasn't and I was able to ID the coat to a Warrant Officer who lived locally here at San Pedro, CA. He was a long time sailor enlisting in 1921 through 1946, and was finally made a Warrant Officer in his last year of service. Most all of his WWII career was aboard the USS Kawesh (A0-15) an Oiler that served ships on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Sadly he died in 1956, only 10 years after being released from service, although his wife lived to 102 years old and passed away in 2007! It was great to finally locate and ID this coat it being the only Warrant Officer coat in my collection and an awesome tribute to a long serving sailor!
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Something I have been looking high and low for is an IDed Navy or Marine uniform belonging to a vet who was aboard one of the Battleships at The Battle Of Iwo Jima. It finally paid off a couple weeks when I came across this jumper who belong to a Pharmacist Mate 1st Class who was aboard the USS Mississippi during the battle amongst many others. He enlisted in 1942 and seemed to have a long time on the ship. Quiet excited to finally add a WWII Battleship vet jumper to my collection. Thank you for your service!
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Christmas comes a few months early with another nice addition to the 5th MarDiv Sasebo Occupation is this excellent "Merry Christmas 1945" label.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
These four pictures happen to be from two separate auctions and were up at the same time. I recently had an interview from a Marine who was in the 2nd Armored Amphibious Battalion who participated in both the Battle of Saipan and the Battle of Iwo Jima. He stated at Saipan they cut up gas mask hoses and put the rubber ring from the hose around their service dog tags as a silencer to keep the tags from rattling and making noise. He said they were told to stop by upper ranks and they could get in trouble if they were found making them. What is great about these two separate auctions it appears that these two sets of Dog Tags were indeed made of gas mask hoses. A nice little detail that could be helpful with USMC reenactors.
Monday, September 8, 2014
Here is a nice USMC Alpha Coat that came my way recently. It belonged to a Marine who was in the 5th Service Battalion who also served later at the tale end of the Korean War, getting out in 1953. Its fairly typical to find many 5th MarDiv vet coats with 2nd MarDiv SSI on the sleeve as the 2nd Mar Div became a mustering out Division for many 5th MarDiv vets after their division was disestablished. Other features include a nice bevo style rank patches which seem very common on 5th MarDiv going home coats in 1945-46. Since I haven't received his records yet, I am not sure if he was an Iwo Jima vet, but there are some rosters that suggest that he was there. Nice to own a coat from one of the support Battalions of the 5th Marine Division.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
This here is a Forest green uniform that belong to a Marine in the 25th Marines 4th Marine Division. What is interesting is the high price this sold for online, two collectors must have really wanted it for their Collection. An incredible uniform set from a Marine who participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima.
In era of Gas Station B-17s and the like, it wouldn't be that much out of the realm for there to be a Iwo Jima Motor Hotel. This is a pamphlet from one of the many Iwo Jima themed places that spring up around the nation after WWII, this one being located in Arlington, Virginia.
This is one of those items that appeared on ebay which I saved the picture but didn't bother to look at the details of the item at the time. About a month after the auction I finally got a good look at the this items and didn't realize that the poster was from Salida, Colorado and makes reference that the Marines will be meeting with prospective recruits on December 16th 1941, a little over a week after the attack on Pearl Harbor. A very historic Marine recruitment poster from the opening days the US's entry into WWII.
This photo of a WWII Jump qualified Marine in one of the IMAC Parachute Battalions appeared recently online. I really like this photo that includes an IMAC Parachute Battalion patch, jump wings and an Asiatic campaign ribbon. I really hope this photo was named, would love to know more about this marine.
This is a modified P-41 as used by a Marine in the late 40's early 50's. As you can see the bottom pockets removed usually for the purpose of tucking the jacket into the trousers. Also name tags over the pockets are a post WWII trait. I especially like this tag as its made of HBT material rather than the usual white tape or written in with a marker. While these coats were originally made in WWII their usage lasted through the late 50's and details such as name tags and removed pockets can specifically change the continued usage dates of these to Post WWII. An incredible coat none the less with a unique name tag.