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USN/USMC Parachutist Wing Question...


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#26 Tonomachi

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 09:09 PM

Great photo. I always love the JJ Cash patch photos....
Too bad about the name, I could have given you his history.


Maybe you can help me with information I have on the pin back USMC paratrooper wing with a very shallow three digit number of 678. I just found the information I have on this wing. The seller told me that he got this wing through an estate sale from the widow of USMC Reserve George Stallings of the 27th Marine Regiment? The only other information given was that Stallings retired in 1947 and received the bronze star. Stallings supposedly died at the age of 88 in 1986.

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Edited by Tonomachi, 04 October 2007 - 09:12 PM.


#27 camopara

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 06:21 PM

Stallings served with HQ Co. Regiment and was with Weapons company. Do you know if he was an officer?

#28 Tonomachi

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 06:36 PM

Stallings served with HQ Co. Regiment and was with Weapons company. Do you know if he was an officer?


This is all the information I have that came from the seller at the Great Western Gun Show in Pomona, California, back in 1986.

#29 Bones

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 05:46 PM

This is the only set of USMC / USN wings that I own. I bought them less that 5 years ago at a local show. According to the last ASMIC article I seen on these they are WW2. They are marked AMICO on the back, sterling, + 1/20 10k. They are pinback. The front is well worn. I had a marine collector look at them in Denver and he stated that WW2 USMC wings were of higher quality and jeweler made. Is this correct?

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#30 Bones

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 05:47 PM

The back of the wing.

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#31 camopara

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 04:09 PM

Yes, those Amico wings are good WW2 vintage as I referred to in an earlier post.

Not all of these 'rigger' wings were jeweler made. The Amicos are not, the sterling marked are not, and the 'Wosk' type are not. I think it is true that the WW2 vintage might be a tad bit higher quality, but the ones posted in this thread look to be of pretty good quality. I think it just depends on who makes them.

#32 Tonomachi

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 12:49 PM

I bought this colored cloth merrowed edge Navy/USMC paratrooper wing for $5.00 at an insignia show in Northern, California. It was still sealed in plastic and manufactured by Wolf-Brown, Inc., Los Angeles. The sales tag shows the original price of 75 cents crossed out.

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Edited by Tonomachi, 22 October 2007 - 12:55 PM.


#33 Navybob

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 10:15 AM

Pulled up this oldie but a goodie. Contained in the thread are examples of an H&H and a Vanguard marked set.
Can anyone put an approximate date of when these were made?

#34 CliffP

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:43 PM

Here is the correct story:

In the latter half of World War II, graduates of the USN Parachute Rigger School, Lakehurst, NJ, were awarded this unofficial badge by AMICO.

Also during World War II members of the USMC 1st Parachute Battalion wore the same badge made by AMICO while serving in the Pacific Theater because they thought it looked more appropriate on their uniform than one of the officially approved 1 1/2-inch wide U. S. Army type Basic Parachutist badges made of silver.

Cliff

This is the only set of USMC / USN wings that I own. I bought them less that 5 years ago at a local show. According to the last ASMIC article I seen on these they are WW2. They are marked AMICO on the back, sterling, + 1/20 10k. They are pinback. The front is well worn. I had a marine collector look at them in Denver and he stated that WW2 USMC wings were of higher quality and jeweler made. Is this correct?

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Edited by CliffP, 11 March 2011 - 03:49 PM.


#35 camopara

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 05:28 PM

Here is the correct story:

In the latter half of World War II, graduates of the USN Parachute Rigger School, Lakehurst, NJ, were awarded this unofficial badge by AMICO.

Also during World War II members of the USMC 1st Parachute Battalion wore the same badge made by AMICO while serving in the Pacific Theater because they thought it looked more appropriate on their uniform than one of the officially approved 1 1/2-inch wide U. S. Army type Basic Parachutist badges made of silver.

Cliff


Good story...any way to back it up? Not trying to nitpick, just trying to find some validation.

#36 Allan H.

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 06:16 PM

Here is the correct story:

In the latter half of World War II, graduates of the USN Parachute Rigger School, Lakehurst, NJ, were awarded this unofficial badge by AMICO.

Also during World War II members of the USMC 1st Parachute Battalion wore the same badge made by AMICO while serving in the Pacific Theater because they thought it looked more appropriate on their uniform than one of the officially approved 1 1/2-inch wide U. S. Army type Basic Parachutist badges made of silver.

Cliff


Cliff,
I'm kind of in the same boat that Camopara is in that I would really like to see something definitve here to document you are saying. Like Leif, I have had the honor of meeting and knowing a few marine paratroopers and I can't say that I have ever been able to observe more that one guy that had a pair of WWII vintage marine para wings in his possession and with photographic proof that he had them before the end of the war. In all cases, to a man, these troopers had army pattern wings in their possession and virtually all (ok, all but the one mentioned above) only showed army wings on their uniforms.

While I am asking questions here- if these wings were so widely worn by the 1st MAC Paratroopers in the PTO, why don't we find Aussie made gold para wings? (How soon do you think we'll start seeing fake Aussie maker marked marine gold para wings now that it has been brought up?)

This all makes for interesting conversation, but I would really hope that we can find some compelling evidence to substantiate the claim....

Allan

#37 CliffP

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 09:42 PM

Cliff,
I'm kind of in the same boat that Camopara is in that I would really like to see something definitve here to document you are saying. Like Leif, I have had the honor of meeting and knowing a few marine paratroopers and I can't say that I have ever been able to observe more that one guy that had a pair of WWII vintage marine para wings in his possession and with photographic proof that he had them before the end of the war. In all cases, to a man, these troopers had army pattern wings in their possession and virtually all (ok, all but the one mentioned above) only showed army wings on their uniforms.

Allan & Camopara,

The information which I posted on the forum was written down in one of the notebooks that I keep so it took a while to locate the original source before getting back to you.

I cannot reproduce the actual article that contains all the information you seek on this forum because the copyright belongs to the AMERICAN SOCIETY of MILITARY INSIGNIA COLLECTORS; however, it was published in their TRADING POST magazine, Volume L, No 4 (July-September 1991), on page 66. The title is, The US Marine Corps, WWII, Gold Parachute Wing by Michael A. Shepherd. With it are World War II era photos of two members who belonged to the 1st Parachute Battalion wearing the AMICO badge on their uniforms.

If you don't have access to that issue of the TRADING POST send me your address via PM and I will help you.

While I am asking questions here- if these wings were so widely worn by the 1st MAC Paratroopers in the PTO, why don't we find Aussie made gold para wings?

I doubt that can be answered to the complete satisfaction of everyone; however, due to the relative small size of the USMC 1st Parachute Battalion, and its breakup before the end of the war, the fact remains that the badges were unofficial. Therefore, I can only assume that there was not enough time for the Australian manufacturers to get wind of the unofficial badges used by that unit through the grape vine rather than through official channels.

(How soon do you think we'll start seeing fake Aussie maker marked marine gold para wings now that it has been brought up?)

That's a sticky $64 question subject to broad speculation but since you asked.

Based on what may now be known, should a collector ever stumble upon what is said to be a legitimate, yet unofficial, World War II USN/USMC gold parachute wing... the rule of thumb should be to trust only a badge made by AMICO and to avoid all the others. That should be simple enough.

Below are three views of an original AMICO badge that is in my collection to get a better idea what the markings on the back should look like.

Cliff :-)

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Edited by CliffP, 12 March 2011 - 10:11 PM.


#38 Allan H.

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 07:12 AM

Allan & Camopara,

The information which I posted on the forum was written down in one of the notebooks that I keep so it took a while to locate the original source before getting back to you.

I cannot reproduce the actual article that contains all the information you seek on this forum because the copyright belongs to the AMERICAN SOCIETY of MILITARY INSIGNIA COLLECTORS; however, it was published in their TRADING POST magazine, Volume L, No 4 (July-September 1991), on page 66. The title is, The US Marine Corps, WWII, Gold Parachute Wing by Michael A. Shepherd. With it are World War II era photos of two members who belonged to the 1st Parachute Battalion wearing the AMICO badge on their uniforms.

If you don't have access to that issue of the TRADING POST send me your address via PM and I will help you.
I doubt that can be answered to the complete satisfaction of everyone; however, due to the relative small size of the USMC 1st Parachute Battalion, and its breakup before the end of the war, the fact remains that the badges were unofficial. Therefore, I can only assume that there was not enough time for the Australian manufacturers to get wind of the unofficial badges used by that unit through the grape vine rather than through official channels.
That's a sticky $64 question subject to broad speculation but since you asked.

Based on what may now be known, should a collector ever stumble upon what is said to be a legitimate, yet unofficial, World War II USN/USMC gold parachute wing... the rule of thumb should be to trust only a badge made by AMICO and to avoid all the others. That should be simple enough.

Below are three views of an original AMICO badge that is in my collection to get a better idea what the markings on the back should look like.

Cliff :-)


Cliff,
Thanks for the post. I am a proud member of ASMIC and will go pull the magazine with the article. What I am thinking here is that we may have had an over-simplification of the situation with the gold wings. I have a feeling that the gold wing may have been seen as preferable to the standard silver jump wing, but the way the original post was interpreted by me was that you were saying that ALL of the 1st Parachute Bn troopers wore the gold wings. My experience among the WWII veterans that I have met is that only one of them had one of these wings in his possession DURING THE WAR. Most of them had post-war examples. Some of these had been picked up through the Association of Survivors and some from the local army-navy store etc. over the years.

Switching gears here- as I look at the wing that you have offered up here on the forum, it looks to me like there is a rather marked rectangle on the top of the canopy. Do you think that might have been put there in order to add a star? I mean it REALLY jumps out at me in the photo. I don't recall this on my AMICO example. Finally, I do have an unmarked, die struck gold para wing that I am quite comfortable is WWII vintage.

I'm glad this old thread was resurrected!
Allan

#39 CliffP

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 08:23 AM

Switching gears here- as I look at the wing that you have offered up here on the forum, it looks to me like there is a rather marked rectangle on the top of the canopy. Do you think that might have been put there in order to add a star? I mean it REALLY jumps out at me in the photo. I don't recall this on my AMICO example.

Allan,

I can't answer that question to your complete satisfaction; however, and other members of this forum will correct me if wrong :lol:, if I remember correctly... AMICO stopped producing wing badges shortly after World War II. Therefore, since gold Navy & Marine Parachutist wing insignia were unofficial until approved by the Department of the Navy in 1963 (BuPers Notice 1020 of 12 July 1963), AMICO was not around when and if Senior Navy & Marine Parachutist badges with star attached would have been approved sometime long after 1963.

In your post you said you did not recall seeing a rectangle on the top of your AMICO example. Does that mean you no longer have it?

Allan, that pretty much sums up what little bit I can add to what has already been covered in this thread. What ever addition information you might require will have to come from some other source.

Sincerely,

Cliff :-)

#40 camopara

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 08:51 AM

Allan & Cliff,
I have pulled out my issue of the TP and have read the article. There does seem to be a lot of simplification in it.

Not sure the author even knew that within the 1st Parachute Regiment existed 4 parachute Bns. That is quite evident when he states that the 1st Bn broke up at the end of the war. In fact it was in quite a bit before the end of the war and wasn't just the 1st Bn but the entire regiment.

The author also states that the wings were made by AMICO and quite possibly other manufacturers. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that there are other manufacturers.

My other issues with the article is that the Army style of wings were awarded upon graduation from the parachute school at Ft Benning. Actually very few Paramarines went to Benning for training. Most were trained at either Lakehurst or Elliott under the USMC's own program.

The gold wings that I have in my collection that either came from the vet or in a vet group, 3 are from 2nd Bn and 2 are from Regiment.

Edited by camopara, 13 March 2011 - 10:24 AM.


#41 Allan H.

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 11:50 AM

Allan & Cliff,
I have pulled out my issue of the TP and have read the article. There does seem to be a lot of simplification in it.

Not sure the author even knew that within the 1st Parachute Regiment existed 4 parachute Bns. That is quite evident when he states that the 1st Bn broke up at the end of the war. In fact it was in quite a bit before the end of the war and wasn't just the 1st Bn but the entire regiment.

The author also states that the wings were made by AMICO and quite possibly other manufacturers. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that there are other manufacturers.

My other issues with the article is that the Army style of wings were awarded upon graduation from the parachute school at Ft Benning. Actually very few Paramarines went to Benning for training. Most were trained at either Lakehurst or Elliott under the USMC's own program.

The gold wings that I have in my collection that either came from the vet or in a vet group, 3 are from 2nd Bn and 2 are from Regiment.



Leif,
I too went back to the ASMIC article and would have to agree that the article was indeed an over-simplification and not all too well documented. Additionally, it was evident that the author hadn't really done much if any research before turning the article in for publication.

You and I both know that you've talked to a large number of WWII USMC paratrooper veterans and by your count of FIVE gold wings (which I think is a HUGE number if you are sourcing wings from a source other than the Wosk hoard), would lead me to conclude that gold WWII vintage para wings are a scarcity and were NOT "widely worn" in the PTO or elsewhere prior to 1963.

Cliff-
I appreciate your responses and will dig my AMICO wing out to look at them. They are still in my possession. :rolleyes:

Allan

#42 J_Andrews

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 12:02 PM

Two cents: Though I am not a specialist in USMC wings or para wings, I have since 1969 had a set of wings marked on the reverse "1/20 GF ON / STERLING". They are not otherwise marked, they are pin-back and the reverse of the chute is indented/scooped out.

These came on a card printed "V.H. Blackinton & Co." (top) and "Sterling" (bottom).

I bought these out an "old stock" inventory kept in a garage in Madison NJ, owned by an elderly gentleman who "was" Officers' Equipment Co.. I was there in the company of Frank Fahey (deceased) who in those days ran a mail-order insignia/militaria business from his home on Long Island. Frank was buying a lot -- serious money. I asked the man if he had any Marine jump wings and he pulled out a box, in which was a smaller box with about 10 of the gold wing. I bought one for $5. The box also contained a VARIANT of the Army-spec silver wings that he said were specifically Marine -- the canopy resembles the USN embroidered rigger rate's (rather than the "ice cream cone"), the feathers are more upswept and the highpoints are "cut" to reveal "sparkle". They are marked "Officers / Eq. Co.", but not "Sterling" (which they may be) and have clutch-back posts with the early (no "pimples") clutches.

The man stated that the GOLD wings became popular (his word) when the disbanded Paras returned to the ZI and he recalled shipping all he could get (from Blackinton) "to California". He THOUGHT the silver ones were popular at QUANTICO and/or Lejeune, from the same time frame. He understood the gold were UN-official but "tolerated" on the West Coast and surmised the variant silver ones "got by scrutiny" on the stricter East Coast bases.

I regret I cannot post photos, as I have never been successful at that on this nite.

#43 CliffP

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 01:49 PM

Two cents: Though I am not a specialist in USMC wings or para wings, I have since 1969 had a set of wings marked on the reverse "1/20 GF ON / STERLING". They are not otherwise marked, they are pin-back and the reverse of the chute is indented/scooped out.

These came on a card printed "V.H. Blackinton & Co." (top) and "Sterling" (bottom).

I bought these out an "old stock" inventory kept in a garage in Madison NJ, owned by an elderly gentleman who "was" Officers' Equipment Company. I was there in the company of Frank Fahey (deceased) who in those days ran a mail-order insignia/militaria business from his home on Long Island. Frank was buying a lot -- serious money. I asked the man if he had any Marine jump wings and he pulled out a box, in which was a smaller box with about 10 of the gold wing. I bought one for $5. The box also contained a VARIANT of the Army-spec silver wings that he said were specifically Marine -- the canopy resembles the USN embroidered rigger rate's (rather than the "ice cream cone"), the feathers are more upswept and the highpoints are "cut" to reveal "sparkle". They are marked "Officers / Eq. Co.", but not "Sterling" (which they may be) and have clutch-back posts with the early (no "pimples") clutches.

The man stated that the GOLD wings became popular (his word) when the disbanded Paras returned to the ZI and he recalled shipping all he could get (from Blackinton) "to California". He THOUGHT the silver ones were popular at QUANTICO and/or Lejeune, from the same time frame. He understood the gold were UN-official but "tolerated" on the West Coast and surmised the variant silver ones "got by scrutiny" on the stricter East Coast bases.

I regret I cannot post photos, as I have never been successful at that on this nite.


Dear J_Andrews,

OFFICERS EQUIPMENT COMPANY was owned by Mr. Vincent E. Puma. He and his wife started the company just after the outbreak of World War II in Europe when he foresaw America's eventual entry into the conflict and thought a good business would be furnishing military dress equipment to officers of the three main branches of service.

Yes, the Puma's had a large 10,000 square foot home at 49 Park Avenue, Madison, NJ, from which he operated the business. Mr. Puma was the only "salesman" and traveled extensively during the war visiting various military base PX's selling insignia, but after the war his business pretty much came to a halt. Below is a picture of one of his beautiful "Sample Boards" in which all the insignia was made by V. H. Blackinton. If you 'double click' the images you can enlarge them.

Also included are some photos of Mr. & Mrs. Puma and their home. Mrs. Puma died in 1983 and Mr. Puma a few years later. They had one son, REV. MSGR. Vincent E. Puma, Jr., an ordained Roman Catholic priest.

Kind regards,

Cliff :-)

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Edited by CliffP, 13 March 2011 - 02:03 PM.


#44 J_Andrews

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 04:54 PM

Thanks for the additional info. I could not recall Mr. Puma's name -- I THOUGHT it was something Italian, and short, like maybe "Tony Pulo" or "Vince Pastore".

I recognize the house, and (now) recall it being on "Park Avenue".

Mr. Puma told me that his "leg up" in selling, which wound up being especially true for Marine clients, was that he accepted CREDIT (as from indigent, newly-commissioned Lieuts) and shipped to Fleet Post Offices (risky during the war). The USMC also helped him in getting travel warrants/permission, so he could get to bases in Calif, as well East Coast BXs. He also tried to stock only the "good stuff", unlike his competitors (in NYC).

As you state his business slowed to a trickle after WWII, but I think he said he "got back into the swim" during Korea -- then nearly closed up shop entirely.

I did not state it earlier, but Frank Fahey IIRC bought all the rest of the two styles of jump wings, so they should be "out there", in collections, somewhere.

#45 Navybob

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 07:01 AM

Pulled up this oldie but a goodie. Contained in the thread are examples of an H&H and a Vanguard marked set.
Can anyone put an approximate date of when these were made?

#46 Navybob

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:58 PM

Pulled up this oldie but a goodie. Contained in the thread are examples of an H&H and a Vanguard marked set.
Can anyone put an approximate date of when these were made?


Really, no one here can answer my question?

#47 Bob Hudson

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:31 PM

I picked up a pair of the unmarked hollow backs yesterday. I think these might be late 50's before the number codes started being used on insignia.

goldjumpwings.jpg

A few months ago I picked up some 1958 newspapers and the paper's original photos for their article on the 1958 USMC !st Force Recon Co. skydiving tests http://www.usmilitar...howtopic=127156 -

58tests.jpg

While googling some of the names mentioned in the article I found that Major Bruce F. Meyers, the company CO, wrote a book "Fortune Favors the Brave" and in it says that Msgt Harry H Walters (shown in the photos) was a WWII paramarine whose old gold jump wings were sent to H&H to be used to make the die for new gold jump wings. This means the gold Navy/Marine jump wings were reintroduced AFTER the !st Force Recon Co. was formed in the late 1950's:

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#48 tomcatter

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 11:30 PM

I have a question regarding USN/USMC parachutist wings.

I noticed some wings have a "SER. 678" stamped on the back of the wing.

Anyone here know anything about these wings with these hallmarks?


I know, this is an old topic, but I have me too a pair of USMC jump wings "678" marked and I always wondered about who the maker was.
I recently saw a similar badge on ebay (ebay listing #300881073985) which has the same design, the same "678" marking and... the Hilborn & Hamburger logo!
So, "678" marked jump wings were made by H&H. Mistery solved.

Edited by tomcatter, 05 April 2013 - 11:39 PM.


#49 WPAFB

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 05:57 AM

The 3 digit serial numbers appear to have been issued by the USMC Quartermaster in the early 1950's sort of ahead of the IOH numbering system. I have been slowly figuring out who was assigned which numbers. Here is my list so far and additional number would be great. All of these were on insignia with both the 3 digit and the company hallmark.
Gemsco 220, 298
H&H 307, 397, 622
Meyer 210, 270, 593, 719
Sugerman 501
Vanguard 154
Wolf 716

#50 Tonomachi

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 06:59 AM

The 3 digit serial numbers appear to have been issued by the USMC Quartermaster in the early 1950's sort of ahead of the IOH numbering system. I have been slowly figuring out who was assigned which numbers. Here is my list so far and additional number would be great. All of these were on insignia with both the 3 digit and the company hallmark.
Gemsco 220, 298
H&H 307, 397, 622
Meyer 210, 270, 593, 719
Sugerman 501
Vanguard 154
Wolf 716



I was trying to do the same things that you are doing and found myself scratching my head with Hilborn-Hamburg. I found the H&H logo on US insignia with your three numbers as well as the numbers 396, 398 and 135. So this doesn't make sense to me as why would the USMC Quartermaster give this particular company so many different numbers as so far we have 307, 397, 622, 678, 396, 398 and 135 on USMC and Navy insignia.


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