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RIP: Craig Pickrall, USMF co-founder, teacher, mentor and more

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#1 Bob Hudson

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:33 PM






When we started this forum in October 2006, we had no idea what we were doing, but we knew one thing: we wanted Craig Pickrall to come aboard and share his wealth of knowledge about militaria. He seemed to have collected at least one of everything, including its tech manual and original contract specifications. Throughout this forum (especially in the Field Gear and Reference sections) you will find his posts full of details and photos. He has co-authored books for collectors and his contributions to this forum cumulatively might equal a few more books, at the least. 


For more than 7 years Craig was there for this forum and its members: cheerfully answering questions that had been asked and answered many times before, providing thoughtful counsel on major decisions involving the operation and policies of the forum and being, in general, just a heck of a nice guy. 


Earlier this year he shared with us that something had changed, that a health problem would mean less time spent on the forum, but he still checked in when he could. Then, it reached the point that his energy had to be devoted to self and family, but his wife took time to keep us updated.


Today came the news that Craig had passed away, sad news even though we knew it was inevitable.


God Bless him, Charlotte and family.


And Craig - say hi to Greg Robinson for us when you see him. 



The photo above combines a picture of him dressed up for a family event with a background of the James River where he kayaked during his getaways in the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

#2 Wake1941

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:36 PM

RIP, Craig Never had the chance to meet Craig but his actions through the forum spoke of his character. My condolences to his wife and family

#3 tankerman

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:41 PM

One sign of a man's character is that he is willing to share self.  Craig always did so and in a gracious manner.  That speaks volumes for the man.  My condolences to his family.  He will be missed.

#4 lugar05

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:44 PM

RIP u will be missed

#5 nkomo



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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:51 PM

RIP, Craig.  Craig was a mentor to me when I first started collecting gear.  He would always answer my questions and if he didn't know the answer, he wasn't afraid to admit it.  Craig was one of the best in the hobby and he will be missed by many.  I pray that God blesses his family with calm and peace.

Edited by nkomo, 18 August 2014 - 03:59 PM.

#6 Third Herd

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:54 PM

RIP. He will be missed, I learned so much from his books and posts on here. My condolences to his family.

#7 Justin

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:55 PM

I am deeply saddened, Craig was a great guy, he once went out of his way to email me (In 9 different emails) info on a Vietnam era rucksack I brought. He seemed more excited than I was over the rucksack, that was very cool coming from somebody with such a great collection. May he Rest In Peace. 

#8 Jay V

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:03 PM

Rip ! This is indeed sad news.What a loss to his family and to the collecting community!!

#9 Patchcollector

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:03 PM

RIP and thanks for all you did for the hobby.My condolences go out to his family.

#10 Darktrooper

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:03 PM

Requiescat in Pace

#11 Kurt Barickman

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:07 PM

Wow, sorry to hear of his passing; a real collector who could document as well as collect items. RIP


#12 Got da Penny

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:08 PM

I never met Craig, but, I will not forget how he helped answer sooo many questions when i first came aboard the Forum.

It was like having a human computer when you had really hard to find items or answers.  You will be missed........ R.I.P.



#13 Terry K.

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:11 PM

Rest in peace!

#14 costa

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:12 PM



#15 phillock

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:13 PM

My deepest sympathy to the Pickrall family.

I would like to thank you Craig for sharing your knowledge and  establishing  the forum to create meaningful and lasting friendships , all this you have done to help educate  and be one of the guardians of history.


Rest easy



#16 Thor996

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:14 PM

RIP and thank you for co founding this forum and for all that you contributed. You have left us with an awesome legacy and while I never met you or your family, they and you will be in my prayers. My condolences to all who loved and cherished you Craig and may God grant you eternal peace.



#17 Cap Camouflage Pattern I

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:14 PM

Wish I had joined in time to meet him-RIP

#18 Wharfmaster

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:16 PM

Very sad. Rest in Peace.

#19 RustyCanteen



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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:22 PM

Where to begin? Today I lost a friend, and as the title says "co-founder, teacher, mentor and more".



This is a very sad day not only for those of us who knew Craig, but also for the collecting world as a whole. Craig was a very knowledgeable collector, the first I would turn to if I had a question, but he was also a very generous and friendly person with a good sense of humor. He would readily share his knowledge with anyone, anytime. It seemed as if there was no limit to his generosity or friendliness, and I don't think there was. He was also very enthusiastic about his main love in the collecting world; field gear. Craig could tell you more about a particular item than a book could, and had the information and photos at his finger tips to back it up, and he openly shared that information with us all. I can't think of anyone who made as big of impact online in this hobby than Craig Pickrall.


Craig was a real genuine and true 'expert' on militaria. About a decade ago Craig would post on the old 'Gunboards Militaria' forum (Offline in 2006). While there he had the idea of posting all the information he had available (along with photos) online for everyone. Long story short, the technology had not yet been perfected for that purpose, but that did not stop him and he continued to post reference threads each week which were known as "Pickrall's Picks". After joining another now-defunct forum Craig went from member to admin through his own knowledge and merit eventually heading the entire US-section. And as Bob Hudson says above, Craig brought all he had and helped make USMF what it is today. Over 10,000 posts, probably as many photos, and experience which he shared with us all. He was dedicated to this hobby and this forum, and I know he spent many nights working on it long after most members had called it a night.


I am proud and thankful to have known Craig, and also for all the talks we shared about this wonderful hobby, collecting in general, and old times. I'm also thankful to have had the pleasure of working with him on the forum, something I would never trade. We had a lot of fun rebuilding the reference sections with each other. He had an enthusiasm that was infectious, and also pleasing because this hobby meant a lot to him.


I already miss you Craig, but I know you're in a better place. Take care, as always...and thank you. God bless.



#20 Tachyoner

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:36 PM

I joined the forum recently as well, and never had the chance to talk to him. He does however, seem like he was an amazing guy with a lot of knowledge out of your stories. I will take your word for it (all of you) and it's so sad to hear about his passing, not only for the forum on the behalf of his personality and knowledge, but also on behalf of his family and loved ones. May he rest in peace.

#21 Rogi

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:36 PM

RIP Craig, your posts, generosity and willingness to help anyone and everyone with their questions will always be remembered :)


Although I did not get to know you as well as other members, I will always remember and look back on your posts and say thank you :) you made this forum a better place and one in which every collector can enjoy.

#22 Dave



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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:37 PM

Wow...I am so sorry to hear that. While I never got to meet Craig, his reputation for kindness and knowledge sharing built the foundation of this forum.


My prayers are with his family.

RIP, Craig.



#23 ka bar

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:42 PM

I am probably under qualified to post here but...

Mr Pickrall, I never had the chance to meet or converse with you

But your legacy has affected me...

Your enthusiasm for collecting and knowledge along with the pioneering members/founders of USMF enables people like me to continue on a similar path of collecting...

Your photo is that of a gentleman...that much is true

May you suffer no more pain

Go home now and be free......

#24 CNY Militaria

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:43 PM

RIP Craig...

#25 tarbridge



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Posted 18 August 2014 - 04:46 PM

God Bless the Pickrall family. ..

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