The story behind that jumper gets more substantial and somber. I collect medals, not uniforms, but I would make an exception for this one, since a Navy posthumous engraved Purple Heart would rightly go with it. The white branch mark around the right shoulder indicates a non rated seaman. The white marks on the cuffs indicate paygrade 6 for seaman second class. Louis Orville Kaber and his twin sister Lois were born March 24, 1926 in Rutland, ND, among the youngest of six children of Walter and Ellen Swanson Kaber. The family moved from Dakota to Whitefish, MT in '35. Louis was an 18-year old Navy combat casualty killed on 29 Jan 1945 while serving with the 38th NCB (Naval Construction Battalion) in the Marianas, one of 15 that the unit lost. The 38th repaired and built the airfields on Tinian, including those for the B29s that ended the war in Japan. Before the war, he worked for the Great Northern Railway, as did his older brother, Marvin, who served in Europe with the 11th Armored Division and survived the War. Louis's remains weren't repatriated until 1948 and are buried in Whitefish Cemetery, MT along with his parents and siblings. His parents died in 1964 and 74. Louis Kaber is one of 155 names inscribed on the Flathead County, MT memorial to their combat dead from the Span Am through WW2. The son of a solid, American heartland family. Far as I'm concerned, that's some priceless fabric you're caretaker of and the unseen hand that led you to that flea-market in Malaysia, where this jumper was waiting for you. How it survived in SE Asia for nearly 75 years would only add to the story, but we know that it did. And we know that it's good that it's home now as a tangible reminder of an 18 year old that once wore it and gave his all. Construimus, Batuimus; "We build. We fight."
Rest in Peace, Louis. It's a privilege to learn and share a bit about you with others who still care.
The story of the 38th NCB-
You might want to consider making a permanent post link for this under Navy uniforms.
Edited by aerialbridge, 13 June 2019 - 02:02 AM.