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1943 Coleman 520 Field Stove

Started by Johnny_Costino , Aug 14 2010 09:08 AM

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#1 Johnny_Costino

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 09:08 AM

This week I took delivery of my recent ebay win, an early war 1943 dated Coleman 520 Stove. This was listed in the WW2 field gear section on ebay.com, and I managed to pick it up for the amazing price of $18.50 or £11.87 at current exchange rate. You Americans must have been napping when the auction was about to close!!! Your loss MY Gain!!!

This was the sellers text
“personal gear camp cooking stove marked very faintly US 1943 and underneath is letter C and cannot make out anything else. Any Coleman experts or military gear people may be able to tell from the many photos I have uplifted with item description. Sold as-is no return. The black open/close knob has no damage and turns freely and the pump pumps freely. The leather on pump is still supple and soft. Uses non leaded white gasoline. Nice instructions on two supports detailing FUEL-PUMP and LIGHTING. Stove is 8 1/4 inch tall and alum pot is inch tall. Comes with exta brass tip (see photo). The lever by gas nozzle is frozen stiff but can be repaired...I simply did not want to take apart. No leaking tank. Nice original colors. The pot is aluminum and has no marking and is not damage or repaired. Pot snaps secure to stove by pressure clip which is all there and working. Unit is used and shows the usual scratches from the years. Has a brass tag attached stating "Civil Defense" easily readable. The burner looks clean and usable but I have NOT tried to fire up this unit. What you see in photos is exactly what you will receive”

After using a bit of penetrating oil, and then using a blow torch on the stem assembly I managed to free up the stuck parts and tonight got it working for probably the first time in many years.

This is an early pattern stove. There are a number of differences in it to the standard GI stove. The fuel container is a different colour and is made of steel, not brass. The steel containers are better as they tend not to split from pressure. The filler cap is smaller than the standard one. And there is also no priming cup. Attached to its frame is a clip that pushes in and out and acts as the retainer for the stove container, which is a single pot, as opposed to the later two part pots.

Posted Image
Posted Image

The areas circled below indicate certain difference in later 520’s.
The “clip” that moves in and out when the pot is placed over the stove, the smaller spare parts tube and finally, a plate riveted on the state property of US Government-civil defence
Posted Image

Posted Image

The abscence of a priming cup (circled)
Posted Image

Smaller filler cap
Posted Image


Now the one thing I am not sure off, is the GI military issue, or was it a design solely for Civil Defense use? Have no piccies as reference material, but this is the second one I have seen thats the exact same design colour etc with a Civil Defense plaque riveted to it.


Whats your thoughts?

#2 eagle5036

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 05:45 AM

This week I took delivery of my recent ebay win, an early war 1943 dated Coleman 520 Stove. This was listed in the WW2 field gear section on ebay.com, and I managed to pick it up for the amazing price of $18.50 or £11.87 at current exchange rate. You Americans must have been napping when the auction was about to close!!! Your loss MY Gain!!!

This was the sellers text
“personal gear camp cooking stove marked very faintly US 1943 and underneath is letter C and cannot make out anything else. Any Coleman experts or military gear people may be able to tell from the many photos I have uplifted with item description. Sold as-is no return. The black open/close knob has no damage and turns freely and the pump pumps freely. The leather on pump is still supple and soft. Uses non leaded white gasoline. Nice instructions on two supports detailing FUEL-PUMP and LIGHTING. Stove is 8 1/4 inch tall and alum pot is inch tall. Comes with exta brass tip (see photo). The lever by gas nozzle is frozen stiff but can be repaired...I simply did not want to take apart. No leaking tank. Nice original colors. The pot is aluminum and has no marking and is not damage or repaired. Pot snaps secure to stove by pressure clip which is all there and working. Unit is used and shows the usual scratches from the years. Has a brass tag attached stating "Civil Defense" easily readable. The burner looks clean and usable but I have NOT tried to fire up this unit. What you see in photos is exactly what you will receive”

After using a bit of penetrating oil, and then using a blow torch on the stem assembly I managed to free up the stuck parts and tonight got it working for probably the first time in many years.

This is an early pattern stove. There are a number of differences in it to the standard GI stove. The fuel container is a different colour and is made of steel, not brass. The steel containers are better as they tend not to split from pressure. The filler cap is smaller than the standard one. And there is also no priming cup. Attached to its frame is a clip that pushes in and out and acts as the retainer for the stove container, which is a single pot, as opposed to the later two part pots.

Posted Image
Posted Image

The areas circled below indicate certain difference in later 520’s.
The “clip” that moves in and out when the pot is placed over the stove, the smaller spare parts tube and finally, a plate riveted on the state property of US Government-civil defence
Posted Image

Posted Image

The abscence of a priming cup (circled)
Posted Image

Smaller filler cap
Posted Image
Now the one thing I am not sure off, is the GI military issue, or was it a design solely for Civil Defense use? Have no piccies as reference material, but this is the second one I have seen thats the exact same design colour etc with a Civil Defense plaque riveted to it.
Whats your thoughts?


This was a great find on eBay!

#3 craig_pickrall

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 12:02 PM

I think you will find that any of this type stove that was GI issue will be so marked. The date and maker is usually stamped into the fuel can.

The plate with Civil Defense sounds post war also. during WW2 it was called Citizens Defense Corps. During the Cold War there were bomb shelters built all over the country and stocked with Medical supplies, Rations and stoves such as this to prepare them, etc.

#4 Johnny_Costino

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 03:24 PM

I think you will find that any of this type stove that was GI issue will be so marked. The date and maker is usually stamped into the fuel can.

The plate with Civil Defense sounds post war also. during WW2 it was called Citizens Defense Corps. During the Cold War there were bomb shelters built all over the country and stocked with Medical supplies, Rations and stoves such as this to prepare them, etc.


Its not marked Coleman but it is stamped 1943 and US on the fuel container. I agree the civil defense plaque may have been added after the war.

#5 craig_pickrall

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 05:49 PM

There were other makers beside Coleman. Sounds like it may have been GI surplus given to CD post war.


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