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Allan H.

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    Topeka, Kansas

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  1. Dave was good enough to send me photos of the knife in question... As I look at the knife, it appears to be rather well made and is similar to the black plastic handled versions of the Schrade and Presto brand knives that were being made in the post WWII time period. Unlike the wartime Presto knives, this one only Says "PRESTO" on the ricasso on one side and a simple "US" on the back side. There is void on the back side of the blade's ricasso that I believe is there to help the blade stay in a locked position when fully opened. You don't see this feature on WWII knives. I know that WPG, ATF and others have sold reproductions of the paratrooper knife in the past with similar black plastic handles. Patrooper.FR http://www.paratrooper.fr. markets a reproduction metal handled knife, but these are all marked "STAINLESS" on the ricasso. Some are also marked Pakistan, though I have been told the Paki mark comes off rather easily. These knives won't fool someone who knows what they are looking for, but they work well for reenactors and would make a fair "hole filler" for someone not prepared to pay the price of an original. Allan
  2. You have the SSI for the Army Physical Training Unit, and it is a "stand alone" patch. The tab "Army Physical Training Unit" was worn above the ETO Advanced Base SSI. You will note that the arc of the tab fits nicely over the ETO patch. It would have to be worn above the APTU SSI as the patch is too wide for the edges of the tab to clear the edges of the patch. Allan
  3. JMAR, THANK YOU for posting such great photos of the Marksman bars in your collection. I would also say that even though you have come to the forum looking for answers, it has been your knowledge and experience that has prompted some great discussion, to include some awesome input from two of the stalwarts in our community, Jeff Floyd and Andrew Lipps. Who can ask for more? My sincere hope here is that more members will stop by to see your awesome collection of badges and perhaps, we will get even more information than what has already been shared. I cannot wait to see the 1st Class Gunner thread. Allan
  4. JMAR, Thanks for posting these. You really ought to give us some detailed images of a couple of the badges. Also, just having that (Ho Hum) 1st Class Gunner badge there in the corner.... ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!? That piece deserves its own thread. The good news for you is that these marksman badges are from Massachusetts. To me, that means that there are records SOMEWHERE. Mass. is very good about having veteran records and being able to trace numbers as I understand it. Thank you again for sharing! Allan
  5. You have done extremely well with your quest to pick up some amazing insignias. Congratulations on your acquisitions. I really appreciate your comment about getting great pieces like this because of the contacts that you have developed. It seems that so often, collecting militaria (especially elite units) is like a big contest to see who can have the most and the best. I have repeatedly told younger collectors that instead of treating other collectors as competition, or the enemy, develop relationships with them so that you can appreciate their finds. Every once in a while, somebody will find something for you that you would never find yourself. You're teaching that right now! Allan
  6. The Jungle Expert patch was only prescribed for local wear in Panama and other SOCCOM units. I'm sure we've all seen the Jungle Expert patch being worn, but technically, it wasn't authorized for wear. I think that will explain the reason that you see the patches sewn in all sorts of different locations. The old Jungle Expert patch was awarded to graduates of the Jungle Operations Training Center (JOTC) at Fort Sherman, Panama. The school closed down in 1999. In 2014, the Jungle Warfare school opened back up in Hawaii. Instead of the Jungle Expert patch, the school now issues a tab. As I understand it, soldiers are only authorized to wear the tab in the U.S. Army Pacific area of responsibility. The tab only reads 'Jungle' instead of 'Jungle Expert'. Allan
  7. The photos are plenty well detailed enough for me. This one is undoubtedly ORIGINAL. They are rare as I am sure you know, but you can buy this one with complete confidence. Allan
  8. They appear to be AAF A-4 flight trousers. Note the guy on the ground has one leg unzipped to the top. These pants would be rather toasty even in sub zero weather. Allan
  9. Mort is completely correct. This patch is a reproduction and originals are VERY rare. That being said, the piece that you have would make a pretty decent space filler unless and until a collector could find or afford to add an original. It has some value on its own merits. There aren't a ton of these out there. Allan
  10. The fact that tis "A" device is gilt rather than bronze leads me to the conclusion that this is a military academy or ROTC/JROTC device. Allan
  11. HOW DARE YOU DOUBT ME JOE?!?!?! Leif, Thanks for the confirmation! Allan
  12. Bob, I want to start this by thanking you for taking the piece off of your website. I believe that it was the right thing to do. I understand your frustrations with not being able to answer the questions, Who made it? When was it Made? Why? I would respond to this by saying that in Vietnam era and Vietnam-made insignia, there are a variety of reasons that pieces were made after the fact. Some were made for collectors; some were made for veterans, and some were made with the intention off parting an un-knowing collector from his or her money. Vietnam was a much different war with active collectors who were serving in Vietnam, finding examples of insignia and having it copied. Sometimes, they simply asked the houses making the insignia to just make up extras above the numbers requested by the units, teams, etc. I don't think things were like that in WWII. I highly doubt that serious collectors of WWII German badges can tell you for certain where and when certain fakes were made. Some pieces were made immediately after the war, but some are still being turned out now. How many of those German badge collectors can narrow down the fakes in the manner that you are requesting? Who's making the best fake Knight's Cross? Unfortunately, due to the fact that a real one is worth thousands of dollars, the unscrupulous work hard to churn out convincing fakes. These people don't want to be known for a couple of very important reasons. First, if you know that you can go buy a very convincing fake for a certain price, many will beat a path to the manufacturer's door. That manufacturer is either selling the bad pieces themselves or using agents to sell for them. They aren't interested in selling a convincing fake for a couple hundred bucks when they can sell one to an unknowing collector for slightly less than a real one would usually cost. Their profit is much higher. They also don't want to have to deal with unhappy customers who have purchased their fakes and are looking for recompense. Fraud is big business everywhere. Visit the fake markets in China and you will see everything from fake Nike tennis shoes to perfumes, Oakley sunglasses, Levis, Rolex watches, etc. to fake Apple watches, iPhones, etc. Nothing that has value is spared from the fakers. If you walk into the shop and ask where the fake Louis Vuitton handbag was made, the owner will insist that it is real and will never tell you where it came from. Those dealers of fakes that we see at the shows (who all of the dealers know are handling fakes) still set up and they still manage to sell. Part of the reason is because the dealers who know better don't want to make a scene. Part of the reason is that I don't want to try to take someone on in court or elsewhere. Some don't mind if someone gets taken, because that person might come to them in the future because they are a trusted dealer. With the SAARF wing in question, you are talking about a real one costing $2K or better. If real, they would have gotten a bargain with your example at $1,250. When someone is selling a high end fake, it is best for them to not have too many of them lest they end up getting into trouble. We've seen loads of fake WWI pilot wings over the years. Where did those come from? What makes them fake? Well, for one thing, THEY DON'T CONFORM TO THE KNOWN EXAMPLES THAT WERE LEGITIMATELY ATTRIBUTED. Some big time wing collectors got stung by those over the years. I referred to Les Hughes' outstanding website and article on SAARF. Anyone who bothered to read the article got a pretty good dissertation on fake SAARF insignia. The machine embroidered wing in question has come out since Les wrote the article. In Les' article, he mentions some fake insignia that showed up in a reference book on the subject. These errors help the faker to know that their fakes have shown up in reference books as it lends legitimacy to their wares. How many times have you seen a fake in a book and said to yourself "that's no good." The next guy looks at the fake, decides that is what a real one looks like, and happily buys the next one he sees at the show. It is unfortunate that the wing in question came into your possession and that you offered it for sale in good faith. I am sure that if it was returned as a fake, you would refund the buyer the sale price. Hopefully, you can go back to your source and get your money back as well. If the seller doubts your opinion, have him go look at Les' article, or let him go back to the threads here on this forum, or this thread. I believe that we have established the wing in question as not being genuine. Allan
  13. This insignia, while really rare has been addressed here on the forum previously. Here is a good read for those who might be interested: Additionally, those who want to read more about SAARF, can do so on Les Hughes' website- here is a link to the article: http://www.insigne.org/SAARF-I.htm Allan
  14. That is a good point, I missed the fact that the veteran passed in 1989. As far as repro jump jackets go though, they were being made by the likes for Chattahoochee, Phyllis Rose, Avirex, and perhaps more (Sturm? The Cav Store?). I know that I hade a reproduction suit that I bought in 1983 when I graduated from High School (a Phyllis Rose). I still think that this one is a post war made reproduction. Allan
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