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  1. I have not considered closing the website. It is not my job to tell people how to spend their money. I was making an accurate observation about a lot of collectors. It has been my experience that most collectors do not have a good balance between their collecting and real life situations.
  2. Wow Bob I am always starting something with someone and not showing proper deference. I am sure your buddy can speak for himself. Until someone can provide documentation instead of speculation, I will believe my documents and IOH research. The reason collectors believe this stuff is because of their speculation instead of trying to find out the facts. Collectors want answers to questions and instead of being satisfied with "we don't know", they love to speculate and tell stories. If someone could provide a receipt from the IOH or a document that shows the IOH provided one of their items to a private individual, I would gladly reverse my thoughts. But you don't know that any of these reasons for missing items is true. You are speculating. Not good for a historian to do this.
  3. I don't think collectors are devious, but I do know that collectors steal items from government archives and museums. And I do know that collectors buy these items without a concern for where they come from. Am I wrong? Berlin Document Center is the classic example here. Do you think the janitor was dumping SS documents in the trash outback on orders from someone in charge. Why is this so hard for anyone to accept? I 'm sure most collectors today didn't steal these items, but I do know someone that has a valuable item from the IOH that was sold to him with the story that the item was a "salesmans sample", although the item was never approved for use by the IOH. It is easier to believe the story.
  4. Nice try. Keep believing those stories and keep speculating. Try doing some serious research and you will find many missing items and paperwork even in archives that only 10 years old. This is going on today as well and ask yourself, "who would want to steal these things and why?" Or you can believe that maybe they were thrown away to make room for newer items.
  5. Alec, you are so right! I can tell you have been on the research trail yourself. Maybe the curators decided the papers weren't needed anymore and had a "clearance sale".
  6. Bob, instead of attacking collectors what should I do? It wasn't construction workers that stole these items. I realize that people holding these items probably did not steal them, but it does not change the fact that it is still the property of the IOH. Do you think the IOH should file a report with the police? With so many items in their possession, they do not even know what has been stolen over the years. Now they have a lot better system for this. The proof of thieft is the fact that many items that are listed in paperwork as being there (such as the gold CIB) are missing! I am not surprised that this means nothing to you. For the last few years I don't believe anything unless it is from a primary source or from a documented source. Unlike most collectors, I refuse to speculate or believe stories told by "collectors".
  7. During my last visit to the Institute of Heraldry to do research on the Combat Infantryman Badge, I learned many things about the CIB and the way the IOH works. The IOH is part of the Federal government that is responsible for the design and production of all military insignia for the Armed Forces of the United States. This includes cloth and metal insignia as well as medals and decorations. The IOH submits designs to the DoD and, once approved, is responsible for establishing the specifications to be used in the manufacturing of that item. Chosen manufacturers then submit product based on those specifications. If the manufacturers sample is approved by the IOH, it is then tagged and catalogued to be the standard by which future product is judged. The cataloging of these items also provides a time record and production history of the items. As I was looking through dies and examples of the CIB, I noticed there was a lack of certain grades of the CIB. I asked George Cannizzaro why certain examples of the CIB were present and others were not. George explained to me that in the past, before strong security measures were in place, many items had been “borrowed” or stolen. It had been IOH policy to send items on a honor system to “researchers” through the mail, only to have them not returned or switched with other items. The classic example of this is the gold Combat Infantryman Badge. Sixty of the three-inch size badge in grades four thru six were authorized and produced by the Balfour Company. These were delivered on 2 April, 1965 and on 10 May 1965 the Commanding Officer of the IOH, Lt. Col. Steve G. Davis send out document DCSPER-PSD, Combat Infantry Badge, Regular Miniature Size (5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th) stating “These are prototype samples and not to be placed in the supply system unless need.” Today (except for two miniatures) no examples of this CIB are found at the IOH. There were no “salesman samples” or “badges slipped out the back door”. According to the IOH any example made by Balfour found in the public is stolen property of the IOH. Certain parts of the IOH’s cloth insignia catalog are tremendous; their early 20th century rank insignia is superb with each item looking like it was made yesterday. The same cannot be said of their WWI division and unit patch section. I mentioned to Thomas Casciaro, Chief, Technical and Production Division at the IOH, that I had seen many items with the IOH sample card and seal for sale at many gun and military shows. He told me that these items are the property of the IOH and that they are considered stolen property and should not be sold. The IOH does not have sales to raise money (they are federally funded), do not have “garage sales” to make room for other items (they have the room and more than one building), and do not throw away items because they think they are not relevant. If anyone can show documentation to the contrary, I would like to see it. It is also quite interesting that all of the really nice items that collectors would like to have in their collection cannot be found in the IOH. You can find incredible examples of common rank insignia and plenty of brass insignia for musicians but that rare gold CIB is just not there. The theft is not something that has happened recently. Best estimate is it started in the 1950s. “Researchers” started plundering the IOH from then right up to the 1980s. Much paperwork is also missing. All of this misguided desire to add that special item to their collection has not just damaged the IOH but it has ruined any research work or information for the future. What happened to collectors wanting to preserve history? You are not preserving history by hoarding items in your bedroom! The items in the IOH belong to every American and not to the few collectors that have managed to acquire any of these patches, badges, or medals. Knowing the obsessive and possessive nature of collectors and their willing belief of any plausible story, you will rationalize your stolen property with the fact that you personally did not steal the item.
  8. Authentic Militaria at http://www.authenticmilitaria.com has just had its "Vietnam" "WWII American" and "German" pages updated. Thank you.
  9. The "Vietnam", "American", and "German" pages of Authentic Militaria at http;//www.authenticmilitaria.com have just been updated. Thank you.
  10. Does anyone know if this is a military patch, and if so, what unit it was for?
  11. Authentic Militaria at http://www.authenticmilitaria.com has just been updated on the "Vietnam" and "American WWII" pages. Thank you!
  12. Authentic Militaria at http://www.authenticmilitaria.com has just been updated on "Vietnam" and "American WWII" pages. Thank you!
  13. Sorry, meant to write EIB instead of CIB. Either way the manufacture of the separately applied rifle on these badges was done at the same time with specific government specifications. Actual government documents are shown and explained in my book.
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