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    Looking For Any and All Items Related To The 305th Bomb Group From WWII

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  1. Many thanks to all for your comments. It’s greatly appreciated.
  2. Definitely. I wouldn’t want it to blow up in my hands!
  3. Thanks Rhscott also for helping me try to put the bolt in properly. I tried pulling the bolt back and putting the safety up but no luck. I’m going to look at some you tube videos, as ottodog8 suggested, and see if I can figure it out.
  4. Thanks! It says U.S. Springfield Armory Model 1903 940797. I looked it up and it means a 1918 manufacture date. It’s a real beauty. It weighs a lot too. I can’t imagine lugging it around in combat. I’m tempted to bring it to an armorer and see if can be fired or if it first needs to be restored. I imagine the latter. I would love to fire it.
  5. I just recently picked up a M1903 Springfield Rifle that came with a whole bunch of other items. I’m not a rifle collector and know nothing about them but I think it’s very cool. It appears that the manufacture date is 1918 based on the serial number. Can anyone verify that? Also, the receiver doesn’t want to push all the way into the slide (I’m sure I’m saying this wrong!) and I don’t want to force it. What am I doing wrong? Finally, can anyone tell me anything else about the rifle in terms of condition etc. It seems to be in very good overall condition and it’s amazing it’s over 100 years old. Thanks! Dan
  6. Can’t wait. Never been down there before.
  7. Hi Phil, it’s my pleasure. For some reason, from an early age, I had a fascination with militaria and war history and I was constantly asking my dad questions about his experiences but especially about his wings and patches! He was always happy to answer my questions and through your questions, I was able to relive talking with my dad. It brought back great memories. Best, Dan
  8. I looked up the air gunner wing online (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunner_Badge) and it said it was created and authorized on April 29, 1943. Perhaps the pics are prior to this date. Another possibility is that even though they were authorized on that date, it likely took a while for the authorization to filter down and for the air gunner wings to catch on.
  9. Hi Phil, I think the reason why is because early on, there were only aircrew wings for the gunners (and I think the bombardiers too). At some point (maybe mid 1943), the air gunner wings came out and they had a choice what they wanted to wear. From what I recall my dad telling me, after he graduated aerial gunnery school (or aerial gonorrhea school as they used to jokingly call it!) in October/November 1944 (after radio operator school), he was awarded both his air gunner wings and his corporal stripes (straight from private). I have a picture of him shortly after wearing both. He was still in the USA at that point. Thus, air gunners were allowed to wear their wings even if in the USA. I once bought an AAF uniform from a guy who never went overseas. It had a nice pair of air gunner wings. After aerial gunnery school, everyone was then sent to attend advanced crew training for specific bombers, such as B-17s, B-29s etc. My dad ended up in B-17 advanced crew training, also in the USA. I’m not sure if he had to go to and graduate crew training in order to wear air crew wings or if they just started wearing them when they were in advanced training. Once he arrived in England, as an aircrew member, he was allowed to wear both the air gunner wings and the air crew wings on his uniform although from what he said, most EMs chose to wear the air gunner wings. I have three of his wings: one sterling aircrew wing, one sterling air gunner wing and one British made bullion and velvet gunner wing. I hope this info helps. Best, Dan
  10. Many thanks to all for your informed opinions and thoughts. I agree with those who believe it's original but I also agree with Mort in that I think it makes more sense to buy the version that's well known to be original. I would be nervous paying $2K (not that I have the money!) for a patch that I didn't have full confidence in its being original. But it's good to know that there's more than one type of original bullion patch for the unit.
  11. Dave, do you (or anyone else) have a pic of the other original bullion 6860th patch? I’ve only seen the Les Hughes version. Dan
  12. And here is the one from Les Hughes’ website. Definitely a difference between the patches.
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