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  1. I also acquired the uniforms
  2. The Sea Bee Submarine story gets better, as the Admiral was also a Polar Bear! His collection of photographs was donated long ago and are available to the public. Some information can be found here about his WWI grouping. As goofy as the helmet with cross on it is, the background of the family is quite interesting. regards, Arthur : ) Allied Intervention in Northern Russia, 1918-1920 - Image Gallery Essay PRINT EMAIL A FRIEND FACEBOOK TWITTER MORE... Officers Returning from the Front, 1918 ca.Two officers wearing heavy winter clothes are seated in a horse-drawn wooden sleigh on a snowy path. Just behind them is a building that appears to be a Russian church. View the original source document: WHI 102739 Robert Colton Johnson (1894-1969) was among many young Wisconsin men sent to far northern Russian at the close of World War I. Unlike most, he brought a camera and took hundreds of remarkable photographs. This gallery contains more than 240 photographs taken by Johnson in Russia in 1918-1919. Allies Deploy in Russia Enlarge Russian Woman Sleigh Driver, 1918 ca.Portrait of of a Russian woman wearing heavy furs. View the original source document: WHI 100517 After the Russian Revolution in October 1917, the Bolsheviks decided to stop fighting in the war. Thirteen of their former allies, including the United States, sent troops into Russia to protect military supplies and keep an eye on the new government. Soldiers from Wisconsin made up a significant portion of the 339th Infantry Regiment that comprised the U.S. contribution. They deployed to Archangel, a city 700 miles north of Moscow on the edge of the Arctic Circle. After winning the war in Europe in November 1918, the Allied powers threw their troops behind the pro-Czarist, anti-Bolshevik forces in Russia. But they had conflicting motives and no common strategy, and the public was weary of war. As the Bolshevik government grew stronger, the Allies ended their intervention in North Russia in 1920. Johnson's PhotographsRobert C. Johnson of Madison was among the soldiers sent to Russia. His father was dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. After graduating from college, he entered the military and served as adjutant and chief photographer with the U.S. Army's North Russian Expeditionary force based in Archangel from 1918 to 1919. Enlarge Major McArdle, 1918 ca.Major McArdle with two British officers in uniform on board the launch "Wisconsin." View the original source document: WHI 101232 Johnson's collection of glass-plate and nitrate negatives records the efforts of the Allied forces as they defended the area from Bolshevik attacks. As an engineer, he was careful to document numerous types and styles of blockhouse fortifications. As a soldier, he also took photographs of the forces fighting alongside the Americans and the lifestyle of the troops. He also recorded Allied soldiers' interactions with local Russians, capturing images of their heritage and culture as expressed in local markets, religious buildings and ceremonies, and day-to-day life. In 1957 Johnson donated more than 700 photographs spanning his entire professional career to the Society. Some of the 1918-1919 images appeared in the 1979 article, "Wisconsin in the Midnight War," alongside quotes from letters and other writings of Wisconsin soldiers. Most of these images have never been published. Johnson's Later CareerAfter working as an engineer in Milwaukee and Chicago, Johnson was appointed director of the Wisconsin Civil Works Association during the New Deal era. He re-enlisted in the military at the outbreak of World War II and supervised construction projects in the Pacific, including building an airstrip below Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. He eventually rose to the rank of vice admiral. Following the war, Johnson headed the Siesel Construction Company in Milwaukee, chaired the Milwaukee Expressway Commission, and headed the Milwaukee Performing Arts Commission. Note: The Robert C. Johnson photograph collection and other paper records are available to the public during regular Archives hours. The audio recordings require advanced notice. See information on Visiting the Library and Archives. See the catalog listing for the Robert C. Johnson collection. To access "Wisconsin in the Midnight War," an article on the Russian Intervention of 1918-1919 containing Johnson's images, view the Wisconsin Magazine of History article. View the GalleryView Johnson's online photographs
  3. Hello Again Everyone- Please see information about the father-in-law, who passed away in 1969: A decorated World War I and World War II veteran, Robert Colton Johnson was born September 21, 1894 in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1917. Later that year, Johnson joined the 310th Engineers Company C as a 1st Lieutenant (Topographical Officer) and sailed from the U.S. on July 11, 1918, to serve with the American Expeditionary Force, also known as the Polar Bears, in Archangel, Russia. For his service with the Polar Bears, Johnson was awarded the Order of St. Anna 3rd class and the Order of St. Stanislaus 3rd class. Johnson returned to the U.S. on August 1, 1919. Upon his return from Northern Russia, Johnson spent the next fourteen years employed as a civil engineer. In 1933, he became the Assistant to the Wisconsin State Director of the Public Works Administration, and in 1936 served as the Wisconsin State Director of the Civil Works Administration. The latter position led him to the State Office of the National Recovery Administration, and then into private practice in 1938 with Boynton and Johnson, Consulting Engineers. In the late 1930s, anticipating a second world war, Johnson joined the United States Naval Reserve, Civil Engineers Corps as a Lieutenant Commander. Returning to active duty in 1940, he was assigned to the Virgin Islands where he was in charge of the construction of a new submarine base and the expansion of the marine air base and the island defense facilities. In 1941, with the onset of World War II, Johnson began his second military career, with the United States Navy. After the completion of his service in the Virgin Islands, he transferred to the Sea Bees and was promoted to Commanding Officer of the 104th Construction Battalion. In 1943, he was promoted to Captain and placed in charge of the 9th Naval Construction Brigade. During this period, Johnson joined the invasion of Iwo Jima ultimately receiving the Legion of Merit with Combat V. In 1946, Johnson engaged in his last stint of active military duty in the support of the invasion of Japan. The Navy promoted Johnson to Commodore and assigned him as Officer in charge of Battalions. Upon retiring from active duty in 1947, Johnson settled back into civilian life with his family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, again utilizing his engineering background and military experience to serve as a Chair and consultant on several Milwaukee civic administrations and committees. Though engaged in various civic endeavors, Johnson still found time to participate as an inactive member of the Naval Reserve. In 1953, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and then to Vice Admiral in 1957. Johnson retired from his military and civic careers in the 1960's. Johnson passed away on May 26, 1969.
  4. Some of the items from the sale were named to Adm. Robert Colton Johnson, who served in both World Wars and was an Engineer in the Milwaukee area after the war. Perhaps the Admiral was Mary Ann's father? The grouping appears to be a combo for Mr. Curtis and his father-in-law, Mr. Johnson.
  5. If someone here ends up with the helmet, I can share some photos of items from the estate. I was at the estate sale and acquired the Navy hat, Australian hat with sub badge, Chaplain's shoulder boards, knife and several Sea Bee unit books. In the books were some photos and newspaper clippings. One of the unit books was presented to the Admiral at a post-war reunion. The helmet was most likely presented to him as a gag gift. The photo that Manayunkman posted shows several of these items.
  6. We have a medic helmet from estate of a soldier of the 782nd Tank Battalion who was in Europe during WWII. In March 1945 in photos from France the medic panels are still visible. In one of the letters written from Czechoslovakia the soldier writes that while driving jeep through woods he was fired upon but the German was a poor shot and missed him. Some time after getting into Czechoslovakia the helmet was painted over with this shade of lime green paint. We will try to post some photos at a later time. There is an online copy of the regimental history of the 782nd Tank Battalion. Perhaps there is more detailed information in the history that may reference the painting of helmets? I haven't had the time to read it yet. The lime green paint would have been applied post-April 1945. Not sure if it was to hide the medic panels for duration of war in Europe or while unit was preparing to sail back to the US and possibly to the Pacific, but the unit went back to US and stayed there.
  7. I wish I could hear of more stories like this. Fantastic. I hope more people read this.
  8. Very Nice! Could you post close-up of the front and back of the Sea Squatter pin? Thank you.
  9. Mr. Jerry- I visited with a USMC Vietnam veteran who wore the red square on his headgear and clothing but he was involved with helicopter landings/re-supply. I will forward some photos of a few photos of his for reference.
  10. During WWII it was the 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division (Red Arrow).
  11. Recently purchased a war time photo with a TD marking on a steel helmet. But for the helmet at question, definitely agree with Troy.
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