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  • Location
    New Jersey
  • Interests
    WW2 plus a general interest in U.S. military history. Thus, I have an interest in a few items that represent each of the major historical conflicts.

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  1. Hello All, The grenade body in the photos below was picked up at a recent estate sale. Filled with lead to use as a weight it was dirty, rusty and with plaster clinging to the bottom half. I thought it was an abused and neglected WW2 model I could strip and re-paint. However, after removing the plaster bits, most rust and partially drilling out the lead fill this grenade has shown itself to be something quite different. The form of the grenade appears to be that of a 1930's MKII . It has a wider base with a 3/8" filled hole. It has 40 segments with wide grooves that extend to the top without a break. The shoulder is more square and flat than rounded. The grenade body has a worn base coat of gray paint overall . The upper part has worn and chipped brown paint extending down the first two rows of segments. Two vertical rows of segments with the mold lines are both wider and higher than the others. One base segment has a faint logo of two triangles attached point-to-point. The base plug is lead. It is stamped FEB 1919 . (the dated plug was a real surprise after removing the layer of plaster on the bottom.) The gray paint , by itself, indicated an early date, pre-1926. The date stamp confirms that and seems to imply standard features of the later WW2 era MKII were already established by early 1919 for at least this one maker. Also, one reference in a post on April 7, 2018 (hirsca) in this forum states that the color " brown- indicates a low explosive filler- normally a brown band around the item" . So, this grenade will not get re-painted. It will be left as it is. Much info used here came from inert-ord.net and tgrm.foxed.ca (American Grenades) as well as forum postings. (Thanks) Photos : As found, before cleanup lead-filled fuze hole date stamp on lead plug & logo lower left after rust and plaster removed. Another view
  2. Abomb

    My War Corner

    Hello, All, I had been planning a WW2 manikin display for the last year and now the shelter-in-place orders mandated by COVID-19 kept me inside to finish the job. The display could depict a 7th Army soldier in later 1944 in Italy or Southern France, I suppose. Recently watched the WW2 US Army film "San Pietro" on Netflix . Several soldiers outfits resembled what I put together( except for the axe). Mostly it displays items I have acquired over time: Double-buckle boots - belonged to a New Jersey doctor who served in the ETO and at Walter Reed Hospital. Wool Shirt- belonged to my neighbor's Uncle Max who served with the 3rd Air Force. M1941 field jacket (ID'd) - Belonged to Joe P. of PA who served four years as a hospital medic from North Africa to Italy and France, then England and post-war on a hospital ship in the Philipines. M36 musette bag (ID'd) and canteen - used by Frank K. of Somerset, NJ who served as an infantry Sergeant in Italy. His mess kit, repaired with a grenade pull-ring, is in the musette bag. Dog tags - Seymour S. of Pennsylvania, associated with the Manhattan Project in 1945 and post-war. On the chain is a P38 can opener still secured with cloth tape. Pistol belt -family item bought as surplus in the 1950's and kept around ever since. Trousers, helmet, binoculars case, suspenders, pouches - not attributed.
  3. This is an example of a GAR lapel button . It is 3/4 " in diameter and of bronze. It is made by Whitehead & Hoag of Newark, NJ (active 1892 - 1951). It is an "associate" member button with an obverse a bit different from the other veteran versions. photos below:
  4. Hello, This is the first M1 helmet I have acquired. It is a McCord front-seam swivel-bail type with a heat stamp, 809A, which dates it to Feb/March 1944. It has a liner marked with the Firestone logo over "Inland". The HBT webbing is boldly marked PKWP, which has been referenced as Paul K Wiel Co., a subcontractor that made the webbing. This helmet shows much wear from use such as a Golf-ball size dent, scratches , abrasions and paint streaks. The word or name, "HOLLER" or "HOLLEK" appears in inch-high capital letters. Just below this two large letters, F H , are scratched thru the paint on the front surface of the helmet. The letters only became apparent only after some of the neglectful storage grunge/surface rust was removed using a toothbrush and detergent. I have two theories: One is that F.H. are the initials of a man whose last name is Hollek or Holler. The other is that it is a phrase for others to " HOLLER F**k Hitler ". It is probably the man's name, though. See pix below.
  5. WW2 German Wehrmacht map case and contents TD patch and ribbon bar of Lt. J.P. Kehoe Shadows on flap left by pencils and scissors. The map case was purchased at an estate sale in 2017. Like others, I often look at a piece and think, "if only this thing could talk". There were many German items sold before I arrived and various U. S. items. I found a TD patch and partial ribbon bar for a Purple Heart, American Defense medal and a Silver Star but most US items were damaged paper items. These included a French language booklet "La Bataille d' Alsace". What the French knew as La Bataille d' Alsace was The battle of the Colmar Pocket to the Americans . The Germans called it the "Nordwind" offensive. I had no name for the veteran at first but a search using the home address found John Paul Kehoe. An internet roster of Silver Star awardees listed his name. The original citation was missing. The www. Tank Destroyer.net website yielded a biography I summarize below. John Paul Kehoe was born in New York City and lived his early life in "Hell's Kitchen". He initially served in the National Guard and entered service in February 1941. He attained rank as sergeant, received the Soldier's Medal, was chosen for OCS and graduated as a Second Lieutenant. He married and shipped out to Italy in September 1943 to join the 636th Tank Destroyer Battalion. They engaged in fire missions, supported assaults on San Pietro, the Rapido River crossing, the Cassino sector in February, the Anzio Beachhead in May, and entered Rome on June 4th. They landed in Southern France on August 15th and reached the Moselle River in September. They were engaged in the Vosges Mountains in October and in Strasbourg in December. The 636th battled against the German Nordwind offensive in January and February of 1945 while the Battle of the Bulge raged further north.. At this point, John received a field promotion . On Jan. 21, 1945 his platoon of three TDs were near Weyersheim, France. They came under fire from 12 panzers. .John directed his units to open fire, put four German tanks out of commission, and forced the others to retreat. John Kehoe received the Bronze Star for this action. On February 3rd, near Rohrwiller, France, they observed enemy cannon and machine gun fire on a house occupied by allied personnel. 1st Lt. Kehoe directed his units to open fire while he made two trips to evacuate injured personnel from the house, which was 300 yards away. The enemy was destroyed and John was awarded the Silver Star for his gallantry. On another occasion, he and his men were pinned down by a German sniper. Men were killed. The sniper was spotted in a church steeple which was destroyed by his unit along with the sniper. [Note: an internet search for images of the 636 TD Battalion results in a photo of an M10 moving past a collapsed church in Rohrwiller on Feb.5, 1945. ( Is this Coincidence or verification? )] . As for the German map case ? I believe it had not been touched since the vet put it in storage as there were only German items in it, neatly packed. The scissors were rusted and left a shadow on the leather. Pencils were split and left their own stains on the inside flap, A hardened eraser and a corroded map tool were also in the case. There was a set of 10 maps of the Northeast quarter of France for German occupation forces (set #1 of four) . Two of the maps included the region of the Alsace battle . One map includes the city of Hagenau and the towns of Weyersheim and Rohrwiller . I like to think Its wrinkles are from laying in the snow of January 1945. So, for me, these maps will not just be musty dusty paper . Every time I look at it I will picture an American officer personally confronting the enemy in France in the winter of 1945, an officer who was decorated for gallantry before he even shipped overseas , then twice after and wounded, too. I will look at the TD patch differently, too. There are many like it but this one, because of whose it was, I think, has a value exceeding any souvenir map case.
  6. Hello, My sister gave me a wartime letter and photo, today. I transcribed the letter for the forum . Please, see it below: 16 Sept. 1998 Hello Sally: In trying to clean up my desk, I ran into a WWII photo that you may want to use with one of my contributions. It's a picture taken right at the end of the war in Europe in Eggenfelden, Bavaria. The town was unscathed and so our company decided to camp in the town square awaiting orders to start moving back to California to get ready to invade Japan. My division , the 13th Armored, was scheduled to cross the Pacific and land directly in the Tokyo area. But then there was the atom bomb. So we never left Camp Cooke, California. As German resistance was collapsing we ran into some ex-slave laborers. On April 19, 1945 [in Mettman ] we picked up four Russian lads and two Polish lads to do KP and other chores for our ordnance maintenance company. We clothed, housed and fed them in exchange for their work. They left us for home on June 10, 1945. There were two of us G.I.s who spoke Russian. I became friends with the Russian men. In the picture, I am the guy with the keg of beer. The other lad is one of the Russian boys. His name is Alexei. I don't know what eventually happened to any of the six guests of our company. Cordially, Alex Gordeuk Alexei and Alex Eggenfelden, Germany June 1945 ( note: The two kinds of facilities the 13th Armored restored to production first in Germany were for ice cream and beer.)
  7. Hello, all, I grab any interesting 13th Armored Division items. I obtained this greeting card recently with what I believe may be a Disney design. It has no Disney copyright but it has the right style, I think. Photos below. Bill G.
  8. Hello, all, I bought a hat with eagle insignia attached off EBAY against my better judgement. The eagle is the largest and most flamboyant thing I have ever seen. It almost has angel's wings . I assume it would be bought at a PX and not officially issued. Three inches high and unmarked. There is a single pin at the top on the back as well as the center screw post. It has left its imprint and greenish shadow on the peak and strap of the hat . The shadow perfectly matches the eagle. Though it has the officer eagle, the hat is a well-worn enlisted model with no mfr. label. It was described as WW2 era on EBAY. NHSCinc sells a repro eagle that is exact in dimensions but not in some details.. I have not seen it anywhere else, ever. Bill G. Photos below:
  9. Hello, The two Russian children's books are primers for learning the Cyrillic alphabet and basic reading. They have his serial number inscribed. I assume he needed these since the idea was to learn Serbo-Croatian and later work with Marshall Tito in the Balkans. Never happened, though.
  10. Hello, All, My sister was moving and dumped a load of family photos and papers on me because I said I would take them. These things had belonged to my father who passed away in 2002. I was hoping to find a small WW2 signal flag I spotted once. Instead, I found what can be seen in the photos below. There were two letters, each from two of my uncles who also served. One describes maneuvers with a full pack up and down desert hills. The other describes a busy time as mail clerk for a bomb group and his leave in London (girls and beer). There were orders to report to duty after induction and the train ticket to get there. The rest are photos and papers relating to ASTP training in California. The ASTP program was cut short and abandoned in 1944. However, it did benefit individual men who participated. Among others, It helped produce Henry Kissinger, Mel Brooks and the men profiled in the book Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides. I also found a yard-long photo of my father's Company . Had no idea this existed. Bill G.
  11. Here is a recently acquired example of an " Ethocel" plastic canteen . The best thing about it is that it came with what I believe is its original cup. Its singular history can be summarized from other sources as follows: These were produced and issued early in WW2 as a way to conserve strategic supplies of aluminum. The inability to heat beverages in the canteen , the bad taste imparted by the plastic and a tendency of the plastic canteen to crack up when frozen were major faults. Along these same lines, the accompanying cup appears to be zinc-plated steel . It is magnetic and was a bit rusty inside. This tendency of the cup to rust made field use less practical. The later aluminum and/or stainless steel sets were much more widely used once material restrictions were lifted. The canteen was marked with the mfr. but is now defaced. A 1943 date is barely there. The cup is dated 1942 with a mfr. Logo of IO (?) within a diamond. The edge of the cup is only half rolled over. This seems to be an attempt to prevent the burns a fully rolled lip could cause when heated. The canteen cover is marked on the left inside flap A.W. JOHNSON CO. 1942 . The snap closures are marked "star pull" Bill G.
  12. Hello, I have framed a few paper items. In your case cutting a mat 1/4 " smaller than the measured dimensions of the letter will hide 1/8" under the edges of the mat opening all around. This can be done with careful placement. I have used clear photo corners to hold the document underneath without adhesive. This would be the most straightforward way, I think. It usually looks alright. Otherwise, you might find a mylar sleeve to fit the item. Cut mat board to the same dimension . Glue the sleeve to the mat board. Place your item in the sleeve. Prepare the display with a double staggered mat and bottom board that gives you enough space to place your item in the framed field. The bottom board (base to which you glue item previously prepared ) looks best, I find, as a contrasting color to the outer mat, say khaki or army blue surrounded by a white or cream colored mat. I might leave 1-2 inches space around the document and the mat boards 2 inches wide around that. This method would allow the full document to be on display while the double mat keeps a space between it and the glass surface of any frame you use. The frame you have may dictate actual dimensions. Also, cutting double mats can be tricky. Gluing the mylar sleeve down without wrinkles can be a pain, also. Spray adhesive may be best. Good luck !
  13. More pics from Fort DuPont, DE . Training in Spring 1941. 122nd Coast artillery Separate Battalion.
  14. Hello, I have been able to research many of the names since I have my father's wartime items regarding his battalion in the 13th Armored division. Below is what I was able to find on these names : Robert Ashpole "Bob" C company. T/5 from Thomson, IL Residing in Edwardsville, IL with wife Joyce as of 1992 13th Armored Association member James W Davidson 13th Armored Association member as of 1992. Riley C. Rogers "T.H." C T/4 from Lockney, TX 13th Armored Association member as of 1992 William W Gibson "GIB" 13th Armored Association member as of 1992 H.L. Seay ( Howard ) C T/5 from Dallas, TX Living in Toledo, OH with wife Mary Lou as of 1992. Leonard P Harris "Pop" C T/3 from Toledo, OH Residing in Oregon, OH with wife Eleanor as of 1992. Walter Braswell Robert L Swartzel C T/4 from Vandalia, OH Residing in Vero Beach, FLA with wife Jesse as of 1992. Richard Holland C Residing in Toledo, OH with wife Pearl as of 1992. Roy N Slack C pfc from Lubbock, TX Charles Bishop C T/4 from Barnesville, OH 13th Armored Association member as of 1992. Charles E. Dillard C T/4 from Hobbs, NM 13th Armored Association member as of 1992 Hugh Pinkerton C born 7/13/1917 Occupation farmer before joining the service. Joined Aug. 1942. Trained at Camp Perry, OH and Camp Beale, CA Attended Armored Tank School Ft. Knox. Trained at Camp Bowie , TX with 13th Armored Division. Shipped overseas Jan. 1945 attached to the 135th Ordnance maintenance battalion .Served 8 1/2 months overseas. Final rank of Sergeant. Married Aug. 28, 1945. Discharged 16 Dec. 1945. Returned to farming in Plainview, TX. Wife Mary Lee. Three sons, one daughter. Retired in 1991. Henry Rossi C T/5 from Pittsburgh, PA Residing in Aliquippa, PA with wife Francis as of 1992 . William R Patterson C Sgt. From Joaquin, TX 13th Armored Association member as of 1992 William Fuqua C T/4 from Hamilton, TX Residing in Arlington, TX with wife Velma as of 1992. Forrest Hill C T/5 from Tacoma, WA All of these men shipped to LeHavre, France in Jan. 1945. Almost all would have returned in July 1945 after occupation duty in Bavaria. In the U.S. they were slated to prepare for the invasion of Japan . The division is credited with 16 days of Combat up to May 6, 1945. The above information was obtained from the 50th Anniversary History of the 13th Armored Division and associated information my father had at the time. He served in Company A of the 135th Ordnance Maintenance battalion. You may notice quite a few are from Texas. The 13th Armored was dominated by Texas recruits. Much of their training also took place in Texas.
  15. Hello, Here is the cover and inside back cover of a 1945 issue of "Skyline", North American's magazine. The B-25 illustration shows how missile-equipped B-25s were being used by Marine squadrons to attack Japanese shipping.
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