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Posts posted by Brigade-Piron

  1. Thank you for your comments! The soldier in question was a Pfc. Gustav "Gus" Brown (who was at some point in his career in the US 9th ID). I believe he started his career as an artilleryman before "converting" to the infantry. Any information anyone could give me on him would be very appreciated, but unfortunately, it is quite a common name.



  2. Dear all,

    Great idea for a sub-board!

    This is the pride of my Korean War collection! It’s a small (one-sided) North Korean flag, acquired by a US soldier in Korea some time around 1952 from a liberated village. It’s rather flimsy cotton construction and quite small. I do have the name of the soldier whose find it was, but so far I have failed to find any records which I can confirm as being the same guy (quite a common name).

    Anyway, here it is!


    It must have been quite a souvenir for the guy at the time – the North Koreans certainly weren’t exactly giving them away!

    Best wishes,


  3. Dear all,

    After running this through with the Mod Rustycanteen, I hope that this will be interesting and informative on a period of both US and Belgian history which is largely unknown anywhere – but above all, relevant to US militaria.

    For those of you who do not know, Belgium was one of the 21-odd UN countries which sent troops to Korea. At any one time between 1951 and 1953, there were about 900 Belgians in the Korea integrated into a US Infantry Regiment. A small unit from Luxembourg was also part of the unit. Therefore, I hope for the purposes of the forum, they can be considered as foreign members of the US Army.

    Anyway, the first Belgian arrived in Korea in early 1951 and were briefly attached to the British 29th Infantry Brigade. They fought at the Battle of the Imjin River and were rescued by the 7th Infantry Regiment after they withdrew from their advanced positions across the river.

    After the Imjin, they became part of the 3rd Infantry Division – attached first to the 15th and later to the 65th (Puerto-Rican) Infantry Regiments. Between 1952-3 they served in various important engagements including the so-called “Boomerang” positions at Chatkol. They remained in Korea, attached to the US army until their disbandment in 1955.

    They won a US (and two ROK) Presidential Unit Citations for heroism in the conflict and countless individual American gallantry awards. After the war, quite a few former personnel took the opportunity to emigrate to the US or Canada. One soldier, a Luxembourger, served in Korea with the Luxembourgish unit and in Vietnam in the US Army.



    My interest in the conflict is quite recent. It’s an exciting period and little is known by most collectors. So, anyway, a walkthrough of my collection of items relevant to the period in US service:


    First, the brown beret which gave the battalion its nickname. This was the integral part of the regiment’s identity and uniform. Even when they almost all transferred to US uniforms (c.1952) they retained the beret as a national identifier. Note the cap badge – this is the special type for non-commissioned officers.


    The unit’s SSI – this was worn on the opposite arm to the 3rd ID patch on battledress and Ike Jackets.


    3ID1.jpg(And a 3rd ID badge of the time – kind gift of Valéry on this forum)


    Something a bit more bizarre – in original photos this is the most striking aspect. The camouflage “Denison” smock is Belgian made and there are three types. This was worn over US M43 and M51 uniforms right up until 1955. It produces a very strange look!


    A Belgian magazine from 1951 (“The Illustrated Patriot”) depicts Belgian soldiers in the winter of 1951, just after their move to the 3rd Infantry Div.


    And some medals – the Belgian government provided its own medals for the campaign but there are plenty of examples of US campaign (and gallantry medals) being awarded and worn by personnel. It is a national pride thing I believe.

    The “article 4” medal for heroism (“Corée-Korea” just says Korea in both French and Dutch languages):


    Campaign medal:


    Medal for volunteering:


    UNO campaign medal. The text is in French on the back:


    If anyone has any questions about the unit, please let me know by PM: I don’t want to distract from the forum’s main content! For more information, please see my website on the topic:


    Kind regards,


  4. I also did this with an M1 for my Korean War impression. Contrary to what you might think, the burlap covers used in Korea seem to have been quite tightly held to the shell, not loose and baggy like the an Israeli helmet cover. Anyway, it helps if you can find some string and make some broad stiches around about 2 inches from the brim. That way it stays closer to the shape of the helmet. Anyway Baron is absolutely right - wetting it a couple of times after fitting is the key!

  5. Hello! Apologies for what might appear a stupid question. On one of my ebay searches I found a US 82nd Airborne SSI with the tab - instead of reading "Airborne" read "Belgium". I'm absolutely certain that it isn't a Belgian insignia, so is it an official US one of some type? A veterans' association perhaps? I'm a Belgian militaria collector first and foremost so apologies for being so green in the world of US collecting!

  6. Hello,

    I recently picked up these booklets, which I believe were the property of a US soldier in Korea. Between the four of them, they give a really fascinating insight into the history of the war.

    Korean Phrasebook
    1945 edition.

    A Pocket Guide to Korea
    1950 edition.

    Fight for America
    1952 edition. A very jingoistic pamphlet indeed.

    Cold Facts for Keeping Warm

    Hope this is of interest,






  7. Hi,

    I received this quite recently and have been trying to do a bit of research on it, so far with little luck.

    As you can see, it displays all (OK - most) of the formation badges of US and UN troops in Korea and Japan during the conflict. Around the edges are the flags of the participant countries (and Japan!) and, judging by the prominent placing of Japan in the middle, it was probably bought there. I believe it belonged to an American nurse (I do have the name).

    It measures 19'' by 19''.

    The problem is that, to me at least (and I am far from an expert) it feels like Nylon (or a synthetic fabric) rather than silk, which I would have assumed. It also appears to be printed. Does anyone else have one that they can compare with my one? I have seen several for sale on everyone's favorite auction site over the past months, but the only pic I can find now is from the Australian War Memorial who do not provide much detail.

    Can anyone help me out?

    All the best & many thanks,


  8. I'm aware of the patch, you're referring to. Indeed, I also believe there is a version on everyone's favorite auction site currently going for big bucks.


    Bullion or unofficial insignia are common from the Korean War from all UN contingents, not just the US one. The common consensus is that they were made for "returning home" uniforms (or souvenirs). A surprising number of the SSI that you see do not have stitch marks on the back.


    Here's one of mine, a US 8th Army patch made with bullion thread in Japan.





    So the consensus is that the Green-edged KMAG patches are the earlier type, superceeded by the white edged ones at some point following 1952? I assume the correct tabs from each type are the identical blue-with-yellow-text arcs that are quite common?


    All the best,


  9. Just a quick question from me.


    I don't have any particular interest in KMAG as a unit, but over the years I've noticed that KMAG patches are unbelievably common. Now that I'm thinking of getting one, I'd like to just ask the question that presents itself:


    Are there large numbers of repros/fakes of this patch? If so, how do you recognise them?


    Wikipedia says that KMAG disbanded in December 1950, so I find it unlikely that all these patches could have been produced in such a short time. However, I also don't believe that KMAG has the same appeal to fakers as, say, 101st Airborne.


    Any light you can shed would be much appreciated!



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