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Waited 34 years for a "Junk Room"


17thairborne
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Spent a little time today working with the sandblaster. I have a 1944 dated barracks bed that needs to be refinished. I am getting it ready for the Camp Mackall barracks display. Not done yet, but I started working on the footlocker set up. I realize this is not shown as per 17 A/B SOP, but I wanted to cram as much stuff in the tray as I could for asthetic purposes. Perhaps later I'll find the SOP and set it up as such.

 

Footlocker.JPG

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Found most of the .50 cal display items. I'll post some close ups of the T&E and tripod later. The gun is a semi-auto Allied Armaments rebuild using a Colt frame. It's in the 2,00X,XXX range. Wish I could find an SN listing to see when it was made!! I believe the flash suppressor and cover were not used during WW2, but am not totally sure. I am not even sure if the cover belongs on the muzzle either. ..need to research when I get all my books unpacked.

 

mahdeuce.JPG

 

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Bob,

Thanks...what year did your uncle graduate from West Point? I'm guessing '35!

 

You were close but no cigar. He graduated in 1938 :)

 

Let me say again how impressed I am with your display. First Class! Bob

 

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Awesome collection!! attention to detail is excellent and required a lot of patience and years in collecting.

 

Thanks very much! My collection has morphed over the years and finally settled down to this one unit. Life is much simpler now as I hardly find anything from the 139th. So when I do I its a great day!

 

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Bob,

Thanks again for the support! You know the Bn CO of the 139th AEB (unit I collect from) graduated in 1935. I was thinking they could be class mates, but only a few years off. I'll be your uncle got hazed by Cadet Johnson :rolleyes:

 

oz

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Spent a little time sandblasting today. Made some good progress. I have the bunk about 1/4 clean. Lots of work to do yet. I'm using a 30gal sears compressor and a harbor freight 30# blaster set up. it works okay once I figured out the control nuances. I'm wearing a flightsuit, leather gloves an industrial grade filtered breather and a full hood to avoid harmful lead paint and silicosis. I want to get the bunk ready to prepare a 139th AEB Bunk display as seen at Camp Mackall 1944. I will build a small 4' wide x ceiling height wall divider for a backdrop and construct it as seen in the wooden barracks with shelf. Here is the progress so far: :wacko:

 

Bed1.JPG

Bunk was painted originally in OD with no primer coat. At some point it got a coat of house paint white.

 

Bed3.JPG

You can see the brush strokes where the white paint was applied!

 

Bed2.JPG

This one was built by the Sleeprite Corporation only 6 days after Pearl Harbor was attacked! :o

 

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I think once I get the bunk sanded and painted I will 'pick out" the QMC stamped data with white water based paint so it is easier to see. Although that was not done originally, I think it will add to rather than detract from the display, much like collectors do on their weapon SN and manufacturer data. Should be simply to do with some water based paint and a damp rag to wipe off the excess. I should use a flat clear coat before i do that to keep from "staining" the OD paint.Has anyone doe this sort of thing before? Any hints?

 

I'm simply gonna use a bit of the 1gal OG that I have left from painting my gooseneck trailer. It's late war OD. I cannot remember the shade, wonder if I should use the earlier, lighter color that was more common in '41 when the bunk was made. Thoughts?

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Johan Willaert

Johan,

I had not thought of that. It would make it easier to remove. Have you had luck using it?

 

I have used to make a stamp more readable and it easily wipes off.... That being said it was mainly on guns with blued or parkerised finishes which were easily oiled after taking away the chalk...

 

I'd suggest testing it somewhere on a hidden spot before having a real go at it...

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Great, That gives me two options to experiment with. I'm 1/2 done with the blasting. My compressor has a hard time keeping the tank pressure up so I have to stop periodically to keep the blasting going. NP though. It's fun :blush:

 

oz

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I had a couple of questions about Smoke Gren...s I posted some image of the Offensive (cardboard) model and a simple smoke version. Neither has internal contents, and the Offensive model has been drilled and filled...so very inert.

 

Grens1.JPG

 

Grens2.JPG

Sorry for the blurry image!! :unsure:

 

Grens3.JPG

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  • 2 weeks later...
17thairborne

I finally got around to working on the barracks display. I built a narrow partition in the junk room that will somewhat mirror the wall units built in Camp Mackall. I had to make allowances for the angled above-garage ceilings, but it seems to work. I built the frame out of 2x4 and used 3/4" oak rod for the hangar rod. My next step is to purchase some rough cut lumber to close in the back side. This will mirror the shelving that was built along the outside walls of the barracks. I simply hung some uniform items just to see the progress. Over time I will try and get everything just right. I still have a little work to do on the bunk, and will add that next.

 

barracks1.JPG

rough-in framing

 

 

 

barracks2.JPG

Various uniforms on display

 

 

 

barracks3.JPG

L-R: Wool Overcoat, raincoat, camo coveralls, HBT coveralls, M41 Field Jacket, Parachutist Coat, Ike Jacket, wool shirts, wool trousers. The 139th Engineers used the 1-piece "frog skin" coveralls for camouflage training while at Camp MacKall.

 

 

barracks4.jpg

 

A photo from my collection depicting the barracks layout at Camp Mackall. Notice the simple wood construction of the shelves and barracks. The bunk is a standard US Army bunk which has been fastened to a wood frame so that 2 are made into bunk beds.

 

 

 

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This is shaping up to be a very creative and unique display, Oz! It's looking great so far and I can't wait to see the finished results!

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17thairborne

Yesterday I received my crate for the 8.8cm Panzerschreck rounds. The crate contained 2 rounds for the German Bazooka, otherwise known as the Panzerschreck or Raketenpanzerbüchse 43 (abbreviated to RPzB 43). The crate held 2 RPzB. Gr. 4322 rounds (Gr. stood for Grenate or grenade). I like to add crates to the display as the engineers often conducted training with captured weapons and munitions and these add to the interest of the other items. Notice in the first photo, which is from one of the LZ/DZs near Wesel, that a pile of abandoned ammo crates and are left in disarray. I believe the German Bazookas are the RPzB 54/1 model which had an improved rocket, shorter barrel and a range of about 180 meters. Oh to have some of that junk for the display room!!

 

img021.jpg

Refuse of war on 17 Airborne DZ/LZs near Wesel

 

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Nice crate, in fairly good condition with partial labels in tact.

 

pzrschr4.JPG

Details of the typical German stencilling

 

 

pzrschr1.JPG

Partial label on end of crate indicating 2 munitions contained, date of packing, weight etc.

 

 

pzrschr2.JPG

German manufacturer's code. Looks like Something g w 43. I cannot find either a 2 or three letter code that ends with either gw or qw..

 

 

pzrschr5.JPG

interior label depicting contents and data for firing range of rockets at various temperatures.

 

 

 

 

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17thairborne

Finished the sandblasting. I have it at about 99% clean. Will do some minor hand brushing before painting. I have to do some basic research as I have not used an air sprayer before. I plan on removing the springs and painting those in a natural metal I think its called castblaster?? The frame will get a standard OD. I have the late war OD in a 1 gal, but am wondering if I should buy a quart of the early OD I think it is 319!

 

What'cha think I should use?

 

bunk1.JPG

 

bunk2.JPG

 

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17thairborne

PS I need to find one more support strap and a set of springs just to make it right. The single one will hold the weight of a foam mattress and the blankets. I had an opportunity to purchase one of the blue and white stripped mattresses that were common to the ww2 barracks, but the shipping weight was so high I passed on it. Of course no one would see it, but its the thought of having everything correct. Without the mattress you cannot display "laundry day" where the mattress is folded over and the blankets folded and stacked. Oh well..................

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17thairborne

Just ordered a can of 33070 early war lusterless Olive Drab from RAPCO. The blasting process revealed that lighter shade of OD, quite lighter than what we are most familiar with today. It almost has a tanish tinge to it. Seeing how the bunk was made in '41 I think that would be more correct.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finished the sandblasting and painting. Getting the spring supports on was a challenge, but the use of ratchet straps made easy work of it. To prevent marring the finish I used an old flight suit from AFG deployment and wrapped the cargo strap around the rung and the other end about 1/3 of the way down the support. You have to be careful not to pull the links apart if you ratchet too tight. Taking the slack out of one side allows you to slip the spring on with no problem. You can do about 3-4 springs before you have to slide the ratchet over. Here's the finished product (still have to highlight the data plate as discussed).

 

Bunk3.JPG

De-tensioning the springs for easy assembly!

 

Bunk4.JPG

 

Bunk5.JPG

 

Bunk6.JPG

Barracks wall still needs a few more boards to finish the siding. Lumber yard ran out of what I needed :wacko:

As you can see I am missing one of the lateral support straps and 2 springs. The search is on!

 

 

 

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