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RIP: Craig Pickrall, USMF co-founder, teacher, mentor and more

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When we started this forum in October 2006, we had no idea what we were doing, but we knew one thing: we wanted Craig Pickrall to come aboard and share his wealth of knowledge about militaria. He seemed to have collected at least one of everything, including its tech manual and original contract specifications. Throughout this forum (especially in the Field Gear and Reference sections) you will find his posts full of details and photos. He has co-authored books for collectors and his contributions to this forum cumulatively might equal a few more books, at the least.


For more than 7 years Craig was there for this forum and its members: cheerfully answering questions that had been asked and answered many times before, providing thoughtful counsel on major decisions involving the operation and policies of the forum and being, in general, just a heck of a nice guy.


Earlier this year he shared with us that something had changed, that a health problem would mean less time spent on the forum, but he still checked in when he could. Then, it reached the point that his energy had to be devoted to self and family, but his wife took time to keep us updated.


Today came the news that Craig had passed away, sad news even though we knew it was inevitable.


God Bless him, Charlotte and family.


And Craig - say hi to Greg Robinson for us when you see him.



The photo above combines a picture of him dressed up for a family event with a background of the James River where he kayaked during his getaways in the Blue Ridge Mountains.







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RIP, Craig Never had the chance to meet Craig but his actions through the forum spoke of his character. My condolences to his wife and family

Check out my eBay page, I sell military insignia and just about anything else I come across

Link: https://www.ebay.com/sch/fitzkeemilitaria/m.html?item=223497878518&hash=item340982fbf6%3Ag%3ASs4AAOSw-llcxhqe&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562


Please check out my web page as well for more items for sale



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RIP, Craig. Craig was a mentor to me when I first started collecting gear. He would always answer my questions and if he didn't know the answer, he wasn't afraid to admit it. Craig was one of the best in the hobby and he will be missed by many. I pray that God blesses his family with calm and peace.

Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990




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I am deeply saddened, Craig was a great guy, he once went out of his way to email me (In 9 different emails) info on a Vietnam era rucksack I brought. He seemed more excited than I was over the rucksack, that was very cool coming from somebody with such a great collection. May he Rest In Peace.

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RIP and thanks for all you did for the hobby.My condolences go out to his family.

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silver wings;

Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there

I've chased the shouting wind along and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,

where never lark, or even eagle flew;

and while, with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.


John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

June 9, 1922 – December 11, 1941




" And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning



Don't let the B@stards wear you down -"Vinegar" Joe Stillwell



Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.Unreasonable

people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.All progress,

therefore, depends on unreasonable people.

George Bernard Shaw



" Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining" , Fletcher,from the movie "The outlaw Josey Wales"

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My deepest sympathy to the Pickrall family.

I would like to thank you Craig for sharing your knowledge and establishing the forum to create meaningful and lasting friendships , all this you have done to help educate and be one of the guardians of history.


Rest easy



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RIP and thank you for co founding this forum and for all that you contributed. You have left us with an awesome legacy and while I never met you or your family, they and you will be in my prayers. My condolences to all who loved and cherished you Craig and may God grant you eternal peace.




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Where to begin? Today I lost a friend, and as the title says "co-founder, teacher, mentor and more".



This is a very sad day not only for those of us who knew Craig, but also for the collecting world as a whole. Craig was a very knowledgeable collector, the first I would turn to if I had a question, but he was also a very generous and friendly person with a good sense of humor. He would readily share his knowledge with anyone, anytime. It seemed as if there was no limit to his generosity or friendliness, and I don't think there was. He was also very enthusiastic about his main love in the collecting world; field gear. Craig could tell you more about a particular item than a book could, and had the information and photos at his finger tips to back it up, and he openly shared that information with us all. I can't think of anyone who made as big of impact online in this hobby than Craig Pickrall.


Craig was a real genuine and true 'expert' on militaria. About a decade ago Craig would post on the old 'Gunboards Militaria' forum (Offline in 2006). While there he had the idea of posting all the information he had available (along with photos) online for everyone. Long story short, the technology had not yet been perfected for that purpose, but that did not stop him and he continued to post reference threads each week which were known as "Pickrall's Picks". After joining another now-defunct forum Craig went from member to admin through his own knowledge and merit eventually heading the entire US-section. And as Bob Hudson says above, Craig brought all he had and helped make USMF what it is today. Over 10,000 posts, probably as many photos, and experience which he shared with us all. He was dedicated to this hobby and this forum, and I know he spent many nights working on it long after most members had called it a night.


I am proud and thankful to have known Craig, and also for all the talks we shared about this wonderful hobby, collecting in general, and old times. I'm also thankful to have had the pleasure of working with him on the forum, something I would never trade. We had a lot of fun rebuilding the reference sections with each other. He had an enthusiasm that was infectious, and also pleasing because this hobby meant a lot to him.


I already miss you Craig, but I know you're in a better place. Take care, as always...and thank you. God bless.



"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*


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I joined the forum recently as well, and never had the chance to talk to him. He does however, seem like he was an amazing guy with a lot of knowledge out of your stories. I will take your word for it (all of you) and it's so sad to hear about his passing, not only for the forum on the behalf of his personality and knowledge, but also on behalf of his family and loved ones. May he rest in peace.

Please pm me if you have a Vietnam era helmet band.


- The older the war, the younger the soldiers

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RIP Craig, your posts, generosity and willingness to help anyone and everyone with their questions will always be remembered :)


Although I did not get to know you as well as other members, I will always remember and look back on your posts and say thank you :) you made this forum a better place and one in which every collector can enjoy.

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Wow...I am so sorry to hear that. While I never got to meet Craig, his reputation for kindness and knowledge sharing built the foundation of this forum.


My prayers are with his family.

RIP, Craig.



Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia



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I am probably under qualified to post here but...


Mr Pickrall, I never had the chance to meet or converse with you


But your legacy has affected me...


Your enthusiasm for collecting and knowledge along with the pioneering members/founders of USMF enables people like me to continue on a similar path of collecting...


Your photo is that of a gentleman...that much is true


May you suffer no more pain


Go home now and be free......

Why run when you can walk...Why walk when you can stand...Why stand when you can sit...Why sit when you can lie down..Why lie down when you can sleep...

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