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D-Day Footlocker Omaha Beach


Fixbayonets!
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Fixbayonets!

I usually do not buy footlockers (unless they are part of a group) because of the real estate they take up but this one I thought was interesting. This footlocker belonged to Major Martin D. Bates, he was the commanding officer of A Battery, 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion. The 320th landed on Omaha Beach and I believe is the only all African American unit to participate in the D-Day invasion on June 6th. The footlocker came with a letter written by Mr. Bates postmarked 2005. It appears another collector had bought the footlocker and had written to him in regard to it's history. Mr. Bates wrote a 4 page letter in return stating that his footlocker came ashore at Omaha 3 days later on the 9th and stayed with him on the beach until his unit retuned to the U.S. in December of 1944. The top of the footlocker is stenciled with his name/rank/serial number along with the unit serial number and his unit bar code. I do not know how to read the unit serial number and bar code but it should translate to the 320th. I tried an online search for Mr. Bates to see if I could find mention of him or better yet a period photo but I have so far come up empty. At any rate, I thought this little piece of D-Day history might be of interest, thanks for checking it out!

 

Rob

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doinworkinvans

Perfect! It looks like there was a book that came out about the 320th as well. He might be mentioned in that book. Very nice footlocker

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Fixbayonets!

Perfect! It looks like there was a book that came out about the 320th as well. He might be mentioned in that book. Very nice footlocker

 

Thanks again, I will check for the book.

 

Rob

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Fixbayonets!

Thanks to all for the comments. I agree David, the POM markings and the letter the veteran wrote make for a great piece of history. As far as footlockers go I think it's a pretty cool one!

 

Rob

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