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FSSF Beret. One of the rarest pieces of WW2 head gear.


Eric Queen

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There must be more but I am only aware of the existence of three (3) of these. The one I have originally belonged to Mr.Jack Furman from the 6th Company of Regiment 1.

J D Furman.jpg

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A friend of mine and fellow historian/collector knew Mr. Furman personally and obtained the beret from him directly a number of years ago. When he originally obtained the beret Mr.Furman informed his that it originally had British made crossed arrows on it but he had removed the arrows to but them in a shadow box with a patch and a few other items. He replaced the British made arrows with US made Mt. Helena purchased arrows and those were what was on the beret when Gerry received it. Here is a photos of Mr.Furman holding the beret with the US made arrows.

Jack Furman beret 2.jpg

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The beret with the replaced arrows was featured in Ken Joyce's book "Crimson Spearhead"

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Some time later Gerry was able to obtain the original British made arrows from Mr.Furman and put them back on the beret.

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Very happy that Gerry was able to restore the beret to its original state just as it had been worn by Mr. Furman during the war. Here is the top of the beret.

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Amazingly beautiful, historic and as you pointed out, rare! Thank you for sharing, Eric, I always enjoying your top-shelf FSSF collection!

Jamie

 

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Patchcollector

Interesting piece.I never knew about these.Thanks for posting it.

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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Eric,

 

As you well know, all British maroon berets from WWII are very difficult to find and command a very hefty price tag. This piece of British headgear is no exception. I'm sure that you know that Jack Furman was a Canadian and that the Canadians were carved out of the Force and sent back to England when the Force was disbanded. There are a couple of points that should be noted. These berets were issued to the Canadians AFTER they left the force and were not worn while they were assigned to the FSSF. You will not find these in the hands of Americans that served in the Force as they were not issued to Forcemen.

 

Your photo of Stan Waters show Waters wearing a British BD, and while the caption states that the beret was khaki, I would assume that the one being worn in the photo is another one of these maroon berets.

 

A great pick up and a rare piece of Canadian military history,

 

Allan

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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All true Allan but disagree with the characterization that the piece is uniquely related to Canadian history. The FSSF was made up, of course, of both Americans and Canadians but it was an American unit commanded by an American. The berets were worn by (ex) Force members who served with this unit. Anything related to the FSSF is part of American history.

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Eric, thanks for starting this thread. Here is the second known example out of three. The condition is not in as good as Furman's beret.

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Here is another FSSF beret named to Lt. Larry Story of 5-3. It is the exact one being worn in the photo after the force was disbanded. I also have his battledress uniform in the photo as well.

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