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One thing we collectors must always take into consideration is Surplus. Even before the end of hostilities of WWII thousands of tons of property was processed as Government Surplus being sold to the general public. Many like the "Been There" "Done That" look but the reality is mostly likely "It wasn't there!". Everything from web gear to airplanes were processed though the War Assets Administration and The Office of Surplus Property of the Treasury Department Division. From here we see the boom of entrepreneurs buying trucks loads and opening the famed Army/Navy Surplus stores across the nation.

This image is a small representative to the fact. Military equipment was dirt cheap compared to newly produced commercial items, pennies on the dollar essentially. These two individuals wear surplus items prior to embarking on an 81-mile trek down the upper Colorado River, June 1946. Each wear a USAAF B-3 life preserver and US Navy kapok life jackets. The gentleman additionally wears US Army jungle boots.

 

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Back in the late 1960s I went to a camp in Conn.

 

All our equipment was WW1 & 2 issue surplus.

 

The Boy Scouts used tons of WW2 equipment.

 

​That reinforces my point here. The image shows a majority of surplus items as early as 1946 being that readily accessible and remained that way for forty more years until it finally dried up. Chances are at least one item from your Camp is in someone's collection and they are wondering if it could only talk scenario. It would say; I'm soooooo bored, when are the kids coming back to camp. Can't wait till summer!

​This is why I'm in the camp: Best example as possible i.e. minty, NOS unless firm provenance is there.

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Dustin,

 

I hope you don't mind me posting these old pages from a war surplus catalog as an illustration. For those of us that can remember those times you are exactly right, war surplus was everywhere, cost next to nothing and was used in all sorts of civilian ways.

 

I have always thought that with the very rare exception of items with solid provenance most of the stuff in our collections is just surplus that never left the states.

 

At the end of the war the US chopped up used aircraft and sold it as scrap rather than spend money to ship it back to the states, or passed it off to other nations. If B-17s and P-51s weren't worth shipping back, I am pretty sure the military didn't bother sending back helmets, pistol belts, canteen covers and other expendable gear.

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I've seen numerous examples of pistol belts and M1 ammo belts being used as tool belts. It can be hard to tell the difference when you put one next to an actual combat used example.

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

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In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

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Was out in the woods with friends today. My friend was using a 1965 dated M1943 shovel. It sure was heavily used, without context I would say that it was used to dig a lot of foxholes. And his father is a vet so if it was sold at an estate sale or something one might think it was his from his service. But it was picked up at surplus store a long time ago.

 

Edit: this reminds me playing war in a friends backyard in elementary school. He had a WWII M1 helmet liner and an M1917 helmet, they sat out in a shed in his backyard. And this was only 8 or so years ago.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a thousand pictures!

"I read that in war bad things happen, Ain't that the ************* truth" -1st Lt Mike Scotti

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is from a 1945 edition of Yank Magazine.

 

 

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In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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Probably why mountain rucks are worth next to free!

 

I managed to pull WWII as late as maybe 2010 from our local store before it closed, but it was really something in the 90s... even more so in the 80s but I was too little...

Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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Probably why mountain rucks are worth next to free!

 

I managed to pull WWII as late as maybe 2010 from our local store before it closed, but it was really something in the 90s... even more so in the 80s but I was too little...

 

Late 70s and up til about 1991 the surplus store in Ames Iowa had mint 1942 dated Mountain Ruck sacks($29.99),mint mountain tents(39.99) etc.

 

The owner had a store as well in Colorado Springs and common to see the mountain gear rotate here to the store.

 

Just wish I could have seen what was in the 5-6 sheds they had out back of the store.

 

There were assault gasmask bags that were new for $1.98.No one knew what they were.Last ones I saw there were priced at $4.95

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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In the late 60's when I was in the Boy Scouts my dad purchased a case of surplus airborne first aid kits. He handed them out to the 25 or so of us that were at that particular troop meeting. We of course immediately started opening them up. He noticed after about five minutes that these all still had the morphine syrettes. I never saw the old man move that fast before or since and we never saw the kits again.

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Whoa!

Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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  • 2 weeks later...

I remember in the 80s and very early 90s the local surplus store here "Charlie Albert's Army Navy Surplus store" had big cardboard boxes full of WW2 gear. BAR belts, pistol belts , ammo belts. leggings...everything for nearly nothing. My Dad told me that in the 60s Albert's sold Le Enfield rifles for 11 bucks each

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