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Long thread on fakery: On Ebay - are these WW2 Airborne uniforms real or not?

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The description:

 

 

I've been collecting for over 55 years and it is now time to start letting most of my personal collection go. This group was acquired several years ago from a family member many generations from the time. This is another one of the many identified group of items from a combat airborne vet that I have found over the years but the only from one killed in action. This is a hard one to list but I feel quite privileged to have taken care of it over all these years and it is going to be hard letting it go. The family must have taken pretty good care of these and there is very little soiling and only very minor moth damage (to be described) that I can see. The trousers shown did not come with the group, only the jacket, shirt and cap. I'll throw in the trousers to complete the set for display. I am listing these items as collectibles. As such, the only size information given in the description are those marked on the items. The photos really tell the whole story so please review them carefully. If you need more photos contact me and I'll see what I can do. Please feel free to ask relevant questions. I do not ship international - no exceptions.

This uniform group is from the 17th Airborne Division, 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Their battle history is astounding and every bit as exemplary as that of other airborne units. The 17th was comprised of many combat vets from the 101st and 82nd, especially the NCO's. They fought tough campaigns in France, Belgium and Germany. They also displayed almost unbelievable valor. As with other airborne units, their rise to fame in print and film is well earned.

This group belonged to Sergeant George Mills 13083638. Sergeant Mills served with G Co., 3rd Bn., 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division. EBay is limited to 12 photos so I attempted to pick the best representations possible. I could have filled the listing with nothing but Ike jacket photos but instead selected enough photos that serious and experienced collectors will easily recognize that this is a uniquely complete group of original and ID'd items.

Sgt. Mills was killed in action on January 19, 1945. He is buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Liege, Belgium.

The items are as follows:

(1) Jacket: The jacket is a standard OD serge wool Ike type. It is tagged as a 343L. They tag inside the inside right pocket reads "Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot." There is a faint "M3638 along the right side lining. The markings are faint but readable. I'm not sure what kind of ink or device he marked his uniform items with but they are faded. The collar brass are clip back with flat faced clips. The 517th oval is sewn to the jacket and there is a set of sterling jump wings. The ribbon has two battle stars. The CIB is clip back with flat faced clips. The shooting badge was machine gun and pistol bars. 17th Airborne Division patch on the upper left sleeve. There are five pencil point moth holes on the lower part of the right sleeve just above the cuff strap. There is no other moth damage that I can see.

(2) Shirt: This is standard issue OD wool shirt. The shirt is labeled 15 1/2 X 33. There is a faint "M-3638" just below the collar. There is one small pencil point sized hole below the left pocket. There is a white clipped in laundry tag on the tail of the shirt with "M3638" on it.

(3) Cap: The cap is made of OD serge wool matching the jacket and is piped in light blue piping. The cap has a fabric sweatband and is unlined. One side of the sweatband has "M3638" and the other side "Sgt. George Mills 13083638." The cap label reads "rose Coat & Suit Co." and is dated October 6, 1943. The hat is soiled from wear but all marks are legible.

As mentioned above, I will throw in a pair of Mustard OD trousers and a webbed belt with an open faced brass buckle to add to the group but they did not originally come with the group.

The "family" member I got it from wanted to strip everything metal off the jacket before selling it but I did a lot of fast talking on that deal - ultimately managing to keep it all together.

I will also be listing several other groups in the coming days, some original scarce paper items and other unique items I grabbed over the years so please check out my other listings from time to time.

This is a fairly heavy group of clothing so the shipping costs reflect that. I will refund any unused shipping. I only use PayPal for payment unless other arrangements are made before you bid.

Once again, I do not and will not ship international so please do not ask. I also do not ship items to "friends" in the states.

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Seems like a big US collector, perhaps a member of this forum? If so, he's not limited to the 12 picture limit on ebay. Hopefully he will chime in if so.


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I believe a few other uniforms he sold were discussed on here and deemed as original. I have no clue on this but this guy definitely had a good eye


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

 

https://fitzkeemilitaria.com/

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It's odd that a 517 vet has 2 years oversea hash - and he was able to pass the uniform down to family but was KIA? seems odd to me but i've been wrong before.

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Here's the thread that discussed this seller before (nothing bad):

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/241134-pacific-vets-coat-with-28th-id-combat-ssi/

 

I also cleaned up the topic title so it's a bit more specific and hopefully some of the airborne gurus will chime in.

 

The problem this guy is having is being relatively unknown and selling a lot of really high end merchandise, all at the same time. If he was selling one uniform at a time, very few people would cast a wary eye in his direction. But having multiple uniforms that are all "perfect" and the same level of completeness to high-end units does (and should) give an average buyer pause to wonder if the guy just has a good eye for the same type of uniform...or if he might be the deep-pocketed "pigeon" of a knowledgable faker (a "pigeon" is defined as someone who buys high-end items without really knowing what they're doing, buying more on the "hype" than on reality and thus, can easily fall prey to unscrupluous sellers).

 

As far as these uniforms are concerned, I don't see any major red flags...other than that my brain says that when there's too much of a good thing, something must be wrong. But nothing stands out specifically.

 

Dave


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've looked at all of the groups he has sold, and the two things that stand out to me are (1) they all have a decent amount of stuff with them; and (2) remarkably few of them have what I would consider to be rock-solid, obviously good ID's with them.

 

At the same time, nothing is overtly wrong with the sets. I wish I had them in hand to really go through the nooks and crannies.

 

If you select 10 random groups of comparable content,...wouldn't you think that 1/3 or 1/2 would have "obvious" identification with them? (Paperwork, indelible ink that looks correct...not "sharpie-ish"...etc.?).

 

Then again...maybe he didn't care when he bought the stuff.

 

Interesting, to say the least.


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Always interested in the 166th Infantry, 42nd Division, A.E.F.

Quality WW1 studio portraits and real photo postcards of Distinguished Service Cross recipients; showing steel helmets; or other interesting content.

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It's odd that a 517 vet has 2 years oversea hash - and he was able to pass the uniform down to family but was KIA? seems odd to me but i've been wrong before.

 

 

Thought the same.....sure would like to see the date of the spec tag.Makes you wonder when and where a 17th/517th vet was issued an ike and then KIA 45 Jan.

 

Been collecting a while and have seen officers uniforms sent back in a few KIA groups.Cant say I ever ran across an enlisted whos uniform was sent back.


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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This looks good to me. The IKE, shirt and cap all have the guy's laundry number too. Yes, he could have used an original ink stamp kit but seeing this guy has 100% feedback rating...as he states he's just now selling off his high end groupings that he's been collecting for over half a century.

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I basically like them but I think they have probably had things added to them to make them complete, the other non abn. uniforms that he had before (if it's the same seller) all looked ok but all of them had DI's that were put on exactly the same way ,most had marksmanship badges that are not usually seen on combat vet's uniforms and most had garrison belts, pants and shirts. also I think some had CIB's or wings on both the shirt and coat. all those things are ok but with most of them being so similar I think they have been added to. as far as the ID'ed KIA uniform, maybe he searched the laundry number and got results for the KIA soldier but it probably is another guy with the same number. just my thoughts


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So I bought one of his uniforms. I am mainly a WWI US collector, but I have been branching back to WWII. I received this one yesterday, and of course I looked it over. First thing I noticed was the service stripe is sewn through the back of the sleeve so my arm wouldn't fit through it. The same thing with the combat leader stripe on the other arm but my arm could fit through that no issue. So, here's my dilemma, the uniform is named and the name looks good and everything, but there are two different possibilities here... one, the uniform was tailored and Sgt Toll never wore it after that or it was his uniform and it was "embellished" at one point of another. I have messaged the seller letting him know that the sleeve was sewn together, but I haven't received a message back. Thoughts are welcomed.

 

~Eric

 

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Those groups all had "issues" for various reasons. They were all put together and/or restored IMO. I would try to get your money back


I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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Plus one to what Kadet said. Get your money back IMMEDIATELY! It is NOT an original.

 

I've intentionally stayed out of the discussion here up to now, but would warn people that there are PLENTY of red flags for a serious collector to know to avoid this seller.

 

Allan


Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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So I bought one of his uniforms. I am mainly a WWI US collector, but I have been branching back to WWII. I received this one yesterday, and of course I looked it over. First thing I noticed was the service stripe is sewn through the back of the sleeve so my arm wouldn't fit through it. The same thing with the combat leader stripe on the other arm but my arm could fit through that no issue. So, here's my dilemma, the uniform is named and the name looks good and everything, but there are two different possibilities here... one, the uniform was tailored and Sgt Toll never wore it after that or it was his uniform and it was "embellished" at one point of another. I have messaged the seller letting him know that the sleeve was sewn together, but I haven't received a message back. Thoughts are welcomed.

 

~Eric

 

 

Seriously? Sewn THROUGH the sleeve??? I'd love to stand corrected, but I've never seen a legitimate uniform where the insignia was actually sewn to the other side of the arm, rendering it unusable.

 

I'd also bet a paycheck that the name and service number were added in the last two decades... Just FWIW...

 

Send it back!


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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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Wow...I went back thru the sold listings and some people got taken for big $. I wasn't really tracking this thread or I would have commented sooner...I hope other members didn't buy any of these. For posterity:

 

- The attributions all had disconnects and things that didn't make sense....a late war guy's name in a D-Day jacket etc. etc. Stuff you only realize if you dig below the surface a bit and have access to the rosters and other data. If I remember, not one of the attributions tracked with the uniform is was associated with for various reasons.

- The crappy pics made it hard to tell, but some of the insignia looked post war to me. The SSIs in particular.

- I believe they all had the Dutch and Belgian lanyards on the wrong sleeves. You certainly find this on real uniforms from time to time...but all of them? Hmmmm

- Most of the jackets didn't have Ruptured Ducks. Again, this is odd. You do find original jackets without them, but often they belonged to men who reenlisted in the RA or were discharged from a hospital. Another red flag

- Too many ovals and wings with all the bling.

 

The list goes on but you get the idea...they are bad to the bone...


I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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Looks like 'ol mdennis3 took quite a few people for a ride...and made a pretty penny doing so. For posterity's sake...

 

 

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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


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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And then some of the big ticket ones...

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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


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Well thankfully Ebay has a good return policy. He hasn't responded to me and I doubt he will. It's hard to believe that people can be so deceiving.

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I to think he embellished most of these uniforms. I guess some of the Info is good.

He just think he went overboard making them look so good.

 

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

 

 


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I basically like them but I think they have probably had things added to them to make them complete, the other non abn. uniforms that he had before (if it's the same seller) all looked ok but all of them had DI's that were put on exactly the same way ,most had marksmanship badges that are not usually seen on combat vet's uniforms and most had garrison belts, pants and shirts. also I think some had CIB's or wings on both the shirt and coat. all those things are ok but with most of them being so similar I think they have been added to. as far as the ID'ed KIA uniform, maybe he searched the laundry number and got results for the KIA soldier but it probably is another guy with the same number. just my thoughts

Had to quote this post because my thoughts are exactly the same. I have been following this seller for some time just to see what he lists and how much he makes from his auctions. The uniforms seem way too perfect to me, they all have DIs on the collar and even on the OS hats. Not that this is not possible, but I have been collecting groupings for quite some time and I only have a few which are that complete, and these groupings were bought from the families. The groupings he sells also come from well known units, I have seen pretty much all airborne units 442nd Infantry Regiment, as well as 1st Infantry Division. I always find it interesting how these groups are not missing any pieces, there are always pants, shirts, and tunics that are all patched and pinned. I have noticed, at least from groupings that I have obtained over the years, that most are missing the shirts, pants, or some of the awards. I agree with BILL THE PATCH when he says that the seller went too overboard making them look so good. I have nothing personally against the seller but his listings just seem too risky for me, especially for the prices. Hopefully the unsatisfied winners can get their money back and this thread can shed some light on the authenticity of the seller's listings.

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