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Donated local WWII Air Corps group and tear-jerking story


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It was roughly 10 years ago that I received a phone call from an elderly woman who read about my military displays in the local town newspaper. She said that she wanted to donate her late husband's footlocker and items to me. So I immediately went over to see her. He husband was a mechanic in the Caribbean during the war. In the footlocker was his dress uniform, a few shirts, pants, a number of Garrison caps and ties, a very nice gabardine visor, a bag of rank chevrons and AAF patches, dog tags, gas mask in the khaki kidney bag with his name, blankets, blue denim and khaki laundry bag, and a Red Cross turtleneck sweater and facemask with long flaps to cover chest and back. Here's the tear-jerker.


A couple days ago I put on a Pearl Harbor day display and presentation. After my hour-long discussion one of the nurses at the senior living center told me how her father served in world War II in the Air Corps. She then told me that a long time ago her mother had given away all of her dad's military stuff to a guy. I asked what her dad's name was and she replied, Malcolm Spaar. With that I reached into my trunk and pulled out a uniform with dogtags. I asked the lady if this reminded her of her dad's uniform he wore. She held it and began to cry. I said I was that young guy who your mom donated it to. She was crying for 5 minutes straight and it was the sweetest thing I ever experienced. She was so happy and astonished that I had kept my promise to her mother and continue to cherish and protect her father's items. She then told me that she wants to donate his photo album from the war to me so that I can continue to preserve and honor his memory. Her mother had passed away two years ago and seeing these items brought back so many happy memories she even contacted her brothers and sister to tell them what had happened. Out of all the things I have seen and experienced this was the most touching because it really did show that I keep my word when it comes to items that are donated to me because it is important that we continue to keep those memories alive for the future to learn from.


This is Lorraine Spaar and myself with her dad's uniform.


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Really enjoyed this story! Thanks for sharing. I do a big display with original artifacts for my students on or near the anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. I get so much pleasure out of seeing the 16 year olds walking into the room that first time.


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Thanks for sharing such a great story with a wonderful ending. A perfect example of a great ambassador to the hobby.

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I love to see the lines connect. Really touching.




I "primarily" collect Gulf War 1 patches. All branches (USA, USAF,USN, USMC & USCG) and ALL Countries..
US - Op.'s Desert Shield / Storm / Provide Comfort /Some Southern Watch - F-4G's Wild Weasels
UK - Op.'s Granby / Sabre / Warden
Canadian - Op. Desert Storm / Op. Friction
French - Daguet / Aconit
Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, South Korea, etc.
Looking for the oddities, including unfinished & flaws
I HAVE EXTRA's!! Will trade as well.


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Excellent and very touching story. Thank you for being an honorable curator of this soldier's story and for bringing such joy to his family. It's just so wonderful!

Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.


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Great Stuff

In Memory of Air Corps Technical Sergeant Carl F. Durfee. He died of wounds on 30 December 1944 while serving in the South Pacific. You are not forgotten.

ASMIC member

American Legion member

US Air Force & Air National Guard TAC - MAC

JOHN N. DANIELS ---152nd COMPANY C New York State Infantry--- captured 1864 survivor of Andersonville ---- Great-Great-Great Uncle

Captain Robert L. Hosler, 522nd Fighter/Bomber Sq. 12th Army Air Corp. World War Two P47 Pilot - 1 DFC- 5 Air Medal & 0ne Purple Heart---Uncle

1st Sgt Ann Barry, US Army Air Corp WAC World War Two --ETO --- Aunt

Sgt Willam M. Barry, USMC----Pacific World War Two--Father



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What a wondderful story. Congrats to you for being a great custodian of Sgt. Spaar's memorabilia. I loved reading this! Bobgee

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Great story my friend. We have the same philosophy when it comes to donated items and I am glad you are getting out and setting up more displays. Keep it up!



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This just shows you how small the world really is!


Nice job!



!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More




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Wow, what are the odds?! Excellent story. Thanks for sharing, and keep it up!


ASMIC #5492


Are you a militaria collector in PA, NJ or DE? If so, please feel free to join my "Delaware Valley Militaria Collectors" page on Facebook:



Check me out on Instagram @philly_militaria_collector



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