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Thrift Store Halloween Section Finds 2020


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Despite all the craziness 2020 has brought--at least in my locale, the Halloween stuff has already gone up at thrift stores--which makes for an awesome source of potential militaria finds. Gear is normally scarce, but you can find quite a few gems on the costume racks. Of course, you'll have to wade through lots of UCP and ABU junk...

 

Feel free to post your scores here as you find them!

 

I've found about a dozen pieces worth buying (including some DBDU 'Chocolate Chip', AOR2, Swiss Alpenflage, and a bunch of recent issue M65 jackets), but here's my best find so far:

 

US-made Gung Ho tigerstripe shirt! From a distance I thought it was just one of those 'fashion' pieces with random fake patches, till I grabbed it off the rack. There's the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment patches, name tape, Captain's bars, and a Wisconsin souvenir patch. Sleeves have been shortened.

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Was at Goodwill yesterday because I needed something for cheap, and saw a Korean War US Navy Jumper with ribbons (KW service and China service) and musicians rating for about 10 bucks (including the "scarf" thing and the pants). First time I found military stuff at the GW. Nevertheless, I didn't pick it up because I didn't need it.

"War is young men dying and old men talking"

 

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1 hour ago, USMarineCorps said:

Was at Goodwill yesterday because I needed something for cheap, and saw a Korean War US Navy Jumper with ribbons (KW service and China service) and musicians rating for about 10 bucks (including the "scarf" thing and the pants). First time I found military stuff at the GW. Nevertheless, I didn't pick it up because I didn't need it.

Wow, its pretty rare to find them with any ribbons left on. Sounds like a pretty nice find. I checked a few days ago and only found two modern army dress pants but its about time to start hunting!

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1 hour ago, Ray42 said:

Wow, its pretty rare to find them with any ribbons left on. Sounds like a pretty nice find. I checked a few days ago and only found two modern army dress pants but its about time to start hunting!

Yeah I was surprised to see it as well. Other than this one, the other military shirts and jackets were all stripped...I'll have to check out the other stores in the area just in case. 

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"War is young men dying and old men talking"

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

This year's been pretty slow, as expected, but I still managed to find a few things.  The only US item I got was a $5 1980's M1 helmet, complete with an ERDL helmet cover, at a Goodwill.  I also saw a few Army Class A jackets, but all were in bad condition (missing buttons, random bleach stains). 

 

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Non-US items found so far are a pair of Danish desert flecktarn shorts and a UN beret.  

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On 9/4/2020 at 8:47 AM, USMarineCorps said:

Was at Goodwill yesterday because I needed something for cheap, and saw a Korean War US Navy Jumper with ribbons (KW service and China service) and musicians rating for about 10 bucks (including the "scarf" thing and the pants). First time I found military stuff at the GW. Nevertheless, I didn't pick it up because I didn't need it.

Scarf thing = neckerchief   

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30 minutes ago, milsurp_scout_14 said:

Nice finds! Anytime you can get an M1 helmet for $5, it's a good day! I've only managed to pull about 15 pieces out this year; it's been fairly dry in general. 

Anything noteworthy of the 15?

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I didn't see this and once again, y'all beat me to the punch when I thought I got there first. I started a topic of Halloween finds myself (as I try to do every year -Halloween Warning Order). Here's the picture I posted. Good items found so far. headed there shortly to check again be fore I get a cold one. 😁  

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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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  • 2 weeks later...

Bought a Vietnam era (1969) blue USAF peak cap for .50 at a second hand store....Of course, it's missing the eagle insignia...

 

As for the navy jumper, I agree it's lucky to find the ribbons still on it....These small items, including collar insignia are always the first things swiped while they sit on the rack...Seen it many times....About four months ago a WW2 US army dress coat at a Salvation Army had it's collar insignia stolen....Bodes

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I found this yesterday, a very well-used modified ALICE magazine pouch at a Goodwill.  I was told these were sometimes done by SEALs and other SF in the 80's and 90's.  There are no markings besides the former owner's name, no stamp in the top of the flap and not even the US stamp, which I assume was rubbed away, anywhere on it.  

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I found this P44 today off the Halloween rack.  The contract number is 47257 is to Rosenbloom Inc and is dated to between January 22, 1945 and April 1945 according to https://www.usww2uniforms.com/USMCitemQuery.php.  I tried to annotate the stamp as best I could.  I'm not entirely sure about "HQ CO", but I can't think of anything else it could be and there appears to be a light "H" in front of the Q.  The most atypical thing about these are the completely blank buttons.  There doesn't appear to be any sign of stamping at all on any of these buttons, and definitely not the usual "US MARINE CORPS".  

 

I was about to give up, but there's still plenty of stuff out there.  

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This year does seem slower, I managed to find one interesting uniform I will post tomorrow but when I went looking today there wasn't much. Although I did find another pair of ww2 era pants, which means I probably missed the jacket by a few days.

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I found named 34th Division uniform yesterday at a goodwill that I had never been to in Iowa, I guess it is fortunate that a Lyft ride took me 2 hr out of my way to a town I had never heard of. Of course it had been stripped of insignia but there is still some black wool from the 34th Division patch showing where it was. This makes sense because a lot of Iowa units were used to form the 34th Division. The coat is actually is surprisingly good shape considering how crude the construction is, there isn't even a liner on the inside of the coat and the whole thing almost looks like it was made from a burlap sack. It looks like the name could be keeth and it looks like there is a unit designation under it, maybe from an artillery Brigade? I have tried tricks with nigh vision and messing with the contrast but sadly I can not make out the unit. Still it is a pretty cool thing to find. 

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Anyone else find anything recently? The Goodwill closest to me had been holding out and just dumped a lot of new uniforms on the racks in the last few days, it turned out that a local antique store donated all of the old uniforms that they could not sell. I ended up finding a named ww2 navy uniform with a ruptured duck, a stripped "chocolate chip" camo shirt that was part of a brigadier generals grouping I have (I had left it behind because the antique store wanted 25$ for the stripped uniform so it looks like waiting paid off), and finally a unique set of dress blues for an army officer with prior navy service.

 

I am really unsure about the last one because it is a real oddity, but I know the antique store it came from had a uniform that would have matched the navy service depicted on the uniform so it may be legitimate. I do like that the USS Ranger patch is placed over the ex-navy patch like a scroll, also the ex-navy patch is very different from the ones that I normally see in wool. The biggest question though is why he had shoulder patches on his dress blues. 

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Thanks to milsurp_scout_14 for starting this topic. He beat me to the punch, so next year I'll have to be quicker to get my own up first. Good job folks! Hope you had fun! Keep your eyes in them closets and rag piles, there's still treasures to be found! See ya next year!  

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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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