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Time Capsules As Found - The Story of the Bring Back Box


Airborne-Hunter
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Just now, Armygrandaughter said:

You have to be one of the coolest High School History teachers ever! I wish I would've had a history teacher like you in school! Showing your students these  artifacts is brilliant! I'm sure it makes the students more engaged and interested to learn more in your class. 

Haha. I don't know about "cool" as my own kids would be rolling their eyes about now. I do appreciate your kind words though, as I work hard to try and help my students come to an appreciation and passion for our wonderful history! I do have many students tell me that actually getting to handle so many artifacts helped make history "more real" for them which makes me very happy.

Paul

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Airborne-Hunter

I went to an estate sale in Texas in October 2019. I think it might have been outside Salado (I have to check my files), but it was a farm out in the middle of nowhere. The man had grown up on the farm and when he came back from the war he built a 2nd story to the farmhouse. I must say, in its heyday, it must really have been something because his "office" if you will was a shortwave radio station and work bench to work on everything electronic. It was a really cool place. He obviously collected all sorts of stuff and had a fossil/rock/gem stone collection and a whole library room. I believe the man was in the signal corps and I know he sent home a ton of stuff. The man also saved everything. Unfortunately for me a distant cousin was interested in old stuff and raided the house mighty heavily taking the coolest stuff out including to my understanding at least one Japanese sword and a Japanese helmet. Worse, the people running the sale were absolutely adamant not to give me the name of the vet. In any case this box was in the radio room office and had evidently sat for the last 70 years. Someone then threw it on the ground and busted it open. I picked up all the pieces that I could find in the mess and carefully tapped the pieces of wood back to together. From what I found, the paper appears to be original USGI toilet paper. The shells are all Japanese. It would appear these are unfinished trench art ash trays. Part of the box is missing. If there was an address it was on the section that is missing and if so the reason it is missing is because they were adamant to take the name out of or off of everything in the house. In any case what you see is an original group of stuff as it was packed away in 1944-45. Best ABN

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Airborne-Hunter

Sometimes things show up in the oddest of places, but I was called to a house clean out earlier this year and for whatever reason there was a little basket, something like the little round sewing baskets used for buttons and stuff, but without a lid. It was a catch all of sorts, where when someone came home, they emptied their pockets into the basket. Amongst 1970s  pocket change, some keys, a tape measure and a few other odd ends was this group of stuff. How or why it was there I haven't a clue. There wasn't anything else in the entire house. It included the man's dog tag, two saki cups, two badges, two flags, and 6th Marine Division lighter. To me it looked as if someone had thrown a few things in his pocket on a whim before shipping home and upon arrival emptied his pockets into the basket like he would any other day and there everything sat, undisturbed. If anyone knows what the flag on the right is, I haven't a clue. Best ABN

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I love looking at these! Seeing that Soviet star tucked in there just has me imagining that GI celebrating with some Soviets along the Elbe or something in May ‘45.

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What’s on the fork handle by the way? Anything or just a civilian one he snagged?

Paul

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Airborne-Hunter

Just before everything shut down in 2020, I went to an estate sale. It was a little bit of a drive, but there seemed to be an inkling of good stuff. It turns out there was, the man was an officer, but the family knew very little about his history. From my understanding he was in one of the Corps. In any case I found a little bit of stuff. The family kept the rifles and the swords. But my favorite was this Japanese helmet emblem evidently sent home with a note wrapped in tape. Best ABN

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On 12/30/2020 at 2:37 PM, Armygrandaughter said:

You have to be one of the coolest High School History teachers ever! I wish I would've had a history teacher like you in school! Showing your students these  artifacts is brilliant! I'm sure it makes the students more engaged and interested to learn more in your class. 

I agree! I had a history teacher when I was in high school that did something similar. He called it "relic day". When we were studying WWI history he asked for the students to bring in any WWI relics for display. He was shocked when I brought in a WWI German gas mask in the metal canister. He said no one had ever brought in anything from WWI before. When we were studying WWII history he brought in some items that his uncle had - a U S. Helmet and bayonet. Once again he was shocked when I brought in a WWII German M40 tunic, M42 helmet, gas mask & canister, k98 bayonet, ammo pouches and a few other odds & ends. I left my G43 at home! Needless to say, he was my favorite high school teacher.

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kristoffer

This is a very interesting thread. Unfortunately I have nothing of my own to add.

 

Some really nice items being shown. Keep on posting your stuff! 

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Buckshot329

Handcrafted 'envelope' by a member of the 83rd Infantry Division in WW1 to send home his Iron Cross. Rather than being a captured item this Iron Cross was bought by the veteran while on pass in Coblenz. In a unique spin on the classic 'cigar box' he took a lid of one and carved out the shape of the iron cross. Put together with some paper the ensemble folds into the envelope in which it was send to his sister. Quite resourceful!

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1 hour ago, Buckshot329 said:

Handcrafted 'envelope' by a member of the 83rd Infantry Division in WW1 to send home his Iron Cross. Rather than being a captured item this Iron Cross was bought by the veteran while on pass in Coblenz. In a unique spin on the classic 'cigar box' he took a lid of one and carved out the shape of the iron cross. Put together with some paper the ensemble folds into the envelope in which it was send to his sister. Quite resourceful!

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That is really very interesting and resourceful. Thanks for sharing...it makes that EKII so much more interesting doesn't it?

Paul

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10 hours ago, M422A1 said:

I agree! I had a history teacher when I was in high school that did something similar. He called it "relic day". When we were studying WWI history he asked for the students to bring in any WWI relics for display. He was shocked when I brought in a WWI German gas mask in the metal canister. He said no one had ever brought in anything from WWI before. When we were studying WWII history he brought in some items that his uncle had - a U S. Helmet and bayonet. Once again he was shocked when I brought in a WWII German M40 tunic, M42 helmet, gas mask & canister, k98 bayonet, ammo pouches and a few other odds & ends. I left my G43 at home! Needless to say, he was my favorite high school teacher.

Hey Mike B. I would have enjoyed having you as a student for sure! Your story made me think of a few good ones. I also always encourage my students to bring in artifacts or to share family stories of their own related to what ever unit we are learning about. It has resulted in some amazing pieces waltzing into my classroom. Here are a few examples. One year during our WW1 unit a student brought in a book about the US 2nd Division (I think) during the Great War. His ancestor was a DSC winner and was recovering from wounds in the hospital when General Pershing presented the book to him with a nice hand written note and signature inside. During my WWII unit another student showed up with a "German helmet from the garage" in a trash bag. When I looked in, I saw one of the best 3 camo luftwaffe m-40 helmets with full chicken wire that I have ever seen not already in a collection or published. Now my favorite story happened about 11 or 12 years ago. Every year, I do a "Medal of Honor" day where I teach my students about the medal, it's meaning and significance and really how special and honored the people are who have worn these. A kid raises his hand and says "I think one of those is hanging on the wall at my grandmother's house". I down played it and explained that most likely it was a bronze or silver star he was talking about...well a few days later he came  in with pictures. I about passed out. His ancestor was Cpl. Peter McAdams of the 98th Pa. Vols who earned the MOH for carrying back a wounded comrade while under fire at the Battle of Salem Church (part of the Chancellorsville Campaign). The MOH is an 1890's version, and when I looked up Cpl. McAdams, sure enough he received it in the 1890's retroactively for what he had done. So, lucky for me, the mother of this family works in our school district and every year, loans it to us for our "Medal of Honor Day" so all 120 or so of my students get to actually hold and inspect the medal for a few seconds. It's a humbling day for all of us.

Paul

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Airborne-Hunter

At one time or another I think I posted this one before. In October 2016 I found this group in Texas and its become one of my all time favorites. Edward M. Hale was an officer in the 383rd Infantry Regiment and received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He passed in 2013. And sometime thereafter I presume there was an estate sale or at least a clean out and a picker wound up with this stuff. It all came together, but without box or envelope. For what its worth, the address on the document still stands, but was hit by flooding in 2018.
 

Everything shown came off Okinawa. The bring back document is dated July 10, 1945 which is when the 383rd was on R&R on Okinawa after the battle. The document references a book, present, which is a basic sciences book in Japanese. The post cards are not referenced on the document because they were mailed back individually, but each provides a window into live during the battle for Okinawa. The document refences "clearance stamps" on the flag which are present.

 

Interesting bits from the post cards:

"The old castle doesn't live here anymore. Ruins. Sure fond a lot of post cards today" (Shuri Castle, Okinawa)
"No time to write letter today. Going out and explore a lot of caves."
"Took a helmet bath and put out all clean clothes."
"I got a picture post card showing the tomb. The Japs fortify them. Very thick. The island's covered with them. Thousands."
"Spent a miserable night shells, bullets, and fleas."
 

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Airborne-Hunter

I picked this one up in January 2019, I believe. It was mailed home by 2nd Lt. Henning Erickson of the Air Service in WW1. I have yet to be able to confirm his squadron,, but evidently he was overseas at some point and mailed this helmet home. The helmet itself, bears 3 address labels, one on the front, one on the rear and one on the interior (mostly missing). Stamps were affixed to the top of the helmet. The only reason, I presume, for the three address labels was to ensure it would be difficult to steal/reroute and over 100 years later, the labels are still afixed. Best ABN

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Yes, this practice of attaching the labels directly to the helmets seems to have been much more prevalent during WW1 as compared to WW2. I have seen this done a few times on German helmets from WW2 as well. I have a great photo fro

 WW1 that I will post later that fits perfectly with this thread.

Paul

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Airborne-Hunter

That RPPC is incredible. I think it gives some background to a piece I have. I picked this up at some point in 2019 and I found this sheet of paper folded up with it. Seeing all the helmets wrapped in paper, my scrap of paper seems to make sense now. Fred was in the 312th F/A, 79th Infantry Division. The helmet is Austrian as I understand. The address it was sent to still exists in Philadelphia. I should note the address for the camouflage helmet above appears to have been bulldozed to build a Church in the 1960s. Best ABN

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That makes me like the helmet even more as I like 79th Division WW1. Glad you enjoyed the photo! It’s been one of my favorites since I found it in a box lot at auction about 16 or 17 years ago. So many details to see...

Paul

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On 1/1/2021 at 6:13 AM, USCapturephotos said:

Hi, I was fortunate to get this 1943 German field typewriter in its military case only a few weeks ago. The late Vet. Was in the 9th AF as camera specialist ETO. He just wrote his Mom’s address on the box in Los Angeles Ca and sent it home. His son said it was never used and it looks it. Best, Bill

 

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