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


Airborne-Hunter

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vintageproductions
On 12/31/2020 at 3:56 PM, Airborne-Hunter said:

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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The flag on the right is for the Mikasa

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Airborne-Hunter

There was an estate sale when I was 13 years old down the street from me and somehow I managed to get my parents to let me skip a little bit of class on Friday to go. In the garage, there was a duffle bag of gear that I dumped out. There was a shovel cover, a shirt, some socks, a musette bag, some overseas hats, some other miscellaneous stuff and at the bottom was this hat. The first picture shows how the hat came out of the duffle bag and I remember pawing it and seeing the red interior thinking I've seen this before, but I didn't know what it was. It looked like an English driver hat, but, again, the red interior keep me thinking and being a dumb teenager I put it on my fist and started spinning it. At some point it flopped open and I realized why it seemed so familiar. In retrospect, I somewhat wish I had bought everything to keep it together, but also I think its symbolic that someone threw this in their duffle bag and that's where it sat since the end of the war. Being so young I didn't get the name of the vet or anything. Best ABN

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USCapturephotos

That's great that your parents let you go. I love that story. Funny....one almost exactly like this was brought into my class this year by a family where I teach. They said that it was actually traded from an English soldier to their US veteran grandfather...not during WWII but during Korea. Wish I knew more of the story. Great piece! I'll be sharing more later.

Paul

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Eagle's Nest

This is such a great thread.

 

Happy to add my contribution: some Meissen 'Red Dragon' porcelain removed from Hitler's Eagles Nest mountain teahouse by a member of the 290th Combat Engineers. The veteran, who was called Joe Johnson, carefully packed them in a canister which he took from the teahouse kitchen, and which still resides with the group. One piece, a small finger bowl, broke en route and was repaired post-war. Johnson took many other souvenirs from the building, and his haul was featured in a newspaper report a few years after the war. 

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Steve B.
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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

Another student in my 5th grade class brought a WWII Japanese artillery round in for show and tell.  I don't know if it was artillery, antitank or what.  My memory tells me it was about 8-10 inches tall and at least 40mm in diameter.

 

Anyway, the teacher ended up keeping it somehow and it stood on his desk where he could easily grab it, and he would used it like a judge's gavel, pounding it on his desk to get our attention.  Very much later that year, one of the parents, recognizing what it was, checked this round and found a live primer still present.  The teacher had been pounding a live artillery shell on it's primer for several months.  

 

The round disappeared form his desk immediately after.

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USCapturephotos
3 hours ago, Eagle's Nest said:

This is such a great thread.

 

Happy to add my contribution: some Meissen 'Red Dragon' porcelain removed from Hitler's Eagles Nest mountain teahouse by a member of the 290th Combat Engineers. The veteran, who was called Joe Johnson, carefully packed them in a canister which he took from the teahouse kitchen, and which still resides with the group. One piece, a small finger bowl, broke en route and was repaired post-war. Johnson took many other souvenirs from the building, and his haul was featured in a newspaper report a few years after the war. 

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This is an incredible and rare bring home grouping. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Paul

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Airborne-Hunter

In 2006 I went to an estate sale and this is what I came home with. The Japanese bayonet is in a German frog and as you see it is as I found it. The story I received typed after the sale is as follows:

"He was assigned to mine removal with a tank division ( I don't know the unit). From June 1944 through the early part of 1945 he and his buddy worked their way east  as the allies pushed the Germans back into Germany. Very near the end of the war (April I believe) they had captured a German ammunition depot and had some R & R time. He and his buddy were in an office at the former German depot when Mr. [name removed] rested his left arm on a filing cabinet as he stood next to it. The cabinet had been boobytrapped by the Germans, and when it blew up, it killed his buddy and he was severely wounded, loosing his left arm and right eye. He was sent back stateside for rehab. The war ended, and upon being discharged, he returned to California and then spent nearly 30 years with CalTrans as a line painter. I hope this info is of some use and will enhance the provenance of the medals for you."

When I was at the sale, a neighbor or helper told me that when the vet went into the office, he was the first in the door and grabbed the helmet off the desk, before his buddy could. It was as if it had been placed there to draw attention. Apparently, they would never have gone in the office if not for the helmet. This vet placed the helmet on top of the filing cabinet, behind his arm. The bomb was trigger when, leaning against the cabinet, his arm closed the top drawer. When the bomb went off, the blast went out through the drawers of the cabinet, with the walls of the cabinet protecting both the helmet and the rest of his body. The vet blamed the helmet for killing his friend and apparently would tell people "the cost of a life: one german helmet."

 

Whether this second part of the story is true or not I don't know. I find it hard to believe that after losing an arm, an eye and a friend he would still manage to grab his war booty helmet. In any case there is blood inside the helmet that I was told was from the vet. I have purposefully left the name off of this group for the privacy of the family. Best ABN

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USCapturephotos

With everything going on in the news, I hadn't felt like posting much. I'm finally getting around to a few more pieces. One is a great photo that I found years ago of a US jeep loaded down with "war booty" ready to be shipped home. The other is a recent purchase...just a nice, no-nonsense m-42 luftwaffe helmet with the ship home tag tightly tied to the liner. Quite unusual and as found.

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USCapturephotos

 Back of the photo.."The loot from Germany goes home."

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USCapturephotos

And the helmet.  The tag actually has the postage attached. Amazing that it got home this way.

Paul

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Airborne-Hunter

I've been rather busy over here, but I picked up this group from the man's son in 2018. He described the father pulling out some knives, a helmet and some other stuff to play with as a kid. He seemed to remember burying some of it at some point and not knowing where the rest of it went. When the father passed they found this stuff still in the house. Over time, the son became estranged from the father and he absolutely refused to share his father's name with me. But for what its worth, the cigar box is probably as it was put away all those years ago and the rest of the stuff was scattered to the wind by the kids of the neighborhood. Best ABN

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Kurt Barickman

Definitely a whole bunch of Kriegsmarine items in that pile.

 

Kurt

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A Captured Nazi Flag sent home by Vernon Shafer, of Company D, 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.

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T1gertank519

Amazing how the flag was mailed directly without any packaging!
My favorite division is the 3rd Armored, so this one is my personal favorite for things mailed home on this topic. Well done! [emoji106]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  • 2 weeks later...
Cpl. Punishment
On 1/14/2021 at 1:30 PM, bryang said:

A Captured Nazi Flag sent home by Vernon Shafer, of Company D, 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.

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Was this sold at auction in Germantown 5-6 years ago? I was trying to go and I was unable. I have not stopped thinking of this flag. PLEASE let me know if you sell it

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Airborne-Hunter

I found this one at an estate sale today. Something a little unique.  For those wondering, Eldridge was a state run facility for the developmentally disabled and insane. The letter reads:

Dear Pauline,

Here are a few stamps I found in a German house in which we were billeted. The "Hitler" stamps may be of some interest because I understand all such stamps are to be destroyed. I'll be on the lookout for more in the future.


love, Ray

682nd Ordnance Ammo Co.

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  • 3 months later...
Airborne-Hunter

Yesterday, for the first time in 14 months, the largest flea market in Northern California reopened. It yielded quite a plethora of quality military items. I found this group to be most relevant to this thread. It came out of an estate sale in the South Bay and wound up at the flea. The most interesting piece, for me, was the cardboard box. It clearly bears the date "5-45" on the side and has inner cardboard dividers made from a navy contract cardboard box. I haven't been able to figure out what the boxes were for, but they are clearly of the era and United States military in origin.

The two on the left bear tags that read: 

This ordnance contains no explosives.
        M. W. Groh               11 June 44   
Bomb Disposal Officer         Date

NAB 807
   Unit

NAB 807 is short for Naval Amphibious Base 807 which appears to have been on Ebeye Island which lies approximately five miles north of Kwajalein. This seems to line up with the box as the top has "Japanese Bomb Fuses 1944 Kwaj." written on the top. 

The one on the right maintains its original ww2 Japanese shipping tin. 

Unfortunately, with time, the name of the veteran who brought this back has been lost, but his handiwork remains to this day and shows how these were brought home, in a commandeered cardboard box. Best ABN

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USCapturephotos

My kind of find! Love it. Thanks for sharing. I so enjoy seeing the variety of

ship home boxes and the variety of things that were shipped.

Paul

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CNY Militaria

Some bringbacks in a group I have. He liked his souvenirs!

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USCapturephotos

Wow! That’s the second anti partisan badge Ive seen in a GI souvenir lot this year. Amazing stuff!

Paul

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Kurt Barickman

Very, very nice souvenirs; Anti-Partisan and SS EM buckle!

 

Congrats!!

 

Kurt

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  • 3 weeks later...
Airborne-Hunter

I was playing with some stuff today and was able to get this group out. I picked it up from the Vet's son in December 2013. Unfortunately, the guy didn't want to share his father's name. But everything as you see it is as I got it. The pith helmet is a little weak and shows significant use, but its one of the only honest used ones I have found. The helmet is an M42 without decal showing light use. All the belt buckles came with the stuff as well. I have temporarily misplaced a knife the vet brought back, but otherwise a nice honest load of stuff. In October 2017 the house this stuff came out of burned to the ground with a couple thousand others in the rest of the development. Best ABN

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