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WWII SEABEE M1 HELMET, SEABAG, UNIFORM GROUPING OF EARL ANTLE BM2C - PTO - IWO JIMA


Paddyd00
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WWII SEABEE M1 HELMET, SEABAG, UNIFORM GROUPING OF EARL ANTLE BM2C - PTO - IWO JIMA

 

I don’t know how I got into USN collecting. As a kid I would always read about the “Boots on the Ground” in Europe during WWII or the LRRPs in Vietnam and may others .  I’d read all about all about the Marines, the Soldiers, Etc. But as an adult when I started collecting at some point I veered 180 degrees into collecting German Kriegsmarine Helmets and USN M1s from WWII. Maybe because the Steel Pots themselves were more visually interesting. But this lead to me reading (from Authors like James D Hornfischer, Ian Toll, etc)  all about how these men, well boys really, slugged it out on these huge steel monsters in the vast Pacific, fighting fires from Kamikaze attacks, seeing their shipmates maimed as shells poured into their deck and wading in shark infested waters, standing by to be rescued.  These guys fought just as hard as any others and it inspires me with awe everyday.

 

Another huge segment of unsung heroes from WWII were in the USN and USNR and they made up the US Naval Construction Battalions. The “CB’s”…  The “Seabees”… The worker bees. Many of us hate going to work but to do it amongst the stress of combat and risk of attack is a whole other level. These men had to adapt and problem solve on the fly in harsh environments. They weren’t ordering from Home Depot only to roll in at noon to pick up their supplies. They had to be resourceful and they had to work really hard. As with all of WWII fighting men these guys also had to have their own special kind of fortitude to carry on…. Accomplish their important goals …. and dodge a few bullets along the way. They were tasked with constructing Nissen Huts, Makeshift Docks, Airfields, HQs and the list goes on.

 

One of these men. One of these “Seabees” … was Earl Antle from Oklahoma.

 

He was probably representative of so many other young guys fighting in WWII. Confused.  Scared and just plain old young.  He went AWOL (AOL in Navy parlance) 5 times (perhaps on a Boozer or perhaps overstaying his leave to see his family, I have the disciplinary reports and they don’t list the reasons why).  He spent a awhile in the Brig and was transferred from his safer stateside post to the Pacific as punishment according to his file.  He was listed as a “Straggler” not “Deserter” on various misconduct reports. He was demoted a few times as well.  He had some posts in California I believe and was also apparently at Pearl Harbor repairing some of the Airfields there (according to his Obit). When he shipped overseas he was serving with the 106th Construction Battalion eventually finding himself on Iwo Jima constructing the 1st Radio Antenna on Mt. Suribachi along with the construction of 7th Fighter Command HQ Building (while the island was not secure).

 

I have traced this collection as to have been being obtained a few years ago. It seems the collector received it from his son. The son apparently said his dad shot two Japanese on Iwo (while working) and was present for a last gasp Banzai attack by 200 Japanese soldiers who charged through a pilots camp (he was staying at) in the middle of the night on March 26th 1945 (some record this date as March 27th).

 

After the Japanese surrender, Earl stayed on in the Japanese Mainland to help with the transition and was part of the occupation force… eventually being honorably discharged in December 1945 with his last rate being a Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class (lastly being assigned to the 90th NCB).

He went back to Oklahoma, to his wife Veta and his two boys BIlly and Dick (I believe he had 2 more boys as well ..I only see these two boys in the correspondence though).  He stayed there in Oklahoma his whole life it seems. He was a steel worker belonging to Local 584 of which he was a member for 65 years. He passed away on September 5th 2011 at the age of 93.

 

So what began as a “bum job” in construction in 1943 …. may have changed in his thoughts over his lifetime …. as the proud name “Seabees” now adorns his gravestone.  

——————

This grouping includes

1. His nicely marked Sea Bag with Various Insignia stenciled on.
2. His OD painted M1 Helmet. The M1 is an ordinary FS SB McCord Lot# ____ with a Capac liner painted white. Marked inside the Liner w his name.
3. Two USN Caps.
4. Two USN Uniforms (1 Boatswain’s mate blues and 1 Shipfitter rate whites both named to him).
5.  A Bag Full O’ Correspondence, Photos and Pictures , holiday cards and letters to and from Earl and his family. It seems made a scrapbook and was starting another that all came with the collection.  Reading through all this correspondence from his family that were sent to the Pacific it is apparent that he had a lot of support back home and he loved his family very much.
6. There is also his Personnel File including his photo from WWII and a lot of documentation as to his activities during WWII.  

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Thank you for reading about this man. From Oklahoma to Mt. Suribachi and now throughout History. He lives again. That’s why we do this.

Z

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2 hours ago, Sneaky said:

Absolutely stunning grouping through and through. I love all the misc. bits, like the Fathers Day and Birthday cards. 

There’s a whole huge bag sneaky of cards and all of it. I’m halfway through. 
Z

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I remember seeing this grouping when it came up for sale. I planned on doing some research but held off at first because I wouldn't have a good place to store the uniforms/sea bag and by the time I went to go look at it again it was sold. I'm really glad to see it's gone to a good home! Love all the ephemera that you've shared from this grouping. Did you end up finding his name on the shell as well or just the liner?

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Just now, M24 Chaffee said:

Great grouping and I enjoyed reading the history!

 

Frank

Thanks Frank! Glad you dug it!

Z

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8 hours ago, Nickman983 said:

I remember seeing this grouping when it came up for sale. I planned on doing some research but held off at first because I wouldn't have a good place to store the uniforms/sea bag and by the time I went to go look at it again it was sold. I'm really glad to see it's gone to a good home! Love all the ephemera that you've shared from this grouping. Did you end up finding his name on the shell as well or just the liner?

It’s Pretty rusty in there. But. Because you are my NJ brother I dug it out and I can’t see. Lots of rust and debris. He’s to see lot# even. There are matching rust areas on the liner and the pot where the temples would be. This one seemed like a no brainer match also w the white on the shell and the pot but always good to be skeptical. I am down with that. Thanks for the comments Nick. Yes it was on eBay seemed like a good deal for this Mans life to delve into. Still have a ways to go. Not much on Ancestry. Some but previous owner had it researched it seems and sent file. 
 

the Sea Bag was the star of the show for me for some reason. Haha
 

Z

5FCE99F8-DFF4-45C0-BA73-6775E19786E2.jpeg

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57 minutes ago, Paddyd00 said:

It’s Pretty rusty in there. But. Because you are my NJ brother I dug it out and I can’t see. Lots of rust and debris. He’s to see lot# even. There are matching rust areas on the liner and the pot where the temples would be. This one seemed like a no brainer match also w the white on the shell and the pot but always good to be skeptical. I am down with that. Thanks for the comments Nick. Yes it was on eBay seemed like a good deal for this Mans life to delve into. Still have a ways to go. Not much on Ancestry. Some but previous owner had it researched it seems and sent file. 
 

the Sea Bag was the star of the show for me for some reason. Haha
 

Z

5FCE99F8-DFF4-45C0-BA73-6775E19786E2.jpeg

 

Shame that the shell isn't also marked. I believe the seller had mentioned it was named but I didn't see it on the shell in the pictures which is why I asked. I agree though, with the matching rust stains it's obvious they've been together for a while and given everything else that came in the grouping I'd think it's likely a match.

 

You're not alone on that sea bag, it's really killer!

 

Keep us posted if you find anything interesting in the rest of the ephemera as you go through it!

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