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Officer's Carrying Case

       

This case which looks like an Officer's Map or Document Carrying Case was purchased at a local militaria market. It bears the name and ASN of an Officer and tactical markings common to the invasion of Normandy. The seller told me it came from France and I have found out it was found near La Fiere, Normandy many years ago.

It is about 2'x2', manufactured in some kind of fake leather, and folds open to reveal different compartments to hold documents and such. The zippers are made by Talon.
The Tactical Sign on the front consists of the Invasion Bar Code and Unit Number 43764 and a yellow triangle followed by 10 is painted on both front and back. Is the triangle related to the Armored Units' insignia????

Who knows more about this????

Unmarked Ammo Pouches, A mystery solved.....

   

Above are images of a Thompson Sub Machine Gun 5-cell pouch and a similar 4-cell pouch.... I had always wondered what the 4-cell pouch was for, and some collectors told me it was for the United Defense M42 SMG, but none came up with proof in either photos or manuals..... I had however been told that a similar pouch had been found in Belgium, where it had been parachuted to the resistance with an UDM42 SMG....
Then in the summer of 2007, the mystery was solved as wartime images of OSS troops showed them equipped with these pouches to carry magazines for the United Defense M42 Marlin Submachine Gun.

   

The wartime image above left shows OSS Members Alleman and Raymond in Blida, Algeria in 1944. It appears courtesy of Marco, and the 4-cell pouch is clearly visible. Also note the Three-Pocket Grenade Carrier in the original picture; another odd piece of US WW2 equipment.
Next to the 4-cell pouch , shown above, is another type of pouch used with the UDM42, which holds the special double magazines which were issued with the UDM42. These magazines are welded together front to front for fast reloading.

   

OSS-Member Lt Herbert Brucker is shown with local resistance fighters in France in 1944. brucker (2nd from left) is armed with the UDM42 fitted with a double magazine. It's not clear what pouch he is carrying his magazines in. However the man on the left has both pouches shown above.

Neither of the pouches are marked in any way.... typical for OSS equipment??

Thanks to helpful members on the US Militaria Forum, for helping me solve this mystery...

Cut Down Cavalry Boots

Above are shown three pairs of Boots, Leather, Lace, Legging Top (aka Cavalry Boots). Two of those have been cut down to be worn as high boots.
They had extra eyelets installed and can be worn as regular high boots. They definitely started out as Cavalry Boots; you can still see the place were the lower buckle was taken off and the tongue doesn't come up all the way in the front. The markings are exactly like on full length Cavalry Boots. One pair has a marking USA 4digit number and 1943 on the inner sole. The other pair only has the US number inside and out.
In Michel Detrez' books about Normandy; the mannequin portraying Major Salee on page 109 of 'At the Point of no Return' wears exactly the same boots.
Was it a means of having more jump boots available???? Did officers have their Cavalry Boots cut down in order to use them once high boots became obsolete???? It seems a professional job and must have been done to many pairs of boots.....
Maybe the Boston Quartermaster Depot modified these boots????
Both of the pairs I have are size 10C, mint condition and came from a surplus store in Belgium in the 70's. A third pair in Belgium was offered on eBay in January 2007.

Allan H has seen several of these boots altered for the postwar US Constabulary (Circle C Cowboys) but those still had a part of the legging attached and only the top cut off.

   

A similar pair of cut down Cavalry Boots with part of the legging attached and one strap moved down is in the collection of Joel Tomadesso and was worn into Normandy by a US Paratrooper on D-Day. He was wounded during the jump and left his boots pictured above with the French farmer that hid him for a couple of days. The boots worn by Gen Pratt, Asst Divisional Commander 101st Airborne Division, were similar but made out of a regular pair of Jump Boots. The photograph showing him next to his glider published in 'Rendez-Vous With Destiny' on page 75 clearly shows the distinctive outline, toe cap and heel reinforcement of the regular jump boot with a two-strap legging attached. Pratt was killed in a glider crash on D-Day.

 Dug Up Dog Tag

       

Back in my re-enacting days; I attended the French Militaria Festival on several occasions. This took place on the French Army Training Grounds in Mourmelon near Reims; known to most collectors as the area where US Airborne units were stationed during the final parts of WW2. Our unit re-enacted C/121Engrs, 29th Inf Division and as such we were digging our foxholes in May 1989 with the help of the Leroi Compressor on one of our group's GMC trucks. To our amazement we came up with the dogtag shown above which, after cleaning, revealed the name and Army Serial Number of Walter V EDDY.
Until recently I wasn't able to get more info on this GI, but then, after posting this on the Trigger Time Forum, Dave B located Mr EDDY in Ohio and found out he was a member of an Engineer unit (not Airborne). Imagine digging up an Engineer's dog tag while wearing a WW2 Engineers uniform!!!!!!

M1941 Field Jacket from a member of an Engineer Special Brigade

   

This M41 Field jacket bears the shoulder insignia of an Army Engineer Special Brigade, as well as the name "Matt S ENGLANDER", his ASN "20607538 " and the letters "C-B" in white paint on the back.

Matt Englander was a 1st Sgt in the 120th Infantry Regiment of the 35th Division and was killed on July 17th 1944 in the advance to Saint Lo, Normandy.
Exactly how Englander's jacket ended up with an ESB patch and letters C-B on the back remains unknown. Most likely it was issued to another GI, whose intials might have been CB... The letters C-B do not refer to the US Navy's Sea-Bees...

101 Airborne Helmet recovered from Bastogne

       

This helmet was found in the Bastogne neighborhood in 1953. It has markings of the 2nd Bn/ 501 PIR of the 101 AB Div and is marked on the front 'The Louisiana Swamp Rat' and 'Color Me Gone' on the back. Does anyone know who this helmet belonged to????

Odd Bag

       

This bag was acquired in the late 1990's thru a fellow collector who told me he got it from France. He stated it was used to carry airborne helmets, which seems unlikely to me, although a M2, M1 or M1C helmet fits perfectly inside.

The bag does not appear in any of the WW2 QM Supply Catalogs. I have only seen three of these; mine is 'British Made'; the two others, of which one was in very bad shape, were lined with WW2 style camouflaged parachute canopy?!?!
In the seventies, the British army supplied a similar bag to carry their armored vehicle crewmember's helmet. These bags are still used today in armies equipped with British style tank helmets. Who knows what this is?

   
Identical bag, lined with Parachute Canopy material, from another Belgian collector.... Note this one has more eyelets around the top edge....

 

This page is permanently under construction and will be updated as new unidentified items occur