The US Govt. has released an interesting new book on aerial recon in the Great War.
I have not seen it, but it does look like something I will have to pick up.
As I was cataloging my modern gear to keep track of what I have, and what I don't, I pulled out my old Kevlar Pot. Funny thing. I never thought twice about until now. I had been given it by a staff member at Natick Army Labs soon after they started to get issued.
Now I look at it, and see there are markings, maker or size, in it. And in looking at it next to another I picked recently, I went "Hmmmm…."
So out comes the credit card to buy some books on the darn thing (one actually can have too many books, and I do, but that does not stop me). And I posted photos for some people in the know to look at.
I seem to have a knack for picking up stuff only to later find it a rare variant. Or maybe it is just the law of probabilities due to the amount of junk I bring home.
There is nothing marked in there! (ignore the chin strap, I added that later on). I'm wondering now if there even is any Kevlar in it. Imagine what it would be worth if it were a prototype M-1 helmet from WW2.
The New Militaria Magazine is out, and I noticed it was issue 297 (!). That's close to 300. I mean, that's a pretty good record for a collectors magazine.
Of course German Paratroopers in Normandy is kind of cheating as that is one of the areas that sells tons of copies. If only they could find ONE photo of an SS paratrooper in Normandy, then an article on him would break all sales records!
So Bill Mauldin gets a stamp in his honor this month. It makes me happy. I'd much rather see a stamp for him (and Willie and Joe) than a Disney character.
But the funny thing is that the "official" first day release is not at Ft. Benning- home of the infantry, where you might expect, but at Ft. Jackson. Jackson, which is home to:
U.S. Army Adjutant General Corps Museum
U.S. Army Chaplain Museum
the Basic Training Museum
U.S. Army Finance Corps Museum
(a more chairborne base you may not be able to find).
So I just have to say, "beautiful stamp ceremony, is there one for the enlisted men?"
If you don't understand this joke, you don't know his work very well.
(and in fact there is: down in New Mexico where he lived).
Now I also must point out one of his kids is selling T shirts with his work on them to raise money for what appears to be a very good charity. A group that coordinates free help for troubled vets from medical professionals. I actually looked into it, and it seems to be a legit shoe string operation. The shirts are high quality, silkscreened, and pretty cheap compared to many.
OK, so in a weak moment I got interested in all the changes to Army web gear since I had paid attention. And I got interested in the progression to what we see today. So I decided I would collect "one of" each item (as in "by type"). And of course that also led to my desire for collecting one "combat uniform" of each type (and boots, and helmet and…).
So I started looking at ebay and various other places and found for not much money I the stuff. And I bit. And I started buying. And slowly realized that my initial purchases were not all that great. I had bought "like new" which had names and wear on them. Sometimes I paid more than a mint example for one of the used ones. Yes, I feel stupid about not reading and researching for a week or two before buying. I jumped the guy and HAD to get some of the great deals now!
I don't feel too bad. I wrote it off as my learning experience. I may even be able to get most of the money back by selling off the extra stuff. However, in a short period of time I have gained a pretty good idea of what's out there, what it goes for, and what the tougher to get items are.
Anyone have the MOLLE medical backpack they want to get rid of?