Archival Collection       Not For Sale/Previous Collection Pieces

WWII USMC P42 Camo Set, IDed to Iwo Jima Veteran

This set of P42 camo is named to Cpl. Walter Vincent Duane of Charleston, South Carolina. It is named on both the jacket and pants.

Duane was with the 1st Battalion, 13th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division.

Duane waded ashore amidst enemy fire at 1645 on Red Beach 2 on Iwo Jima’s D-Day. He landed on the southern beaches as part of a 105mm Howitzer outfit in order to conquer the infamous Mt. Suribachi. Fighting for days on end, the men would eventually become the victors. They spent their occupation duty at Kyushu, Japan (where he was transferred to the 4th Battalion), until they were eventually sent home.

Though he would not witness combat again, Duane stayed in the reserves into the 1960s. He never moved out of his home state of South Carolina. He was employed for over half-a-century at Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company, located where he lived in Charleston. He was well involved in the Knights of Columbus, as well as being known as a prominent and proud member of the local Irish-Catholic community. He is pictured above kissing the Blarney Stone, and is remembered for his love of Galway, where his ancestors hailed from.

Walter passed away in 2017, leaving behind a large family and a legacy as an intellectual, a family man, and a friend of the greater Charleston community. His friends often regarded Walter as the embodiment of a “true southern gentleman,” as he had a pension for hospitality and local history.

Top Secret UDT Frogman Iwo Jima Invasion Map Grouping (TWO Maps)

- 2 Top Secret COMUDT No. I-A (and II-A) beachhead reconnaissance maps

- Navigational/Tide/Time documents

Depicts landing sites with code-name beaches and topography of Mount Suribachi.

Not one but two top secret, unpublished, pre-invasion Iwo maps. Not only are these top secret, but they are Navy UDT (predecessor to modern SEALs). The maps are near 5 or 6 foot long. Straight out of a New Jersey estate sale.

Little information about ComUDT is available—from what I’ve gathered ComUDT was the commander of all UDT forces, which was not established until 1944 (Captain B. Hall Hanlon).

Pair of medals named to a Thomas Hammond RN 203972 from Margate, England. Hammond was born in 1883. He was issued a British War Medal and a Long Service Good Conduct medal (both named as Leading Boatman). Medal pair comes with original parchment record of service; it is uncommon to find the original paperwork and ephemera still with the medals. His original Coastguard record is in the grouping.

On September 11th,1920, the Irish Republican Army raided the Torr Head Coastguard Station and War Signal Station, located in County Antrim, Ireland. Hammond was one of the HM Coastguard men who was on duty during the raid. His original documents provide further provenance  confirming his presence at the raid. The IRA successfully acquired 5 revolvers, 280 rounds, 4 telescopes, 2 pairs of binoculars, a heliograph, and the GPO telephone from the Torr Head Station. The Coastguardsmen reported that the soldiers of the Republican Army only took items of military-significance. They took no personal effects, apologized for inconveniencing the women and children, and were regarded as men of "good position."

This item is now housed in the renowned Conchuir ODulachain Collection

IDed Pacific Theater WWII “Short-Snorter” 2 Dollar Bill

This $2 Bill was purchased from the son of Ernest LeRoy Long. Long was a native of Preston, Kansas and born in 1919. He was orphaned in the 7th grade and taken in by his older sister.

Following the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor Bombing, Ernie quickly went to enlist in the Air Force. However, his application was rejected due to a childhood injury—he had been hit in the eye with a baseball, causing his eyelid to be torn and scar. It was this injury that sent him to the army motor pool and directly to the Pacific. Long was assigned to the 81st Infantry Division, which was attached to Third Marine Expeditionary Force, or III MEF.

On this bill, some friends of Long have signed their names. A recognized practice in WWII, these were easily kept on one’s self and still a thoughtful souvenir of service with friends. The practice was started in 1925 in Alaska and soon caught on. When you signed your friend’s short snorter, the owner of the bill had to show the bill on request—if they no longer had it on them, they owed the requesting signer a drink at the bar. A “short snort” is a small shot of liquor.

As the 81st was attached to Marines in the Pacific, the Wildcat Division would go on to see combat at noteworthy places like Peleliu, Leyte, and the Philippines, all of which are noted on this bill.

I’ve attacked a photograph of Ernie Long in his later years—you can still see the scarred eyelid which send him to the Pacific. Additionally, his friend Harold J. Chrisler Jr. is depicted wartime and post war.

I imagine that Josefina, Dorotea, and Fay were nurses, though that is just speculation. In addition to these women, the names of multiple vessels traveled on have been included. The USS Jupiter (AK-43), USS Almaack (AKA-10), and the USS Tolland (AKA-64) are among the vessels noted, all of them boasting notable combat records.

Ernie was discharged from the army in late ‘45 as a Regimental Motor Sergeant. He spent the remainder of his life in Haviland, Kansas, working for Standard Oil before passing away at 67 years old in 1987.

His friend Harold J. Chrisler Jr. was discharged as a sergeant. He spent the remainder of his years in his hometown of Johnson City, NY, working for IBM. He enjoyed fishing, playing a round of golf, and enjoying the company of his family. He was the commander of the local American Legion Post, Post 758. 

WWII Engraved IDed Canteen, named to USAAF Bomber Gunner

After many hours of research, I was able to track down the son of the veteran. Albert's son Doug was gracious enough to share dozens of photographs and his father's entire wartime diary with me. After befriending Doug and spending hours on the phone and sending dozens of emails back and forth, I only saw it fit to gift this canteen to the man who should have inherited it. Doug had never seen the canteen before and was incredibly gracious for my reaching out to him. Luckily, the canteen, along with the research, will now be in the family for generations to come as a cherished heirloom. 

Captured Japanese “Meatball” Flag belonging to Sgt. Stanley F. Chmiel of Bronx, New York.

Sgt. Chmiel was born in 1915 in the Bronx borough of New York to immigrant parents from Poland. Following his school days, Chmiel worked as a welder prior to the outbreak of war. He served with the US Army Air Force in the Pacific Theatre.

Chmiel is pictured in the second slide in his later years, shooting a Nambu that he also brought back from the war. However, the Nambu has been lost to time and it’s whereabouts are unknown. Both the flag and image were acquired from the Chmiel family.

Chmiel was an active member of both the American Legion and the Polish American Society.

Stan passed away at the ripe age of 91 in 2005. Moving out of the Bronx in 1955, Stan lived out the remainder of his life in Connecticut, where he resided for over 50 years. He now rests easy just a few miles from his long-time home and an hour from his childhood home of the Bronx. 

IDed Viet-Nam Riot M1C Paratrooper Helmet

Each component is original to the lid and is named to SPC/4 Steve L Kitts. Kitts served with the 82nd Airborne Division—Headquarters Co., 2nd Battalion, 508th Airborne Infantry. As the last of the 82nd Airborne left Vietnam in 1969, Kitts’ tenure would be stateside. After graduating Fulton High School in 1971, Kitts would go on to serve as riot control with the 82nd. He would serve at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions for the upcoming 1972 presidential election. With the political climate, counterculture, riots against the draft, etc., the 1960s and 1970s were a dangerous time to be on riot control.

The helmet is also marked John 3:16, which is “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It has multiple markings, which I would imagine are to count jumps, though that is just speculation.

Though I have had dozens of M1 helmets, this is my first and only identified Anti-Draft and Anti-War Riot Helmet. Definitely an underappreciated/overlooked helmet. Much of the 82nd Airborne who were with riot control were veterans of Vietnam themselves.

Grouping belonging to medic, Sgt. Joseph J. Boben of Cleveland, Ohio. Boben was a first generation American born to a poor Slovenian family in Cleveland, Ohio. He was one of 8 children to immigrant parents. Like many poor midwestern men before him, Boben would find employment as a Merchant Marine on the Great Lakes. After a few years on the lakes, Boben’s next job would be with the US military. Enlisting in the US Army in March of 1941, Joe would become a medic. His grouping has his original unit’s screwback DUIs. The 50th Field Hospital would be attached to the 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne’s Screamin’ Eagles. However, Joe would be transferred to the Company C of the 44th Infantry’s 119th Medical Battalion.

His grouping, along with his Merchant Marine items, contains his initial screwback DUIs, his Bronze Star, a MTO/ETO Campaign Ribbon with 3 Campaign Stars, his 44th Infantry Division patch, some manuals, and a box of different European currencies that he acquired during his time at war. The 44th Infantry served for 190 days in combat. They fought in the Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe campaigns. When he returned back to the states, Boben took a job as a trucker, and later as a beer brewer. He never married, and his nieces and nephews noted that he was a quiet man who did not like children. He never spoke of his wartime life. Joe died on September 10th, 1988, at 77 years old. He left behind no heirs or family except for his siblings. Some 30 years after his death, this small grouping is unfortunately one of the only things keeping Joseph from being entirely forgotten to time.