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Only ‘Double’ RAF Distinguished Flying Cross Awarded to Indian Pilot under Gavel

LONDON – The first Royal Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross ever awarded to an Indian pilot, later to be dubbed the “Father of the Indian Air Force,” is to be sold by specialist coins and medals auctioneers Morton & Eden in a sale of Orders, Medals and in Decorations in London on Wednesday, Nov. 26. […]

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Imperial Russian Garde Du Corps Officer’s Helmet Hammers for $17,050 At Mohawk

BOUCKVILLE, N.Y. – An Imperial Russian Garde du Corps officer’s helmet, made circa 1900-1917 and in overall excellent condition, with a gilt finish skull and an upswept lobster tail, sold for $17,050 at Mohawk Arms’ Auction #70. The helmet was the top achiever of the more than 1,500 lots of militaria and weaponry that came […]

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Collecting U.S. Naval Uniforms from the Second World War

When I was younger, we used to have this debate: If you were in combat in the Second World War, which branch of service would you want to be in. With me, it always came down to survival, so I usually ended up choosing the U.S. Navy. My reasoning went something like this: You definitely […]

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The Birth of a Collector

I was talking with my friend Mike Bockman, a militaria dealer and owner of BBmilitaria.com, when we got on the subject of the Niobrara River that runs across the Northern part of Nebraska. I had canoed this river several times in Boy Scouts and Mike had canoed it with his family when he was young.

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  • 26

WWII Inland Paratrooper Liner: A Treasure Found in an Unlikely Place

Of all WWII US Airborne military collectibles, Original helmets are one of the hardest items to obtain for a collection. There were three main types used in WWII. A fiber (cardboard) liner was used early on. This was soon replaced by high pressure (fiberglass) liners made by Inland and Westinghouse.

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  • 24

Always a Marine: Reuniting history with a collectible uniform

My favorite antiques and collectibles tell a story. It’s been my experience that unearthing the story is more rewarding than the challenge of obtaining the item. My most recent “story” began at the Hastings, Nebraska military collectibles show in March 2008. I had just set up my dealer table and started walking the floor to see what other dealers brought to sell.

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Special Forces Beret With Provenance

I recently won a Vietnam era Special Forces beret from an online auction. Prior to bidding, I emailed the seller with specific questions because the auction description was vague and the accompanying image was not great. The seller never responded to my questions, but I could tell that the insignia was a desirable variation, so I took my chances and placed a bid anyway.

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  • 29

Hearing the Veteran’s Story

I just read an article stating there are only three living WWI vets left. It seems like they all faded away without receiving the recognition they deserved. I’ve only met one WWI vet in my life. He was my great uncle Benny. Benny served with the 88th Division and told me that he survived the war but nearly died on the troop ship coming home because of a serious flu outbreak.

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Not all Visor Caps are “Crushers”

There is rampant misuse of the term “crusher cap” in reference to US visor caps in the WWII militaria collecting market. A crusher cap is a type of visor cap that is intended to be soft and pliable. Germans also had a crusher cap designed for field use, but that is another topic. US crusher caps were designed for pilots and air personnel to comfortably wear under their headset.

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