Pair of US '40/8' Veteran's Association Side Hats

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  • Item Category: Militaria & Weapons
  • Source: eBay UK
  • Sold Date: Dec 29, 2011
  • Channel: Auction House

Pair of original United States 40/8 Veteran's Association parade side hats. I purchased them together so pressume they belonged to the same ex-serviceman. I believe '9 Penna' was a branch of the organisation from the state of Pennsylvania. Both are in a very good condition with only a few very minor moth nips. One of the hats could be 1920's/30's although the other is clearly dates from the 1960's and appears to signify some form of role wirthin the Association. Unusual items which don't turn up that often.

The 40 and 8 is an Organisation of Veterans of the United States Armed Forces, who's official name is "La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux" which is French for 'The Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses'. The Association started in 1920 when Joseph W. Breen and 15 other members of the American Legion who were veterans of WW1 came together and founded it as an honour for certain Legion members. '40/8' comes from the train box cars that were used to transport soldiers and horses to the front. The max. capacity of the cars was 40 men or 8 horses and this was stencilled on the side of the carriages. This form of transport was a misery to the soldiers and the Association used it as it's name to make some light of this. I understand the organiation chose horizon blue as it's colour in recognistion of the uniforms
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