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View Full Version : OT: Who Can Use AND HONOR a WWII Military USMC Uniform???


Arielluria
08-15-2008, 03:35 PM
DH has his dad's WWII USMC uniform and we wouldn't give it to just anyone, it is as sacred to us as the U.S. flag! I'm sure military and USMC museums have all the specimens they need, so where/to whom can one donate such a memento so that it will continue to be honored, as it should be?

Becky Morgan
08-15-2008, 04:06 PM
If you don't mind, I'll check with the folks on the Authentic Campaigner. While that's a Civil War board, many of them are also WWII historians/living historians and would know where a treasure like that can be properly rehomed.

Arielluria
08-15-2008, 04:13 PM
Absolutely! Thanks a million!:muah:

Becky Morgan
08-15-2008, 05:04 PM
In half an hour over there I had four replies already, either wanting the uniform or directing me to someone who would. I wouldn't hesitate to give it to any of those who asked. So far they've mentioned:
--the American Military Museum in Charleston, SC
--Joe Blunt, as the representative for the USMC Historical Company:
http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/2268/
--the Stars and Stripes Museum in Bloomfield, MO

I would also encourage you to save all the little bits of WWII paperwork, old ration books, newspaper clippings, etc. that you may find among his things. Too much of that gets thrown away, and sometimes it gives us a whole new perspective on what happened.
Oh, and here's Mt. Vernon's response to your kind thought. Cpl. Joe Marti and his unit are his Civil War persona:

Of course, being a hoarder, I want it all to myself (Mine! Mine! Mine!).

First of all, thank you for taking this seriously. WWII vets are still among us, albeit decreasingly, so the material culture of the time doesn't feel as rarefied as perhaps the equivalent gear from the CW does. When my grandfather was a boy, he remembers seeing his great-grandfather's Civil War uniform rotting in a root cellar in Nebraska. It wasn't important to them because it was relatively recent. We cringe to hear that, but I'm sure that was the fate of perhaps the majority of gear. What you're doing is both rare and vitally important to our country's history

I'm sure there are a fair number of folks here on the site (Brian Hicks comes to mind, though I 'm sure there are more) who are inactive Marines who would either take loving care of it or have knowledge of other places who will benefit from such an august donation.

So much of what we know about the material culture of the Civil War is due to folks like yourself donating items like this to research institutions/museums a la the Smithsonian/National Archives. Without those things we would probably all be wearing cotton uniforms and infantry privates would be sporting cavalry sabers. Oh wait. That's still happening. Just goes to show you, the people need to know!

Nonetheless, I'm sure you've come to the right place to find people who have the correct reverence coupled with the knowledge of just what to do. Good luck!
__________________
Cpl. Joe Marti
20th Maine Vol. Inf. Co. G.
Third Brigade, First Division, Fifth Corps
Army of the Potomac

Arielluria
08-15-2008, 05:09 PM
Becky, God bless you and all who answered your post! I will copy and paste what you sent me into an email to my hubby and get back to this post, OK? I will even include pic(s).
:hug:

I agree not enough people put the importance to this which they should. I myself am honored to be webmaster to 3 official WWII USMC sites and I learn more and more what a truly awesome and courageous generation they were, and what they did for us!

Lady Violet
08-15-2008, 05:58 PM
My mom just finished putting together a scrapbook for her dad (retired army). She used all originals (except for two-sided letters/commendations - she copied the backs of those).

I just asked her about it and she said to take a picture of the uniform today and you could put the color picture next to an old black and white picture of the uniform (if you have one) in a scrapbook (if you have one of those, too). Then she said that if you wanted to display the uniform in your house you could get a shadow box like the ones they display sports uniforms in.

Disclaimer: My mom is an elementary art teacher who also happens to be completely addicted to interior design shows on the weekends and whenever she can get them in during the week. I just made the mistake of asking her if she used originals or copies. :teehee:

Wanda Witch
08-15-2008, 07:47 PM
What a wonderful thing to save and cherish what is left of WW-11. My DH has a Purple Heart, many other medals from the 'Good War' that hopefully, the granddaughter will always cherish or pass on to organizations who will. He was at Omaha Beach that fateful day oh, so many years ago. He survived, many did not, of course. He has German prisoner items in a footlocker, many old photos of friends and memorabilia from that war. Also, not to be left out here, I have a wonderful photo (actually two) of my father in uniform back in 1917 who was in WW-1 in the AEF (American Expeditionary Forces), stationed in France. It is so great to know some sites that I might look into later on.

I hope, Arielluria, you find just the 'right' home for your father's uniform. How proud you must be and how generous you are to part with it. And, a big 'salute' to that Leatherneck Dad of yours. :yay:

Knitting_Guy
08-15-2008, 10:48 PM
Ok, I'll be the bad guy here. Why in the world would you or you DH even consider giving this up? It just doesn't seem right to me.

Lady Violet
08-16-2008, 12:25 AM
Ok, I'll be the bad guy here. Why in the world would you or you DH even consider giving this up? It just doesn't seem right to me.

I have to completely agree with you, Mason. I refuse to allow my grandfather to get rid of his.

Debkcs
08-16-2008, 03:53 AM
My husband, a Civil War re-enactor, has his Dad's WWII things. The other two 'boys' weren't interested in keeping them. We also have the flag that went on his casket. Michael cherishes these things, interest in them was a bond between he and his Dad.

I'd love to see any pictures you might want to share.

stitchwitch
08-16-2008, 12:48 PM
My husband has his dad's WWII Army dress uniform. I've seen it a couple of times, and touched it once. His dad had a somewhat interesting story regarding it. He was to be sent home on a plane that was to have a one day layover. While he was boarding, a higher up from the Army came on board and asked him if he wanted to get home a day earlier. He could get off that plane and leave on another plane that night that wouldn't have the layover. All of his stuff was on the plane and he kind of hesitated because he'd get home and have to come back for the things sent home on that plane the next day. The plane he was originally on never made it and the only thing he had was that uniform that he wore, all of the souveniers he had picked up from the Pacific were lost as were the people on the plane.

jdee
08-16-2008, 08:56 PM
My husband has his dad's WWII Army dress uniform. I've seen it a couple of times, and touched it once. His dad had a somewhat interesting story regarding it. He was to be sent home on a plane that was to have a one day layover. While he was boarding, a higher up from the Army came on board and asked him if he wanted to get home a day earlier. He could get off that plane and leave on another plane that night that wouldn't have the layover. All of his stuff was on the plane and he kind of hesitated because he'd get home and have to come back for the things sent home on that plane the next day. The plane he was originally on never made it and the only thing he had was that uniform that he wore, all of the souveniers he had picked up from the Pacific were lost as were the people on the plane.
This story gave me goosebumps.

Becky Morgan
08-16-2008, 09:37 PM
Dad was on LST 710, which became the USS Accomac when she was remodeled into a troop carrier in preparation for the invasion of Japan. Here he is in his boot camp picture and later in a harbor (we think in southern Honshu). We have his peacoat, which I wore at college during the blizzard winters of 1977 and 1978! It soaked in the China Sea for three weeks after the ship sustained a bunch of damage during Admiral Halsey's typhoon in October 1944, but it's still wearable despite the salt that still leaches out of it now and then. Don't worry...we've had it cleaned and the only times it gets worn now are when one of the grandkids tries it on.

jess_hawk
08-19-2008, 10:01 PM
My dad is missing most of his dad's WWII stuff. Apparently there were a couple of medals which have gone missing over the years. Dad has always regretted not pressing grandpa on where they might have ended up. He also had mentioned to grandpa that he wished that he and a couple of other relatives on both sides would write down the stories of their military times, but he never really pushed the issue and grandpa passed away from cancer years ago. The others have also gone. Their stories exist only in the forms that we remember them being told, their uniforms and medals have mostly been lost or forgotten.
I applaud you :cheering: for finding a good home for this uniform. In some ways I agree with the sentiments of those who wonder why you don't keep it, I think giving it to an appropriate organization is a great choice. Unless you planned to display it, all that you would be doing with it is storing it and perhaps passing it to your children. Eventually it may end up forgotten or discarded. Donated to an organization/museum, it should be cherished and maintained. You could send a story or several along with it, to share with the world.

stitchwitch
08-20-2008, 12:42 PM
I applaud you :cheering: for finding a good home for this uniform. In some ways I agree with the sentiments of those who wonder why you don't keep it, I think giving it to an appropriate organization is a great choice. Unless you planned to display it, all that you would be doing with it is storing it and perhaps passing it to your children. Eventually it may end up forgotten or discarded. Donated to an organization/museum, it should be cherished and maintained. You could send a story or several along with it, to share with the world.

I couldn't agree more!
Last July my husband donated the original letter written to the family of the first soldier killed in the Spanish Amierican War http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/ohiopix/Image.cfm?ID=508 along with the cancelled copy of the check that was sent along with it. Evidently, there was an agreement that the familly of the first soldier killed would receive $100 for his death.
My husband had had the letter/check for about 40 years, he found it in an estate sale in Ohio that he and his dad went to. When my husband's mom died she was buried in the town that this man came from and is buried in and has the monument in. We thought it would be fitting to donate the letter/check to the town's historical society museum when we were there to bury his mom. The society freaked out because they had heard about this letter/check but thought it was lost forever. It was nice to know it made it's way home to where it belonged instead of sitting in our safe all these years.

Becky Morgan
08-20-2008, 06:08 PM
Another important item:
If you had a parent serve in WWII, Korea, etc. and they have passed on, now is the time to get their service records. (If your vet is still alive, but doesn't happen to have a copy, s/he can get his/her own through this link as well.) Veterans, children and widows or widowers of veterans can get their full service records. Succeeding generations can get only excepted versions, so if there's a veteran, child or spouse available, now's the time to make that request!
http://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html
We got Dad's this way and it only took a couple of weeks (and they sent us two copies, so I was able to give a regular, stamped archive copy to my genealogist great-nephew.) http://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html

InterNette
08-21-2008, 11:36 PM
wow good info Becky. we have a uniform, scrapbook with old letters, old blanket and his sleeping bag. I have no idea why we have them, but he hates to throw anything out. He has his tech books as he was a a medic in england during wwII and ration coupons and so on.
I keep saying we need to donate this stuff to a museum.

Becky Morgan
08-22-2008, 06:06 PM
Oh, wow. A lot of reenactors would like those if no one in your family would. There's also a WWII Memorial project seeking to preserve soldiers' and sailors' letters. I have three of Dad's, but haven't got them transcribed yet.

Over on the Authentic Campainger, a frequent lament involves the absolutely everyday commonplace Civil War era stuff no one thought to preserve. Every time another precious shred comes to light, Civil War reenactors have to change the way they do this, wear that, or think about the other. We're all trying to make sure as many WWII items are preserved as possible to prevent future historical disasters!