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My Airborne collecting story, thanks to all who gave advice!

Article about: I have been collecting militaria for the best part of my 32 years. In particular I enjoy collecting uniforms. As I am in Australia and I am Australian, naturally I have mainly collected unif

  1. #1

    Default My Airborne collecting story, thanks to all who gave advice!

    I have been collecting militaria for the best part of my 32 years. In particular I enjoy collecting uniforms. As I am in Australia and I am Australian, naturally I have mainly collected uniforms (both WWI &WWII from my own country, however I have always had a special interest in the European theatre, British and German.
    In 2004 after being fascinated with the camouflage pattern of the Denison smock, I set about putting together a WWII British Para uniform. Funny enough the only thing other than the webbing that I purchased that turned out to be post war was the Denison smock. I really got cheated on the rest especially the Para beret and the helmet.
    As I started to learn more about the British Airborne, I became fascinated with the story of Pegasus Bridge and that of the 2nd Battalion Ox and Bucks Light Infantry. In my collecting I came across an autographed photograph of a man named Jonny Johnson (see picture below) as it was relative inexpensive I purchased it thought it was great and kept inside a folder. As time passed and I had moved house the photograph was packed in to a box and would not see the light of day for some years. This brings me to 2009. In the years between I had met an Irish girl in Sydney, we eventually became engaged and it was time to go back to her hometown in Dublin and to meet her parents.
    To my surprise it turned out that her uncle has a holiday house in Grand Camp Maisy on the Normandy coast. After carful negotiation I managed to swing our visit to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings and take advantage of the before mentioned accommodation. On the day itself I travelled down to Pegasus Bridge just in time to catch the tail end of the events that were taking place that day. Visiting the airborne museum I purchased a copy of the 2nd Battalion Ox & Bucks unit history. As the day was coming to an end I managed to find and talk with a few of the veterans that were still around and get them to sign the back cover of the recently purchased book.
    On my return to Australia I went through all the trinkets that I had brought back from my adventure, including the unit history containing the autographs. Looking at one of the names Jonny Johnson I thought to myself this is very familiar. So I pulled out every box I could find and eventually came across the autographed Ox & Bucks that I purchased back in 2004. Well what do you know? It was the same guy, Jonny Johnson!
    Below are some photos of my recently completed airborne mannequin, sporting the badge of the 2nd Battalion Ox & Bucks.
    Although I have put the uniform together to the best I am happy to say all items are dated no later than 1945. The Beret is dated 1945 and made by Supak Manufacturing Limited. The Helmet is made by G&S and dated 1943. The Denison Smock is dated 1942. All the webbing is made by ME Co and dated between 1938 and 1940. The uniform under the mannequin is a P40 dated 1943. I have added original screened printed Pegasus & Airborne patches along with an original glider qualification badge on the sleeve.
    So this is my little airborne story I hope you enjoy. I would like to thank everyone on this forum that has helped me over the last year to finish this project off, in particular Adrian Stevenson for giving me the tip on spraying water inside berets to reveal the date etc. It turned out my Kangool was dated 1947. So all in all it has been a long and expensive road by I am happy with the end result.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by kokodahistorical; 01-18-2011 at 12:49 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My Airborne collecting story, thanks to all who gave advice!

    Great story & great collection, these things take time & a lot of money. But you've taken your time, built up experience & got there in the end, which is the best way
    Anychance you could show your G&S helmet at sometime.
    Nice one.
    Aaron

  3. #3

    Default Re: My Airborne collecting story, thanks to all who gave advice!

    Looks great!

    Cheers, Ade.

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