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8th Air Force airfield dog tag finds

Article about: you can try looking up the sn info in the enlisted man's serial number database at the US National Archives. I can't really read the info ont hem, but if you copy them all out for me verbati

  1. #1

    Default 8th Air Force airfield dog tag finds

    Below are a few pictures of some of the best finds from a recent investigation of one of my local 8th Air Force airfields ...First picture shows all the finds together ... the small ceramic fragment top left is a small part of an Old Spice shaving mug ... one day I'll find a complete one ... one day!

    The second picture shows the dog tags in close up ... Does anybody know where I could obtain further information regarding the former owners of these tags?

    The third picture shows the officer's cap badge in close up ...

    The final picture shows the red lenses ... Not sure whether these are aircraft related (the site did produce lots of other aircraft related bits & pieces - including lots of strips of 'window' which rendered the old pinging stick a bit useless ...
    I was wondering whether or not they might be off some US military vehicle - the indicators or brake lights perhaps ..?
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture airfield_1.jpg   airfield_2.jpg  

    airfield_3.jpg   airfield_4.jpg  

  2. #2

    Default Re: 8th Air Force airfield dog tag finds

    I can only confirm that the red lens are not from a US military vehicle to the best of my knowledge.

    Sorry I cannot help more than that.

    Cheers, Ade.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 8th Air Force airfield dog tag finds

    Hello gremlin !

    These are really great finds ! !

    The lenses might be for indication lamps inside aircraft, They look "jewelled" or faceted
    which is usually what you'd find on electronic devices, like on radios or power amplifiers.
    They are not vehicle related as Ade has mentioned.

    Keep it up !



  4. #4

    Default Re: 8th Air Force airfield dog tag finds

    The Red lenses appear to be the type that were typical on bicycles of the period.

    My Dad was stationed at Mount Farm AFB outside of Oxford with the "Eyes of the 8th" 7th Photo Group in 13th and 14th Squadrons (P38/F5 Lightnings and P-47 Jugs) from early 1943 to late 1944 and at 93 still has his memories intact. (My Mother was a local girl from Boars Hill, Oxford).

    I spoke to him last night and he said that when the English lack of transport issues became known in the US, (no availability of Jeeps or Motorcycles on almost all US Bases much less the petrol to run them), a lot of USAAC Bomber crews would purchase or "liberate" bicycles in the US and bring them over in the Bomb Bays of B-17 and B-24 aircraft for use on base and as local transportation.

    They typically had a single 2 inch diameter or a series of 3 1 inch diameter red glass or plastic reflector mounted on the rear fender or in a line under the seat on a leather flap.

    Might be one of these...

  5. #5

    Default Re: 8th Air Force airfield dog tag finds

    That would make a lot more sense mr. dirt !
    I've also read that, so this would account for their size !



  6. #6

    Default Re: 8th Air Force airfield dog tag finds

    Nice finds Gremlin

    Any luck tracking down the 'owners' of the dogtags ?

    Steve T

  7. #7

    Default Re: 8th Air Force airfield dog tag finds

    Thanks for all the responses ... especially for the suggestions regarding the lenses ... these were just two of the most complete ... I also found lots of fragments ... As far as tracking down the owners of the tags ... well ... I'm not really sure where to go ... Any suggestions?

    The site itself is arable and has now been sown ... all the finds came out of an area about 10m by 10m square .... a detector is useless on this site ... because of both the large quantity of radar jamming metallic strips that litter the field combined with hundreds, if not thousands, of flare gun bases (which give very positive signals). As a result all of the finds were located by simply raking through the top soil .... From a wooded area nearby I also located what is left of what looks like a USAAF A-10 oxygen mask ... photos to follow when the old digital camera is back on charge. The farmer says that he remembers this field being used by the Americans to burn large amounts of 'trash' just before they left in 1945 .... this seems to be confirmed by the large number of American toiletry bottles that were partially melted ... Needless to say, I'll be going back next year .... where there are 3 and a half dog tags ... there must be more!

  8. #8

    Default Re: 8th Air Force airfield dog tag finds

    Back in 1972 I went to England with my Dad, me a young teen and him in his late 50's. All I knew of the air war was "12 o'clock high" "633 squadron" etc.
    My Dad took me out to what had been his base, Mount Farm, it was turned back to the owners in 1958 but we walked the field and found the remains of the control tower and pieces of the tarmac aprons.
    When we met the owner, he asked my Dad if he could help him ID some of the "junk" that had been laying about when he bought the property. Most of it was sections of perforated steel matting and Quonset hut framing but when my Dad saw a flattened black piece of aluminum his eyes lit up. "That's the shower tank". The base had NO HOT WATER for the barracks unless you wanted to heat 5 gallon Jerry cans on a 3 ft high by 18 inch coal stove and bathe in tepid water. Dad said one of the T-5 Sargeants rigged up a 150 gallon Drop Tank from a P-38 Lightning on the roof and painted it black and ran piping down to the shower stall. Even in the winter, the sun would heat up the black tank and warm to hot showers became available.

    It was a hoot to see Dad's face as he described the joy of a hot shower during wartime!

    He was one of the lucky ones, he flew 65 missions in Lightenings and Thunderbolts and never got a scratch. He did tell me of a terrifying trip home on 1 engine with all the cockpit electrics shorted out and having to use a GI flashlight to read the instruments and check the landing gear handle and flaps for landing. The F5 Lightning flew with no guns and no armor plate to gain an extra 20 mph airspeed, just K13 and 14 aerial cameras in the nose, so if he was spotted all he had was the speed of the P38 and skill/fear to get him away, and on 1 engine and minimal instruments his luck was at the bottom of the beer mug.

    When I was helping him pack his personal effects to storage whe he moved to a smaller apartment, I found his DD214 Discharge papers and decorations. He never said he had the Air Medal, DFC and a bunch of citations for "service above and beyond".

    Now at 93 he has a pacemaker, is going blind and almost all of his old friends are dead. I feel that he will be here for a short while longer and spend every monent I can with him.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 8th Air Force airfield dog tag finds


    Are you sure they are flare gun cartridge bases?

    Please note the picture I have attached showing a collection of spent Coffman cartridges recovered from an old RAF base, (the cartridges used to start some aircraft engines). Could they have been these instead ?


    Steve T
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture coffman.jpg  

  10. #10

    Default Re: 8th Air Force airfield dog tag finds other thing.

    Some of the 'airfield focus' books you can get, especially the early editions, had lists of personell who served at the bases. See if you can get hold of one for your airfield


    Steve T

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