My Tropical M-40 Cap from Papago Park
One of my favorite pieces is this tropical M-40 cap. I like minty stuff and this cap is far from it, the reason I like it is simple, it is connected to my states history. It came from a guard that worked at the Papago Park POW Camp. You may not know it, but Arizona was the scene of the largest German POW escape during WWII. You can read about the camp here: Papago Park POW prisoner of war camp in Phoenix Arizona and you can read about the famous escape here: The Not-So-Great Escape: German POWs in the U.S. during WWII
The camp housed Heer (from N. Africa and Sicily), Luftwaffe and U-boat crews. This cap came from a camp guard. When the war ended any insignia with a swastika was removed, the guard traded for the cap from a POW, and later had his wife sew another eagle back on that he had gotten from the POW (BTW, the thread is old and does not glow). The eagle is crooked but I have never re-sewed it, to me it adds to the history of the piece. The cap is well worn and sun bleached (probably most of it occurred while the POW was doing work in the Arizona sun).
It is a neat piece and one of my favorite items (I think this cap has a lot of character, and is a part of my states history). I hope you like it and find the history of Papago POW camp of some interest.
06-10-2014 02:49 PM
Jody, that is one of my fave pieces, because of not only the "Escape from Papago Park", but that it goes to our great state's history.
Not many people realize that AZ, despite being in existence for only 29 years as a state at the start of WW2, had many connections to WW2, to include not only Papago Park, but the Codetalkers, training airfields, and the Thunderbirds division-- all were linked to AZ.
Nice cap! I love these caps. Nice back story.
My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them
"Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)
That is a great item that represent's our visitors during that time frame.
We had 2 camps down here in Yuma. One is on the mesa near me that is on private property and I tried to check it out but this sign kind of deterred me. The Guard tower still stands. We also have a small monument built by the Italians by the Gila River. It is located on US Army Yuma Proving Ground.
That is a great cap Jody thanks for sharing! Knowing its history is a huge bonus!
I really like these caps and was lucky enough to woodwork one a few years back.