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Interesting Fact I learnt

Article about: About two months ago I bought a few items presumbaly ( sorry for the spelling) from a deceased Korean War Veteran. They included a 1944 Waterproof clothing bag, 1944 duffle bag, 1944 mess ki

  1. #1

    Default Interesting Fact I learnt

    About two months ago I bought a few items presumbaly ( sorry for the spelling) from a deceased Korean War Veteran. They included a 1944 Waterproof clothing bag, 1944 duffle bag, 1944 mess kit with a knife from 1945. At the time I decided the estate workers were probably ill informed- becuase all of this was WW2 gear. Recently, I was bored and did some research on the soldier ( he wrote his name and serial number on the bags). What I found out suprised me- a obituary from 2005 includes him being stationed in Germany with the US Army during the early 50s. Cross referencing his name on the WW2 enlistment record database- he did not serve in the army prior to 1946. Lesson of the day- why throw out a perfectly good piece of surplus, just store it in case for the next war.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Interesting Fact I learnt

    A lot of WWII US gear and weaponry was still being used far into the 1950's.
    Same as WWI gear was utilised in WWII. What was considered outdated,
    'limited standard' or 'excess' and not needed any longer was sometimes
    bought as surplus by many smaller countries for their armies.

    As a greater example, I read of a South American country that bought
    up surplus P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft for use in their
    limited size air force.

    As well, the USAF still flies 'B-52' bombers. These, although
    re-equipped/electronically upgraded, were manufactured
    over 50 years ago..............!


  3. #3

    Default Re: Interesting Fact I learnt

    I just find the subject fascinating, becuase I read on another militaria forum of a National Guardsman at a event being issued a 1944 canteen cover- I think, I can only remember that it was WW2 issue. And the event was earlier this year. Who knows whats laying around old bases or armories!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Interesting Fact I learnt

    It is not uncommon to find WWII-era M1 helmets that received Vietnam War-era repaints.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Interesting Fact I learnt

    It's estimated that the amount of US war materiel at the end of the war in 1945 in the supply line to the front from factories to warehouses to transport to depots near the front, was greater than the amount actually used during the war. Vast amounts were destroyed or abandoned all over the world-everything from boots to trucks-other stuff sold off as surplus to civilians and more given to Allies as aid to rebuild their armed forces against the Soviets-that was before you even get to the large amounts kept in US stores as contracts were cut at the end of the war, defence budgets reduced and what money there was being spent on essential new items like jet aircraft. Almost nothing used at the start of Korea was new in service since 1945.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Interesting Fact I learnt

    Actually, awhile back ago I responded to a craigslist ad about some "Smoke Projectile" crates on Craigslist. Apparently, over a hundred of these crates were dumped in a warehouse in Southern Michigan and now they are up for sale for about $15 each at Amsterdam Antiques in Saugatuck Michigan. No, I do not work for them- I just forgot about the store and thought it would be interesting to share. At first I just thought someone just bought them after the war as gov. surplus, but now it makes sense it could have been a depot that just was abandoned after the war by quartermasters- thanks for the info!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Interesting Fact I learnt

    The amount left over in 1945 is testament to the immense production capacity of the US and its ability to supply both itself and its various allies with every conceivable piece of equipment from boot laces to heavy bombers to escort carriers-by the end of the war, the US represented over half of the productive capacity of the whole world. The actual distribution system was fairly efficient, always well stocked and ready for a surge of demand if needed-thats's why there was so much left over. There had been problems at different times, especially early on and decisions on what would be produced with the available resouces had to be made such as suspending battleship construction to release steel and workers for escort and landing ships but if it was needed it was made in the required numbers.

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