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USFA Ike jacket

Article about: I had this Ike jacket sitting in my eBay watchlist for months, and just recently I decided to pull the trigger on it. The seller kept on lowering the price the longer it sat for sale, and it

  1. #1

    Default USFA Ike jacket

    I had this Ike jacket sitting in my eBay watchlist for months, and just recently I decided to pull the trigger on it. The seller kept on lowering the price the longer it sat for sale, and it finally got so low that I couldn't resist buying it!

    This particular example is patched to the U.S. Forces Austria. Ever since I learned of my own grandfather's service in 1946 Germany, I've devolved a small fascination with early post war pieces. This jacket certainly fits the bill for the early post war period. I purchased this from a resale shop in Hudsonville Michigan. They started an eBay profile to bolster the sales of their physical shop. I was told the jacket was found exactly as it sits, and that they knew no history behind it since it was a donated piece.

    The jacket itself is a really nice example with all of it's insignia still intact. One of my favorite parts of the jacket are the USFA DI's pinned to both sides of the lapel. I believe they are theater made. Interestingly a decent amount of patches were found inside the front breast pocket. They consist of a few service bars, two ADSEC shoulder patches, and a khaki ruptured duck. It's my guess that this vet previously served with ADSEC before being sent to Austria for occupation duty.

    There's one thing about this jacket that confuses me though, and that is the army serial number written inside. The ASN is '46021898' and above it is written 'Sgt Brisbin'. I searched this number via the national archives database, but unfortunately there were zero results. I was really excited to find a full serial number written inside, as it almost always leads me to an enlistment record on NARA, but this case is certainly different. I was just wondering if anyone had any advice on how I can research this number further. I'd greatly appreciate any and all advice!

    PS- Sorry for the upside down photo of the ASN. I'm not exactly sure how to fix that.

    USFA Ike jacketUSFA Ike jacketUSFA Ike jacketUSFA Ike jacketUSFA Ike jacketUSFA Ike jacket

  2. #2

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    There are a few other options to look for information about Sgt Brisbin.

    It looks like he may have been with a medical detachment in Austria, so there is one route to search.

    I looked in NARA as well (not doubting your skills) and I came up with 38 Brisbin names (no serial number matches but 2 of them were from Michigan, which could be your next source of looking. A needle in a haystack perhaps but another option.

    The link I attached has some information about USFA and possibly you may be able to find a directory, (they are out there, rare as hens teeth but someone may be able to find Brisbin in the directory as well.


    USAREUR Units & Kasernes, 1945 - 1989.

    Ancestry may also be an area to search, you have a last name and maybe a location they were from (Michigan) so from there you can spend some time going through some records.. Tedious Yes but sometimes the research pays off.

    Hope this helps

    Smitty

  3. #3

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    Quote by Rakkasan187 View Post
    There are a few other options to look for information about Sgt Brisbin.

    It looks like he may have been with a medical detachment in Austria, so there is one route to search.

    I looked in NARA as well (not doubting your skills) and I came up with 38 Brisbin names (no serial number matches but 2 of them were from Michigan, which could be your next source of looking. A needle in a haystack perhaps but another option.

    The link I attached has some information about USFA and possibly you may be able to find a directory, (they are out there, rare as hens teeth but someone may be able to find Brisbin in the directory as well.


    USAREUR Units & Kasernes, 1945 - 1989.

    Ancestry may also be an area to search, you have a last name and maybe a location they were from (Michigan) so from there you can spend some time going through some records.. Tedious Yes but sometimes the research pays off.

    Hope this helps

    Smitty
    Thank you so much for the help Smitty! I really appreciate it.

    I also noticed those two Brisbins from Michigan in the database. My gut was telling me this jacket was somehow connected to them, so I looked them up on find a grave. I found them both, and interestingly they have three more siblings that also served in the war. I think it's worth pointing out that these three men have the same last name, and are NOT listed in NARA's database. A coincidence? Possibly, but it certainly makes the theory that the jacket is connected to this family more plausible. I looked at each vet's profile on find a grave, and unfortunately the dates and ranks on their tombstones don't match with the history of the uniform. There are two more siblings though. One who was born in 1930 and served in Korea, and another who was born in 1928. The sibling born in 1928 is named Shannon Duane Brisbin, and his tombstone says the following -

    Shannon Duane Brisbin

    b. 09-05-1928

    d. 12-31-1953

    MICHIGAN PRIVATE
    QM SUB DEPOT COMPANY


    Given his age, I think he would have been perfect for the early post war period... but his tombstone states he was a private, and the company he served with doesn't appear to be medical related. My gut is still telling me the jacket is connected to this Michigan family. I think I might contact the woman who uploaded all of this history to find a grave, and see if she possibly knows who owned this jacket. Her profile states that she's the niece of all these men, so it's a decent lead.

    Thanks a ton for that link Smitty! I spent a good hour or so combing through it, and the history there is fascinating. That website has a virtual guestbook for old members of USFA to sign. The first signatures date back to 2001, and it was a lot of fun looking through the book and reading all of things the vets had to say. It certainly gave me a good deal of insight on what the guys in USFA experienced. What I found most interesting were vet accounts of Soviet violence against U.S. GI's in occupied Austria. Definitely a bit of history a lot of people don't know about.

  4. #4

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    I just got out of the hospital recently after having some invasive surgery, and I’m stuck home for quite awhile for the recovery period. While I’m at home I thought I’d try my hand at researching this uniform again. Not knowing this soldier’s identity has bothered me a good deal.

    After another research session I think I found my man! It’s not 100% definitive yet, but I have a good feeling this man was in fact the original owner of this Ike jacket. The man in question was named 'Lawrence Edward Brisbin' and he was a Bishop of his local Pentecostal church. The church he was a member of is still operating today, and they actually have some of his sermons available to listen to online. Anyways, what makes me believe he is the owner of the jacket, is his obituary. I will share it here.

    Bishop Lawrence E. Brisbin
    Pentecostal Assemblies of the World

    1915 ~ 1994

    Bishop Lawrence Brisbin was born on May 23, 1915. On January 31, 1943 he was filled with the Holy Ghost after he was baptized in Jesus' name some days earlier. The joy of his salvation was expressed in both song and testimony, and he often marveled at the deliverence from alcohol and nicotine at the moment of his baptism. Lawrence attended the Apostolic Faith Church faithfully, never realizing that he would someday be its pastor.

    On May 18, 1945 Lawrence was drafted into the United States Army where he served with the 114th General Hospital Unit. During his military service he began to preach and often spoke about how God had sent him to school while in the Army. When he returned from military duty, he began preaching on the streets of Grand Rapids and at the Apostolic Faith Church. He was ordained in Boston, Massashusetts in August of 1950. In 1951 Elder Brisbin was elected pastor of the Apostolic Faith Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Under his leadership the congregation grew in number.

    Elder Brisbin did not limit his service to the local assembly. He was active in the Northern District Council and was made a District Elder over the western portion of the Michigan diocese. In August og 1962 Elder Brisbin was given the title of "Bishop" and shortly thereafter was assigned the diocese of Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. He served in this capacity for several years and was later assigned the diocese of New York and Ontario. At its annual convention in August of 1980, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World selected Bishop Brisbin as their Presiding bishop, a position he held until 1996.

    Bishop Brisbin was preceeded in death by his wife of fifty-five years, Mildred Elizabeth. After the death of Sister Brisbin, Bishop's health began to fail and he resigned his position as pastor on January 1, 1993. Bishop Lawrence E. Brisbin passed away on April 14, 1994. Although his voice has been stilled, his reputation and dedication to God continue on.

    Audio Recordings of Bishop Lawrence Brisbin are available at Apostolic Faith Church in Grand Rapids, MI or at the Apostolic Archives International, in Joplin, MO


    The obituary mentions two things that lead me to believe this is the right man. His draft date of May 18th 1945, and the mention of him serving with the 114th general hospital unit. The date matches up with the early post war occupation service shown on the jacket, and the medical collar discs make sense serving with a general hospital unit. To top things off Mr Brisbin was a Michigan resident, the same state I found the jacket in. With all these factors coming into play, I have a good feeling the late Bishop Brisbin is the owner of this jacket.

    USFA Ike jacket

  5. #5

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    Great detective work and I concur that the uniform belongs to the Bishop...

    Smitty

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