Search Our Catalog

Newly Added Items

WWII Nazi German Wehrmacht Panzer EM/NCO'S M43 Trapezoid Cap Insignia In Wool Mützen Abzeichen
Item #: VF4606

Click image to enlarge
Machine woven national eagle in matte gray threads positioned above a national tri-color cockade with a black outer circle encompassing a white inner circle and a red center dot, on a woven, black wool trapezoidal base and is in overall excellent, unissued, condition.
The German army originally adopted a slightly modified version of the NSDAP’s, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), national eagle by order on February 17TH 1934, with instructions to have it applied to all steel helmets, visor caps, and tunics by May 1ST 1934. Regulations followed on October 30TH 1935 that stipulated the national eagle was also to be applied to all field caps. Generally the national eagle for wear on the EM/NCO’s overseas and M43 field caps were machine woven, first in white on a dark green base, (circa 1934), then later in matte grey on a field-grey base, (circa 1939), while Officer’s versions were embroidered in bright silver/aluminum wire threads. A machine woven version in bright silver/aluminum flat-wire threads was also utilized by Officer’s but was also very popular with senior NCO’s. In May 1943 a new configuration of cap insignia with the national eagle and tri-color cockade on a single trapezoidal base was introduced for wear on the M42 overseas and M43 field caps.
Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $190.00 USD

WWII Nazi Wehrmacht Cavalry Reconnaissance Feldwebel's Shoulder Straps Aufklärung Schulterklappen
Item #: VF4605

Click image to enlarge
Later, second pattern, (circa May 1940-1945), field-gray wool construction, slip on shoulder straps with subdued blue/gray rayon, diamond patterned, NCO’s tress and sun yellow waffenfarbe piping with "A" gothic script cyphers indicating Aufklärung, (Reconnaissance). Complete, excellent condition.
On November 26TH 1938 the first pattern, pointed tip, shoulder straps without waffenfarben, (Branch of Service), piping, utilized by EM/NCO’s were replaced with a rounded tip shoulder strap that included the branch of service waffenfarben. Originally these second pattern straps were manufactured in blue/green badge cloth until regulations in May 1940 altered their construction to field-grey wool. These second pattern shoulder straps were worn for the duration of the war although a third and final pattern was introduced in September 1944. The different branches of service within the German army were allocated a particular identifying waffenfarbe, (branch of service), color which was displayed as piping on the shoulder straps with yellow being chosen for Cavalry personnel. Originally NCO ranks wore a bright silver/aluminum tress on the forward collar edge of the dress and service tunics, on the tropical and continental field blouses, as adornment on the shoulder straps and dress tunic cuffs and also as sleeve rank chevrons. On April 25TH 1940 a new subdued tress of matte blue/grey rayon was introduced for wear on the field uniform and a subdued golden tan rayon tress was introduced for wear on the tropical uniform. Although these new subdued tress’s were intended to replace the highly visible bright silver/aluminum tress it continued in usage until the end of the war.
Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $265.00 USD

WWII 709th Bomber Squadron 8th Air Force Leather Flight Jacket Patch
Item #: VF4604

Click image to enlarge
Beautiful WWII US Army Air Corps, 709th Bomber Squadron, 447th Bomb Group, 4th Combat Wing of the 8th Air Force. Leather patch has been removed from the flight jacket but is in excellent condition. This unit flew B-17's out of Rattlesden, England. 

Combat in the European Theater

B-17s of the 447th Bombardment Group attacking Koblenz 19 September 1944

The squadron was stationed at RAF Rattlesden, England, from December 1943 to August 1945. It flew its first combat mission on 24 December 1943 against a V-1 missile site near Saint-Omer in Northern France.

From December 1943 to May 1944, the squadron helped prepare for the invasion of the European continent by attacking submarine pens, naval installations, and cities in Germany; missile sites and ports in France; and airfields and marshaling yards in France, Belgium and Germany. The squadron conducted heavy bombardment missions against German aircraft industry during Big Week, 20 to 25 February 1944.

The unit supported the invasion of Normandy in June 1944 by bombing airfields and other targets. On D-Day the squadron bombed the beachhead area using pathfinder aircraft.

The squadron aided in the breakthrough at St. Lo, France, and the effort to take Brest, France, from July to September 1944. It bombed strategic targets from October to December 1944, concentrating on sources of oil production. It assaulted marshalling yards, railroad bridges and communication centers during the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945. In March 1945 the group bombed an airfield in support of airborne assault across the Rhine. The unit flew its last combat mission on 21 April 1945 against a marshalling yard at Ingolstadt, Germany.

The 709th redeployed to the United States during the summer 1945. The air echelon ferried their aircraft and personnel back to the United States, leaving on 29 and 30 June 1945. The squadron ground echelon, along with the 711th squadron sailed 3 August 1945 on the SS Benjamin R. Milam, from Liverpool. Most personnel were discharged at Camp Myles Standish after arrival at the port of Boston. A small cadre proceeded to Drew Field, Florida and the squadron inactivated on 7 November 1945

Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $325.00 USD

WWII Nazi German Commemorative German / Finnish North Front Badge 1941-1943
Item #: VF4603

Click image to enlarge
Die struck alloy construction badge with nickel/silver plated and multi-colored enamel finishes is in the form of a circular, white enameled, centerpiece with both the Finnish and German national flags, in blue and white and red, black and white enamel, respectively, positioned above the nickel/silver plated Finnish rampant lion, on a red enamel shield shaped base and interspersed with the nickel/silver plated text in both Finnish and German, "Pohjoisrintama-Die Nordfront", (The North Front), along with the dates, "1941-43", all encompassed by a nickel/silver plated, oak-leave wreath. The centerpiece is superimposed on a blue enamel Maltese style cross, which in turn is superimposed on a nickel/silver plated, short armed swastika with an embossed Finnish location on each arm consisting of, "Petsamo", "Salla", "Kiestinki" and "Uhtua". Attractive award in excellent condition.

Finland’s history is believed to date back to the 9TH century when Finno-Ugric nomads from the central Ural region of Russia started to migrate to the region that is now know as Finland. Eventually the Finn’s were conquered by Sweden and were suppressed under Swedish rule until the Napoleonic wars of the early 1800's. In 1808 in the Third Coalition War against the French and her allies, Russia invade Finland and expelled the Swedes. Surprisingly the Russian permitted Finland to adopt a constitution although it was under Russian control as a Grand Duchy with the Czar as its figurehead. With the outbreak of the Bolshevik Revolution on November 7TH 1917 and the ensuing discord in Russia, Finland saw her chance to gain total independence and declared herself an independent state on December 16TH 1917. As a result of Finland’s declaration of independence the Russian’s attacked and in the ensuing Finnish War of Independence the Finn’s requested military aid from Germany which helped the Finn’s to drive the Russian out and Finland finally gained her total independence on May 7TH 1918. Finland was able to retain her independence undisturbed until a border dispute with Russia developed into the Winter War on 30TH November 1939. Although the Finn’s were able to avoid being occupied by the Russians, large areas of territory were ceded to them and roughly ten percent of the Finnish population had to be relocated at the end of the War on March 12TH 1940. With the German invasion of Russia on June 22ND 1941 the pro-German Finn's allied themselves with Germany in what they termed the Continuation War, and as a result were able to retake all territory lost to the Russians in the Winter War and restore their previous border. German nationals that were eligible for Foreign awards were required to obtain the express approval of Adolf Hitler through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the only exception being that Foreign War decorations, including the Finnish awards, which did not require Hitler’s approval. The exact institution date and criteria for this award are uncertain but it is believed to be a commemorative badge for Finnish and German personnel who had participated in battle against the Soviets between 1941 and 1943. Of Note: Another almost identical award was also issued that contained different dates and locations. Also Of Note: On September 4TH 1944 the Finnish signed an armistice with the Russians and as a result German regulations of November 15TH 1944 prohibited wear of any Finnish awards by German nationals.

Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $300.00 USD

WWII General Motors Original World War II Poster STEP ON IT! Featuring Uncle Sam's Boot & a Jap
Item #: VF4602

Click image to enlarge
Fantastic WWII poster, STEP ON IT! showing the boot of Uncle Sam crushing the little Jap. This poster was produced by General Motors for the purpose of increasing War production. Poster was produced in house at the Lansing Michigan plant in 1943 and measures 39.7 X 29.5 inches and has minor edge  wear and will look absolutely stunning framed. 
Shipping Weight: 1 lb
Your Price $400.00 USD

WWII Theater Made US Army Air Corps 15th Air Force Shoulder Patch
Item #: VF4599

Click image to enlarge
This stunning WWII 15th Air Force theater made shoulder patch. Never been on a uniform and worthy in any collection.
Fifteenth Air Force was established on 1 November 1943 as part of the United States Army Air Forces in the World War II Mediterranean Theater of Operations as a strategic air force and commenced combat operations the day after it was formed. The first commander was General Jimmy Doolittle. The Fifteenth Air Force drew its operational forces from heavy bombers of the IX Bomber Command, the strategic bomber command of the Ninth Air Force which was relocating to the United Kingdom to become a tactical air force in the European Theater of Operations, the Twelfth Air Force, and by a diversion of groups originally intended for the Eighth Air Force. Mainly operating out of bases in southern Italy, the Fifteenth Air Force, along with the Eighth Air Force and RAF Bomber Command, became the instruments used by the Allies to carry the strategic air offensive to Axis occupied Europe and Germany.The Fifteenth was de-activated in Italy 15 September 1945.
Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $80.00 USD

WWII Greenback US Army 101st Airborne Type 7 With Attached Tab
Item #: VF4598

Click image to enlarge
Type 7, green backed, 101st Airborne, shoulder patch with correct attached rocker. Patch is 100% original to the period of WWII and does not react to Uv. light

The 101st Airborne Division was activated 16 August 1942 at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. On 19 August 1942, its first commander, Major General William C. Lee, promised his new recruits that the 101st had "no history but had a rendezvous with destiny." In his first address to his soldiers the day the division was born, Lee read General Order Number 5 dated 19 August 1942:

The 101st Airborne Division, which was activated on 16 August 1942, at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, has no history, but it has a rendezvous with destiny.

Due to the nature of our armament, and the tactics in which we shall perfect ourselves, we shall be called upon to carry out operations of far-reaching military importance and we shall habitually go into action when the need is immediate and extreme.

Let me call your attention to the fact that our badge is the great American eagle. This is a fitting emblem for a division that will crush its enemies by falling upon them like a thunderbolt from the skies.

The history we shall make, the record of high achievement we hope to write in the annals of the American Army and the American people, depends wholly and completely on the men of this division. Each individual, each officer and each enlisted man, must therefore regard himself as a necessary part of a complex and powerful instrument for the overcoming of the enemies of the nation. Each, in his own job, must realize that he is not only a means, but an indispensable means for obtaining the goal of victory. It is, therefore, not too much to say that the future itself, in whose molding we expect to have our share, is in the hands of the soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division.
 
D-day

The Pathfinders of the 101st Airborne Division led the way on D-Day in the night drop prior to the invasion. They left from RAF North Witham having trained there with the 82nd Airborne Division.

The 101st Airborne Division's objectives were to secure the four causeway exits behind Utah Beach, destroy a German coastal artillery battery at Saint-Martin-de-Varreville, capture buildings nearby at Mésières believed used as barracks and a command post for the artillery battery, capture the Douve River lock at La Barquette (opposite Carentan), capture two footbridges spanning the Douve at La Porte opposite Brévands, destroy the highway bridges over the Douve at Saint-Côme-du-Mont, and secure the Douve River valley.

In the process units also disrupted German communications, established roadblocks to hamper the movement of German reinforcements, established a defensive line between the beachhead and Valognes, cleared the area of the drop zones to the unit boundary at Les Forges, and linked up with the 82nd Airborne Division.
 
Operation Market Garden

On 17 September 1944, the division became part of the XVIII Airborne Corps in the First Allied Airborne Army. The division took part in Operation Market Garden (17–25 September 1944), an unsuccessful Allied military operation under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery to capture Dutch bridges over the Rhine fought in the Netherlands and the largest airborne operation of all time.

The plan, as outlined by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, required the seizure by airborne forces of several bridges on the Highway 69 across the Maas (Meuse River) and two arms of the Rhine (the Waal and the Lower Rhine), as well as several smaller canals and tributaries. Crossing these bridges would allow British armoured units to outflank the Siegfried Line, advance into northern Germany, and encircle the Ruhr, Germany's industrial heartland, thus ending the war. This meant the large-scale use of Allied airborne forces, including both the 82nd and 101st.

The operation was initially successful. Several bridges between Eindhoven and Nijmegen were captured by the 82nd and 101st. The 101st met little resistance and captured most of their initial objectives by the end of 17 September. However, the demolition of the division's primary objective, a bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal at Son, delayed the capture of the main road bridge over the Maas until 20 September. Faced with the loss of the bridge at Son, the 101st unsuccessfully attempted to capture a similar bridge a few kilometers away at Best but found the approach blocked. Other units continued moving to the south and eventually reached the northern end of Eindhoven.

At 06:00 hours on 18 September the Irish Guards resumed the advance while facing determined resistance from German infantry and tanks. Around noon the 101st Airborne were met by the lead reconnaissance units from XXX Corps. At 16:00 radio contact alerted the main force that the Son bridge had been destroyed and requested that a Bailey bridge be brought forward. By nightfall the Guards Armoured Division had established itself in the Eindhoven area however transport columns were jammed in the packed streets of the town and were subjected to German aerial bombardment during the night. XXX Corps engineers, supported by German prisoners of war, constructed a class 40 Bailey bridge within 10 hours across the Wilhelmina Canal. The longest sector of the highway secured by the 101st Airborne Division later became known as "Hell's Highway".
 
Battle Of The Bulge
 
The Ardennes Offensive (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was a major German offensive launched towards the end of World War II through the forested Ardennes Mountains region of Belgium. Germany's planned goal for these operations was to split the British and American Allied line in half, capturing Antwerp, Belgium in the process, and then proceeding to encircle and destroy the entire British 21st Army Group and all 12th U.S. Army Group units north of the German advance, forcing the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis Powers’ favor as a result. In order to reach Antwerp before the Allies could regroup and bring their superior air power to bear, German mechanized forces had to seize all the major highways through eastern Belgium. Because all seven of the main roads in the Ardennes converged on the small town of Bastogne, control of its crossroads was vital to the success or failure of the German attack.

Despite several notable signs in the weeks preceding the attack, the Ardennes Offensive achieved virtually complete surprise. By the end of the second day of battle, it became apparent that the 28th Infantry Division was near collapse. Maj. Gen. Troy H. Middleton, commander of VIII Corps, ordered part of his armored reserve, Combat Command B of the 10th Armored Division to Bastogne. Meanwhile, Gen. Eisenhower ordered forward the SHAEF reserve, composed of the 82nd and 101st Airborne, which were stationed at Reims.

Both divisions were alerted on the evening of 17 December, and not having organic transport, began arranging trucks for movement forward. The 82nd, longer in reserve and thus better re-equipped, moved out first. The 101st left Camp Mourmelon on the afternoon of 18 December, with the order of march the division artillery, division trains, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 506th PIR, 502nd PIR, and 327th Glider Infantry. Much of the convoy was conducted at night in drizzle and sleet, using headlights despite threat of air attack to speed the movement, and at one point the combined column stretched from Bouillon, Belgium, back to Reims.

The 101st Airborne was routed to Bastogne, located 107 miles away on a 1463 ft (445m) high plateau, while the 82nd Airborne took up positions further north to block the critical advance of Kampfgruppe Peiper toward Werbomont, Belgium. The 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion, in reserve sixty miles to the north, was ordered to Bastogne to provide anti-tank support to the armorless 101st Airborne on the 18th and arrived late the next evening. The first elements of the 501st PIR entered the division assembly area four miles west of Bastogne shortly after midnight of 19 December, and by 0900 the entire division had arrived.

By 21 December, the German forces had surrounded Bastogne, which was defended by both the 101st Airborne and Combat Command B of the 10th Armored Division. Conditions inside the perimeter were tough—most of the medical supplies and medical personnel had been captured on 19 December. CCB of the 10th Armored Division, severely weakened by losses in delaying the German advance, formed a mobile "fire brigade" of 40 light and medium tanks (including survivors of CCR of the 9th Armored Division, which had been destroyed while delaying the Germans, and eight replacement tanks found unassigned in Bastogne). Three artillery battalions, including the all-black 969th Field Artillery Battalion, were commandeered by the 101st and formed a temporary artillery group. Each had 12 155 mm howitzers, providing the division with heavy firepower in all directions restricted only by its limited ammunition supply (By 22 December artillery ammunition was restricted to 10 rounds per gun per day.) The weather cleared the next day, however, and supplies (primarily ammunition) were dropped over four of the next five days.

Despite several determined German attacks, the perimeter held. The German commander, Generalleutnant Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz, requested Bastogne's surrender. When General Anthony McAuliffe, now acting commander of the 101st, was told, a frustrated McAuliffe responded, "Nuts!" After turning to other pressing issues, his staff reminded him that they should reply to the German demand. One officer (Harry W. O. Kinnard, then a lieutenant colonel) recommended that McAuliffe's initial reply should be "tough to beat". Thus McAuliffe wrote on the paper delivered to the Germans: "NUTS!" That reply had to be explained, both to the Germans and to non-American Allies.

Both of the two panzer divisions of the XLVII Panzer Corps moved forward from Bastogne after 21 December, leaving only one panzergrenadier regiment of the Panzer-Lehr-Division to assist the 26th Volksgrenadier Division in attempting to capture the crossroads. The 26th VG received additional armor and panzergrenadier reinforcements on Christmas Eve to prepare for its final assault, to take place on Christmas Day. Because it lacked sufficient armor and troops and the 26th VG Division was near exhaustion, the XLVII Panzer Corps concentrated the assault on several individual locations on the west side of perimeter in sequence rather than launching one simultaneous attack on all sides. The assault, despite initial success by German tanks in penetrating the American line, was defeated and virtually all of the German tanks involved were destroyed. The next day, 26 December, the spearhead of General George S. Patton's U.S. Third Army relief force, the 4th Armored Division, broke through the German lines and opened a corridor to Bastogne, ending the siege. The division got the nickname "The Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne". Despite their desperate situation before the relief by General Patton, no member of the 101st Airborne has ever agreed that the division needed to be rescued

Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $250.00 USD

WWII Army Air Corps Theater Made Bullion MAAF Mediterranean Allied Air Force Shoulder Patch
Item #: VF4597

Click image to enlarge
Stunning WWII US Army Air Corps bullion Mediterranean Allied Air Force Shoulder Patch. Patch is in excellent condition and has never been on a uniform
The Mediterranean Allied Air Forces (MAAF) became the official Allied air force command organization in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) after the previous Mediterranean Air Command (MAC) was disbanded on December 10, 1943. Initially, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder who had commanded MAC, was retained as Air Commander-in-Chief of MAAF but in mid-January 1944, Lieutenant General Ira Eaker took over command of MAAF when Dwight D. Eisenhower chose Tedder as his Deputy Supreme Allied Commander to plan the air operations for the Normandy Landings.
In keeping with the previous Allied convention established at the Casablanca Conference of naming commanders from one air force [United States Army Air Force (USAAF) or Royal Air Force (RAF)] and their deputies from the other air force, Eaker's Deputy Air Commander-in-Chief of MAAF became Air Marshal Sir John Slessor on January 20, 1944. Slessor, who also was named Commander-in-Chief of Royal Air Force, Mediterranean and Middle East (previously AHQ Malta, a major sub-command of the disbanded MAC), had been the commander of RAF Coastal Command which was taken over by Air Chief Marshal Sir Sholto Douglas, the previous commander of RAF Middle East Command, another major sub-command of the disbanded MAC.
 
MAAF reinstated the original RAF tri-force model (see No. 205 Group, No. 201 Group, and Air Headquarters Western Desert) that was used to create the Northwest African Air Forces, the largest and major sub-command of the disbanded MAC. Thus, MAAF retained a long-range "strategic" bomber force, a "coastal" anti-shipping force, and a "tactical" close air support force. Accordingly, the three major combat commands of MAAF were:
 Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Force (MASAF) under Major General Nathan Twining
 Mediterranean Allied Coastal Air Force (MACAF) under Air Vice-Marshal Hugh Lloyd
 Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force (MATAF) under Major General John K. Cannon.
 
The MAAF tri-force replaced the previous NAAF tri-force:
 Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) under Major General James Doolittle
 Northwest African Coastal Air Force (NACAF) under Air Vice-Marshal Hugh Lloyd
 Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) under Air Vice-Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham.
 
Air Vice-Marshal Hugh Lloyd was commander of NACAF and he stayed on as commander of MACAF. Doolittle of NASAF who temporarily commanded the new 15th Air Force before going to England to command the 8th Air Force, was replaced by Twining for the new MASAF. Coningham of NATAF who assumed command of Second Tactical Air Force, was replaced by Cannon of the new MATAF. Cannon also commanded the 12th Air Force which under the new MAAF organization was much more recognizable than it had been under the previous MAC/NAAF organization. When the 12th Air Force transferred all of its heavy bomb groups and its B-26 Marauder medium bomb groups to the 15th Air Force, the 12th became strictly a tactical air force and the 15th became a strategic air force (November 1, 1943). Twining commanded both MASAF and the 15th Air Force just as Cannon commanded both MATAF and the 12th Air Force. This helped to provide the unified command structure that was a major goal of the reorganization.
 
Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz, the previous NAAF, 12th Air Force, and 8th Air Force commander, took over the new United States Strategic Air Forces (USSTAF) consisting of Doolittle's 8th Air Force and Twining's 15th Air Force. This allowed Spaatz to borrow the 15th in Italy for long-range strategic bombing of European targets when inclement weather in England prevented the 8th from flying missions. Under this scenario, some heavy bombers took-off from Italy, bombed German targets, and landed in England. Similarly, some flew the opposite route. Overnight stops in Russia were also made by some of the long-range bombers of the 8th and 15th Air Forces.
 
AVM John Whitford replaced Lloyd in November 1944. Sir Guy Garrod replaced Slessor in early 1945

With the defeat of Germany and the end of World War II in Europe, Headquarters, MAAF, Intelligence Section (United States) saw an opportunity to learn first-hand how effective the Allied air war was from the enemy's perspective. A series of interviews with high-ranking German officers resulted in the July, 1945 compilation of the MAAF Air Surrender Documents.

General Heinrich von Vietinghoff, who at various times commanded German Tenth Army or Army Group C and was the Commander in Italy at the end of the war, was particularly impressed by the effectiveness of the Allied fighter-bombers:

  • "The ceaseless use of fighter-bombers succeeded in paralyzing all day-time movement..."
  • "The fighter-bomber pilots had a genuinely damaging effect."
  • "Even the tanks could move only at night because of the employment of fighter-bombers."
  • "The effectiveness of the fighter-bombers lay in that their presence alone over the battlefield paralyzed every movement."

Regarding air attacks on railroads, General von Vietinghoff stated the following:

"Rail traffic was struck in the most protracted fashion by the destruction of bridges. Restoration of bridges required much time; the larger bridges could not be repaired. As improvisation, many bridge sites were detoured or the supplies were reloaded. With the increasing intensity of the air attacks, especially on the stretch of the Brenner, the damaged sections were so great and so numerous that this stretch, despite the best of repair organization and the employment of the most powerful rebuilding effort, became ever worse and was only ever locally and temporarily usable. A few bad weather days, in which the Allied Air Force could not have flown, would often have sufficed to bring the traffic again to its peak. Only in February and March (1945) was it again possible to travel by rail through the Brenner to Bologna."

When asked if Allied air power was chiefly responsible for Germany's defeat in this war?, each of the German officers below gave his own answer:

  • Colonel General Heinrich von Vietinghoff, Supreme Commander Southwest, "Yes..."
  • General Karl Wolff, SS Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen SS, "Yes..."
  • General Joachim Lemelsen, Commanding General 14th Army, "Considered as a part of the general material superiority of the Allies, the strength of the Allied Air Force was of first importance - especially during the last year in Italy..."
  • General Jahn, Commanding General of Lombardy Command, "They were of great, but not decisive importance."
  • Major General von Schellwitz, Commanding General 305th Division, "Yes..."
  • Lt. General Boehlke, Commanding General 334th Division, "The Allied Air Forces have played large part in the defeat of Germany..."
Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $100.00 USD

WWII US Army 2nd Corps Yellow Cavalry Border Patch With Wool Border
Item #: VF4596

Click image to enlarge
WWII US Army 2nd Corps Yellow Cavalry Border Patch is in excellent condition and has never been on a uniform. 

World War II

Six months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the American entry into World War II, II Corps was sent to England in June 1942, under the command of Major General Mark W. Clark. In November, now under Major General Lloyd Fredendall, II Corps landed in Oran as part of Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North Africa. After initially making good headway against German forces during the Tunisia Campaign, II Corps was defeated by German troops under Hans-Jürgen von Arnim at the Battle of Sidi Bou Zid. II Corps was again decisively defeated in February 1943 during the Battle of Kasserine Pass by veteran troops under Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel. The defeats were compounded by American inexperience, poor senior leadership, and lack of armor comparable to that in the German panzer forces, as well as the highly effective German high-velocity 88 mm anti-tank guns, which were used in screening tactics to destroy American tanks lured into pursuit of German armored forces

In March 1943, after a change of command to Major General George Patton, II Corps recovered its cohesion and fought well for the rest of the Tunisia Campaign, winning the Battle of El Guettar. II Corps held the southern flank of the British First Army during the destruction of the remaining Axis forces in North Africa. The war in North Africa ended in May 1943 with almost 250,000 Axis soldiers surrendering, to become prisoners of war.

On 10 July 1943, II Corps, commanded now by Major General Omar Bradley, took part in the amphibious invasion of Sicily (codenamed Operation Husky) under command of the U.S. Seventh Army. It played a key part in the liberation of the western part of the island. The corps consisted of the 1st Infantry Division (United States), 3rd, 9th, and 45th Infantry Divisions. The Allied campaign in Sicily came to an end after 38 days.

Now under Major General Geoffrey Keyes, II Corps was sent to the Italian Front, arriving in mid-November as part of the U.S. Fifth Army, where it was to serve for the rest of the conflict, participating in grueling mountain warfare and often experienced fighting in terrible weather conditions. Soon after arrival, II Corps took the 3rd and 36th Infantry Divisions under command. In late January 1944 II Corps, now with the 1st Armored Division under command, took part in the Battle of Rapido River, part of the first Battle of Monte Cassino, to distract German attention away from the Anzio landings. The operation failed with heavy losses in the 36th Division. During the fourth and final battle of Cassino in May, II Corps consisted of the 85th and 88th Infantry Divisions. For the assault of the German Gothic Line, II Corps consisted of the 34th, 88th and 91st Infantry Divisions. The corps moved up the western side of Italy, and fought in the Spring 1945 offensive in Italy, where it ended up on the right flank of the Fifth Army in May 1945.

II Corps was inactivated in Austria on 10 October 1945, following Germany's surrender.

Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $100.00 USD

Early WWII US Army 45th Division Wool on Wool Shoulder Patch
Item #: VF4595

Click image to enlarge
Early WWII 45th Infantry Division Wool on Wool patch. Insignia is in very good condition and has never been on a uniform. 
The 45th Infantry Division guardsmen saw no major action until they became one of the first National Guard units activated in World War II in 1941. They took part in intense fighting during the invasion of Sicily and the attack on Salerno in the 1943 Italian Campaign. Slowly advancing through Italy, they fought in Anzio and in Monte Cassino. After landing in France during Operation Dragoon, they joined the 1945 drive into Nazi Germany that ended the War in Europe.
Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $85.00 USD

WWII US Army Air Corps Theater Made 10th Air Force Shoulder Patch
Item #: VF4594

Click image to enlarge
This stunning WWII US Army Air Corps 10th Air Force patch is in excellent condition worthy in any collection. The patch has never been on a uniform.

Tenth Air Force was constituted on 4 February 1942 and activated on 12 February, built up around a nucleus of air force personnel newly arrived from Java and the Philippines, under the command of Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton. It had its headquarters at New Delhi. Components of the air force moved to India over a three month period from March to May 1942. It was responsible for creating, operating and safeguarding the India-China Ferry, more commonly known as the Hump airlift, between April 8 and December 1, 1942, first with its Assam-Burma-China Command until July 16, then the India-China Ferry Command until December 1, when jurisdiction for the airlift passed to the Air Transport Command.

The Tenth Air Force initially provided control of all USAAF combat operations in the China Burma India Theater under theater commander Lt. Gen. Joseph Stillwell. Units based in China were controlled by the China Air Task Force of the Tenth Air Force, created July 4, 1942 to replace the American Volunteer Group, and commanded by Brig. Gen. Claire Chennault. Units based in India were controlled by the India Air Task Force, created October 8, 1942, commanded by Brigadier General Caleb V. Haynes.

In March 1943 the China Air Task Force was dissolved and its components made part of the new Fourteenth Air Force, activated in China under Chennault. The Tenth operated in India and Burma as part of the Allied Eastern Air Command until it moved to China late in July 1945.

The Tenth Air Force conducted offensive strategic bombing operations in Burma and supported Allied ground efforts with close air support and operations against Japanese communications and supply installations. After the end of the war in China, the command headquarters departed from Shanghai on 15 December 1945, being attached to Army Service Forces at Fort Lawton, Washington where the last personnel were demobilized and the command inactivated, being returned to HQ USAAF on 6 January 1946.

Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $100.00 USD

WWII German Made 3rd US Army Officer Velvet & Bullion Patch
Item #: VF4593

Click image to enlarge
Stone mint WWII US Army 3rd Division velvet with silvered bullion tape with a buckram backing, in fact the same used on SS insignia. As with all my items, guaranteed to meet your expectations or your money back. Patch does not react to Uv light.

World War II

Combat chronicle

10 Luglio 1943 Sbarco in Sicilia degli Alleati a Licata Settore Joss Spiaggia di Mollarella e Poliscia.jpg

The 3rd Division is the only division of the U.S. Army during World War II that fought the Axis on all European fronts, and was among the first American combat units to engage in offensive ground combat operations. Audie Murphy, the most highly decorated American soldier of the war, served with the 3rd Division. The 3rd Infantry Division saw combat in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Germany and Austria for 531 consecutive days. During the war the 3rd Infantry Division consisted of the 7th, 15th and 30th Infantry Regiments, together with supporting units.

The 3rd Division, under the command of Major General Jonathan W. Anderson, after spending many months training in the United States after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, first saw action during the war as a part of the Western Task Force in Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa, landing at Fedala on 8 November 1942, and captured half of French Morocco. The division remained there for the next few months and therefore took no part in the Tunisian Campaign, which came to an end in May 1943 with the surrender of almost 250,000 Axis soldiers who subsequently became prisoners of war (POWs). While there a battalion of the 30th Infantry Regiment acted as security guards during the Casablanca Conference in mid-January 1943. In late February Major General Anderson left the division and was replaced by Major General Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., who instituted a tough training regime and ensured that all ranks in the division could march five miles in one hour, and four miles an hour thereafter. The troops called it "the Truscott Trot". The division began intensive training in amphibious landing operations.

On 10 July 1943, the division made another amphibious assault landing on the Italian island of Sicily (codenamed Operation Husky), landing at Licata town on the beach, to west, called Torre di Gaffi and Mollarella and on the beach, to east, called Falconara. The division, serving under the command of Lieutenant General George S. Patton's U.S. Seventh Army, fought its way into Palermo before elements of the 2nd Armored Division could get there, in the process marching 90 miles in three days, and raced on to capture Messina on 17 August, thus ending the brief Sicilian campaign, where the division had a short rest to absorb replacements. During the campaign the 3rd Division gained a reputation as one of the best divisions in the Seventh Army.

Nine days after the Allied invasion of mainland Italy, on 18 September 1943, the 3rd Division came ashore at Salerno, where they came under the command of VI Corps, under Major General Ernest J. Dawley who was replaced two days later by Major General John P. Lucas (who had commanded the division from September 1941 to March 1942). The corps was part of Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark's U.S. Fifth Army. The 3rd Division was destined to see some of the fiercest and toughest fighting of the war thus far, serving on the Italian Front. Seeing intensive action along the way, the division drove to and across the Volturno River by October 1943, and then to Monte Cassino, where the Battle of Monte Cassino would later be fought, before, with the rest of the 15th Army Group, being held up at the Winter Line (also known as the Gustav Line). In mid-November the division, after spearheading the Fifth Army's advance and suffering heavy casualties during the past few weeks, was relieved by the 36th Infantry Division and pulled out of the line to rest and absorb replacements, coming under the command of Major General Geoffrey Keyes' II Corps. The division remained out of action until late December.

After a brief rest, the division was part of the amphibious landing at Anzio, codenamed Operation Shingle, on 22 January 1944, still as part of VI Corps, and serving alongside the British 1st Infantry Division and other units. It would remain there for just under four months in a toe-hold against numerous furious German counterattacks, and enduring trench warfare similar to that suffered on the Western Front during World War I. On 29 February 1944, the 3rd Division fought off an attack by three German divisions, who fell back with heavy losses two days later. In a single day of combat at Anzio, the 3rd Infantry Division suffered more than 900 casualties, the most of any American division on one day in World War II. The division's former commander, Major General Lucas, was replaced as commander of VI Corps by the 3rd Division's commander, Major General Truscott. He was replaced in command of the 3rd Division by Brigadier General John W. "Iron Mike" O'Daniel, previously the assistant division commander (ADC) and a distinguished World War I veteran.

In late May, VI Corps broke out of the Anzio beachhead in Operation Diadem with the 3rd Division in the main thrust. Instead of defeating the Germans, Lieutenant General Clark, the Fifth Army commander, disobeying orders from General Sir Harold Alexander, Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Allied Armies in Italy (formerly the 15th Army Group), sent the division on to the Italian capital of Rome. This allowed the majority of the German 10th Army, which would otherwise have been trapped, to escape, thus prolonging the campaign in Italy. The division was then removed from the front line and went into training for the Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of Southern France.

Men of the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division in Nuremberg, Germany on 20 April 1945.

On 15 August 1944, D-Day for Dragoon, the division, still under VI Corps command but now under the U.S. Seventh Army, landed at St. Tropez, advanced up the Rhone Valley, through the Vosges Mountains, and reached the Rhine at Strasbourg, 26–27 November 1944. After maintaining defensive positions it took part in clearing the Colmar Pocket on 23 January, and on 15 March struck against Siegfried Line positions south of Zweibrücken. The division advanced through the defenses and crossed the Rhine, 26 March 1945; then drove on to take Nuremberg in a fierce battle, capturing the city in block-by-block fighting, 17–20 April. The 3rd pushed on to take Augsburg and Munich, 27–30 April, and was in the vicinity of Salzburg when the war in Europe ended. Elements of the 7th Infantry Regiment serving under the 3rd Infantry Division captured Hitler's retreat at Berchtesgaden.

Casualties

  • Total battle casualties: 25,977
  • Killed in action: 4,922
  • Wounded in action: 18,766
  • Missing in action: 554
  • Prisoner of war: 1,735
Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $65.00 USD

WWII US Army Paratrooper Infantry Overseas Cap Insignia on Twill
Item #: VF4592

Click image to enlarge
Stone mint WWII issued airborne infantry overseas cap badge embroidered on twill. As with all my items, guaranteed to meet your expectations or your money back. Patch does not react to Uv light.
Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $45.00 USD

WWII US Army Paratrooper Infantry Overseas Cap Insignia on Wool
Item #: VF4591

Click image to enlarge
Stone mint WWII issued airborne infantry overseas cap badge embroidered on wool. As with all my items, guaranteed to meet your expectations or your money back. Patch does not react to Uv light.
Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $45.00 USD

WWII US Army Airborne Paratrooper Glider Enlisted Overseas Cap Patch
Item #: VF4590

Click image to enlarge
WWII issued infantry paratrooper glider cap badge. As with all my items, guaranteed to meet your expectations or your money back. Patch does not react to Uv light.
Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $40.00 USD

Additional Pages
1  2   3  [Next Page]