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Category Archives: militaria

as seen on Sarah Palin: service banners

One thing that surprised me in the days following Sarah Palin’s emergence in September was the number of folks from among her base who did not recognize the pin she wore at the GOP convention and on her meet-world-leaders day at the U.N.: many wondered if she was wearing an Israeli flag pin, when actually […]

last militaria mystery: small star pin ’50-500′

OK, after a marathon session online I’ve identified most of the odd bits of militaria in the previous post, except for the small star pin which I’m reposting by itself here: Any ideas?

more unidentified militaria of mixed provenance

OK, I’ve come to the bottom of my family militaria barrel but hope to identify things. This is a batch of things, of obviously mixed provenance, kept by my mother. A few messages to rec.heraldry helped narrow down the cardinals: likely something from WWII and hence from cousin Wilbur (army air forces) rather than from […]

the enamel cardinals

Here’s another piece of WWI memorabilia from the family, this time something I cannot identify. They are a pair of enamel cardinal pins, found with a cache of WWI and WWII material of mixed provenance (a WWI victory medal & ‘honorable discharge’ pin from my mother’s father, a WWII Sustineo Alas AAF Air Services Command […]

more on ‘Lady Lightning’

Since posting this picture of Lady Lightning, a B-24 that went down over the Netherlands on 15 August 1944, I have heard from two people near where it went down (at Nijensleek). They have collected memorabilia and historical data on the air battle in which this and other planes were lost, and plan a memorial […]

cousin Wilbur’s B-24 nose art — update

As a followup to my post and queries about cousin Wilbur’s (S/Sgt Wilbur F. Whiting, USAAF) sketch for the Scrubbed Goose, the helpful folks over on the message boards at haven’t been able to locate an actual aircraft with that name, but it could have been a sketch for a plane which was lost […]

Marvin Hunter Taylor WWI journal: into the German trenches

I just noticed (via google) that my grandfather is mentioned in a recent book on the war: Martin Gilbert, The First World War: A Complete History (Holt, 1994), p. 443, on the allied advance near Soissons on 18 July 1918: Pershing’s biographer cites the diary of Marvin H. Taylor, who recorded reaching a German machine-gun […]

Marvin Hunter Taylor — journal of a WWI infantry officer

In the spring of 1917 my grandfather, aged 21, left college to become an infantry officer in the first wave of volunteers for what would be called the American Expeditionary Force in France; he was comissioned lieutenant in August and shipped to France the next month. He saw service in the heavy fighting in northeastern […]

cousin Wilbur and the ‘Scrubbed Goose’ (NSFW [!])

Posting Wilbur’s Air Service Command patch got me to go back over the fragments of his war memorabilia to flesh out his service. He was in England from February 1944 to July 1945, rigging parachutes at an Eighth Air Force Liberator base in Norfolk, but we didn’t know where. It now looks like he was […]

sewing for the 8th Air Force

Wilbur Floyd Whiting (1919-2006) died just over a year ago, around Christmastime. He was my grandmother’s first cousin. His mother Mamie (Marie Henriette Lembke) was my great-grandmother’s baby sister, and she and her husband Floyd were always close to my great grandparents. Wilbur, their only child, was sort of an auxiliary sibling alongside my grandmother’s […]