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Gentleman's Military Interest Club

Greg Collins

Old Contemptible
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Everything posted by Greg Collins

  1. Greg Collins

    Soviet hat badge to identify

    The star-like mint mark in the third image of the first post indicates it was made by the Pobeda factory.
  2. I believe your badge is genuine, and one of many variations that were made at the time (check out Avers 8, page 444- 5 variations are shown and I've seen others). Silver plated brass and enamel, two layers, screw back with the owners name and award number engraved. Looks like they were only going to simply number the badge at first, then changed their minds and added the name- although that could have been done by the owner (many Soviet badges of that time were engraved in this way). Anyway, it's award #535 given to Vostrikov, Aleksandr Yakovlevich.
  3. Greg Collins

    Academy badges

    Dan, Post 1: (Soviet) Higher MVD School, '78-'91 Post 3: (Soviet) Intermediate Level Military Academy badge, early to late '80's Post 5: (Soviet) High Level Military Academy badge, late and probably private manufacture Post 6: (RF) Medical University graduate badge Post 7: (Soviet) Mozhaiskiy Military Engineers Command Academy badge, late and probably private manufacture Post 8: (Soviet) University of Marx and Lenin badge, '70's-'80's Post 9: (Soviet) Leningrad V.I. Ulyanov (Lenin) Institute of Electrical Engineering, Type 2 '60's-'70's. BUT THE COLOURS ARE ALL WRONG HERE!!! Should be yellow-green border and white center. Can you see evidence of re-enameling? Post 10: (RF) An MVD Academy badge... SUI (?), 10 year. Post 11: (probably Soviet) Petersburg State University of Railways of Emperor Alexander 1 Hope this helps. Greg
  4. Maxim- you're absolutely correct, this uniform is still in use and, in this case, I'm happy I'm wrong... I think the Marine Corps Green Service uniform is one of the US's nicest looking uniforms. It was the khaki service uniform (tan) that was phased out. Sorry for the misinformation- my bad.
  5. The jacket is that of the US Marine Corps Master Sergeant with 20 years of service. It is not WW2- the stripes would not have crossed rifles nor would the belt be made of the uniform material (it would be leather). This jacket was still in use when I entered the Navy (1976) but, I understand, it has been done away with since. I was sorry to hear that as, in my opinion, it was the most "Marine-looking" uniform they had (I was never that crazy about the blue dress uniform).
  6. Greg Collins

    Russian Medal

    NavyFCO is right on target with the translation and, based on the look of the badge, I would guess it's a light alloy with paint, pin backed ("znacki-quality"). Based on the plane, I would say it's a fairly recent commemorative-type badge.
  7. Greg Collins

    help with Iding awards

    #8 is a '70's badge- "For Victory in Socialist Competition".
  8. Greg Collins

    National Agricultural Exhibition Badge

    Thanks, Mark! I'm tempted to say (or is it just being hopeful) that this badge, without Rakosi or Kadar seal, just might be a badge from 1948 (Tildy). The tri-colour bow has the "feel" of other badges and awards of that time. Greg
  9. I recently picked this badge up from a Bulgarian vendor I have dealt with over the years. It is of two piece construction, heavy bronze with a pin back. The front reads, "National Agricultural Exhibition". So, I know WHAT it is... does anyone here have an idea of WHEN it was? The badge looks to be anywhere from early post-WW2 (Tildy government) through the Rakosi era; looks a little old to be Kadar period. I'd just like to know a period for this piece. Thanks.
  10. I had to share this before the item even arrived... one of the "grails" of Hungarian security. It's a Kadar period Excellent State Security Police (Karhatalom) Service Badge along with the miniature in case. Very rare. The Rakosi period version of the badge is more rare, but I'm certainly happy to have found this. The period of this badge would be post 1957 until 1971, when the Karhatalom was disbanded.
  11. Greg Collins

    Hungarian Security

    Kevin, The ribbon isn't correct for the medal, and the medal could have one of three different ribbons attached to it: dark blue with red-white-green center stripe (Public Security), green with red-white-green (very thin white stripe on either side to separate it from the green background) center stripe (Border Guard) and, finally, red with a broad blue stripe flanked on either side by a thin white stripe (AVH). That's right, the only difference is the ribbon, the medals are all the same. This image of all three bronze grades is built from images in my Hungarian gallery: Best, Greg
  12. Greg Collins

    DDR dealers?

    My absolute favorite seller, and one I always go to when I need assistance, is Torsten Belger at germandotmilitaria.com. I use Torsten for DDR items, but he also sells German militaria from WW's 1, 2 and the Bundesrepublik. He sells from both his website as well as our favorite auction site. I highly recommend him.
  13. Greg Collins

    Authenticity questions

    Ah, now I get it (takes longer at an advanced age)! Could be "lowering the line" or, just maybe, tastes change. Who knows?
  14. Greg Collins

    Authenticity questions

    Ok, ok, you caught me writing in the vernacular. What I mean is that, at times, certain items seem to fall out of favour with collectors or, perhaps, because of what they are, are just not what collectors are looking for at that moment in time... even though they may be quite rare. But, often enough, if you wait awhile and hold on to what you have, you may find the collector market turns (circle) in your favour. I found this to be true regarding the Mongolian end of my collection. When I began, no one seemed to want or particularly care about Mongolian items. Boy, did that change!
  15. Greg Collins

    Authenticity questions

    Well Nick, yeah, I guess... philosophizing makes me feel better when parts of my collection seem to go down in value... helps me hold on because I know that, if I let things run full circle, they'll be back up in value... if I wait long enough... I guess...
  16. Greg Collins

    Authenticity questions

    At that point that someone is willing to pay more for it. These items we collect are, in cold reality, only worth their smelt value. Which, essentially, means a Belgrade or Odessa is worth about 3 cents. The remaining "worth" (value) of an award is what we're willing to pay above and beyond the smelt value. Of course a Lenin will be worth more due to gold and platinum content, but the smelt value is nowhere near the collector value of the award. And, when you get right down to it, the "market" even decides the smelt value. Gold, after all, is just a rock that we've decided is worth a lot of money.
  17. Greg Collins

    25 May 2013 Ft. Lee Military Show

    Earlier today (5-25-13) I attended the Ft. Lee Military Show for the first time. I had a blast… great show, wonderful location; altogether a very worthy effort by the organizers. I’ll certainly go again next year, and I’ll probably have a table of my own then as well. I primarily went to hook up with two good friends, Kevin Born (one of the show’s organizers- thanks Kevin!) and Ralph Pickard (author of “Stasi Decorations and Memorabilia, Volumes 1 and 2”), as it has been a couple of years since I saw them last. A wonderful reunion ensued, along with some minor buying and selling on my part. Great way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning and early afternoon. Insofar as content, most of the vendors dealt in artifacts from multiple countries and the country that had the most items on display/for sale was the US. Wars covered began with WW1, although I did see reunion items from the US Civil War. There were a couple of US vendors who also had a smattering of Third Reich items, and a couple who also had Eastern Bloc awards. Kevin and Ralph’s tables were the only tables displaying East German militaria. The highlight of the day was Ralph’s sharing two unbelievable groupings he has acquired… and when I say “unbelievable”, well, you can certainly take that to the bank. The first group is that of a Hungarian State Security agent who retired a Colonel in the mid ‘70’s. In this group, Ralph has been able to acquire this gentleman’s awards from his own country, which include awards from both the Rakosi and Kadar periods and the documents that go with them; Bulgarian awards and associated documents; East German MfS (“Stasi”) awards and their documents; Soviet awards and their documents including the highly coveted “Outstanding Member of the MOOP” (in absolutely pristine condition) and KGB 50 Year award badge. Also with this group, is a Hungarian classified award document that, by virtue of it not having a copy distribution number, may be the sole copy of that particular document, and an interesting pass that admitted this gentleman to all secure areas in the event of an emergency- a sort of “get out of jail free” pass. There were other documents, such as his retirement document, as well. Suffice it to say I have never seen a grouping so impressive and so complete… then Ralph showed me the next case. This next group was that of an Armenian KGB agent (rose to Lt. Colonel) who was posted, for obviously a good little while, in Afghanistan. 24 awards with documents (for all but, I believe, 2 of the awards), including the Soviet Order of Personal Courage, Soviet Order of the Red Star, Afghan Orders of the Red Star (2), Afghan Order of Glory, Afghan Orders of the Star (1st and 3rd Class) and Afghan Medal for Valour… this guy saw more than his fair share of action. I have never this many Afghan awards in one place, let alone with nearly all the documents TO ONE INDIVIDUAL. I know that Ralph took a lot of time (and money) to get these groups together so completely and they really are beyond amazing. Such collections allow you to go past the individual medal, as impressive and desirable as it may be, and actually get an insight into the life and career of the individual who achieved these awards. Genuine history. And, what probably goes without saying is my appreciation to Ralph for sharing this with me. Strike two from the “bucket list”. A great day.
  18. I agree with IrishGunner... it is, apparently, a clan badge for Clan MacGregor. I believe it is hand-made due to it's carved appearance and the floral work at the bottom (instead of the more often seen garter buckle) leads me to believe it was meant to be worn by a woman. There are what appears to be silver stamps on the back, as well as a maker (M&C) and an abbreviation for Inverness. The fixture at the top on the obverse of the piece was meant for, I believe, a rank attachment (feathers).
  19. Wishing all a very Happy 68th Victory Day! Hoorah!

    1. IrishGunner


      Any medals being issued for the parade?

    2. Greg Collins

      Greg Collins

      Not that I know of as this is a "between year". I believe we'll have to wait until 2015 for any new badges/medals.

  20. Greg Collins

    Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation

    Nice to see a few Orders of Labour Glory still being worn...
  21. Greg Collins

    Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation

    Has this gotten way, way off topic or what? Yeah, we're getting ready to "decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress" us here in the "Old Dominion". The line-up is typical... one candidate simply "forgot" to disclose several thousand dollars in gifts. Simply slipped his mind.
  22. Greg Collins

    Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation

    Well, Nick, you know how one who loves "that" statue would feel about the "red star" vs "czarist double eagle". Regarding the oppressed at the joint, it's certainly the staff that's oppressed. The cons have it made. Climate control, three squares a day... hell, they even get to vote on which cable T.V. system they want. Makes one wonder if sticking to the "straight and narrow" is the way to go.
  23. Greg Collins

    Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation

    Frank, I've got to agree with the Muscovite friend at Sammler.ru... they've replaced the symbol OF the worker (hammer and sickle) with a symbol that OPPRESSED the worker (the Czarist double headed eagle). While the idea may be on the up-and-up (we'll see), the symbol used is completely contradictory. They could have, in my opinion, done better. I'd be interested in what Zuganov and the CPRF have to say about it. Anyway, Happy May Day to All!
  24. A very Happy May Day to all! Workers of All Nations Unite!

  25. Greg Collins

    30 March 2013

    I attended a funeral yesterday for my cousin, Elwood Leroy Collins, who died on the 24th. Born in 1925, he was the son of my Grandfather’s brother and, though somewhat distant in relationship, he appeared in more than a couple of “scenes” in my life whenever I returned to this part of Virginia. Family reunions, Sunday dinners or, simply, running into him during local travels- it was always great to see him as he brought a sense of humour to nearly every occasion. No doubt it would have been present yesterday were he not the subject of the gathering. Besides being a relative, he was a great friend to my Grandfather, my Father and to me. The young cleryman in attendance was certainly an eloquent speaker, and certainly holy enough (I guess). And Leroy (as we all called him) certainly had all the typical qualities for praise: he was a good husband (his wife, Lucille, preceded him in death seven years ago), a good father, good grandfather and good great-grandfather. He served in the US Navy during WW2 and retired from the Virginia Forestry Department after 40 years of service. Another member of this country’s “greatest generation” has departed. And all this was cited by the minister. “Taps” was sounded; the flag was folded. Good job, but there are a couple of details which, in my opinion, were not covered very well, and these details are those that separated Leroy from most of us and, very possibly, made him the absolutely great person I knew. He was a young 2nd Class Boatswains (Bos’ns) Mate in the Navy who was Coxswain (Coxs’n). A Coxswain, for those of the more “landlubber” persuasion, is a driver of small craft (boats) and is generally a position/qualification occupied by mid to high ranking BM’s. During the moments prior to the D-Day invasion, he shuttled Generals and Admirals from ship to ship to last minute planning meetings and, on the day itself, piloted the first landing craft (LCC) that hit Omaha Beach. It is important to note here that a Coxswain’s life expectancy during this event was measured in seconds- not minutes- and many, if not most, did not survive the day. And this evolution was repeated until all the troops were landed. And Leroy survived. Leroy was still in the Navy in 1946 during the A-Bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. Apparently, the bomb (which was very much like the “Fat Man” bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki) did not sink most of the many (in excess of 200) ships that had been brought there as part of the test. So, after the “fireworks”, Leroy was taken, by helicopter, from ship deck to ship deck to go down to the lower level of the engine rooms and open the discharge valves to allow sea water into the ships and, eventually, sink them (those ships that were not designated for further radiation study). Over and over, Leroy was subjected to incredible amounts of radiation (interestingly, he told me that, while the outside of the ships were charred black, the inside looked absolutely normal). And Leroy survived. These details were only briefly, barely, and in the most general of terms, alluded to during the graveside service. And, as I observed the stoic and, frankly, blank stares of the younger folks who were there I wonder if anyone would have been able to “wrap their minds around it” anyway. I seem to encounter this phenomenon a lot, lately. I don’t suppose they teach kids about this anymore. Leroy left us quietly, and with apparently no real struggle, in his own bed in his own home in Charlottesville. I am glad for this as he had certainly had more than his share of excitement in his earlier life. I will miss Leroy; his good heart and great sense of humour. I mourn the passing of this great American; they “don’t make them like that anymore”. Fair winds and smooth sailing, my friend.