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Bill Dienna

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  1. Several years ago I reviewed all of the records of the Gold Star Pilgrimage that are contained within the United States National Archives. If there was ever a list of identification badge serial numbers it is not within those materials, except for the badges of a few women who apparently did not receive their badges before they sailed for Europe. The records indicated that they were given new badges (which did not have the engraved name plate at the top) and those few serial numbers were indeed recorded by Army personnel (there were U.S. Army personnel with each Pilgrimage cruise). Similarly, the cruise medals that were given to the women by the United States Lines were serial numbered on the edge by Tiffany & Company, and the women received a document for the medal that was named to them and which also bore the serial number of the medal that they had been given. For more information on the Pilgrimage you should read "That Knock at the Door: The History of the Gold Star Mothers in America" by Holly Fenelon. A superb book and it has some fascinating information about the Pilgrimage. Additionally, the famed movie director John Ford did a fictional film about the event in 1933 titled "Pilgrimage".
  2. Unfortunately I do not have photos of the entire sword. At the moment I am simply trying to identify the maker.
  3. Can anyone help me with the maker mark o this sword? I believe that it is French, circa 1800-1815. Many thanks!
  4. What strikes me as odd is this: By virtue of the Normandy landings his medal bar displays the "France and Germany Star". If he subsequently served on minesweepers, should he have no received an "Atlantic" bar for that Star?
  5. I seem to be having no luck trying to find information on the internet about several ships of the Royal Canadian Navy in WW II as part of my research into one man's service. Any help would be much appreciated! The following appear in his service record: "Niobe", and "Cornwallis" I believe were RCN bases. He served on boards HMC LCI 295 during the invasion of Normandy, and I have some information on that vessel, but I would dearly love to find out what unit or units the LCI was responsible for taking ashore at Normandy. The current mysteries are "Peregrine" (in October of 1944), "Chaleur II" (March-September, 1945) and "Montcaln" (September-October, 1945). Thanks, Gentlemen!
  6. Very impressive, and not at all silly, I think!
  7. I think it's priced at about $700-$800. The pants, unfortunately, are quite moth damaged.
  8. I'm not, actually, Paul. My interest was mostly academic, though if the tunic was not missing the large bullion grenade on one side, I would be tempted! One side of my family came from Ireland. My mother's uncle was killed in Belgium in 1916 while serving with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. As a result, I've always had an interest in the Irish aspects of the British military. But I once spoke with a very well regarding collector-dealer about focusing on Irish material. He replied "Well you won't find it very often, but you will pay a lot of money for it." That kind of cured me of the thought of pursuing that line of collecting!
  9. Thank you, Odulf ! It looks as though Chris was correct ! The"M" reflects the fact that this officer was a member of a "Militia Battalion" of the Royal Irish Fusiliers. The only question that I now have is: What was a "militia battalion" in the British Army ?
  10. Alas, there is no name. Unfortunately, the right collar is missing the bullion grenade with eagle device. If anyone has one of those sitting in an "odds and ends" box, please do let me know!
  11. Sorry, Chris, I don't have a good photo of the shoulder boards. Here is a photo of the complete set.
  12. It's not terribly clear in this photograph, but the uniform is that of an officer of the Royal Irish Fusiliers, apparently a Lt. Colonel. At the end of each shoulder board is a bullion letter "M". Does anyone know what that means? Thanks!
  13. What astonishing groups of medals, Chris. They are absolutely amazing in every respect! I suppose that if it was possible to find an American counterpart, it would be a group that included a Southern Cross of Honor, awarded to a former Confederate soldier of the Civil War, along with his United States Army Campaign medal for the Indian Wars or the Spanish American War, reflecting that the former Confederate went on to serve in the United States Army with his former adversaries. I know that there were indeed such men, but I have never seen a group such as I've described. The groups that you have posted are, without doubt, some of the most fascinating and historically significant that I have ever seen (and, without trying to sound self-important, over more than 40 years of collecting I have seen A LOT of groups!).
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