This is an entire US naval veterans lot recently pulled out of a foreclosed house in Schenectady, NY. I actually met the seller half way in a small town called North Hudson during an actual snow storm through the Adirondack mountains. I just had to save this lot and paid him a very fair price for it. The contractor discovered the items all inside one large wicker chest told me that he was hired by the bank to clear out the house so that it could be re-sold. He was actually instructed to just throw everything in a dumpster bin as the bank considered it “junk”. He is not a collector and wasn’t even certain if the items were original or if they had any value and so they were actually almost thrown away before his wife gave me a call. The vet’s immediate family visited the abandoned house once and apparently cared little for any of the WW2 items nor even his own black and white photos of himself an Anthony Phillips and apparently his younger brother in the US navy just before D-Day. I’m not sure why the family didn’t want any of the photos or every the larger WW1 photo dated 1917 which must be of his father. The entire lot really needs some further research as these photos should really be returned to his next of kin but perhaps he doesn’t have any? Sadly one of the photos is a cardboard held negative of Anthony and his younger brother just before D-Day with the caption below: “REMEMBER ME!!!” It seems that no-one expect for myself and my fellow collectors ever will.
The center piece of the collection is the M42 E62 Kreigsmarine helmet rear lot stamped The rear lot number is 0857 and it is side marked EF62 in excellent overall and original condition. You probably only ever see one KM for every 100 Heer SD’s so these are actually rather rare. You know it’s KM because although the photos make the decal look yellow it is actually golden flake and very metallic in nature when held in hand and unmistakably KM. The soldier’s name is painted on the inside rear skirt and reads “Sucher” which is most likely his very own 2nd class iron cross and spare breast eagle for coastal artillery service. The liner is fully in tact and it has it’s original roller buckle brown leather KM chinstrap which if you check out similar M42 EF KM’s seems to have been standard issue.
Since Anthony Phillips and his younger brother both participated in the invasion of Normandy one could strongly argue that his helmet actually came from one of Rommel’s Atlantic Wall coastal defenders and so this would be a true piece of Normandy history. Also it is unlikely that these two US vets would have encountered any inland KM units after the Normandy invasion and so most likely this helmet came from a soldier who was right there in the thick of the action.
Everything photographed is included in this direct vet estate lot as I would prefer to keep everything together for future generations and out of respect for Anthony’s WW2 service.
SPECIAL NOTE: The item in the first two photos not seen until now was part of this KM German soldier’s personal kit and is a rare early war U-boat Combat Badge Award and described below in greater detail. It will be offered at an additional cost of $500 if you’d like it to remain in the collection. I find it very interesting that basically the story that this tells is of an early war KM soldier who first served on an actual U-boat and went on at least 2 successful missions. Later during the war as Germany’s fortunes began to change the defense of the Atlantic Wall became the top priority. And so these same soldiers were then reassigned to coastal artillery units in anticipation of an eventual Allied invasion. Since his name on the rear skirt I’m certain it would be possible to trace the actual German KM soldier’s family who wore this. Who knows maybe he is even still alive to this day!!!
BACKGROUND: The U-Boat War Badge was instituted by Großadmiral Erich Raeder on October 13TH 1939 for award to all ranks of U-Boat personnel who had served on at least two sorties against the enemy or were wounded in action. The badge was to be worn on the lower left breast of most uniforms.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Die struck tombac/brass badge with a gilt wash in the form of a horizontally oval laurel leaf wreath with a national eagle with spread wings superimposed to the top center, encompassing a profile view of a submarine. The badge is nicely detailed and features veins to the laurel leaves, cut-out detailing to the submarine’s conning tower, flag, and the forward deck gun. The plain, solid reverse has a solid hinge, a broad, tapered, vertical pin and catch all intact. Nice, early, unmarked example and range in value from $700-$1100 based on condition. I have discounted this one very nicely down to a very reasonable $500 as I feel it should remain with the collection if possible.