Enemy Militaria has begun. We have over 5000 unique items here.
In this first wave we added mostly post WWII items from Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars etc. The next wave will be WW1 and WW2 German and US, plus Japanese WWII along with some Allied WWII items.
We started collecting militaria in the mid 1970s. WWII Vets were in their late 40s and early 50s; Korean War Vets were in their early 40s and Vietnam Vets were in their 20s. The Cold War was on. Grenada, Panama, Somalia and the Gulf Wars were a long way away.
My focus was on Asian Militaria from WWII, Korea and Vietnam. My brother liked German WWI and WWII. This was good because never clashed over gear. We both collected US militaria as well.
Things were very different then in the collecting field. For example, my first Japanese helmet, a Christmas present, had a liner, chinstrap and a nice original net and cost only $65.00. My first Japanese Arisaka, a Type 99 was $38.50. When I was 16, I bought a new condition papered Chi-Com SKS and chestbag from a First Cav vet after he answered an ad I put in the local paper. I rode my bicycle to his house and bought it. He drove me home and handed it to my mother. Now, we would all go to jail for conspiracy to violate something or another.
Over the decades, we both continued to collect militaria and have amassed pretty respectable collections buying and trading one item, groupings or collections. We were always trying to find the best and upgraded lesser items as we could.
In the 1980s, after AIT and Jump School, I served as Cadre at Army Ranger School; then after I went to Ranger School, Class 11-83 (The last hard class), I transferred into B Co. 3rd Ranger Bn. which was forming. After that enlistment ended I served and later as a Team Leader with Det4thForReconCo USMCR.
During that time, I bought some Cuban gear he captured on Grenada from a guy I went to Ranger School with. After serving I expanded into collecting the Cold War. In the early 1990s, I bought a huge pile of Iraqi items from a Major returning from Desert Storm. He sent home MRE boxes full of uniforms and gear. The postage on boxes was marked “free.” When America’s longest war started, OIF and Enduring Freedom, I began to buy what I could from guys still in-theater.
My brother and I are older, grayer, and hopefully wiser. We have concluded it is time to start thinning out the collections and offer some great items here.