United States Army
1939-1945
Although my main passion is in collecting and preserving WWII aviation items, occasionally, I have come across items
that were non-aviation related that I just could not pass up.  This page is dedicated to all of the men who fought and
died on the ground, who were forced to remain cold, hot, wet and exhausted for days and weeks at a time, sometimes
without the benefit of a hot meal or a warm shower.  To the infantry, armoured corp., artillery men and others who
literally walked across Europe, may you always have a hot meal, a warm shower and a comfortable bed to sleep in.  
Thank you for your service.
 (Click on any of the photos below for a more detailed view.)
Pictured above is an original, WWII, Rawlings manufactured tank crewmans helmet.
 This is the M-1938 model tanker helmet, complete with proper receivers, throat
microphone and leather neck lanyard for the microphone.  The helmet is also
shown displayed with an original pair of M-38 Resistol goggles. This model of
helmet was produced by companies that still thrive today as sporting goods
manufacturers including:
- Rawlings Manufacturing Corporation
- Wilson Athletic Goods Manufacturing Company
- Sears Saddlery Company
- A.G. Spaulding & Brothers
WWII bullion 7th Armoured shoulder
patch and original tank destroyers
shoulder patch.
No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making
the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.
                                                   
- General George S. Patton, Jr
WWII cartoon art of Bill Mauldin - A true view of the common infantryman.
"Luger, $100 ... camera, $150
... Iron Cross, $12 ... it is good
to be captured by Americans."
"Now that you mention it, it
does sound like th' patter of
rain on a tin roof."
*****  I recently came into possession of a grouping of artifacts relating to a gentleman who served in
the 3rd Army, 712th Tank Battalion, 10th Tank Division (subsequently attached to the 90th Infantry
Division).  This gentleman was a tank crewman of a reconnaissance unit using the M5 Stuart light
tank.  Included in this grouping was a large number of personal photographs, a small captured
German flag, "yard-long" unit photos, original patches and other personal items.   It is an honor to
have been entrusted with these items to preserve what this gentlemen and his comrades
accomplished and experienced during the war.  (See some of the items pictured below.)
712th Tank Battalion and the 90th Infantry Division - A Brief History

The 712th landed in France on D-Day + 23, and went into combat on 3 July 1944 on Hill 122, known as "the most
expensive piece of real estate in World War II," in terms of casualties. In the 11-day battle that lasted from 3 July to 13
July, the 90th Infantry Division suffered 7,000 casualties. The 712th fought its way through France crossing the Moselle
River and then the Saar River. They came back across the Saar and plunged into the Battle of the Bulge, after which
they crossed the Saar again, then the Rhine River. They had broken through the Siegfried Line and were penetrating
into the heart of Germany to Amberg by the time the war ended.

The first elements of the 90th Infantry Division saw action on D-Day, 6 June, on Utah Beach, Normandy, the remainder
entering combat, 10 June, cutting across the Merderet River to take Pont l'Abbe in heavy fighting. After defensive action
along the Douve, the Division attacked to clear the Foret de Mont Castre, clearing it by 11 July, in spite of fierce
resistance. An attack on the island of Seves failing, 23 July, the 90th bypassed it and took Periers, 27 July. On 12
August, the Division drove across the Sarthe River, north and east of Le Mans, and took part in the closing of the
Falaise Gap, taking Chambois, 19 August. It then raced across France, through Verdun, 6 September, to participate in
the siege of Metz, 14 September-19 November, capturing Maizieres les Metz, 30 October, and crossing the Moselle at
Koenigsmacker, 9 November. On. 6 December 1944, the Division pushed across the Saar and established a bridgehead
north of Saarlautern, 618 December, but with the outbreak of the Von Rundstedt drive, withdrew to the west bank on 19
December, and went on the defensive until 5 January 1945, when it shifted to the scene of the Ardennes struggle. It
drove across the Our River, near Oberhausen, 29 January, to establish and expand a bridgehead. In February, the
Division smashed through Siegfried fortifications to the Prum River. After a short rest, the 90th continued across the
Moselle to take Mainz, 22 March, and crossed the Rhine, the Main, and the Werra in rapid succession. Pursuit continued
to the Czech border, 18 April 1945, and into the Sudeten hills. The Division was en route to Prague when the war in
Europe ended.
Above:  Original photos, small captured German flag, and other items brought back as souvenirs by this
712th T.B. soldier.   All are original items in excellent condition.  NOTE:  The photograph showing a
knocked out German Panther!
This booklet, "Tough
'Ombres!" is a small booklet
covering the history of the
90th Infantry Division. This
booklet is one of the series of
"G.I. Stories" published by
the Stars & Stripes in Paris in
1944-1945.  This booklet is in
my collection as part of the
grouping shown.
Above:  An original, WWII issue combat medics, three panel, front
seam helmet.  The helmet is complete with the interior liner and
original straps.
Destroyed by the 712th T.B.:
426 Trucks                                26 AA Guns
253 Horsedrawn Vehicles          20 Armoured Cars
136 Half Tracks                         11 Peeps
126 Artillery Pieces                    7 Airplanes
116 AT Guns                             6 Nebelwerfers
112 Command Cars                   4 120mm Mortars
103 Tanks                                 2 Locomotives
57 SP Guns                              2 Ammo Dumps
54 Motorcycles                         1 Motor Boat
This is a small booklet obtained from
the same 712th T.B. veteran entitled,
"History of the 712th Tank Battalion".  
The book itself is in fair condition, but
is complete and has a complete roster
listing of every member of the 712th
Tank Battalion along with several
photographs taken during the war.
Ammunition Expended by the 712th T.B.:
3,000,000 rounds .30 cal.
100,000 rounds  75 mm
100,000 rounds .50 cal.
40,000 rounds  76 mm
25,000 rounds  37mm
100 Hand Grenades
Above, three photographs taken from the above History of the 712th T.B. booklet.
Click on the photos for an enlarged view of each photo.
"Despite its proximity to the enemy and constant exposure to hostile
artillery fire, this organization kept the entire battalion supplied at all times."
Meritorious Service Unit Plaque
Service Company
The origin of the "Tough Ombres" patch.  The website of the 90th
Infantry Division provides the following explanation of the origin of
the patch shown to the left:  
Originally, the red T-O stood for Texas-
Oklahoma, since the division was made up almost entirely of men
from those two states. Later however, men were drawn from every
state in the nation, and the T-O came to represent, by common
consent, “Tough ‘Ombres”.  
Visit the 90th Infantry Division website at
www.90thdivisionassoc.org.
Click on Kilroy
and send me an
email.
8th Armored Division:  7th Armored Infantry Battalion:
                "The Thundering Herd"
I had the tremendous opportunity to meet an American, WWII veteran who served in the 8th Armored Division:  7th Armored
Infantry Battalion, Company C, otherwise known as "The Thundering Herd."  During my visit with this veteran, I was given the
honor and possession of a small WWII era German flag or small podium banner, that this veteran and a number of other
soldiers in his unit had captured, along with a booklet about the unit history of the 8th Armored Division.  The small flag is
signed by several men from this unit and will forever hold a cherished position in my collection.  The following names appear
signed on the flag: (See photographs below for more details.)
Raymond Nelson                Emmett Segrue                Vincent Spina                Oscar B. Call                Calvin Boyd                    
Thomas E. Adamchick
Julian Apsel                          Michael Ostaffy                Jimmie L. Hogg             Lt. ??? Lane                 Dwight Helfenstein       
Alvin E. Kerr
"Blood and Gus" Gorna      Bob Mott                            Charles VBurgert    

If anyone has any additional information about any of these gentlemen or the circumstances behind the capture of this flag, I
would love to hear from you.   If you happen to have a photograph of any of these gentlemen, I would really like to receive a
scan of the photograph and add their photo to this page.  Thank you.
(Click on any of the photographs for additional detail.)
Pfc. Julian Apsel
8th Armored Division Statistics:  WWII

The 8th Armored Division spent a total of 63 days in combat, fighting in three
campaigns.  During that 63 days, their casualty figures were as follows:

Killed 260
Wounded 1,015
Missing 38
Captured   
Battle Casualties 1,313
Non-Battle Casualties 1,141
Total Casualties 2,454
Percent of T/O Strength 23.0

Also during that time, a number of awards were given individually to soldiers of the 8th
Armored Division for actions in combat.  The break down of the awards is as follows:

Legion of Merits:  3
Silver Stars: 149
Bronze Stars: 560
Air Medals: 27

For more information about the 8th Armored Division, click on this link to go to a
terrific website about these great men:
 www.8th-armored.org
1944 published booklet about the
8th Armored Division - "The
Thundering Herd".
John J. Bevec
Hometown: Johnstown, PA
                   M22 (Locust)                                              M24 Chaffe                                                      M3 Stuart
Below are pictured items which I obtained from the esatete of John J.
Bevec, pictured to the left.  Mr. Bevec proudly served his country during the
war and it is an honor to have his items within my collection.  Shown is a flag
he and his fellow soldiers captured, along with numerous technical manuals
and a NSDAP armband.  These items will forever remain a part of my
permanent collection.