SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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WWII Trophies

WWII Trophies

My dad served with the 82nd Airborne in WWII, and sent home an enormous batch of trophies, as seen in this photo taken on the front porch of our family farm after the war. Many of these guns, flags and uniforms were loaned to a museum in Fernandina Beach, Florida, and went astray. We were able to recover a few of them in the early 1970s and the automatic-weapon stamps from the ATF cost us a fortune; I believe it was $500 per gun. You should have seen it when the Naples police chief, my mom, two of my friends and I carried this stash of weapons into the Bank of Naples to store in their saftely deposit vault! They were all sold long ago, except for a Walther PPK I kept.

My dad even brought back that dog in the photo; her name was Beulah. View full size.

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How He Did It

The one time my dad mentioned these souvenirs, he said that he was assigned, in Berlin, to check packages going home to make certain they only had one firearm or weapon per package in them. He didn't have orders as to what to do with the extra firearms he'd find, so he kept them and would disassemble them. Then he'd send a stash of gun parts in each box home; there evidently wasn't a restriction on sending parts of a weapon. Of course, how he got the dog back is another story; never heard that one!!!


Yowzah! How did he manage to get all that stuff back here? And the dog to boot! Don't know where to start in describing the items in this picture, wow! A different era to be sure when compared today. Would have actually loved to have seen a picture of you guys walking into the bank with the firearms to store for safe keeping! Would have gone viral online to be sure.

I salute your dad for his service. One of the lucky ones to come back in one piece, let alone alive.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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