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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FIGHT DISEASE WITH CLEANLINESS: 1936

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!!!

Unbelievable!

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.

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