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Buy the book, “Blood on the Talon”

Some viewers are emailing me asking how to find the book, “Blood on the Talon”. I’ll leave this as a sticky post for a while to help readers get there easier. Simply click on the book image and it will take you to the secure ordering site where you can use Paypal or buy from Amazon. The introductory price has ended due to the sales volume. The retail price of $44.95 is in effect.

Anyone know this 680th or 681st GFAB Trooper?

This is a photo of an unnamed glider field artillery troop from the 17th Airborne Division. TH photo was taken just after VE Day judging by the uniform. Glider rider, FA, 17th AB, had to be in the 680th or 681st…or possibly DIVARTY. If you know him, please post a comment.

Militaria022

17th Airborne DIvision Military Police Platoon Photo

From the division picture book taken in 1944.

17th AB MP Platoon

139th AEB Situation Report: 30 Mar 1945

Back to posting the 139th AEB Situation Reports from the post Operation VARSITY time frame. Here is the report for 30No7 30 Mar 45 Mar 45.

Working on Volume II to Blood on the Talon

Work on Volume II to Blood on the Talon continues. This volume will include information, details and images of militaria and artifacts from the 139th AEB. It will have hundreds of detailed images of uniforms, insignia and equipment used by the engineers of the 139th. It will be in the same size and format as Volume I, and include hundreds of extremely detailed color images of the artifacts.  Chapter 1 covers glider and airborne wings, Chapter 2 covers the 17th airborne shoulder sleeve insignia in GREAT detail and chapter 3 will delve into cap patches. Chapter 4 will be all other insignia worn by members of the unit. From there the book will travel through uniforms of Camp Mackall, those worn in Bastogne and for operation VARSITY followed by the service dress uniforms worn after VE-Day. Field equipment will be covered, but specialized engineer equipment and demolitions/explosive items will get scrutinized in great detail. Here are a few screen shots of the contents. keep in mind, it has not been edited, and work will begin on Chapter 4 shortly.

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Museum!

Almost done! :)  I am close to being done with this project and can get back to writing. The stucco is lightly weathered, although it could use another shade of dark brown. I will get the shutters soon, weather them, add some 9mm holes and hang them. Then the back drop is finished. I’ve added the two figures. I have everything I need for the airborne engineer, but still need low quarter shoes for the surrendering flak troop.  I have all the insignia for the fliegerbluse, just need to sew them on with original thread for a nice restoration.

 

I have to reconfigure the engineer’s arm so he can hold the pistol grip of the STEN, then I have to do the phosphate coating and British black paint for the gun.

 

This has been my vision for the junk room for several years now. The incessant moving with the military has prevented doing something permanent like this. I think I would really enjoy working in a military museum, if they gave me more of a free reign with the displays and a modest budget for dioramas. The backdrop construction did not cost all that much.

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Progress on the Display

IMG_0866IMG_0865 I weathered the bricks and painted the stucco and added my two period signs. Next I will add a dirty wash to the stucco to bring out the highlights of the stucco. I will use a set of wooden louvered doors to make my shutters. I’ll simply cut them along the middle support and paint them a dark color as would be found on a 1940s period farm house, usually a darker shade of hunters green or black. Not sure which i’ll use yet.

Creating a Dackdrop for an Operation VARSITY Display

Militaria013Several months ago I envisioned creating a backdrop of a German farmhouse on Landing Zone N. The idea was to create a small life-sized diorama of a 139th AEB Engineer and a captured German Flak troop. I sketched out the idea and began construction last week. The project will cost about $100 and should be complete in about a week. I have all the equipment for the engineer and only need a few uniform items for the Flak troop. Here are the stages of construction.

 

For the final part of the construction I used a medium thickness coat and went over it with a small “joint knife”. I used a large “taping knife” to knock down the ridges made by the small tool. This gives the mud an  exterior-like appearance and will produce some smooth ridges and valleys to hold a darker shade of paint in the depressions when I paint. I’m leaning towards off-white with a dirty wash to bring out the highlights. I’ll give it a few days to dry slowly, and I hope I did not go too thick on the mud. It tends to crack is it dries too quickly when thick. :wacko:

 

I’m thinking my display is a bit too narrow (6feet). I should have started it at a corner, gone 8 feet and then turned the corner back. I have two transitions in the display in stead of two. I’ll have the 139th CP on the left, the VARSITY display in the middle and the Camp Mackall display on the right. Probably too much crap for the eyes to view with little in the way of transition. I guess you have to make do with the space you have. Then again, 6 feet should suffice to place the Engineer with MG and the captured FLAK troop and a pile of combat refuse on the ground.

 

 

 

 

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Working on Museum Displays

I purchased two Detolf glass display cases from Ikea. They assemble easily and have sufficient room for many of my German WW2 Engineer and inert demolition display items. Here is an image of the finished product.

 

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The Drive into Germany

Here are a few 139th AEB images from their drive into Germany on the way to Essen. These were probably taken in April of 1945. In the left most photo are Henry “Hank” Wisnewski with the helmet and Ralph Grooten sitting with some curious German lads. (This one may have been taken shortly after VE-Day)  The photo on the right depicts (l-r) Paul E. Colvin, Charles B. Wilhelm and Edwin E. Hoffman.  Note the modified M43 uniforms and the first aid packets attached to the helmet nets.

34a -5 crop1wilhelm mod m43

139th AEB Situation Report: 29 Mar 1945

Back to posting the 139th AEB Situation Reports from the post Operation VARSITY time frame. Here is the report for 29 Mar 45.

 

No6 29 Mar 45 p1 – Copy