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Awards and Decorations, 17th Airborne Division: Division Special Troops

Continue reading Awards and Decorations, 17th Airborne Division: Division Special Troops

Rebuilding a STEN Mk V, Semi Auto SBR: Part I

I took my ATF Form1 to the Sheriff Office for signature and he signed right off, having done several of these in the country where I reside. When I went in to pick up the forms, I met him and he said, “Come with me, I have something to show you!”:unsure:  He unlocked the County Arms Room, and in the rack were two Thompson SMGs with about 99% original finish. One was a nice war-time M1A and the other an extremely rare M1921 model. I had never seen that one before so it was a treat to see it. I have to say it’s nice living in a county where the 2nd Amendment Rights are well respected. My ATF Forms go out today for the 8-month wait. I can do all of the work up to purchasing a 7.75″ barrel. I will save that part of the build until I get the approval.

I received my STEN Mk V parts kit from Apex guns. Overall I was pleased with the parts kit. The torch cut of the receiver tube was done with the re-builder in mind. There was no damage done to other components, and I am pleased that I will be able to detach the trigger housing from the cut tube and reuse it. It has a few nice ordnance markings on it, and it will save me a few bucks. I was curious about the finish as it was done with the semi-gloss black finish over a dark parkerization.

Upon review of  Ian Skennerton’s book on the STEN, I found out a few interesting notes:

1. The STEN MK V was finished with a dark grey rustproof phosphate and was over painted black. This finish proved to be very durable. I plan on following this method when I refinish the gun.

2. The Magazine housings were marked with STEN Mk V during the war, and after 1945 the roman V was replaced with a 5. My Mag housing above is clearly a post-war version. The SN on the one I received with my kitis marked RTL VS 43XXX STEN Mk V M/78. According to another website, that places the manufacture well before June 1944.

I was lucky enough to find 5 original ww2 marked, non-modified (pinned to reduce number of rounds loaded to 30) with markings such as L.B. (Line Brothers), M68 (Line Brothers again) and M69 (London Sand Blast). STEN parts were made all over the entire country.

I will be able to use most of the parts from the kit. The barrel shroud, trigger housing, wood furniture and fittings, magazine housing, front sight and some of the components.

I will need to purchase a few parts from Indianapolis Ordnance to get the gun running and legal. They sell a Mk III/V kit which is ATF approved and incorporates a smaller diameter bolt that fits in their tube and fires from a closed bolt. Their tube has a smaller inner diameter to accept the bolt, but you cannot put an original FA bolt in their tube. I am not sure which of the trigger components will be able to be used. With my parts kit and their new 4130 steel components i will have a STEN Mk V that looks about 99% the same as the original and is legal. I plan on matching the finish with a bit of wear so as to display the gun with the 17th Airborne Division Recon patrol display. I’ll post progress as I move along. When finished, not only will the gun display nice, I can take it out and pound a few metal plates and paper Nazis with it.

Next I will have to research and determine how to mill the tube blank and remove the old cut tube from the kit.

Awards and Decorations, 17th Airborne Division: 513th PIR Part II

Enclosed is Part II  listing of the awards and decorations for the 513th PIR as compiled in the 17th Airborne Division official unit history published on 6 Dec 45.

513th PIR, p4.

 

513th PIR, p5.

Awards and Decorations, 17th Airborne Division: 513th PIR Part I

Enclosed is a listing of the awards and decorations for the 513th PIR as compiled in the 17th Airborne Division official unit history published on 6 Dec 45. This is the first part of two parts.

513th PIR, p1.

513th PIR, p2.

513th PIR, p3.

Awards and Decorations, 17th Airborne Division: 507th PIR Part II

Here is a list of the remaining awards and decorations for the 507th PIR.

507th PIR, p3.

 

507th PIR, p4.

 

The Power of Prayer

I watched an auction of the famous “Patton Prayer Card” recently and was astounded by the selling price of $1350.00 I regretted selling mine many years ago when I changed my collecting focus. Just this past weekend, while tediously reading every listing in a dealer’s website, I found one listed for a very reasonable price. Although it is not a 17th Airborne Division item, General George S. Patton, Jr.  did meet with the 17th Airborne Division Commander, Maj. Gen William Miley, shortly after their baptism of fire on 4 Jan 45. It makes a suitable discussion piece for the war room.

As reported in General Patton’s memoirs of WWII, ‘War As I Knew It’:

General Patton: “Chaplain, I want you to publish a prayer for good weather.  I’m tired of these soldiers having to fight mud and floods as well as the Germans.  See if we can’t get God to work on our side.”

Chaplain James H. O’Neill:  “Sir, it’s going to take a pretty thick rug for that kind of praying.”

General Patton:  “I don’t care if it takes the flying carpet, I want the praying done.”

Chaplain O’Neill:  “Yes, sir.  May I say, General, that it usually isn’t a customary thing among men of my profession to pray for clear weather to kill fellow men.”

General Patton:  “Chaplain, are you teaching me theology or are you the Chaplain of the Third Army?  I want a prayer.”

Chaplain O’Neill:  “Yes, sir.”

250,000 copies of the card were printed and distributed to the troops around 12-14 Dec 44. After the series of battles had subsided, and the “Bulge” had been secured, General  Patton met Chaplain O’Neill in Luxembourg and said, ” “Well, Padre, our prayers worked. I knew they would.”

To read  Chaplain Oneill’s memories of the events, please access the Patton Society wirte-up on the event: http://www.pattonhq.com/prayer.html

 

Awards and Decorations, 17th Airborne Division: 507th PIR Part I

Enclosed is a listing of the awards and decorations for the 507th PIR as compiled int e 17th Airborne Division official unit history published on 6 Dec 45. This is the first part of two parts.

507th PIR, p1

 

507th PIR, p2.

Working on Photography again

Awards and Decorations, 17th Airborne Division: 194th GIR Part II

Here is a list of the remaining awards and decorations for the 194th GIR.

194th GIR, p3

 

194th GIR, p4

 

Awards and Decorations, 17th Airborne Division: 194th GIR Part I

The following is taken from the 17th Airborne History, dated 6 Dec 45, which was compiled by the unit following the end of the war. These documents can be found in the National Archives and were scanned a few years ago for work on the book “Blood on the Talon”. I’ll continue to post the various pages until they are all posted. Please keep in mind that because of clerical errors, awards presented after this history was compiled and to transfers of members of the 17th Airborne Division shortly after VE-Day, this is by no means a complete listing.

Section J

 

194th GIR, p1

 

194th GIR p2