November was a very busy month! Every weekend was spent at a Military/Gun Show or a Flea Market. The first weekend was spent at the Wichita Military show that I discussed in the first blog. The second weekend was spent at the giant Wannemacher Gun Show in Tulsa, OK. This is the largest gun show in the world and has 4,000 tables. In the 1970’s-1980’s Tulsa was the show you saved your money for. Unfortunately, it has changed over the years and there is not as much military stuff as there once was. I still picked up a couple of nice items. The first item was a small painted coin bank that was originally sold at a Soldier’s Home in California in 1940. It was crafted by a WWI 1st Division Soldier and sold in the home’s hobby shop to provide money for his personal needs.
The second item is a nicely worn Waffen-SS Enlisted Soldier’s belt buckle. It is marked RZM 155/40 SS and was made FW Assman & Sohne, Ludenscheid, Germany. These have been widely copied so one has to be really careful to avoid the fakes.
Leavenworth Military Show
The third show I attended was the Leavenworth’s Overlooked Militaria Collectors Show held annually every November in Leavenworth, Kansas. This is an excellent small show that I have attended for the past four years. Unlike many shows it starts Friday evening and runs through Saturday. I was able to purchase several nice Imperial German camouflage steel helmets. The first one is a very rare helmet as it features the cutouts to accommodate headphones. This is the first one of these that I have owned.
I was also able to purchase some very rare German WWII Kriegesmarine Coastal Artillery Specialty Patches. The land based Coastal Artillery was a very small part of the Kriegesmarine and wore field grey uniforms. The majority of these units were stationed in France and were over ran by the Allied Forces after the Normandy Invasion. So one can find these items in US GI veteran’s groupings. The collection that these were in came from a deceased California Collection.
My last purchase was a very rare Manchurian Mauser Rifle. This rifle was made in the Chinese providence of Manchuria before the 1937 Japanese Invasion. The Chinese Nationalist Government purchased a large amount of military equipment from Germany. After WWI the Germans sold a large number of Gew 98 rifles to the Chinese Army. They also purchased a rifle factory. To establish and run the factory skilled technicians were hired from unemployed German and Austrian workers. The Japanese overran Manchuria and set up a puppet state called Manchuko. The rifle factory continued production and made both 8mm Mausers with many unique and one-off features for the Manchuko Army along with a variety of Japanese Arisaka rifles for their Japanese masters. Most of these rifles are in very poor condition and spent decades of abuse and neglect at the hands of the Chinese Communist Militias.