Military Spoils of War

September 29, 2017 in Editorials

World War II is becoming a distant memory for those of us who grew up in the shadow of that dark period in history. As a child, my buddies and I played countless hours chasing each other in war games and wearing the German/Japanese helmets and waving the enemies flags that our fathers brought home from the war. My head was saved more than once from a dirt clod bursting on the German helmet that I was wearing! The same German helmet that I traded my buddy Jimmy Wren out of for two comic books and a dozen marbles.

As a kid, I watched as my dad and his buddies traded their war booty amongst each other and told tall tales of the battle field. Fascinated by the stories I read in the comic books about WWII, a seed was planted that has grown throughout my life in the form of collecting WWI and WWII memorabilia. Shortly after the war, a German Luger could be bought for $25-30 and the medals, armbands, and flags were available for next to nothing. Little did our fathers realize that the war booty they shipped and brought home would one day be worth a significant amount of money. To this day, countless thousands of dollars are lying in closets, attics, storage lockers, etc., all over this nation. As the baby boomer’s grandparents and parents are passing on, they are being handed the task of disposing of their grandpa’s, dad’s, uncle’s, etc., boxes of things they just could not bring themselves to throw away.

Being the owners of Jones Antiques/The Bunker, we see weekly sometimes daily the question mark in the eyes of the adults standing in front of us with a box of dad’s old military stuff. Usually two scenarios play out: 1) they want it appraised and they are not interested in selling it or: 2) what is this and what will you give me for it? Whatever the case, we strongly encourage you to contact a person with more than passive knowledge of WWI and WWII war souvenirs BEFORE disposing of them. As a member of the Tennessee Military Collectors Association, we would be more than happy to assist you in determining the market value of your relics. You may contact us @ Jones Antiques/The Bunker at 6 South Washington on the east side of the Courthouse Square in historic downtown Cookeville, Tenn. The Courthouse Square is exactly two miles north of I-40 exit 287. Feel free to contact Rick Jones at 931-303-6739 or David Jones at 931-239-0142.

by Rick Jones, Cookeville, Tennessee