REID SMILEY | 2 JUNE 2021 It can be hard to try to find the service record of someone who fought in the Second World War. This article will guide you through how to do this as easily and cheaply as possible. To see an example of how I pieced together the story of aContinue reading “How Do I Find Information About a Veteran Who Served During World War II?”
Author Archives: TheSmileyGI
29th Infantry Division: D-Day
I was invited to partake in a Living History display commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day at a museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The plan was to have a living historian represent each unit that participated in D-Day and interpret the uniforms, equipment, and history to the public. A huge fan of Alex Kershaw’s The BedfordContinue reading “29th Infantry Division: D-Day”
1st Engineer Combat Battalion: North Africa
Click here to see the video version of this article (which includes original footage for the campaign). After the United States entered the Second World War in December 1941, the Americans and British decided to pursue a “Germany First” strategy. American leaders like President Roosevelt and General George C Marshall wanted to open a SecondContinue reading “1st Engineer Combat Battalion: North Africa”
Is it Safe to Drink From WWII Canteens?
I’ve heard rumors that WWII canteens might contain lead since I started collecting militaria in 2015. While I initially dismissed this as reenactor folklore, I recently saw a postwar study (see below) about unsafe levels of lead in GI canteens and wanted to figure out how many of my WWII US GI canteens were actuallyContinue reading “Is it Safe to Drink From WWII Canteens?”
Combat Engineer Training, Living History Edition
Last year, a few buddies and I decided to start a Living History unit dedicated to the First Engineer Combat Battalion, First Infantry Division. While many reenactors like to portray frontline infantrymen, we wanted to talk about how combat engineers opened supply lines and kept infantrymen hydrated, camouflaged, and safe from mines. In April 2021, our unit was fully vaccinated from Covid-19 (or had antibodies or had been tested) and hit the field for the first time to begin training.
CC2 Gas Impregnation: What, Why, and How
REID “SMILEY” PALMER | 8 MARCH 2021 Background When it comes to Living History, the devil is often in the details. WW2 US GI reenactors have spent a lot of time and energy bickering about CC2 impregnated uniforms, but what is CC2 and why were uniforms impregnated in the first place? After the horrific gasContinue reading “CC2 Gas Impregnation: What, Why, and How”
29th Ranger Battalion
The 29th Ranger Battalion never saw combat on a unit-wide level, but they still played an important role in the war. When the 29th Rangers were broken up in October 1943, the Army reassigned the Rangers to a variety of units, such as the 29th Infantry Division and the 101st Airborne Division, that would soonContinue reading “29th Ranger Battalion”