WWII 3rd Infantry Ike Jacket & Fighting Knife, ca. 1945
Appraised Value: $2,000 - $2,500
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:08)
Arms & Militaria, Science & Technology
Gary Piattoni, Inc.
GUEST: This belonged to my father. He was with the Third Infantry during World War II.
APPRAISER: Did he talk about his service at all?
GUEST: He didn't talk a lot about his service. He was proud of his service, but he didn't talk a lot about it.
APPRAISER: The great thing about this jacket and the knife is that it tells its own story, because the Army is really great at putting all these insignia on there.
APPRAISER: And what we have is basically a standard issue dress jacket, often referred to as an Eisenhower jacket or an Ike jacket. We know he was in the cavalry here, which at that time was the armored corps.
APPRAISER: And we also know he was in the Third Infantry Division, and that his rank, which would have been Technician Fifth Grade. We also have the Third Infantry insignia up here. But these would have been theater-made insignia. And of course here we have the famous honorable discharge patch, often affectionately referred to by the GIs as the "Ruptured Duck."
GUEST: The "Ruptured Duck," all right.
APRAISER: (laughs) Now, we also have the Combat Infantryman's badge, his Good Conduct medal, the American Campaign medal. This would be the French-issued Croix de Guerre.
GUEST: Croix de Guerre.
APPRAISER: The World War II victory medal. And here would be his European Theater Campaign medal. The devices that are on here help us figure out some more about him. The first one is an arrowhead. And that arrowhead was used for an amphibious landing. So the Third Infantry would have been involved in Anzio and in Sicily, also in southern France.
APPRAISER: So it could have been for any one of those amphibious landings. And the subsequent stars are for other different battles that he would have participated in. This kind of braided cord, the fancy French name for that is a fourragère. And then this patch, which I think again is a theater-made patch, would represent the Battle Patrol, is a pretty scarce patch in general. Now, a normal jacket like this, with just a Third Infantry Division patch on it, might be worth, I don't know, maybe $150, couple hundred dollars. With this theater-made patch, that patch takes a $150, $200 jacket and turns it into maybe an $800 jacket.
APPRAISER: Just because of that patch. Now, he also got this knife. This was most likely what we also call a theater-made knife. So like the theater-made patch and pins, it would have been made in the theater of operation for the soldiers to buy privately. It's a great knuckle knife, probably a French blade, with these wonderful multicolored spacers here, and a great kind of hand-tooled scabbard. And, again, a souvenir knife he would have gotten from Morocco that was just, like, to take home, would have been maybe $50, $100. A knife like this, that would have been a theater-made fighting knife, we're looking at $800.
APPRAISER: So together for the set, at auction, would probably be around $2,000 or $2,500.
GUEST: Lord have mercy.
APPRAISER: It's great. You should be certainly proud of your father's service.
GUEST: Very much so.
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