WWII 3rd Infantry Ike Jacket & Fighting Knife, ca. 1945

Value (2011) | $2,000 Auction$2,500 Auction
Watch  

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.

GUEST:
Yes.

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.

GUEST:
Yes.

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.

GUEST:
Yes.

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.

GUEST:
Wow.

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.

GUEST:
Wow.

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.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Gary Piattoni, Inc.
Evanston, IL
Appraised value (2011)
$2,000 Auction$2,500 Auction
Event
Atlanta, GA (August 06, 2011)
Material
Cloth, Metal, Leather

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.