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The day after Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, Dick Haplinger joined the U.S. Army so he could fight for his country. He dreamed of manning an anti-aircraft gun, loading the sky with lead and bringing down Japanese Zeros or German Messerschmitts, it didn't really matter so long as he was the one shooting at them. But to his dismay, he was made a non-com supply officer and assigned to the "battle of logistics." He spent four years taking inventory and fulfilling requisition orders.

When Dick got out of the Army in 1945 he headed back to his hometown of Sioux City, Iowa where he settled back into civilian life, but couldn't stop thinking that he'd missed his chance to shoot down enemy aircraft. So the frustrated, AA gunner wannabe did the only logical thing he could think of, he took up duck hunting. Dick became know around Iowa duck hunting circles as a crack shot and put many a former AA gunner to shame with his unbelievable long shots. He amassed a large collection of duck decoys, duck calls and other duck hunting gear. Ironically the former Army supply officer stored his decoys in an old Army wooden box which he had picked up at an army surplus store after the war.

Here's an interesting find-- a World War 2 US Army foot locker - supply crate, nicely distressed from years of re-purpose as a storage trunk. It was made in 1943 by the Seattle Luggage Company (later known as Skyway Luggage Company). Was used to store a G.I.'s personal affects in his barracks or used to transport dry goods. The trunk is 33" long, 16" wide and 13" tall, made of plywood and painted olive drab. The hinged lid has "U.S. SUPPLY" stenciled on the top as well as other lettering which has faded and become illegible. Inside the lid it is stenciled: "SEATTLE LUGGAGE COMPANY, C.O.D. NO. 61-B, 1943." It has a flip down latch with hole for a padlock and rope handles on the two ends.

This box has definitely seen some use over the years. The exterior's original olive drab paint has worn down to the wood in many places. The plywood veneer has been chipped off in a few spots and the corners are rough. The interior is in better shape and is pretty clean with a few stains. That being said, this old box is still pretty sturdy, ready for use as rustic display/storage piece.

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Greg Boydston
Dee Ann Boydston

WWII US Army Foot Locker "Nicely Distressed - A Unique Piece of History"


  • Vintage item from the 1940s
  • Materials: plywood, metal
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 963 reviews
  • Favorited by: 26 people