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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/U.S Army Military Field Desk Trunk

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Question
I have an Army Field Desk Trunk which seems to have a bit of history attached to it. On the top of the trunk is the number 6296GG. According to US Army archives that number was the shipment number of the baggage of Lt-General Eisenhower and of the Headquarters of II Army Corps which was shipped to the UK in April/May 1942. It appears in the records because some of the baggage (Including some of Gen. Eisenhower's)went missing and depot commanders were ordered to carry out a search for it. The trunk came into my possession via my wife's grandfather who was a Captain in the French cavalry at the beginning of World War 2 (as well as WWI). He lived at Senlis in France (north of Paris) and after the liberation apparently entertained US Army Officers at his house, presumably while they were on R & R. My wife's aunt, who was living at home at the time, thinks that he acquired the trunk (an a smaller one which seems to be a foot locker although I have not seen it) from them. Is there any way of tracking the field desk from its arrival in the UK in 1942 to its appearance in Senlis in 1945? II Army Corps took part in the North African landings later in 1942 and then the invasion of Scicily and Italy but I cannot find any trace of them in France.

Answer
Andrew,
That's quite an interesting story and it sounds like you have already been able to find a good bit of information. Keep in mind that in a Headquarters unit there are many adjutant's, assistants, clerks, and other staff members that would generally use the field desks and these were not usually used by the generals such as Eisenhower himself. But even so it would be a very interesting item and there were several versions of the Army field desks over the years.  I do not know how you would be able to track a field desk trunk's use and travels within Europe, especially when that particular unit was not serving in France during the war. However, Eisenhower did control Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North Africa. During that operation there were forces and equipment from a number of countries involved including France, so it is certainly a possibility that some items such as desks could have come into the possession of French officers at some time during the war. They could have even shared use or been issued some items such as this during that operation. That would be my best estimate of what may have happened and how the desk ended up in France.  Sorry I can't be of more assistance with this.  

Marvin  ThisOldTrunk.com  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Marvin D. Miller

Expertise

I can answer questions related to antique trunks, their age, manufacturers, styles, patents, etc, including all types of trunks such as steamer trunks, saratoga trunks, Victorian trunks, slat trunks, toy and doll trunks, stagecoach trunks, valises, hat trunks, and others.

Experience

I have over 40 years experience in trunk restoration, collecting, and research. I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc. related to antique trunks. I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.

Organizations
Association of American Antique Trunk Restorers, President.

Publications
Primarily on the website www.ThisOldTrunk.com Cotton & Quail Antiques newspaper (Southeast). Antique Journal magazine.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia. I have conducted extensive research related to the topic of trunk manufacturers and trunk styles in the U.S. and Europe.

Past/Present Clients
Have consulted for the Pawn Stars TV show on antique trunks. I have sold antique trunks to museums in California and Florida and to customers around the world.

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