Military History/Military Trunk
I have a trunk that was passed down through family and I would like to learn anything more about this piece I have in my home.
Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you!
What you have is a trunk used to store and transport a tent. The Rice Stix Dry Goods Company out of St. Louis Mo. did a lot of equipment manufacture for the army during WWII. This included such things as camp implements, tents, portable field desks and chairs.
The plate indicates this was made in Dec. of 1945, It has contract quartermaster number, and inspectors initials as well as the federal stock number. The "Tent. Spec. J.D" might mean it was a tent designed for a special purpose. John Deer made canvas tarps and products and may have supplied tents. A lot of the old military equipment designations are long lost to the sands of time.
My guess is that this box was for storing a tent and poles for shipment. Canvas tents are bulky hard to handle items and a box for storage would make sense at the headquarters level of say a battalion or division. They had tents for a lot of different things. Remember an army lives on paperwork. Every unit down to company level had to submit after action reports documenting casualties and what took place. That meant desks, typewriters carbon paper, the whole office settup. All this fragile stuff had to be moved periodically and had to be boxed up for transport by truck. You have one of those boxes. The grunts slept in pup tents in the field (if they had the luxury) or in squad tents behind the lines in bivouac areas.
I hope this helps a bit.