US WORLD WAR TWO ENLISTED MAN’S DRESS CAP ID’D TO 506TH PARACHUTE INFANTRY REGIMENT, 101ST AIRBORNE SOLDIER KILLED AT BASTOGNE

$650.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 160-29

Cap is a privately purchased version of the dress hat worn as part of the Class A uniform by US enlisted men during World War Two. It has an OD green wool top with a brown visor and chinstrap. Front of the crown has the usual brass disk with a spread-winged eagle at center.

The wool top of the cap is badly moth eaten. There are large pieces of cloth missing around the base as well as several dime or nickel sized holes on the front. Crown has smaller scattered holes and some tracking. Visor, chinstrap, neck strap and side buttons are very good.

Interior has no sweatband. Buckram base lining is partially gone. Lining in the crown is very good and is stamped with a spread-winged eagle and “SERVICE CAP – CLOTH IN THIS CAP 100% ALL WOOL – A LEECRAFT PRODUCT.” Size is 6 7/8.

There is no name written in the hat but there is an old tag attached with the following written in ink “ARMY CAP PRESENTED TO ME BY MRS. REICHEL THE MOTHER OF HARRY REICHEL WHO WAS KILLED IN THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE.” There is also a string tag attached at the rear with a museum accession number and an auction lot number of “397.”

With the hat is a notarized letter written by the previous owner stating that he purchased this cap from the Conestoga Auction Co. who was auctioning off the property of The Hershey Story Museum of Hershey, Pennsylvania in April of 2012. The letter also states that the lot number of the hat in the auction was “397.” The notarized letter also mentions the handwritten tag described above. Also present are two pages from the on-line listing for the auction as well as a page showing and describing the cap and listing it as item #397. There are also several pages showing that Harry Reichel was a member of HQ Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne and was indeed killed in the battle of the Bulge.

Harry Gutleap Reichel was born on November 1, 1917 in Linglestown, Pennsylvania. When Harry registered for the draft in 1940 he was described as being 5’ 7” tall with blue eyes, black hair and a dark complexion. He weighed 149lbs and he was listed as a single, self-employed carpenter.

Reichel was drafted sometime in early 1944 and reported for duty on February 25, 1944 at Harrisburg, Pa. where he was given serial number 33771999.

No information is available on Reichel’s training but he was assigned to the 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne and was killed during the defense of Bastogne, Belgium on January 3, 1945. His body was returned to the United States in 1948 and he was laid to rest with all military honors in Shoop’s Cemetery, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on January 1, 1949. The Saul-Reichel Post VFW of Linglestown was named in his honor.

Besides the notarized letter mentioned above there is a notarized pages on our letterhead containing photos of the cap, from us as well as a Xeroxed copy of a photo of Reichel.  [AD] [PH:L]

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