IDENTIFIED US WORLD WAR TWO MILITARY POLICE MUSICIAN’S GROUPING WITH CASED BUGLE

$550.00

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Item Code: 380-20

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The items in this grouping are identified to Private James S. Pittra who served as a musician in a Military Police Battalion band in the United States during World War Two.

James Stanley Pittra was born in Berwyn, Cook County, Illinois on July 7, 1919. He dutifully registered for the draft on October 16, 1940. At the time he was described as being 21 years of age, “tall” with brown eyes, brown hair, light complexion and weighed 128lbs. By profession he was a baker.

Mr. Pittra was eventually drafted and given serial number 36649128. During training he qualified as a Marksman with both the M-1 rifle and the M-1 carbine. After finishing basic training and his service schools he was assigned to the band of the 763rd MP Battalion stationed at Camp Norrie in Ironwood, Michigan. In 1944 he was transferred to the band of the 728th MP Battalion stationed in Detroit, Michigan. Both units were part of the 6th Service Command which operated in the states of Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The Service Commands processed draftees, operated stateside hospitals, provided MPs for POW and internment camps. Private Pittra was discharged December 31, 1944.

After being discharged he returned to Berwyn where he worked for Plaza Cleaners in Chicago as a spotter. He was also a member of many civic, veteran and musical organizations such as the Shriners, American Legion and Bohemian-American Concertina Association just to name a few.

Mr. Pittra died in Berwyn on April 10, 1988.

The group contains Pittra’s complete Class A uniform staring with a very nice enlisted man’s service cap. The body is made of OD wool serge with a brown leather visor and chinstrap. Attached to the front is the rarely seen cap insignia for a bandsman consisting of Lyre within a wreath. The cap is in excellent condition with only minor surface dirt. Interior is also good with a complete sweatband that bears Pittra’s name and serial number written on the underside.

Next is an OD wool garrison cap with the yellow and green piping of the Military Police. Cap has a screw back disc on the left side. Disc bears the Lyre insignia of a musician. Cap is in excellent condition both inside and out with Pittra’s name and serial number written on the underside of the sweatband.

The next item is a Pattern 1939 enlisted man’s service coat made of OD wool with a four-button front and four pockets on the front. All buttons are present. Coat is a size 36 regular and is in nice condition. On the collar are the correct clutch back “U.S.” and crossed pistol Military Police collar discs with the correct smooth faced clutches. Above the left breast pocket are ribbons for Good Conduct, American Theater and World War Two Victory. Pinned to the pocket flap below the ribbons is a Marksman’s badge with two bars, one of for the carbine and one for the rifle. Also attached to the pocket is a regulation brass U.S. Army whistle on a chain. The left shoulder of the coat has a patch representing the 6th Service Command and pinned to the left sleeve is an “MP” arm band. Also with the coat is the brown leather garrison belt with heavy brass buckle. Pittra’s name and serial number are written on the back of the belt and in the right shoulder of the coat. Found in the upper left pocket is a second Good Conduct ribbon and in the lower left pocket is another musician’s cap device and a pair of glasses in a case with a tag bearing Mr. Pittra’s name.

There is an OD wool enlisted man’s shirt in badly used condition. There is a large hole in the left shoulder. Also present is a khaki tie, khaki trouser belt with buckle bearing Pittra’s name and a pair of OD wool button-fly trousers with name and serial number on the waistband.

With the uniform are several medals. The first is a Distinguished Service medal from the State of Illinois. There is also a Good Conduct, American Theater and World War Two Victory medals all in the original box.

The group also contains a black wooden Billy-club with “US” stamped on the top with the knotted lanyard. The club comes with a brown leather hanger and frog marked on the reverse “U.S.” and “1946.”

The group also contains several paper items. One is a nice period portrait of Private Pittra in uniform wearing his glasses. Photo has some minor surface dirt in one corner and comes in the period frame. Other paper items include a framed laser copy of the image mentioned above, a pre-printed document from the State of Illinois thanking Pittra for his service, several greeting cards with envelopes from family and two 1945 letters of appreciation from the Amertorp Corporation for entertainment Pittra provided at a company bond rally.

The last item in the group is Pittra’s bugle still in the original leather case. The exterior of the case is in good condition with working fasteners and iron corner reinforcements. The black leather is oxidizing and turning a russet brown. The leather handle shows heavy wear. The interior is lined with purple felt that is still in very nice condition. The brass bugle is double-looped with an attached silver mouthpiece. Also attached to the bugle is one of Pittra’s dog tags and the original knotted tasseled cord. With the bugle is an extra brass mouthpiece and a section of slide to change the bugle’s pitch if desired. There is also a cleaning cloth. The bugle is in very nice condition.

Military Police items from any era are rare and this grouping is complete, identified and everything is in good to excellent condition.    [AD]  [ph:L]

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