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Author Topic:   WWII cup

Posts: 2334
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 06-08-2018 06:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I am sorry for the poor quality photos as I was in a poorly lighted museum and this cup was in a case.

You can see a better picture of the cup at this web site.

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iconnumber posted 06-09-2018 12:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe the name engraved on the second cup belonged to George Laban Fortier.

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iconnumber posted 06-09-2018 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think that is a very nice memento for the officer who received it. It is not a military award, but rather something created by his unit to remember his time in the war. The emblem is the badge that is awarded by the Army to men who attended the basic parachute training course and is called simply the Basic Parachutist Badge. During the war and for about 10 years afterwards these badges were made of sterling (.925) silver and were worn on the uniform above the left pocket. This cup appears to have been made by someone - either a private jeweler or perhaps a soldier who had some metalworking skills - by taking one of these Basic Parachutist Badges, cutting off the pin fastening off the back, buying a .900 silver (not sterling) cup that was manufactured at some point by the A. Klammer company in Innsbruck, soldering on the trimmed Basic Parachutist badge and then making the nicely done engravings. By the way, there are two other versions of the Parachutist Badge that the Army awarded to soldiers who gained increasing experience in actual parachute jumping - the Senior Parachutist badge and the Master Parachutist Badge. The Senior badge is made with a large star sitting on top of the parachute, and the Master badge has the same star but with an added wreath around it on top of the parachute. I would have thought that if the recipient of this cup had qualified for either of these two ratings that the people who had this made up would have used one of those badges as they were signs of high honor to have obtained that experience in actual jumping. Overall this is very attractive and I am sure the man to whom this was given must have been proud of it, and hopefully his family cherishes it as well.

[This message has been edited by Kimo (edited 06-09-2018).]

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iconnumber posted 06-10-2018 12:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gaspare     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for posting this fine piece! I think this is a 'made in country' item. This case being Germany as mentioned.
Many men had awards or trophies made for their commanding officers or lower rank officers had these pieces made up for the standard 'Joe' in their units that didn't get recognized etc. when they should have.

At the bigger of the Military regalia collecting shows like the MAX or SOS you will see items like this come up for sale. American, Soviet and German.
This one is really on the high end side and would be very desirable.

[This message has been edited by Gaspare (edited 06-10-2018).]

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iconnumber posted 06-10-2018 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The quote below was taken from a web site about these cups. I suspect that many of the stories about this time should be taken with a grain of salt.

"...silver coins from a German SS payroll found at a railroad siding by the Landsberg, Bavaria, Germany, area work campl iberated by the 506th PIR in April 1945 were later used to make cups for 506th PIR Officers, and the additional silver needed to make these cups was liberated from Hitler's private dining room in the famed Eagle's Nest atop Kehlstein Mountain near Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany in May 1945. However, according to Mark Bando, author of several books about the 101st Airborne Division in WWII, "In May, 1945, when troops of the 506th occupied Fischhorn Castle at Bruck, Austria (adjacent to the SS Horse Farm), a quantity of silver chalices were liberated. These were marked on the base as having been manufactured at Innsbruck, Austria, and the silver content was .900 fine. An Austrian silversmith near Zell am Zee was commissioned to customize these drinking vessels as follows: One style, having an overall hammered surface, was adopted by the 506th and engraving was done for every officer in the regiment, with each officer's name and rank, the words '506th Parachute Infantry Regt', and a set of facsimilie parachute jump wings (slightly smaller than actual) were attached to the center front. Around the top of the base were engraved the campaigns in which the officer had participated." ...the 506th PIR officers sent the chalices to a silversmith in Saalbach, Austria, northwest of Zell Am See, where for 7 Reichs-marks per chalice, the silversmith added the under-sized jump wings andengraved the name, rank and campaigns of each officer. The officers also had a wooden case made to hold the cups and the Sink Grail. The case had an inlaid wood Parachute Reserve on the front. As each officer left the 506th, they took their cups with them."

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2018 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of course, anything is possible, but the part about the "made from liberated SS payroll and Hitler's personal silverware" seems like typical hyperbole and imaginative story telling that was so common at the time. To begin with, using a mix of silver coins and silverware would not yield an alloy of exactly .900 silver. And if all of the stories about Hitler's personal silverware attached to all of the silverware around these days that have that distinction, Hitler would have had to have had enough place settings for half of the German Army to come to dinner. Without some really serious and unquestionable provenance, such stories detract from what is otherwise a nice post-war souvenir that was made up by this unit for their officers.

[This message has been edited by Kimo (edited 06-11-2018).]

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