Here’s a rare attic find—a unique collection of a U.S. Navy officer’s effects spanning his career from World War II until the 1960s. From the orders and paperwork included in this bundle we find that Richard J. Cartmell was an ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserves when he entered into active duty in 1942 and was assigned to the battleship U.S.S. Arkansas. It looks like he served on the Arkansas until 1945, rising in rank to lieutenant. The battle stars on his European Africa Middle Eastern campaign ribbon correspond with the Arkansas’ battle records. From 1942-44 the ship did convoy duty in the Atlantic. In June of 1944 it participated in Operation Overlord and bombarded the shore defenses along Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-Day. It also bombarded the port of Cherbourg and later shelled the coasts of Southern France during Operation Dragoon. The Arkansas went to the Pacific Theater in November of 1944 and offered fire support for the landings and battles at both Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Per the included orders, Lt. Cartmell left the Arkansas in May of 1945 taking transport from Guam to the USA aboard the U.S.S. Petroff Bay. He was reassigned to the U.S.S. Houston in June of 1945 and then it appears he left active duty in 1946 and worked as a civilian at Fort Mason, San Francisco. At that time he may have also gone to school as there is a V.A. Education Allowance form dated 8-5-1946. Then from the paper trail, he reentered active duty in 1948 for training on the cruiser U.S.S. St. Paul. which is the last post on his orders. USN records show that he was promoted to Commander in 1955, the rank he maintained until his retirement in 1968. The St. Paul served in both the Korean and Vietnam wars although we don’t know if he was on board or served as a USN reserve officer back in the USA at that time.
Here’s what is included in at the bundle:
- Circa 1950s-60s Commander’s Service dress blue uniform (jacket & trousers) with four (4) World War Two campaign ribbons including five (5) battle stars plus an Asiatic Pacific service medal.
- Circa 1950s officers sword with brass hilt and acid etched blade along with scabbard
- WWII Khaki jacket with lieutenant one (1) epaulet
- Khaki summer weight, short sleeve shirt
- Two (2) khaki hat covers
- One (1) Dress white hat cover
- One (1) Gray hat cover
- One (1) hat band with eagle crest
- Pair of dress white gloves
- Circa 1940s-50s leather suitcase with officer’s initials “R.J.C.” on the latch flap.
- Thirteen (13) papers (some duplicates) including orders, endorsements, etc. from 1942 to 1948. The paperwork also includes a civilian employee form, V.A. Education Allowance and a post WWII civilian “Third Degree of Masonry” letter.
Overall these items are in good condition considering the age. The dress blue uniform is in very good condition with all buttons in place and no rips, holes or stains. The ribbons and medal are in very good shape as well. The sword is in very good shape with some tarnish on the hilt and some light scratches on the blade. The sword scabbard is structurally sound but the leather wrapping is mostly gone with some surface rust spots on the metal. The lieutenant’s khaki jacket is free of rips or holes but has some light rust stains on both front and back—as mentioned above it is missing one of the lieutenant epaulet boards. The short sleeve khaki shirt is in good shape with no rips, holes or stains. The hat covers have some light stains and wear but no major issues. The hat band elastic has ripped in half and is stretched and frayed. The white gloves have yellowed with age. The leather suitcase has some exterior scuffs/wear and its zipper and latch are broken. The interior of the suitcase is clean is clean and free of mold or foul odors.
Please Convo us if you'd like anymore information on this rare bundle.
Flat $34.95 shipping to anywhere in the USA.
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