Serendipity in Boatanchor Land.

David Stinson arc5 at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Nov 12 11:09:09 EST 1998

I'm going to tell you a Veteran's Day story you
aren't going to believe, but it's 100% true.

My father, Leo Stinson, 76 years old, served his country with the
2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division in Europe.

He was in combat almost continualy from the time he
landed in France until Germany's final surrender.

I've managed to find a few details over the years.
He doesn't want to talk about it much and I don't want
to drag him back through that horrible nightmare.
He was there in the Hertgen Forest when the defending
German 88s were turning his buddies into hamburger.
One of the few things he told me about was the terror
of being under shell fire.  "You don't think you can get
your whole body inside that steel helment, but you can"
he said, and his voice still trembles a bit at the memory.
And the Bulge: "Lots of running, lots of snow, lots of
getting shot at."

Long ago, when I first started showing an interest in
military radios, my daddy told me another story.
"The first few months (of service), the only radios
we had were old morse code things that looked like
they were from the first war."

I contacted a gracious gentleman in north Texas a few weeks ago.
He had some military radios to sell and I went up
to see and purchase them.  One was a BC-9-A, a battalion-level
transceiver built in about 1922.  This one had been
oversprayed with OD paint, but was otherwise in
excellent shape.  I could see that the original finish
was still intact under the paint.  So I took it home
with me.

A few days ago, I got out my polishing compound and began to
gently scrub away the overspray, hoping to recover the
majority of the original finish.  These radios typically
were marked with the crossed-rifles of the infantry
and the battalion/regiment number to which it was assigned.

As I rubbed I could see that the markings were indeed intact.
As they came clearer, I was at first doubtful of my eyes,
believing it "wishful thinking."  But it wasn't

This unit belonged to the 2nd Battalion, 12th U.S. Infantry.

I called my father and he was excited to hear about it.
He wanted to know who had it, where had it been?
I'll be taking it up to him on Thanksgiving, and I
can't wait to see his face.  It was probably out
of service by his time, but who that was not there
can say that?  He told me they used whatever they
could find in the early days, including "old first war stuff."

I've posted a web page with photographs at:

Life is strange and wonderful sometimes :)
73 DE David Stinson AB5S
arc5 at

Occupied Republic of Texas, CSA

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