In Search of the Lost Sword
July 23, 2007 3:45 PM   Subscribe

I know this is a long shot, but... does anyone out there know the whereabouts of my grandfather's (Marine) sword? It was given to Goodwill in California around 1963 or so.

My mother's father was a Marine aviator shot down over Korea when she was only three. Her mother eventually remarried and decided to get rid of many of her late husband's possessions, including the sword, and though my mom requested the sword it was given to Goodwill or the Salvation Army over her objections. She has few things of her father's and still laments the loss of the sword, so I thought I'd see if the hive mind could find it. Maybe some collector or theater group got it.

My mom doesn't remember what it looks like, just that there was a lot of silver. After looking at pictures she thinks it was a NCO sword, but it might have been an officer's sword. The blade was engraved with the name "Van Housen".
posted by Soliloquy to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You could buy a new Marines sword from an outfitter and have it engraved for a lot less than the time you could put into looking for a sword that was given away in 1963. The only thing I could think you could do is contact local media in the area where the sword was given away and contact them with this story and that you are looking for a way to remember and honor your grandfather. Send copies of pictures and mention that you are available for an interview and would like any help they could offer. You might get a bite.
posted by parmanparman at 3:51 PM on July 23, 2007

I just wanted to offer you support. This is an amazing question for the site and I sincerely hope you get a bit somewhere. Perhaps you could contact military collectors in the area in an attempt to plug into that community?

Good luck!!
posted by tcv at 4:50 PM on July 23, 2007

It sounds quaint today, I know, but you might consider putting ads in the newspapers around where the sword was given to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. My grandparents read the paper every day, and both of my grandfathers were veterans.

You might also think of contacting the local VA office and hospital to see if they have a message board you might post to, or ad you could place there.

Good luck. It's a long shot, but you never know.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 6:45 PM on July 23, 2007

My mother's father was a Marine aviator ... After looking at pictures she thinks it was a NCO sword, but it might have been an officer's sword.

If he was a Marine aviator and not just aviation support, he was an officer and therefore had an officer's sword. The two types.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:33 PM on July 23, 2007

You might want to ask this question at myarmory and swordforum about how you might go about looking for your sword. Both forums require registration to post, but it's free. Each forum is frequented by sword collectors from all eras, and I'm sure they might be able to point you in the right direction for making further inquiries into locating the sword.
posted by Mister Cheese at 1:58 AM on July 24, 2007

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