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Record 534/959
Pair of U.S. Army paratrooper jump boots, World War II. Tall lace brown leather boots with rubber sole and heel. Reinforced toe and heel. No laces. Soles are worn smooth and are parting from upper and leather is scuffed from much use. Soles marked "Goodyear" at instep. Written on inside of boots: "Thomas W Gertsch 27880288." NOTE: It was not uncommon for soldiers to trade boots among themselves, which would account for the different name inside the boot. The U.S. Army began development of specialized boots for paratroopers in 1940 and adopted this style in August 1942. The boot did not have any straps or hooks that might interfere with parachute cords, and were reinforced at key points. The boots were popular with Airborne troops, who tucked their trousers into their boot tops for a distinctive appearance. The boots remained in service with Airborne units until late 1944, when Airborne units adopted boots worn by other infantry units. These boots were used by Adrian Hansen. Adrian Donald Hansen was born in Eldorado, WI on February 7, 1919, the son of Margaret May Griffiths Hansen and Pearl Steven Hansen. He attended Slough Bridge School, Winnebago County, Wisconsin. Before World War II, he worked for his father and the Wisconsin Diamond Match Company. He entered the U. S. Army on September 29, 1942. He was in the 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Battalion of the 325 Glider Infantry. He was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded in action in Normandy, France on June 14, 1944. He also received the good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Ribbon with one Silver and one Bronze Battle Star (six Campaigns or battles), and bronze arrowhead for combat glider landing; Glider Badge, four oversears Service Bars for two years overseas, Distinguished Unit Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge and Glider Wings. His unit received a Presidential Citation for volunteering to go behind enemy lines to rescue troops in the Battle of the Bulge. He served with the 325th glider Infantry in French Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, Ireland, France, Holland, Belgium and Germany. He was part of the Normandy Invasion on D-Day. He served in Foreign Service for 2 years, 4 months, 16 days. He was honorably discharged on September 22, 1945. He returned to the Diamond Match Company to work until it closed. He worked for the Turner Horse Stables and the Universal Foundry, Oshkosh until he retired at age 62. He died on September 8, 1998 in Oshkosh WI.
Boot -WORLD WAR II -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum

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Last modified on: December 12, 2009