Scenes from Pomona
WWII Impressions, INC., was the the one-stop shop for reenactors. They offered a variety of reproduction uniforms as well as gave visitors their personal attention and expertise to put together their WWII ensembles.
by Paul Sayegusa
At 10 am on May 8, 2015, “The West Coast Historical Military Collectors Show” kicked off at The Fairplex in Pomona, Calif. The show is the largest militaria collector show on the West Coast and drew nearly 300 vendors, living historical organizations, and collectors from across the country.
Organized by Bob and Danielle Chatt of “Vintage Productions,” the show has grown to occupy the largest venue again this year. Quality pieces of militaria, some hard to find, filled vendor tables. Some of the gems I turned up for my own collection included a WWII fixed loop helmet with fiber liner in near mint condition named to one soldier, a visor cap belonging to Air Marshal Sir Henry Patterson, and a pre-WWI US cavalry belt with folding rifle holder.
If you are on a budget, there are also great deals to be found for the collector that are hard to beat on the commercial market. Such examples I found were: Half-priced uniforms, mint 1944 dated M1928 cartridge belt with suspenders for $85, M1910 E- tools and mint to excellent pairs of M1936 suspenders for $40 a piece.
Most vendors were happy to see other collectors but also noted that it was nice that more visitors came to buy rather than just look around. Vendors are friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and willing to work with all levels of collectors. That, alone, is one of the best reasons for attending the show.
Thanks to Bob and Danielle Chatt, all the show helpers, and all the vendors who took time to talk with Military Trader.
The West Coast Historical Militaria Show drew close to 300 vendors. This year the show was held in the Pomona Fairplex largest exhibition building. A great show gaining a following for its range of military collectibles, fair prices and friendly, knowledgeable and helpful vendors and collectors.
Members of the 2nd Chevauleger Regiment, part of the Great War historical Society in German WWI period dress, from left to right: Mark Weller, Adam Matthews, Parks Stephenson and Adam Lid. This group put out a large display that provided the curious onlooker an interesting amount of period weapons, equipment and information regarding the German unit during the WWI period.
Vendor/collector Jaime Longoria who specializes in sewn insignia also had a nice selection of uniforms from WWII to the current War on Terror. Mr. Longoria commented on how he liked seeing a new variety of vendors.
Paul and Vicky Milbury of Military Historical Arms and Antiques have moved to Globe, Arizona, but are still a consistent vendor at the show and suppliers of quality militaria and weapons.
Bob Chatt in front of his “Vintage Productions ” booth that provided collectors with a good selection of quality WWII through Vietnam War era clothing and field gear and a dizzying array of original SSI and other insignia. Bob was pleased with acquiring the largest hall in the fair grounds and the overall attendance for the show.
Fort Mac Arthur’s Chris Simich made a unique contribution to the show with his WWII German bicycle. Mr. Simich personally resurrected this bicycle and one other that sold for $900. From a rusting hulk, the bicycles were restored to a working piece of period transportation with parts imported from the actual original war time manufacturer.
Brian Kinoshima and Russel Nakaishi of the Imperial Japanese Army 2nd Division are part of the California Historical Group. They are dedicated to the living history of the Imperial Japanese Army’s 2nd Division from 1871 through WWII.
You did not have to leverage your home to make some great purchases as they could be easily found for the collector on a budget. Such was the case with Advance Guards “50%” off uniform area of its venue.
On May 9th the show held its annual costume contest. The Contest has increased in the number contestants as well as periods covered. Apart from the top honors the show did a great job providing awards to a good number of the contestants as a whole. Congratulations to all the participants.
Jack Siegel, one of the awardees of the costume contest in his impression of a fully equipped enlisted medic of the 364th Regiment, 91st infantry Division during WWI.
Rare are finds for the advanced collector like this British Air Marshals visor cap named to Sir Henry Paterson Fraser were available from the various vendors at the show.
Through the show’s historical groups, vehicles like this WWII WLA series motorcycle and a Willys Jeep with trailer, as well as non firing weapons, were featured in displays drawing the curious visitor.
A large WWII aviation display produced some nice groupings of flight suits, service jackets, associated paper work and art.