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.