While Sweet Pea and I were out treasure hunting yesterday, here in Port Townsend, I ran across this beautiful WW2 vintage box at a local estate sale. I couldn't pass it up, and it is now a part of the growing collection!
This is a box that originally housed an SCR-625-C mine detector...... the iconic and standard mine detector used throughout WW2 by the US Army. The original interior dividers and labels have been removed from my box, but the exterior is in outstanding shape. I will be using it as a storage chest anyway, so it makes no difference that they are gone. My box is labeled as belonging to the US Army Signal Corps and has a pretty low serial number stamped on it. The stampings and lettering on the box are nearly perfect and about 95% of the original finish on the box remains.......... amazing for a box of this age! I asked the woman who sold me the box if she knew anything about the history of it. She told me that it belonged to her father and she remembered it being around the house for her entire life, and she was born in 1940. She said her father was a civilian who worked for the US Army, but did not know specifically how he came to own it.
These mine detectors were first used in 1942, during the Italian Campaign, and then later throughout Europe. Since mine is a "C" model, I would imagine it was first used in the later part of the war in France and Germany. It is interesting to note that these boxes (including mine) are labeled identically, on both sides of the box.
Here is an excellent French forum site that shows a complete SCR-625-C mine detector and case that is nearly identical to mine. The serial number is very close as well! http://mayenne-ww2.forumactif.org/t1223-le-detecteur-de-mines-us-scr-625
Here is another French collector's website that gives tons of photos and detailed information on these mine detector sets. http://www.club-des-collectionneurs.com/A-Vendre-detecteur-de-mines-SCR-525-1944-NOS.htm
And now the moment that we've been waiting for....... here is the photo album of my new SCR-625-C box:
To finish things up, here are a few photos of the mine detector in use. In the first photo, you can see the box mounted on the side of the US Army Jeep.