Military Memorabilia – Emergency Signaling Mirror/2

I found this Emergency Signaling Mirror among some of my Hoskins grandparents’ belongings. This is the ESM/2. The other side is the mirror.

Emergency Signaling Mirror

I assume this was part of the equipment given to my uncle, Albert Hoskins, who served in the Army Air Corp in 1944. Unless, Uncle Don, you brought this back from Korea?

The hole on the lower left was for a lanyard to go through so that it could be worn around the neck or otherwise secured.

The video below is a US government training film about the use of an ESM.

Here are a couple of links with additional pictures and information:
U.S. Militaria Forum C-1 Survival Vests

And a bit of trivia … The Smithsonian National Museum of American History has in its collection an ESM given by Julia Child:

Julia Child kept this signaling mirror in her kitchen junk drawer as a reminder of her service in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. Such mirrors were issued to members of the military, merchant seamen, and others, like OSS personnel, serving abroad. Julia’s OSS duties took her to India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and China in 1944-45.

This mirror is model 40653, manufactured by General Electric. Small and compact, it could be used to signal for assistance over a 10-mile distance. Instructions for using the mirror are provided on the device, which also includes a braided lanyard for wearing around the neck.

Did Grandma or Grandpa keep this ESM in a drawer like Julia Child – as a reminder of their son’s service?
Did the youngest brother in the family play with it as a boy?
Do you have an ESM among your family’s memorabilia?


Sepia Saturday – Making the Cut

Sepia Saturday provides an opportunity for genealogy bloggers to share their family history through photographs.

Today’s Sepia Saturday prompt suggests that we consider the man on the right side of the photograph whose head has been cut off.

I have a few family photos like that.

Seems that people in my family don’t always have the best aim.

Or is something else at work here?

Take this picture, for example…

A great shot of my Aunt Wilma (the baby). Clearly whomever took the picture couldn’t help but focus on those gloriously chubby little baby legs.

Thankfully, Grandma identified everyone on the back of the picture, so I know that the body on the left belongs to my mom and the white shirt and tie is Uncle Al. That’s Uncle Roy on the right. He was just short enough to make it into the picture of Wilma.

Here’s a full-size Aunt Wilma front and center again on Christmas morning ….

And Mom (on the right), has her head this time because now she and Aunt Wilma are about the same height.

Me, on the other hand – just a faceless head.

Aunt Wilma seems to find it funny that she is the center of every picture.

Uncle Roy is laughing it up as well. He knows what’s going on. Sitting beside Wilma, he’s made it into another picture.

To see what other’s have done with today’s decapitated man, “head” over to the Sepia Saturday blog.