Original U.S. WWII Free French Resistance FFI Armband Bring Back Grouping of Pfc. J. J. Valimont

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind Set. Here we have a very nice USGI bring back set from the European Campaign of WWII. It looks to be some items collected and brought back by Joseph J. Valimont, who was a Private and later Private First Class in the U.S. Army. Per his enlistment records under Army Serial Number 33576034, we can see that he was from Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, and was born in 1924. He enlisted in the U.S. Army March 17, 1943, when he was most likely 18. We were not able to locate any further information on him.

This lovely bring back set is contained in a heavy OD green canvas pouch measuring 6"W x 4 3/4" and consists of the following:

  • A very nice Free French FFI Armband, measuring approximately 14" x  3 3/4", made of Muslin with sewn on Blue and Red rayon rectangles, to make a french flag. It is marked FFI with the Croix de Lorraine (Cross of Lorraine) emblem above it.
  • A small leather tag, most likely from a uniform or bag, reading J' VALIMONT.
  • A tiny pocket bible, measuring approximately 1"W x 1 1/2"H.
  • A lovely News Letter from Home for the Clearfield, PA area, October 1944. It indicates that Joe Vallimont and Bill Turner from the area met up in France.
  • A small number of ENLISTED MAN'S TEMPORARY PASS sheets, which were once part of a small notebook.
  • A "Necklace - Identification Tag, With Extension" in original packet for a set of U.S. dog tags.
  • A SOLDIER'S INDIVIDUAL PAY RECORD booklet marked Valimont, J.J. on the cover. It contains various pay records and information for Valimont, including that he was appointed Private 1st Class on 5-17-43. Part of the first page is missing, and we do not know how complete it the book is.

This is a really great set, with some lovely research potential. Ready to display!

More on the FFI / Free French:
FFI or French Forces of the Interior (French: Forces Françaises de l'Intérieur) refers to French resistance fighters in the later stages of World War II. Charles de Gaulle used it as a formal name for the resistance fighters. The change in designation of these groups to FFI occurred as France's status changed from that of an occupied nation to one of a nation being liberated by the Allied armies. As regions of France were liberated, the FFI were more formally organized into light infantry units and served as a valuable manpower addition to regular Free French forces. In this role, the FFI units manned less active areas of the front lines, allowing regular French army units to practice economy of force measures and mass their troops in decisive areas of the front. Finally, from October 1944 and with the greater part of France liberated, the FFI units were amalgamated into the French regular forces continuing the fight on the Western Front, thus ending the era of the French irregulars in World War II.

Due to lack of uniforms and equipment FFI fighters created armbands many with the Lorraine cross, colors of the French Flag and FFI in order to properly identify themselves to the various allied fighters moving throughout their country.

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