To others... they meant quite a bit more.
To WWII United States Navymen, Billie Joe Johnson, it was aslo a part of his war and looks to have served as a dog tag.
You know sometimes I think we get caught up in the mechanics of collecting and sorting these old Bulova's. We maybe forget why some of us got into collecting in the first place. For me it was my grandfather's 1940 Ranger. I think he bought it on his way back from WWII. These arn't just little pieces of metals and wires.... these are a piece of history. A time capsule into someone's life.
For Billie Joe... it was a message to anyone who may have found him in a state that he couldn't speak for himself. His blood type, his service number, and his branch of service. Maybe it was the only way to bring him home to his family.
In this collecting, debating, and sometimes arguing lets remember the human side of our process and maybe why we got into this in the first place.
I just picked up this 1937 American Clipper belonging to a WWII U.S.N. servicemen for almost nothing, but to me it will be one of the crown jewels of my collection and will have a promenent position in the display case.