The Story Behind the Object

A collection of 99th Infantry Division memorabilia



Duffle bag belonging to Bill Meacham, L Co. 393rd Infantry Regiment.

Typically, the soldier’s duffel bag had his name and serial number stenciled with whatever stencils were available—or simply a felt marker. Many of the duffel bags could be locked with a padlock for securing one’s valuables, through grommets.

In 1943, an improvement was made: instead of a potato sack-style barrack bag, the duffel bag itself was introduced with a circular bottom and cylinder shape, along with a carrying handle. The top of the bag had a flap still no zippers and many millions have been issued. Indeed, this bag was typically kept by soldiers on their discharge to haul their personal belongings. This bag, like all military-issued bags, was simply named “Bag, Duffel”.

Bill used a felt marker to put his last name on the bag. He took this and one other duffle bag when he returned back to the United States.

Material: Olive Drab material

Source: Donated by the family of Bill Meacham

Catalogue number: DB001

Duffle Bag of Bill Meacham