Estate Sale find with a story


September 24, 2012 by twinoaksstudio

How often do you get the chance to chat with a World War II veteran?   I’m posting this because I think the story is just as interesting as my find.

I have been looking for a trunk for the loft of our West Virginia house for a little while.  Something utilitarian that the kids can play games on, rest their feet on, perhaps use for storage.  It would be a plus if its components were intact.

I visited the estate sale at the home of a very active 92 year old (!) WWII vet named Wilbur, handled by Estate Escapes here in Maryland.   Estate Escapes advertised that Wilbur would be present during the sale, but after people started lining up outside his house at 2 AM that morning I think he must have decided to leave as he was not present when I arrived at 8:30.  (Note to pickers and collectors:  2AM?!?  Really?   Poor guy!)

This is the trunk that I purchased at the estate sale.   Wilbur was in the Navy.   Its a pretty cool piece!  I love that it’s worn “just right”!

I was fascinated by this trunk and was hoping to learn more about its history, especially since my Dad was in the Navy.  I know that sailors are good story tellers and there must have been a good story to uncover.

The following day I made a call to Kayleen Edwards of Estate Escape to see if she knew any more history of Wilbur’s Navy service.   She handed her phone directly over to Wilbur!

I learned that Wilbur served on the USS Stuart, which was a cargo and escort ship.   He sailed across the Atlantic 12 times bringing cargo to Scotland, Ireland and England, and also sailed along US coastal waters many times to Newfoundland.   Once his ship brought supplies into Naples, Italy to help the Italian people, but the supplies were quickly sold to the black market, so that wasn’t attempted again.   The USS Stuart also served as an escort ship for President Roosevelt.  In addition to its cargo, the ship carried 140 typewriters and 122 reporters.   They loaded their cargo while docked in Washington DC  during the hours of 12PM-3AM.   I am hoping I wrote down all of these details correctly as I was trying to take notes while he spoke.  It was a great conversation and I really enjoyed speaking with him.

My dad served on an aircraft carrier and Wilbur mentioned that he would have enjoyed seeing the planes take off and land.   If you are ever visiting Washington DC and want to see what it would be like to be on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, the Smithsonian’s Air and Space museum has a replica of the control tower of the ship my dad served on, the USS Enterprise, complete with videos of the planes taking off and landing.  Its definitely worth a visit if you are in the area, and one of the many reasons the Air and Space museum is so popular.

That’s it for my little history lesson and tour guide tips!

Thanks again to Kayleen Edwards of Estate Escape for helping me learn about Wilbur’s service.   I greatly appreciate it!


I will link this post up with:

Brambleberry Cottage’s Time Travel Thursdays at

Miss Mustardseed’s Furniture Feature Friday at

Thanks for your generosity in hosting!

One thought on “Estate Sale find with a story

  1. Suzanne walker says:

    Love this story!!!

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