Mr. Bill Gershen, President/CEO, Vanguard Industries
Thanks to Mr. Bill Gershen
of Rancho Santa Fe, California, the National Museum of the United States Army will be the repository of what is considered the most complete and historically relevant distinctive unit insignia collection in the country.
Gershen, President and CEO of the Vanguard Industries of Carlsbad, California, the country's largest supplier of military insignia for all the services, recently turned over the collection to Mr. Ken Smith-Christmas, the Museum's Director of Exhibits and Collections.
president and a former Air Force veteran with an abiding appreciation for military history, Gershen
immediately recognized the historical significance of the collection of artifacts and its intriguing supporting materials.
"When I heard the Army was building a National Army Museum I felt this collection, with its extensive historical documentation and implications, would be of tremendous interest to Museum visitors, historians, and collectors," Gershen said, adding that earlier he had provided the National Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio with a historical collection of embroidered Air Force patches.
"This is the only collection of its kind in the world because it thoroughly and precisely records in detail the creation of the Army's entire heraldic distinguished unit insignia system," Gershen noted. "Private collectors from all over made me many tempting offers to buy it, but I truly believe something this unique belongs only to the American public, to the US Army, and to those in the Army who are responsible for keeping an accurate and complete history of these valuable artifacts. That's why I'm really happy to present the collection to the National Army Museum," he added.
"Think of it-no other military museum in the country or the world will be able to document for the public or for military historians and collectors the intriguing details and compelling histories that went into the designs of the US Army's
distinctive unit crests," Bennett said. "We are truly indebted to Mr. Gershen
extraordinary generosity. His
personal preference to share these priceless Army artifacts will create a strong and unparalleled Museum experience for our visitors."