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WWII US Army Portable Operator Switch Board - BD-71

This is a US Army field gear item. As issued during World War two. This is a US Army portable field switchboard. Used to connect a network of EE-8 and TP-9 field phones. All wooden construction with a series of switches and connectors in the inside.

The legs of the switchboard fold together and are enclosed in the box. The example featured here has seen very little use.

This section of the website provides information that allows you to identify American military field gear collectibles. The data also includes a price guide to give you an idea of the value of the items.

One of the compartments opens and reveals the communications wiring. Several paper bags can be seen wedge in various areas. These bags contain spare parts for the switchboard. They are coated with what appears to be a type of resin.

The righ side of the photo shows a handle that is folded to put away. This is a crank handle.

The top of the switchboard opens to reveal a series of silver connectors. This is where the communication wires are placed. Both, the face plate and the top of the connectors, are labeled to indicate the type of wire to be used.

This page is a recognition and identification guide for WWII US collectibles. Multiple detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out clearly defined points that should be noted.

One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my WWII US collectible worth?". A price guide is included here to address this question. The value of the collectibles is reviewed over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth of US militaria in the collector's market is illustrated.

This service is provided free of charge to the visitor/enthusiast courtesy of MilitaryItems.com, a company dedicated to the preservation of military history and to providing quality military antiques and collectibles to museums, institutions and the general public.

  1. Identifying fakes and reproductions
  2. Stamps and manufacturing markings
  3. Construction materials
  4. Pins, hinges and other
  5. Perspective view
  6. Purchasing WWII collectibles

This photo shows a view of the legs in the folded state.

The photo below provides a better view of the internal components of the switchboard. The top of the container box has a heavy duty canvis shoulder strap. This feature allowed the soldier to carry the box in the field.

Spare parts were issued with the switchbox. They camne in bags and small boxes and consisted of small electronic parts and cables.

The side view of the EE-8 operator switchbox reveals part of the canvis shoulder strap. a heavy duty metal handle is attached to the side. An inspection tag is secured to the handle. The equipment was tested and services in a regular basis. The tag contains information about the inspections.

A metal tag is attached to the top of the equipment. The tag reads as follows:

Signal Corps US Army
Switchboard BD-71
Serial No, Order no nom-44311
Leich Electric Co.

This WWII US military collectible may be currently reproduced. It is becoming more difficult to be able to tell the fake ones from the real ones because the quality of the reproductions is improving. The collector must become familiarized with the construction style and materials employed in the manufacturing of this item. Attention to the details is critical in order to be able to determine the authenticity of the collectible.

If you have an interest is seeing other WWII US military collectibles, you can do so by going to our WWII US Military Collectibles Price Guide. Where we cover items from the Army, Navy, Army Air Force and other organizations.


The value for WWII US field gear and other military antiques and collectibles is provided as a means to educate the collector community and individuals who have a general interest on the field. The following is an estimated value. Prices may vary in every state and every country. This service is provided courtesy of MilitaryItems.com. The source for military antiques and collectibles in the web.

Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Value $230.00 $240.00 $300.00 $355.00 $400.00
Availability Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium
Invest Grade B B B B B

While the item featured here is not for sale, similar items like it are available for purchase in our website MilitaryItems.com

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