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Sunnyside Store Owner creates WWII exhibit

Photo: QueensPost

May 27, 2012 By Christian Murray

Abdel Rios, the owner of Skillman Pets, is an avid historian—particularly when it comes to the US military.

Rios has created an elaborate WWII exhibit at his 49-16 Skillman Avenue store in honor of Memorial Day. He has been buying authentic items on E-Bay that reflect a soldier’s life in the US armed forces during WWII. One item that was particularly hard to find was the 48 star US Flag.

“Too many people have forgotten our history,” Rios said. “I put this up to remind everyone about the greatest generation.”

Rios’ own son is currently serving in the military. He served a year in Afghanistan and then enlisted in the Navy.

Rios and his staff also plan to observe the Memorial Day holiday by wearing “Kilroy was Here” T-shirts. This tagline was often spray painted on buildings and ships in the 1940s and ‘50s.

He invites people into his store to catch a glimpse of the following collectible items Monday-Saturday from 10am-8pm.

EXHIBIT: WWII collectibles:
WWII US M-1 Combat helmet
WWII US Military Metal Canteen w/ Canvas Cover
WWII US Army TL-122-C Flashlight
WWII Taylor Leedawl Military Bakelite compass
WWII ARMY Technical Sergeant’s EISENHOWER “IKE” Jacket & Garrison Cap

WWII RCA MI-2475 Radio Headset with mic.
WWII J 38 US Military Morse Code Telegraph Key

Two Military Issue WWII Maps, Germany – Hamburg-Berlin
WW2 US Army-Airforce Photo-Recon Magnifiers
Vintage WWII era Kodak 35mm Rangefinder camera

WWII 1943 Soldier “V-mail” letters with original stamp & postmark
Various original WWII era Chesterfield Cigarette Magazine Ads
Lucky Strikes cigarette pack with Zippo lighter
Various WWII era propaganda posters, Earl Morgan Pin-up Girl & post cards and finally an original 1942 NYS license plate (for those who remember).

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@O’Shea …and yet ironically they begat the self-absorbed baby boomer/hippie generation.


The men and women of the WWII era are indeed the greatest generation.
They endured the great depression.Fought WWII on so many front’s. Kicked hitler’s rear. Mothers raised men and worked in the factories.They came back and rebuilt the country to greater heights. Some fought in the korean war.
They truly understand the true value of money, working together as a country, and the need to persevere.
What has generation Y and Z done to compare to this group?


Wish I had known. I have a WWII “Ike” jacket in excellent condition I could have lent for the exhibit.


WOW, thanks Abdel ..

…I was a little kid then but had many uncles and cousins in service
and remember how revered they were treated by our families ..
..Strong patriotism then in the families and in schools, and we need some of it now ..

Good for you Abdel. Will be down to see your exhibit ..


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