Glenn Simpson’s WWII Heart Shield Bible

Collection ID



Bible - Printed Book


Before 1943


New York (United States)




Printed on Paper


4.9 × 3 × 0.7 in. (12.5 × 7.8 × 1.8 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

During World War II, many American soldiers were issued New Testaments; some came with a metal cover. Because they were often carried in shirt pockets, they are known as “Heart Shield Bibles.” The Heart Shield Bibles were a durable edition made for the battlefield—and a source of encouragement for many GIs. This New Testament was given to Glenn Simpson by his wife as he entered the United States Naval Training Center in Sampson, New York, in October 1943. It was passed down to their son, Glenn Simpson Jr., who also served in the military until his discharge in 1965.

Created before 1943 by Thomas Nelson & Sons, New York.[1] Acquired by 1943 by Mrs. Glenn Simpson;[2] Gifted in 1943 to Glenn Simpson;[3] By descent by 1965 to Glenn Simpson Jr., Fort Hood, Texas.[4] Acquired by Benny Simpson.[5] Acquired by Rusty Maisel, private collector, Texas; Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2016 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry), under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] The presentation card from Know Your Bible Company is copyrighted 1943. [2] The presentation card pasted to the inside cover states it was gifted by “Mrs. Glenn Simpson.” [3] The presentation card pasted to the inside cover states that it was presented in October 1943 to Glenn Simpson, “U.S.N.T.C. Co 130. C-15. Sampson, NY.” An inscription on the endpapers reads, “Glenn D. Simpson, World War II, Oct. 1943–Dec 1945.” [4] An inscription on the rear endpapers reads, “Glenn D. Simpson, Jr., Fort Hood, Tex, Discharged Feb. 19, 1965.” [5] An inscription on the rear pastedown reads, “Benny Simpson.” The position of this name, on the next page from Simpson Jr., leads to the conclusion that it is likely Simpson Jr’s son, but no additional information was discovered.

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