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ERDL Body Armor CM and ICM


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#1 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:06 PM

Well....I have been helping my dad catalogue and sort his collection as he has been recuperating from partial knee replacement surgery. We found this vest today. I know my dad has had this in his collection since 1981 because I found a receipt in the pocket from where he purchased it back in the day.

Anyway, this is an odd vest and I can't say I've seen another one like it. The tag says "Body Armor, Ground Troops CM (Conventional Munitions) and ICM (Improved Conventional Munitions) Fragmentation Protective Vest". What is so interesting about this vest is the material used to make it and the date of manufacture. The vest looks similar to the 1980's PASGT vests, BUT this vest is made in the ERDL camouflage pattern. To top it off, this vest was made in 1974.

Tag also says "Supplier's Name D.S.A. Richmond, VA” Tag also has a place for "Contract No. Project Order", but that area has been marked out with a sharpie marker.

The vest also has a Use and Care manual in it that was supplied by United States Army Natick Laboratories. Date on the booklet is December of 1973.

The material the vest is made of is odd as well. Definitely not seen another one like it before.

Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas about this vest? I'm really drawing a blank. Is it a prototype vest? Was it made only in a limited run? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Arch

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#2 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:08 PM

More pics.

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#3 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:09 PM

Upper portion.

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#4 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:10 PM

Back.

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#5 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:14 PM

Tag.

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#6 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:14 PM

Close up of tag.

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#7 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:15 PM

Close up of lower portion of the tag.

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#8 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:16 PM

I auto-corrected the bottom pic of the tag. Maybe this can help you read it better.

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Edited by nkomo, 19 April 2011 - 12:17 PM.


#9 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:18 PM

Manual.

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#10 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:18 PM

More.

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#11 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:20 PM

Last picture.

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#12 taucco

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:47 PM

amazing, so it is the famous USMC icm body armour i've read about and never seen it until now. Just let me dig a document and upload it for you to read about.

#13 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:49 PM

Not sure if it is USMC or US Army. The booklet that came with it is from Natick Laboratories and says US Army. That being said, it could have been used by the USMC.

If you could upload the document, that'd be great!
Arch

Edited by nkomo, 19 April 2011 - 12:56 PM.


#14 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:55 PM

Don't know whether you can see it on the tag, but this vest is in an X-Large size.

#15 taucco

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:08 PM

here it is, is a 1973 report between the usmc m55 vest and the proposed icm one. i've always wondered what it looked like since i read it, but now i can see it. a big thank you for the education you just gave. :thumbsup:

http://www.mediafire...ex639je11cgizyr

#16 paul_bish

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:20 PM

interesting that they note in the report that it would be advisable to combine the vest and LBE into one unit, not achieved until the Interceptor

#17 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:26 PM

here it is, is a 1973 report between the usmc m55 vest and the proposed icm one. i've always wondered what it looked like since i read it, but now i can see it. a big thank you for the education you just gave. :thumbsup:

http://www.mediafire...ex639je11cgizyr

Thanks, Taucco!!!!

#18 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:30 PM

interesting that they note in the report that it would be advisable to combine the vest and LBE into one unit, not achieved until the Interceptor

Makes you wonder what webgear/body armor design we'd have today if they had followed the recommenations back then?

#19 Misanthropic_Gods

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:31 PM

Uhm...WOW.....im not even sure what to say. That is just an amazing piece!

#20 taucco

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:38 PM

interesting that they note in the report that it would be advisable to combine the vest and LBE into one unit, not achieved until the Interceptor


if you want to read something half serious/half funny there is a 1967 report by usa army HEL about the use of m14 and colt 1911 by marines. 80 men are interviewed and there are pages of small suggestions about improving 782 gear and weapons. There are a lot of complains about the armor vest (too bulky, not protective enough. )some suggested using a flak vest with pouches "because everytime you have to get a magazine out you have to lift body armor". there are also funny comments like: "no comments on weapons or ammunition; however we need the authority to clear villages the way they shold be cleared. Sure we may damage property but when you clear a village once you feel you've done the job instead of grazing over the village 10 times not moving items and not finding a thing" :think:

i could upload it, too if you wish

#21 m1ashooter

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:51 PM

I thought it was interesting that the wearing instructions said to wear it over the shirt but under the field jacket.

#22 paul_bish

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:52 PM

if you want to read something half serious/half funny there is a 1967 report by usa army HEL about the use of m14 and colt 1911 by marines. 80 men are interviewed and there are pages of small suggestions about improving 782 gear and weapons. There are a lot of complains about the armor vest (too bulky, not protective enough. )some suggested using a flak vest with pouches "because everytime you have to get a magazine out you have to lift body armor". there are also funny comments like: "no comments on weapons or ammunition; however we need the authority to clear villages the way they shold be cleared. Sure we may damage property but when you clear a village once you feel you've done the job instead of grazing over the village 10 times not moving items and not finding a thing" :think:

i could upload it, too if you wish


I would be interested in reading that, the development of equipment and tactics over the years is interesting. You can see here ideas being discussed that took nearly 30 years to become standard issue. Would be good to approach this in a rapid prototyping way, not unlike software development. Speed the development process up and get more real user input. We call it user centred design (UCD) in my business.

#23 craig_pickrall

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 07:41 PM

The USMC was looking at combining web gear with the vest well before the 1970's or 80's. Post Korean War there was an article in Leatherneck Magazine (1953) that showed the current vest with the lower belt with grommets to hang M1910 belt hooks and they had also adapted the shoulder straps of a M1941 pack so that it attached directly to the vest. There was no other web gear except what was attached directly to the vest. I do not recall what method was used to carry ammo.

The vest Arch has shown here is a missing link for sure. I imagine this is experimental in nature and never was made in volume.

Thanks for showing Arch.

#24 nkomo

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 09:00 PM

The USMC was looking at combining web gear with the vest well before the 1970's or 80's. Post Korean War there was an article in Leatherneck Magazine (1953) that showed the current vest with the lower belt with grommets to hang M1910 belt hooks and they had also adapted the shoulder straps of a M1941 pack so that it attached directly to the vest. There was no other web gear except what was attached directly to the vest. I do not recall what method was used to carry ammo.

The vest Arch has shown here is a missing link for sure. I imagine this is experimental in nature and never was made in volume.

Thanks for showing Arch.

Thanks, Craig! Also a big thank you to all who have commented on this thread! :thumbsup:

#25 hawkdriver

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 09:36 PM

Arch,
Can you take a better picture of the label, it's too fuzzy to really read.


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