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Navy Hat (WWII??)


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#1 SammyT

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 05:02 PM

Can anyone tell if this is WWII era US Navy hat? There are no visable markings on the inside. Construction is wool. Thanks.

Sammy T.

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#2 SammyT

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 05:03 PM

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#3 SEABEEBRIAN

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 05:05 PM

First authorized in 1852 the flat hat was eliminated on 1 April 1963 due to non-available materials. The original hats had unit names on the front, however, unit names were taken off in January 1941.

#4 SammyT

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 06:03 PM

Thanks for the info Seebeebrian. Knowing the source that I purchase this from along with your information I feel comfortable claiming this as WWII.

Sammy T.

#5 History Man

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 06:10 PM

these are usually worn with the USN jumpers. check inside the leather sweatband and see if there is a tag.

Philip

#6 nedwiar

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 06:22 PM

Looks the same of my WWII period one (Hard to date when tag removed)

#7 Garandomatic

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:14 PM

You may get lucky and find a name inside the band, one of my uniform sets had the man's name inside.

#8 sigsaye

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:21 PM

Like Philip says, the WW 2 contract hats have a Naval Clothing Factory lable behind the sweat band. The post war hats did not. The flat hat was actually first authorized in 1833 as an at sea working optional hat to save wear and tear on the broad brimmed tarpolin hat. It was authorized as head gear "For Mustering" (quarters, inspection, etc.) in 1852. This hat was generally 9.5 to 10 inches across. These hats tended to be some what floppy, and many Sailors made "Stiffening Pads" to put into the hat to help it retain it's shape.

While the broad brimmed hat remained in the regs, there is no evidence that it was issued, required or worn after 1859, and the flat hat became the standard. Many Sailors would pick out a favorite flat hat (most Sailors had several), and designate it as their Liberty Hat. Usually, it may have a bow on the side (never on the back). Sometimes a subtle decoration on top, to "Topper", some sort of embroidery like a star or compas rose pattern. And on a few, their would be a black silk ribbon with the ships name (no USS, just ships name), hand painted across the front. Some commercially printed ribbons were available. These were not regulation and could not be prescribed. A few ships captains paid for ribbons for their crews out of pocket, but this was rare.

In 1866, the Navy, in an attempt to standardize the decoration of Sailors uniforms, prescribed a Cap ribbon with the ships name preceeded with the prefix USS. This ribbon was reserved for the hat the Sailor wore for Mustering. Period photos show that the every day working hat remained plain.

In 1883, the Navy once again changed the flat hat, making it 11.5 inches across with a fabric covered metal grommet inside to push the hat out inot shape. They were made of ablue woolen flannel with a distinct twill weave. These hats came with a bow on the side, and hat ribbons were cut to fit and stitched on. This hat remained the standard with minor detain variations until the last version was adopted in 1933 with a smaller top, made of dark Navy blue wool and an integral stiffener in the front. Those made upinto the early 1950s had Navy Clothing Factory lables behind the sweat band.

the "US Navy" ribbon was standard and used from 1883 on for those not attached to a ship and later fro just general use. Ribbons with the names of ships and shore establishments were used when available. This generic ribbon was the only one used after 1940 until the hat waqs dropped in 1963.

Way too much info, but there you are. Hats made from 1933 to 1963 are exactly the same except for the tag behind the sweat band.

Steve Hesson

#9 patches

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:40 PM

First authorized in 1852 the flat hat was eliminated on 1 April 1963 due to non-available materials. The original hats had unit names on the front, however, unit names were taken off in January 1941.


Ahoy. If i can add That this type of hat although it was an oficial item was not worn anymore after WWII, even in the WWII it was not seen that much except in the earlier part of the war,it was a issue item, and although it would be worn from time to time during the course of the war, this cap,as you would know,nicknamed the donald duck cap was immensly unpopular. It was worn sometimes by Boots in the 50s but it was a limeited item, that was soon thown away into a locker, never to be worn again. The original flat hat had no resembilance to this type, which came out i think in the 20s, thus its nickname when walt disney's charactor donald duck became popular in the 30s. The original flat hat was just that, a large flat dish/dinner plate like crown, and was worn from as you say in the 1850s, but was worn up into it was superceded by this new design, indeed the original flat hat to was begining to loose popularity to the now familer white cap, which started to be worn more and more as a every day duty, and liberty/leave cover even as early as the immidiate period before our involument in the great war.

#10 SammyT

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 08:05 PM

Thanks for the info guys. very helpful. I don't see any tag or name. The main reason I was initially categorizing this as WWII was that the private seller that I bought these from had at least two uncles in WWII, one in army one in navy. A few weeks ago I purchased a K-bar that the seller claimed was his uncles who was in the navy. Today, the seller was cleaning out more of the uncles estate and found the navy hat along with army overseas caps in a storage trunk in the basement which he claims has remained their unopened as long as he can remember. I personally saw the trunk which still has items in it and appears to not have been touched until opened today. Maybe this is wishful thinking and I am grasping at straws for this hat to be WWII, but do you think there is any way possible that WWII era hats like this could have been issued without tags? Was there any exceptions to this rule? All comments are welcome (you won't hurt my feelings).

thanks.

Sammy T.

#11 sigsaye

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 03:41 AM

Thanks for the info guys. very helpful. I don't see any tag or name. The main reason I was initially categorizing this as WWII was that the private seller that I bought these from had at least two uncles in WWII, one in army one in navy. A few weeks ago I purchased a K-bar that the seller claimed was his uncles who was in the navy. Today, the seller was cleaning out more of the uncles estate and found the navy hat along with army overseas caps in a storage trunk in the basement which he claims has remained their unopened as long as he can remember. I personally saw the trunk which still has items in it and appears to not have been touched until opened today. Maybe this is wishful thinking and I am grasping at straws for this hat to be WWII, but do you think there is any way possible that WWII era hats like this could have been issued without tags? Was there any exceptions to this rule? All comments are welcome (you won't hurt my feelings).

thanks.

Sammy T.

Issued without tags? No, tags missing? yes. Actually, from what I get from the guys of the era, They lliked the hat, ( have several photos of my father (1947 on) wearing it. The thing with the hat was that it was pushed into the "Full Dress Status" by the white hat, and was a bit expensive (especially compared to the white hat). This meant that if it was lost or trashed on liberty, you pretty spent your next libertys money replacing it. Remember, that Sailors only got the initial issue in their bag at no cost, after that everything was out of pocket. So, it turned into some thing that was just carried around in the bag, stowed in the locker, taking up space. I remember when they were dropped from the bag, my father gave me his (as did most of the other fathers in the neighborhood). rump of us kids imediately wore them out side to play and trashed them. AS always, wish I had his hat now.

Steve Hesson

#12 SammyT

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 02:01 PM

Thanks for the input Steve. Do you know what would be contained on the tag? Was it just a size tag, or did it contain a maker and date? I'll look again to see if I can find any remnants of it.

sammy T.

#13 sigsaye

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 02:55 PM

Thanks for the input Steve. Do you know what would be contained on the tag? Was it just a size tag, or did it contain a maker and date? I'll look again to see if I can find any remnants of it.

sammy T.

The one I have that was issued in 1942 has a tag sewn on four sides with:
US Navy
Name:
Service No:
a contract number
size: 7 3/8

I have another never issued hat (7 1/4) that has no tags at all nor can I find any evidence of one. I think it was one a the last bunch made.

Steve Hesson

#14 SammyT

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 03:58 PM

Thanks again steve. Is there any way you could post a pic of the tag and it's location? If not, I appreciate all the info you provided. Thanks.

Sammy T.

#15 sigsaye

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 07:40 PM

Thanks again steve. Is there any way you could post a pic of the tag and it's location? If not, I appreciate all the info you provided. Thanks.

Sammy T.

Sammy, my computer, as we used to say, "Crapped the Bed". I no longer have the capibility of posting photos for the time being. Sorry. It is twords the back of the hat behind the sweat band.

Steve Hesson

#16 RustyCanteen

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 08:01 PM

The one I have that was issued in 1942 has a tag sewn on four sides with:
US Navy
Name:
Service No:
a contract number
size: 7 3/8

I have another never issued hat (7 1/4) that has no tags at all nor can I find any evidence of one. I think it was one a the last bunch made.

Steve Hesson



Interesting about the last hat Steve, I have seen some dated into the early 60's.

But as you say it may have just been the exception and indeed could have been one of the last.

RC

Also never heard of anyone who disliked the hat, to the contrary I have heard those who were never issued the hat lament that fact.

#17 1stDivVet

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 11:04 AM

I looked thru mine(8 total) and none of the WW2 ID'ed ones have labels.. only 5 have size labels, 3 are stickers with the size on the sweatband, 2 are a painted cleesecloth type of material and are sewn into the sweatband. Of the 2 that have labels, both are behind the sweatband. 1 is un-issued and says:
Manufactured for
CLOTHING SUPPLY OFFICE
100% Wool exclusive of ornamentation
Name_________________
Service No._____________
CONT.NO. N140(62236)57774 B


The other one, named to a Tagliarini, F.D. 457 98 91, reads:
MANUFACTURED
FOR CLOTHING
SUPPLY OFFICE
100% Wool Exclusive of Ornamentation
Name_________________
Service No._____________
CONT.NO. DA-30-352-TAP-1933

In my opinion, the one pictured is a good WW2 example as the post-war ones have a different plasic piece in the top. It is heavier and more of a clear than a brown in my 2 later ones. All my WW2 ones are just like the one pictured.

Fins...

Edited by 1stDivVet, 23 July 2011 - 11:06 AM.


#18 SammyT

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 04:41 PM

Thanks for your info Fins. Here are a few more pics of the back of the hat and sweatband.

Also, if you guys are interested and get a chance check out my other thread about the trigger mittens. A forum member ID them as WWII USN. The mittens came from the same place as this Hat and the K-bar.

Thanks again to everyone for their input.

Sammy T.

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#19 SammyT

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 04:41 PM

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#20 SammyT

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 04:42 PM

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#21 jerseygary

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 05:33 PM

Just chiming in on the so-called unpopularity of these caps... the first place I remember reading this was in an Andrew Molo book back in the 1980's and it seems like everyone just keeps repeating it. Every sailor I knew or talked to about uniforms always liked the flat cap, never heard one bad word against it from a man who had it in his sea bag. And I don't think calling it "The Donald Duck Cap" was necessarily bad, he was a beloved cartoon character and the Air Corps and Navy used his image as squadron mascots during the war. Plus The Donald was known to sport the dixie cup cap as well and that wasn't dropped. Wonder how this started? Maybe it was spread as a PR ploy to validate it being dropped from the uniform regs?

#22 patches

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 11:15 PM

Just chiming in on the so-called unpopularity of these caps... the first place I remember reading this was in an Andrew Molo book back in the 1980's and it seems like everyone just keeps repeating it. Every sailor I knew or talked to about uniforms always liked the flat cap, never heard one bad word against it from a man who had it in his sea bag. And I don't think calling it "The Donald Duck Cap" was necessarily bad, he was a beloved cartoon character and the Air Corps and Navy used his image as squadron mascots during the war. Plus The Donald was known to sport the dixie cup cap as well and that wasn't dropped. Wonder how this started? Maybe it was spread as a PR ploy to validate it being dropped from the uniform regs?


All the exnavymen i had talked to over the years dont really remember this cap except with indifferance, they all said that the white hat was the normal hat, and that the donald duck hat would be worn by them only when required to be worn, this is borne out a hundreds and hundreds and hunderds and hundreds of photos taken by sailors from the 1930s even earlier as WWI, up till the end of WWII, the flat hat just wasn't popular, apparently most officer did'nt like it as well,it was seldom ordered to be worn, even in dress occasions, there is one photo in 1939 of the flat hat being worn, as men man the rails of a battleship as a war ship roosevelt is traveling on passes, but there are dozens of other photos taken in the 30s and during the war at formal occasions where it is not worn, these are in most cases commisioning ceremonies for capital war ships such as the one for the enterprise in 1936, even during WWII at awards persentations it is not worn that often. The navy does have a habit of puting out uniforms from time to time that are not popular with the men,in example the all white uniform with short sleeve shirt and white service cap of the type only chiefs use to wear, this one came out in 1976 and was derisively called the good humour man uniform, most saliors who had any sense of pride of service hated it, and the reintrodution of the traditional uniforms in 1979-80 was most welcomed. The navy is doing it again with this khaki marine type combo for certain dress catogories, the new men going into the navy may wind up wearing who the hell know what, by the time this goverment finishes what the other goverments started with its social engineering thats been and being implimenting in todays navy.SORRY IF IM CINICAL HERE but i see things all to clearly.

Having said all that i am in no way saying anything about the collectablty of these hats, i had one once a real beauty with a 1933 date, and i would mind getting one again, i especialy would love to have a WWI or earlier type, i seen a spanish american war one on desplay at the uss intepid here in nyc and it was very distictive looking with is large flat crown, it was a real great uniform item, in many ways it was a more distictive hat than the later cap from the 30s on. it is my feeling that many officers and as well as the men who had to wear them considered the type to be passe and archaic. Perhaps thats why it might have been disliked, lets face it in those days all the navies of the world wore this type of hat in one form or the other, it was only the us navy that had the unique white cap, and it was this white cap that the men of the us navy came to feel, seperated them from other sailors in the navies of different countries and made them stand out in a crowd, making it the preferred hat both for duty and walking out.

#23 SlaterDoc

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 11:33 PM

All the exnavymen i had talked to over the years dont really remember this cap except with indifferance, they all said that the white hat was the normal hat, and that the donald duck hat would be worn by them only when required to be worn, this is borne out a hundreds and hundreds and hunderds and hundreds of photos taken by sailors from the 1930s even earlier as WWI, up till the end of WWII, the flat hat just wasn't popular, apparently most officer did'nt like it as well,it was seldom ordered to be worn, even in dress occasions, there is one photo in 1939 of the flat hat being worn, as men man the rails of a battleship as a war ship roosevelt is traveling on passes, but there are dozens of other photos taken in the 30s and during the war at formal occasions where it is not worn, these are in most cases commisioning ceremonies for capital war ships such as the one for the enterprise in 1936, even during WWII at awards persentations it is not worn that often. The navy does have a habit of puting out uniforms from time to time that are not popular with the men,in example the all white uniform with short sleeve shirt and white service cap of the type only chiefs use to wear, this one came out in 1976 and was derisively called the good humour man uniform, most saliors who had any sense of pride of service hated it, and the reintrodution of the traditional uniforms in 1979-80 was most welcomed. The navy is doing it again with this khaki marine type combo for certain dress catogories, the new men going into the navy may wind up wearing who the hell know what, by the time this goverment finishes what the other goverments started with its social engineering thats been and being implimenting in todays navy.SORRY IF IM CINICAL HERE but i see things all to clearly.

Having said all that i am in no way saying anything about the collectablty of these hats, i had one once a real beauty with a 1933 date, and i would mind getting one again, i especialy would love to have a WWI or earlier type, i seen a spanish american war one on desplay at the uss intepid here in nyc and it was very distictive looking with is large flat crown, it was a real great uniform item, in many ways it was a more distictive hat than the later cap from the 30s on. it is my feeling that many officers and as well as the men who had to wear them considered the type to be passe and archaic. Perhaps thats why it might have been disliked, lets face it in those days all the navies of the world wore this type of hat in one form or the other, it was only the us navy that had the unique white cap, and it was this white cap that the men of the us navy came to feel, seperated them from other sailors in the navies of different countries and made them stand out in a crowd, making it the preferred hat both for duty and walking out.

I'd almost swear you wore dress blues once yourself! There is obviously some political hack or appointee that the Dept of the Navy has allowed too much free time! It seems every change in the past 40 years was a FUBAR or boondogle! In 72 we had a new utility uniform that was better suited to the Sears service shop! Thankfully that went away too! Many vet and active are very unhappy about the demise of the chambray shirt and dungarees! The new NWU is not only a joke, but dangerous to boot(yes, pun meant)! Camo for the Army and Marines makes sense. But, just what in the heck is the blue/gray camo on sailors suppose to hide them from? The Sharks? Oh yea, if they fall overboard it will hide them from everyone! It's already happened! A young female sailor died when she went overboard in the middle east! A number of ships from a number of nations couldn't find her in time! Let's lay that one on the desk of the military "clothing designers"! Hey, now there is where doing away with DADT might help them!
Sorry, I just had to rant!

#24 patches

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 12:00 AM

I'd almost swear you wore dress blues once yourself! There is obviously some political hack or appointee that the Dept of the Navy has allowed too much free time! It seems every change in the past 40 years was a FUBAR or boondogle! In 72 we had a new utility uniform that was better suited to the Sears service shop! Thankfully that went away too! Many vet and active are very unhappy about the demise of the chambray shirt and dungarees! The new NWU is not only a joke, but dangerous to boot(yes, pun meant)! Camo for the Army and Marines makes sense. But, just what in the heck is the blue/gray camo on sailors suppose to hide them from? The Sharks? Oh yea, if they fall overboard it will hide them from everyone! It's already happened! A young female sailor died when she went overboard in the middle east! A number of ships from a number of nations couldn't find her in time! Let's lay that one on the desk of the military "clothing designers"! Hey, now there is where doing away with DADT might help them!
Sorry, I just had to rant!


EX-STUMPJUMPER, but i am aware for the most part of all the goings on past and present in the armed forces,OPPS sorry the uniformed services, ARMED FORCES ! that sounds armed, like you know guns and bombs, thats too you know, armed, like you know people carrying guns, and war, and you know things like that. I"m i to understand that the navy now wears a fatique type BDU on board ships, and no longer wears those dungrees ? Also don't you love the way mullen is made out in the media to be like a nimitz or halsey, he probbily won,t be happy until the chinese start using san diego as a base for the new ocean going fleet there building, after all we need more openess, we need to share, come on over, you can look at anything to you hearts content, what we can't go to your senstive areas ? we don't mind , why we would we mind ! Whats dadt ?

#25 sigsaye

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 04:25 AM

I'd almost swear you wore dress blues once yourself! There is obviously some political hack or appointee that the Dept of the Navy has allowed too much free time! It seems every change in the past 40 years was a FUBAR or boondogle! In 72 we had a new utility uniform that was better suited to the Sears service shop! Thankfully that went away too! Many vet and active are very unhappy about the demise of the chambray shirt and dungarees! The new NWU is not only a joke, but dangerous to boot(yes, pun meant)! Camo for the Army and Marines makes sense. But, just what in the heck is the blue/gray camo on sailors suppose to hide them from? The Sharks? Oh yea, if they fall overboard it will hide them from everyone! It's already happened! A young female sailor died when she went overboard in the middle east! A number of ships from a number of nations couldn't find her in time! Let's lay that one on the desk of the military "clothing designers"! Hey, now there is where doing away with DADT might help them!
Sorry, I just had to rant!

While I agree that the Navys new blue cammie uniform is pointless for the fleet, I would like to point out the "Media type Hype" of your "Man Overboard" story. When have Sailors NOT worn blue uniforms? I have personnaly searched for three men overboard during my time in the Navy. The first thing to note is that when they get wet, all blue clothing turns dark blue. Secondly, nothing is visable except the swimmers head, usually from the chin up. In all three cases, the swimmer was found purely be accident. In one case, the swimmer was on the oppisit side of the ship from where he was plotted to be. He was spotted because the search light I was working passed over him as I was swinging the beam to the area where he was thought to be. A guy moving up t the deck just happened to be looking in that direction (he was surprised by the light beam) and saw the swimmer. If there are any kind of seas at all, you are going to be hard pressed to spot a man overboard. I know this, I've done it. I was also in searches for two that were not recovered.
They were wearing old style dungarees.

As has been talked about before, the Navys NWU (blue cammies) and NSU (Khaki shirt and black trousers, have nothing to do with Navy tradition and every thing about making Sailors fit in with the other services. They make for a more Military appearance. The dress blues stay the same, but the other uniforms were crap. I hated both the short sleeve whites and the long sleeve black shirt uniforms. Given the option to wear any of the new uniforms over that old crap, I'd be all over it.

Back to the Flat Hat. I once asked my father about why they didn't wear it more. He said, he liked the Flat Hat, but it was expensive. If you lost it, or it got torn up in a bar or whatever, that was $4-$5 comming out of your pay. That was a lot when you were only getting $50 per month. White Hate were 15 cents. So, it just ended up being something taking up space in a locker that was never used.

Steve Hesson


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