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USMC Ship's Detachment Uniforms

Started by Jeremiah , Jan 01 2008 02:29 PM

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#1 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:29 PM

One of the other moderators and I have been doing a bit of chatting about seagoing marines and traded a few images back and forth. So, I decided to make a thread with a few of my dress blue uniforms that have shipboard qualification strikers or other seagoing attributes. It is important to note that not all uniforms with these types of strikers were to ship's detachment marines. Often marines in transit could earn these qualifications and sew them on to impress the women in port. So, without further chat here are some of my collection. Nothing too sexy but nice enough, IMO. Enjoy and feel free to comment or add!!

#2 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:32 PM

I'll start with my oldest 1st. A WW1 to early 20s era cross rifle PFC. This blouse has the shorter trunk as is often seen on early 20th century pieces and has no piercings for EGAs in the collar. Sadly the sleeve linings were removed long ago for comfort so no date or name. The PFC rifles and navy expert small arms striker are hand stitched.

Attached Images

  • CROSS_RIFLE_PFC_2.JPG
  • CROSS_RIFLE_PFC_1.JPG


#3 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:34 PM

Two more views. The collar and a better image of one of the rank insignia. Note the golden tint to the threads.

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  • CROSS_RIFLE_PFC_4.JPG
  • CROSS_RIFLE_PFC_3.JPG


#4 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:37 PM

Next oldest is a quartemaster dated 1921-22 piece obtained from a friend in California. Sadly moths or some other pest had some fun with it but it's unique strikers make up for that. A lot of sun fade on the fabric and no sign of any rank on the sleeves, so a true hash-mark private. The collar EGAs are '21 pattern.

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  • EMBROIDERED_PVT_1.JPG


#5 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:42 PM

The strikers. I know the bursting bomb is ordnance and the quartermaster wheel as well as the gun turret with number but I have no clue what the inverted V is. Any ideas? Take note of the embroidery and texture on the strikers.

Attached Images

  • EMBROIDERED_PVT_2.JPG
  • EMBROIDERED_PVT_3.JPG


#6 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:43 PM

The other cuff.

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  • EMBROIDERED_PVT_4.JPG


#7 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:45 PM

The collar devices and hooks below the buttons to keep a neater look.

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  • EMBROIDERED_PVT_5.JPG
  • EMBROIDERED_PVT_6.JPG


#8 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:47 PM

And a very tantalizing clue to the marine's identity. Maybe this fellow can be discovered some day.

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  • EMBROIDERED_PVT_7.JPG


#9 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:52 PM

Next is a quartemaster dated 1930-31 PFC with a gun pointer 1st class rating. The emblems are American made '26 pattern enlisted pieces. Named to a Henderer. Note that the rating is the larger navy size instead of the smaller marine corps one.

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  • GUN_POINTER_PFC_1.JPG


#10 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:53 PM

A closer image of his striker and the collar EGAs.

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  • GUN_POINTER_PFC_2.JPG
  • GUN_POINTER_PFC_3.JPG


#11 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:55 PM

An interesting feature to Henderer's blouse is the hand sewn on brass hooks for his white leather belt and the staining from the belt. He also had extra hooks sewn into the front of his blouse for a more "ship shape" look.

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  • GUN_POINTER_PFC_4.JPG
  • GUN_POINTER_PFC_5.JPG


#12 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:58 PM

Next batter is Sergeant Ostafski. No strikers or embroidery.....but it does have something very special about.

Sgt. Ostafski's uniform was a birthday gift from my wife so I am rather fond of it. It's worth pointing out that both of his hashmarks are for the same side. Odds are supply gave him two still together and he had to cut and use what he had. Again, American made Goonies on his collar.

Sgt. Ostafski marked his belt like a good marine should. He also did something else.......

A couple more images of the ports and duty stations he visited. Rather the well traveled man for his time!

.....
 

Attached Images

  • SHIP_SERGEANT_1.JPG
  • SHIP_SERGEANT_2.JPG
  • SHIP_SERGEANT_3.JPG
  • SHIP_SERGEANT_5.JPG
  • SHIP_SERGEANT_4.JPG
  • SHIP_SERGEANT_6.JPG
  • SHIP_SERGEANT_7.JPG
  • SHIP_SERGEANT_8.JPG


#13 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 03:06 PM

Next marine attained the rating of Gun Captain. He also had the navy "E" badge for efficiency, earning him some extra money each month. Sadly no name but since he was probably the only Gunny on the boat I doubt he was worried. The shooting badge is one of mine from my collection as is the belt. The blouse is quartermaster dated 1938-39. He was one of the last grouping of marines to wear ship qualifications, they were abolished after the war.

Attached Images

  • GUNNY_GUN_CAPT_1.JPG

Edited by Jeremiah, 01 January 2008 - 03:09 PM.


#14 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 03:08 PM

His gun captain striker and E rating. The collar EGAs are standard '37 pattern pieces.

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  • GUNNY_GUN_CAPT_2.JPG

Edited by Jeremiah, 01 January 2008 - 05:11 PM.


#15 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 03:13 PM

And the last one for now. This is a private purchase blouse to a PFC Williamson. 1937 dated collar EGAs and private purchase woven PFC chevrons. The ship's detachment SSI is an uncommon one to find on a uniform and is the American made woven type. His ribbons show 3 Pacific campaigns and a Good Conduct.

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  • SHIP_DET_PFC_1.JPG
  • SHIP_DET_PFC_2.JPG


#16 cbuehler

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 03:53 PM

At last some more Ships Detachment Marines! Thanks to Jeremiah. These uniforms are outstanding examples of what Marines wore in their true element as Soldiers of the Sea. Here is one of mine to contribute: PFC H. J. Loew who earned the Bronze Star and obviously saw a good deal of action in the Pacific. The patch is a scarce embroidered felt example on this coat.

CB

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  • Picture_265.jpg


#17 cbuehler

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 03:54 PM

A close up of the patch.

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  • Picture_266.jpg


#18 MWalsh

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 04:57 PM

During I think WW2 and pre-WW2, the US Navy had a rate called Fire Controlman or Gun Rangefinder, the rate emblem looks like a tripod with an old WW2 artillery rangefinder piece atop it. I have seen it before where I thought it looked far more like a tripod or something similar, and not so much with the range finder device on top of it. I am attaching a pic, see what you think in terms of it maybe being what your Marine was trying to get at with the "inverted V" emblem.

Just a thought!

MW

USN_Rate.jpg

The strikers. I know the bursting bomb is ordnance and the quartermaster wheel as well as the gun turret with number but I have no clue what the inverted V is. Any ideas? Take note of the embroidery and texture on the strikers.



#19 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 05:07 PM

CB, that is one heck of a uniform! Any luck with trying to research the fellow?

MW, that is an interesting thought. Could be a local seamstress' version of the same qualification. I was also wondering if it might be some sort of a cartographer insignia.

Edited by Jeremiah, 01 January 2008 - 05:39 PM.


#20 Kurt Barickman

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 05:16 PM

Very interesting thread!! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

Conrad:

Do you know how your Gyrene won the Bronze Star?

Jeremiah:

Very enjoyable and beauful items.

Thank you both for sharing.

Kurt Barickman

#21 Wailuna

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 06:04 PM

These are fine uniforms. Here is a small contribution to your excellent series:

N_MC_INSIGNIA.JPG

This book is a 1917 edition, which is a few years before your oldest uniform, but the Marine insignia for "gun pointer" (item #40) looks something like the mark on the left cuff in your post #6.

I recall seeing one or more Trading Post articles, which covered these Marine insignia in exhaustive detail (maybe someone will recall the dates of these issues.)

The mystery mark on the right cuff of the same uniform looks like a partially folded straight razor to me (not to be flippant about this but I have recently seen Sweeny Todd).

#22 JBCannon

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 07:30 AM

Beautiful uniforms all!

Jeremiah, the first thing that struck me about your mystery insignia was that it was a slightly misshaped "A". What would that mean though?
Jim

#23 cbuehler

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 08:27 AM

Hi Kurt and Jeremiah, I got this uniform (I have his piss cutter as well) straight out of a bag of older military uniforms from a picker at the flea markets here. It cost me a grand total of 35.00! I dont know anything about him, but the coat and the ribbons are exactly as found.( clutches and posts have some corrosion and are slightly stuck to the coat). I knew right away that this was untouched for a long time. Note that they are badly out of order and they will stay that way! It looks like this Gyrene just added his ribbons in the order he liked. I would appreciate of anyone could come up with some info on this guy...

CB

#24 USMCRaiderGirl

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 05:17 PM

Figured I would show everyone this uniform to a friend of mine.

I purchased and researched it to the actual veteran, Victor Kelber. We ended up becoming friends and remained so until his death. Victor probably had one of the best senses of humor despite everything. When Florida was hit with all those hurricanes a few years ago, he was stuck in the hospital (kidney failure I believe - he had several health problems) with only a skeleton crew to take care of bed-ridden patients. But, despite everything, he continued to keep everyone entertained and apparently never fussed to a soul about the situation. A truly great man - and friend.

Victor joined in the MarineCorp in 1940 to "see the world." And that he got to do - although a little more than he had planned. As luck would have it, Victor was stationed on the USS Hornet (CV-8). He recalled with great pride actually seeing and meeting Doolittle, whose infamous raid was launched off of the Hornet. He admitted that, up to this point (1942) there were some close calls but nothing too scary. It wasn't until the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands that things got rough.

The Hornet was repeatedly hit by enemy bombs. Either on the second or third bomb strike, Victor was hit with shrapnel. The metal tore through his face to the point it appeared his face was cut off. He doesn't recall the incident at all, only the explosion and waking up with a white cloth on his face. The detachment's Sgt. apparently saw Victor go down and believed him to be dead. So, they covered his face with a white cloth. Some time later a group of sailors realized Victor was alive. Immediately he was rushed off to receive medical attention (again he does not remember any of that). Victor wasn't sure how many operations he had, but I recall him estimating about 28 or so. In addition to the facial scars, he was deaf in one ear. Recovery took well over a year.

During that time, Victor worked as staff for an admiral - where he wore the below pictured uniform. The uniform is unique in that all the pockets and collar are sewn down so there are no bulges or any way the uniform could look sloopy. There is barely enough room to touch the nut on the back of the EGAs!

Once "fit for duty," Victor volunteered to go back into combat. He was then reassigned to a Marine Corps amphibious unit and fought on Okinawa.

(Of interesting side note, ever since the war's end, the USS Hornet's Sgt. believed Victor was dead. In the 1980s or early 90s, Victor attended a reunion for the USS Hornet. He learned the Sgt was still alive and lived not far from where Victor would be traveling to go home. So, Victor went by his home. No answer. Victor left a nice note with his information for the man to contact him. I believe it was at the next reunion both Victor and the Sgt. were present (or maybe it was a couple years after?). The Sgt stared at Victor like he had seen a ghost. Apparently the Sgt. thought the note was left by some sick individual who was taunting him. And, the Sgt even had nightmares about Victor's death following receiving the note. It was at that moment actually seeing Victor that the Sgt. realized it really was Victor that left the message.)

I figured I would close this post with an excerpt of an email Victor sent me. Pardon the caps, but that's what he used since he had to do the "hunt and peck" method (as he called it) and wasn't too good with computers :):

I AM AMAZED THAT CHILDREN AND YOUNGER PEOPLE KNOW NOTHING AND HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF A WAR WE FOUGHT ON 2 OCEANS. AND WON. MY BROTHER NOW IN GODS CARE WAS ALSO WOUNDED AND ALSO RECEIVED THE PURPLE HEART MEDAL.. HE FOUGHT IN THE EUROPEAN SECTION OF THE WAR.

I SAW MANY BAD THINGS IN MY MISSION OF WAR. IT DID NOT SEEM TO BOTHER ME UNTIL I VISITED THR ARMY'S SEVENTH DIVISONS GRAVE SITE ON OKINAWA. AS FAR AS ONE COULD SEE THERE WAS CROSES IT UPSET ME KNOWING THERE WERE OTHER GRAVE SITES FOR THE MARINES AND NAVAL MEN WHO GAVE THERE LIVES DEFENDING AMERICANS.I THINK TOO OF ALL MOTHERS, WIVES AND CHILDREN WHO LOST A PART OF THERE LIVES.


Here is a picture of the uniform I mentioned above. It has his Marine stamp inside on the sleeve lining (I have a picture of him in it someplace and if I find it, I'll post that too):

Victor_1.jpg


Victor's brother Lawrence is on the left and Victor is on the right. This photo was taken about 1941.

Victor_2.jpg

#25 Jeremiah

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 05:32 PM

Beautiful uniform RG! It's wonderful that you got to know him and share part of his life with him, I am sure he found comfort in that and that you brightened his days.


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