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U.S. Army Shirts 1900 to 1919


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#1 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:34 PM

In a blatant attempt to further the woefully inadequate knowledge I’ve accumulated, and to share the same on the evolution of the shirts worn by the U.S. Army between 1902 and 1919, I’ve created this feeble post, hoping that someone … anyone, will add to, correct, or help clarify the information that I have posted.

Please post whatever information, both textual and visual you might have … World War I nerd

 

 

U.S. Army Shirts 1900 to 1919

 

Pre 1902 U.S. Army Shirts

 

Prior to adopting the olive drab service dress in 1902, the U.S. Army issued three different types of enlisted men’s shirts. Many of which were worn alongside early versions of the khaki and olive drab flannel shirts that were later adopted during the first two decades of the 20th century. The three pre 1902 U.S. Army shirts types were:

 

  1. Blue Wool Shirts:

Specification No. 466 adopted on May 4, 1899

Specification No. 475, adopted on September 1, 1899

Specification No. 557, adopted on December 16, 1901

 

  1. Blue Chambray Shirts:

Specification No. 458, adopted on December 21, 1898

Specification No. 474, adopted on August 29, 1899

Specification No. 521, adopted on October 19, 1900

Specification No. 540, adopted on June 4, 1901

Specification No. 570, adopted on March 25, 1902

 

  1. White Muslin Shirts:

Specification No. 499, adopted on January 27, 1900

Specification No. 522, adopted on October 19, 1900

Specification No. 588, adopted on December 16, 1901

Specification No. 661, adopted on May 3, 1904

Specification No. 816, adopted on May 19, 1906

Specification No. 853, adopted on February 26, 1907

Specification No. 885, adopted on August 1, 1907

Specification No. 415-3-885, adopted on May 10, 1919

 

(Note: the above list of specification numbers may be incomplete)

 

Photo No. 01: I’m pretty sure that the blue chambray shirt is shown on the left, while the blue wool and what I believe is the white muslin shirts are both shown on the right. Because I would probably get it wrong, so I won’t attempt to guess what pattern or model each shirt might be.

 

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#2 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:35 PM

1900 & 1902 Olive Drab Flannel Shirts

 

Whether the shirt shown below is an example of  Specification No. 502, adopted on February 14, 1900 or Specification No. 572, adopted on May 14, 1902 or a different pattern of U.S. Army shirt, I cannot say with any certainty. But I believe it to be either the 1900 or 1902 Flannel Shirt

 

Common Traits of either the 1900 or 1902 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt:

 

Made from khaki or olive drab shirting flannel

Pullover style with a three button placket front

Olive drab or brown buttons

Two breast patch pockets with a gently curved bottom

No pocket flaps

Each pocket opening is secured by a single button

No elbow patches

 

Photo No. 02: Because I can’t positively identify any of the gear shown in this photo, I’m speculating that it was taken circa 1902/1903, and that the collarless khaki wool/flannel shirt worn by the sleeping soldier is either the 1900 or 1902 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt.

 

Does anybody recognize anything in this photo that can be dated?

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#3 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:36 PM

Photo No. 03: Close up of the collarless shirt. Note that the other sleeping soldier is wearing a shirt with a collar, as is the soldier seated in the background. Therefore, it’s possible that both the 1900 and the 1902 shirts are being worn in this photograph. It’s also possible that the two shirts shown in the background could be the 1904 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt.

 

Does anybody have any information regarding either the 1900, 1902 or the 1904 pattern Olive Drab Flannel Shirts?

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#4 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:37 PM

Photo No. 04: All three of these soldiers appear to be wearing the same collarless olive drab flannel shirt as the one pictured above. The equipment carried by the left hand soldier suggests that that photo was taken early in the new century. Both the center and right hand soldiers appear in the same photograph (photo no. 7), which dates between 1908 and 1910.

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#5 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:38 PM

1904 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt

Specification No. 662, adopted on May 3, 1904

 

Common Traits of the 1904 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt:

 

Unknown

 

Photo No. 05: I estimate this photo to date from approximately 1905/1906, based on the diverse collection of uniform items being worn. The soldiers on the right look to be wearing 1903 or 1904 pattern cotton service coats, and 1904 leather garrison belts, with saber ring, are being worn as a trouser belt by the men on the left. The center soldier is wearing an old turn of the century Blue Wool Shirt as at that time there was still a large quantity of blue wool clothing leftover from the Spanish American War. The soldier on the far left is wearing a khaki cotton shirt that could be based on the 1904 pattern shirt. The Quartermaster Department had been experimenting with khaki cotton shirts for wear in the tropics since the late 1890’s. If regulation cotton shirts were issued, presumably, the cut and pattern of any early cotton shirts would have been identical to that of the olive drab flannel shirts that were being issued. Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure what model of shirt this man is wearing or even if it’s military issue. Any thoughts?

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#6 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:39 PM

Mystery U.S. Army Khaki Flannel Shirt

Specification No. (if any) unknown

 

Common Traits of the Mystery Khaki Flannel Shirt:

 

Made from khaki shirting flannel

Pullover style with a placket front or a fully buttoned front

Khaki or tan buttons

Two breast patch pockets with a straight bottom

Each pointed pocket flap is secured by a single button

Each pocket opening is secured by a single button

No elbow patches

 

Photo No. 06: All but one of these men from the U.S. Army Signal Corps (note the cap badges), are wearing the same pattern khaki flannel shirt. The presence of the 1902 Enlisted Man’s Service Cap, which was not issued Army wide until 1906, the 1907 Canvas Leggings with spiral strap, along with the 1907 Service Coat all help to date this photo somewhere between 1907 and 1909.

 

Has anybody ever seen this style of shirt, which looks remarkably like a USMC issued shirt, being worn by U.S. Army personnel before?

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#7 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:40 PM

Photo No. 07: There are several possibilities as to what this shirt could be:

  1. An unknown Army issued shirt
  2. An experimental Army issued shirt
  3. A private purchase or locally made shirt
  4. A USMC issued shirt

For comparison, here is a photo of early Marine Corps shirts. All three Marines are wearing an early pattern USMC khaki flannel shirt, most with the collars turned up. The inset shows the above Army shirt, whose collar appears to be wider, next to one of the USMC shirt collars from this photo, which to me looks noticeably thinner.

 

Does anybody have any thought or opinions as to whether or not this shirt could be USMC issued? And if so, why would a USMC issued shirt be worn by Army Signal Corps personnel?

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#8 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:44 PM

1908 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt

Specification No. 994, adopted on August 21, 1908

 

Common traits of the 1908 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt:

 

Made from worsted olive drab shirting flannel

Rolling collar

Pullover style with a 2 inch by 15 inch three button placket front

Olive drab or brown buttons

Two 6 inch wide by 7 inches deep breast patch pockets with a curved (not straight) bottom

No pocket flaps

Each pocket opening is secured by a single button

No elbow patches

The reinforced sleeve opening is longer and terminates in a point

 

The following, is the only reference is from the 1917 Manual of Military Hygiene. Despite the fact that the manual was revised in 1914 and then again in 1917, the descriptions of most of the clothing and equipment date back to when the book was first published, which happened to be in 1909.

 

The olive-drab flannel shirt and the sweater are also parts of the service uniform. The former may be prescribed without the coat and without the sweater as the normal outer garment for field service, recent tests under all weather conditions having- shown it to be highly satisfactory; a belt is then worn instead of suspenders. The insignia are worn on both sides of the collar, but the chevrons of non-commissioned officers are on the sleeve.

Havard, Valery, Manual of Military Hygiene for the Military Services of the United States, 1917, William Wood and Company, page 431
Note that the 1917 edition of the Manual of Military Hygiene is available to read or download at: https://archive.org/stream/manualofmilitary00havauoft#page/429/mode/1up

Photo No. 08: Six of the men in this photo taken between 1908 and 1910 are wearing the 1908 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt. One soldier’s shirt cannot be identified, but the men standing on either side are both wearing the collarless khaki or olive drab flannel shirt shown above in photos 2, 3, and 4. Also visible are the 1907 Service Breeches in cotton, and the unpopular high top 1904 Russet Marching Shoe or its slightly shorter and ‘improved’ 1907 Russet Marching Shoe.

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#9 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:45 PM

Photo No. 09: Here this official Quartermaster Department photo of the 1908 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt compares favorably to two of the shirts worn in the above photograph.

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#10 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:46 PM

1910 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt

Specification No. 1092, adopted on October 18, 1910

 

Common Traits of the 1910 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt:

 

Made from olive drab shirting flannel

Pullover style with a three button placket front

Rolling Collar

Olive drab or brown buttons

Two breast patch pockets with a straight (not curved) bottom

Each straight pocket flap is secured by a single button

No elbow patches

The long reinforced sleeve opening terminates in a point

 

Photo No. 10: This photo taken around 1911 or 1912 shows the Army’s new olive drab flannel shirt. The most obvious differences between the 1910 pattern and the older 1908 shirt is that the bottom of the breast pockets have been straightened out, and each pocket now has a rectangular shaped pocket flap secured by a single button.

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#11 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:46 PM

Photo No. 11: Another view of the 1910 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt as worn along the Mexican border circa 1912 to 1914. Note the 1903 Rifle Cartridge Belts and the 1903 Suspenders.

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#12 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:47 PM

Photo No. 12: Note that the 1910 Flannel Shirt does not have the familiar oval reinforced elbows found on the post 1913 flannel shirts. Also of interest are the reinforced mounted service breeches on the left and the eagle snap, experimental canteen carriers with the twist closure carried by both men.

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#13 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:49 PM

1911 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt

Specification No. unknown, adopted on ??,??, 1911

 

Common Traits of the 1911 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt:

 

Made from olive drab shirting flannel composed of 100% wool

Pullover style with a three button placket front

Rolling collar

Olive drab or brown buttons

Two breast patch pockets with a straight (not curved) bottom

Each straight pocket flap is secured by a single button

Oval shaped elbow patch now on each sleeve

The reinforced sleeve opening was shortened to accommodate the oval elbow patch and it now terminated with a flat, not a pointed ending

 

Sometime in 1911, the 1910 Flannel Shirt underwent a specification change. The purpose of the change was explained in the 1911 Quartermaster General’s annual report:

 

2. That the present pattern olive-drab flannel shirt be retained, except that the same be provided with reinforced elbows. The shirts now being manufactured are made in accordance with said recommendation.

 

Quartermaster General’s Annual Report to the Secretary of War for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30th 1911, page 28, 29

 

Photo No. 13: These machine gunners posted to Ft. Brown, near Brownville, Texas are likely wearing the 1911 Flannel Shirt. In the original photo, the oval elbow patch is visible on left sleeve of the second soldier from the right.

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#14 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:50 PM

1913 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt

Specification No. unknown, adopted on ??,??, 1913

 

Common Traits of the 1913 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt:

 

Now made from olive drab shirting flannel composed of 80% wool and 20% cotton

Pullover style with a three button placket front

Rolling Collar

Olive drab or brown buttons

Two breast patch pockets with a straight (not curved) bottom

Each straight pocket flap is secured by a single button

Oval shaped elbow patch on each sleeve

The reinforced sleeve opening was shortened to accommodate the oval elbow patch whose terminus was flat, not pointed

 

Because the 100% wool flannel shirts previously issued by the Army were notorious for shrinking during the laundering process, the 1911 Flannel Shirt underwent a specification change to correct that fault. The 1913 Quartermaster General’s annual report explained exactly what changes were made:

 

Olive drab flannel shirts –. Complaints have been received that the shirts issued to the enlisted men of the Army shrunk during the process of laundering to such an extent as to change the fit of the collar; experiments have been conducted to secure a fabric that would be more satisfactory, resulting in the procurement of a quantity of flannel composed of 80 per cent wool and 20 per cent cotton. Shirts manufactured out of this material were subjected to trial by officers and enlisted men. The very satisfactory reports received from Texas and Porto Rico conclusively show that the shirts are equally as serviceable and warm and that they do not shrink. Standards and specifications for the new material have been adopted and future purchases will be made in conformity therewith. The exact cost of the shirts made from the new material will be somewhat less than the former price, but can not be exactly stated until a purchase of a quantity of the flannel shall have been made.

 

Quartermaster General’s Annual Report to the Secretary of War for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30th, 1913, page 23

 

Despite being adopted in 1913, apparently the issue of the 1913 Flannel Shirt Army wide was delayed until 1914 or 1915. This was likely the result of the QTMD’s need to exhaust its existing supply of 1911 and earlier model shirts. Once again the Quartermaster General’s annual report for 1915 explains all:

 

Olive-drab flannel shirts.—The olive-drab flannel shirts, made of material composed of 80 per cent wool and 20 per cent cotton, referred to in the annual report for fiscal year 1914, have been distributed and supplied to the enlisted men. Judging from the fact that no criticisms have been received regarding the same, this office is of the opinion that they are satisfactory, and that the former complaints having reference to the shrinkage of shirts manufactured from all-wool material seem to have been overcome.

 

Quartermaster General’s Annual Report to the Secretary of War for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30th, 1915, page 23

 

Photo No. 14: These men from the 7th New York Infantry on the north side of the U.S./Mexican border in 1916, after being reequipped with current issue uniforms compliments of Uncle Sam are most certainly wearing the recently adopted 1913 Flannel Shirt.

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#15 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:51 PM

Photo No. 15: This Punitive Expedition soldier guarding Mexican prisoners at one of Pershing’s camps sited along the Line of Communication that stretched some 350 miles back to Columbus, New Mexico is wearing a captured bandoleer taken from a Mexican banditio over his wool and cotton blend 1913 Flannel Shirt. Note the tattered appearance of his 1912 Eagle Snap Pistol Magazine Pouch.

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#16 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:52 PM

Photo No. 16: Two more views of the 1913 Flannel Shirt as worn by an infantry soldier and a cavalryman in 1916.

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#17 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:53 PM

1916/1917 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt

Specification No. unknown, adopted on ??,??, 1916/1917

 

Common Traits of the 1916/1917 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt:

 

Made from 8 ½ ounce olive drab shirting flannel composed of 80% wool and 20% cotton

Pullover style with a three button placket front

Rolling Collar

Olive drab or brown buttons

Two breast patch pockets with a straight (not curved) bottom

Now each pocket now has a separate pencil/pen pocket

Each straight pocket flap is secured by a single button

Oval shaped elbow patch on each sleeve

The reinforced sleeve opening was shortened to accommodate the oval elbow patch whose terminus was flat, not pointed

 

Sometime between 1916 and 1917, a pencil/pen pocket was added to the inside of each breast pocket (the side that faced the buttons). The pencil pocket is easily identified by a vertical row of stitching that runs parallel to the inside edge of each pocket.

 

Photo No. 17: These brothers are both wearing the 1916/1917 variation of the Olive Drab Flannel Shirt. Note the row of vertical stitching along the inside of each pocket which forms one side of the pencil pocket. Also of interest is the early and late version of the regulation web waist belt.

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#18 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:54 PM

Photo No. 18: The difference between the breast pockets without the pencil pocket and the pockets with the pencil pocket is easy to see in this side by side comparison of the 1913 and the 1916/1917 Flannel Shirts.

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#19 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:55 PM

 1917 Gray Flannel Shirt

Specification No. (if any) unknown, adopted on ??, ??, 1917

 

Common Traits of the 1917 Gray Flannel Shirt:

 

Made from 8 ½ ounce gray shirting flannel composed of 80% wool and 20% cotton

Pullover style with a three button placket front

Rolling Collar

Olive drab or brown buttons

Two breast patch pockets with a straight (not curved) bottom

Each pocket now has a separate pencil/pen pocket

Each straight pocket flap is secured by a single button

Oval shaped elbow patch on each sleeve

The reinforced sleeve opening was shortened to accommodate the oval elbow patch whose terminus was flat, not pointed

 

This 1917 dated Gray Flannel Shirt was recently posted elsewhere on the forum. Presumably during the military clothing shortage of 1917 and early 1918, gray flannel cloth was pressed into service to conserve olive drab flannel fabric for soldiers serving at the front. This was largely because the dyes, which prior to 1916 had been imported from Germany, were in short supply. Issuing gray flannel shirts to new recruits was likely done to free up existing stocks of olive drab flannel shirts for the troops preparing to embark for Europe.

 

Photo No. 19: This photo lifted from the original post shows that the gray flannel shirt was identical to its olive drab counterpart. The inset shows the shirt’s contract tag date of June 29, 1917. The close up also better represents the shirt’s true color.

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#20 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:56 PM

1918 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt

 

Specification No. 1387, adopted on October 17, 1918, is the only specification number I’ve come across for any of the1918 flannel shirt variations. During 1918 there were 3 specification changes that I known of made to the 1918 Flannel Shirt and possibly more. At this time there is no way to know for sure which pattern of 1918 shirt this particular specification number belongs to.

 

Common Traits of the 1918 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt:

 

Now made from 9 ½ ounce olive drab shirting flannel, not 8 ½ ounce shirting flannel

Pullover style with a three button placket front

Rolling Collar

Olive drab or brown buttons

Two breast patch pockets with a straight (not curved) bottom

Each pocket now has a separate pencil/pen pocket

Each straight pocket flap is secured by a single button

Oval shaped elbow patch on each sleeve

The reinforced sleeve opening was shortened to accommodate the oval elbow patch whose terminus was flat, not pointed

 

A study of all AEF garments conducted during the winter of 1917/1918 came to the conclusion that almost all of the Army’s clothing needed to be made from a heavier weight of fabric. This fact, as it pertained to the olive drab flannel shirt was duly noted in the post war encyclopedia on America’s ability to clothe, equip and arm its soldiers – America’s Munitions, in which it stated:

 

The weight of shirting flannel was increased from 8 ½ ounces to 9 ½ ounces.

 

Crowell, Benedict, America’s Munitions 1917 - 1918, 1919, Government Printing Office, page 456

 

Photo No 20: It’s entirely likely that most of these WW I Doughboys are wearing the 1918 Flannel Shirt made from the heavier 9 ½ ounce fabric. Note the eclectic mixture of headgear which includes the 1904 Fatigue Hat, 1907 Winter Field Cap, 1911 Campaign Hat, 1911 Garrison Cap, a Cooks Cap, and a variety of Overseas Caps.

 

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#21 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:57 PM

Photo No. 21: As the war progressed the raw material of wool became scarcer and scarcer. As a result the smallest scraps of woolen and flannel material did not go unused. This 1917 or 1918 pattern flannel shirt that was recently offered by Bay State Militaria, attests to that fact. It’s impossible not to notice that three entirely different shades of olive drab flannel have been used in its fabrication.

 

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#22 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:58 PM

1918 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt with Collar Eyelets

Specification No. unknown, adopted on ??,??, 1919

 

Common Traits of the 1918 olive Drab Flannel Shirt with Eyelets:

 

Made from 8 ½ ounce olive drab shirting flannel composed of 80% wool and 20% cotton

Pullover style with a three button placket front

Rolling Collar

Now with one reinforced eyelet to accept the threaded post of a collar disc added to each collar point

Olive drab or brown buttons

Two breast patch pockets with a straight (not curved) bottom

Each pocket now has a separate pencil/pen pocket

Each straight pocket flap is secured by a single button

Oval shaped elbow patch on each sleeve

The reinforced sleeve opening was shortened to accommodate the oval elbow patch whose terminus was flat, not pointed

 

At some point in 1918, specifications for the flannel shirt were changed again to reflect the addition of two eyelets, one on each collar point, reinforced by thread, to accommodate a pair of collar discs.

 

Photo No. 22: Here two example of the 1918 Flannel Shirt with collar discs attached are shown.

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#23 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:59 PM

Photo No. 23: When I first saw this photo I had to do a double take to determine what was going on with the collar! It took me a moment to realize that the shirt’s collar had been aligned with the eyelets on the service coat’s collar so that the threaded post of the collar discs could pass through and secure both garments.

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#24 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 02:08 PM

1918 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt with Oblong Elbow Patches

Specification No. unknown, adopted on ??,??, 1918

 

Common Traits of the 1918 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt with “Oblong” Elbow Patches:

 

Made from 8 ½ ounce olive drab shirting flannel composed of 80% wool and 20% cotton

Pullover style with a three button placket front

Rolling Collar

One reinforced eyelet to accept the threaded post of a collar disc added to each collar point

Olive drab or brown buttons

Two breast patch pockets with a straight (not curved) bottom

Each pocket now has a separate pencil/pen pocket

Each straight pocket flap is secured by a single button

Now with a rectangular shaped elbow patch on each sleeve

The reinforced sleeve opening was reduced in size to accommodate the longer rectangular or oblong elbow patch

 

On what must have been one of the last, if not the final 1918 pattern flannel shirt produced during the war, the familiar oval shaped elbow patch was replaced by a rectangular shaped elbow patch with clipped corners. The reason for this was explained as follows:

 

The designers also substituted an oblong elbow patch on the Army shirt for the circular patch formerly specified. This substitution was not economy in cloth, but the original circular patch, put on the sleeve to reinforce it at the point of greatest wear, actually resulted in reducing or shortening the life of the garment by tearing loose at the stitches, a fault which the oblong patch overcame.

America’s Munitions 1917 – 1918, 1919, page 458

 

Photo No. 24: It’s difficult to see in this photo, but the left hand boxer is wearing a late war flannel shirt with collar discs and the oblong elbow patch. Note how the patch begins near the cuff and extends beyond the elbow. Compare this to the 1918 pattern flannel shirt with oval elbow patch worn by the other pugilist.

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#25 world war I nerd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 02:52 PM

1918 Olive Drab Flannel Shirt, British Made

Specification No. (if any) unknown, adopted on ??, ??, 1918

 

Common traits of the 1918 British made Olive Drab Flannel Shirt

 

Unknown

 

According to AEF records, the Quartermaster General, AEF was forced to purchase as much clothing and shoes as possible from the Allies. This was done to augment AEF supplies which were running critically low in early 1918, because priority had been given to shipping men rather than material across the Atlantic Ocean. Among the items purchased were some 1.5 million olive drab flannel shirts. There is no indication whether these shirts were British made copies of the 1918 Flannel Shirt or if they were made to a different pattern. As of April of 1918 the following articles had been ordered by the AEF:

 

Early in 1918, because of a delay in obtaining clothing from home, it became necessary to place orders abroad for different articles of clothing. In April 1918, the status of these foreign purchases was as follows:

 

8. Up to now, the British have provided us 100,000 suits of uniform clothing, and we have on order from them, 100,000 coats and 2000,000 pairs of trousers, which have not yet been delivered. We have also requested them to provide us with other articles of clothing as follows:

 

3,000,000 pairs of regulation ankle-type boots; 3,000,000 pairs woolen drawers; 1,500,000 woolen vests; 1,500,000 pairs woolen leggings; 6,000,000 pairs of heavy-weight woolen stockings; 6,000,000 pairs light-weight woolen stockings; 1,800,000 pairs of tartan-drab mixture No. 5 trousers; 1,440,000 tunics, same material as trousers; No.5, 60,000 yards cloth for manufacture of caps; 1,500,000 olive-drab flannel shirts. No drawers, summer; undershirts, summer or overcoats have been ordered.

Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War, Vol. VI, Sanitation, 1926, page 616

 

Photo No. 25: Any one of these ‘Yanks’ serving somewhere ‘Over There’ could be wearing a British made flannel shirt. There’s nothing remarkable about this photo except that the hefty fellow with a white towel over his shoulder appears to be wearing a collarless flannel shirt similar to the one displayed in photo number one.

 

The inset shows the British War Department and Broad Arrow stamp that appears on all 1918 Service Coats and Overseas Caps that were made for the AEF in Great Britain. Presumably any British made shirt would feature a similar stamp somewhere inside.

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