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Army Issued USMC Field Hats 1899 to 1917


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#1 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:17 AM

This post is in response to a thread started by forum member patrick-usmc who was seeking information on Army issued campaign hats as used by the Marine Corps during the early 20th century. Because my mental acumen regarding pre 1911 USMC and Army uniforms is less than impressive, anyone with a deeper knowledge on the early campaign hats worn by either the U.S. Army or the USMC is more than welcome to chime in … World War I Nerd

 

Link to the above mentioned post:

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234040-1899-hat-used-by-marines/

 

Army Issued USMC Field Hats

1899 to 1917

 

When the Marines landed on the island of Cuba during the War with Spain in 1898, they did so wearing the Corps traditional blue wool field uniform and short-brimmed service cap. In order to protect Marines from the intense tropical sun, broad brimmed, felt Service Hats of the 1899 pattern were obtained from the U.S. Army. Officially known as a “Service Hat” by Army Quartermaster personnel and as a “Campaign Hat” by Army enlisted men; because that hat was worn with the Field Uniform, U.S. Marines called their recently appropriated head covering a “Field Hat”.

 

Despite its obvious practicality, the Marine Corps failed to adopt a Field Hat of its own until 1912. As a result, American Marines utilized as many as four, or possibly five, different specifications of the Army issued campaign hat while serving in far flung locations like Cuba, China, the Philippines, Mexico, and possibly even in France. However, to ensure that no one mistook them for God forbid - a soldier in the U.S. Army, the ‘Soldiers of the Sea’, as the Marines were called, almost always prominently displayed the USMC’s distinctive Eagle, Globe, and Anchor (EGA) cap badge on the front of the Army issued ‘cover’. Initially the distinctive emblem was worn on the left side of the hat, but it was later moved to a more visible location at the hat’s front.

 

Photo No. 01: When looking at the USMC 1896 Field Cap worn by these fleet Marines, it’s easy to see why that hat’s less than brawny brim caused Marine Corps commanders in Cuba to upgrade to a broader brimmed Army style campaign hat which was much better suited for both the sun and rain encountered in the tropics.

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  • 01 1896 USMC Field Cap.jpg


#2 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:18 AM

1899 Campaign-Field Hat

 

Photo No. 02: The first Army campaign hat worn by USMC personnel at the turn of the century was the 1899 Campaign Hat. The upper images show a pair of Marines cropped from a larger photograph of Company H, 1st Battalion, USMC stationed in the Philippine Islands, circa 1901.

Underneath is the Army Specification No. 480, Campaign Hat that was adopted on September 29, 1899. Note the ‘fore and aft’ crease at the top of the hat, the round screen vent, one on each side, and the three rows of stitching that strengthen the edge of the hat’s unfolded brim.

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  • 02 1899 Army Field Hat.jpg


#3 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:19 AM

Photo No. 03: Clockwise from upper left, a front view of another 1899 Campaign Hat that was recently offered for sale by Bay State Militaria; close up of the “light wire gauze” or screen that was used to ventilate the crown of the 1899 hat; an early Marine wearing what looks to be a 1899 Field Hat; and a cropped photo showing four USMC officers, all cradling 1899 Field Hats bearing the distinctive round vent and USMC red and gold hat cords.

 

Hat photo & inset courtesy of Bay State Militaria

Attached Images

  • 03 1899 Army Field Hat Details.jpg


#4 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:20 AM

Photo No. 04: USMC personnel wearing 1898 Field Hats in China circa 1900. Note the EGA cap badges which were initially worn “British style” on the left side of the hat’s crown. Specifications called for the 1899 Campaign Hat’s brim to be 2.75 inches wide at the front and back, and three inches wide at the sides. Its sweatband was to be 2.25 inches wide. According to an Army publication published in 1901:

 

Its defects include the large surface which it exposes to the wind and the readiness with which the material breaks down on exposure to wet weather – the latter being easily remedied by contracting for hats of better quality and water-proofing them before issue by the use of wool fat … Except in cold weather the crown of this hat should never be creased, but should be left intact or else drawn to a point in Mexican style to ensure a proper air space above the head of the soldier. This should be enforced by company officers.

 

The Theory and Practice of Military Hygiene, 1901, Captain Edward Lyman Munson MD

 

The hat’s above mentioned defects likely led to the Specification No. 533 Campaign Hat, which was adopted just three months later on December 27, 1900.

Attached Images

  • 04 USMC Wearing 1988 Field Hats.jpg


#5 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:21 AM

Photo No. 05: A close inspection reveals that all of these USMC officers circa early 1900s, are wearing 1899 Field Hats bearing EGA emblems on the left side of the hat’s crown.

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  • 05 USMC Officers circa 1900 with EGA Devices on the Side of the Field Hat.jpg


#6 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:21 AM

1902 Campaign-Field Hat

 

Photo No. 06: In 1902 the Army adopted a new specification campaign hat (number and date unknown) which I’m calling the “1902 Campaign Hat”. The new hat did away with the round metal screens that were used for ventilation on the 1899 Field Hats because they had a tendency to fall out. For ventilation, 1902 Field Hat featured a series of holes center punched into each side of the crown in the shape of a star. The edge of the brim was folded under and secured by two rows of stitching. Also, the slits through which the hat’s flat braided tying cord passed were reinforced with a washer made of matching brown fur felt. Profile view showing the left hand side of a 1902 Campaign Hat and a close up of the underside of its folded brim.

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  • 06 1902 Campaign Hat Profile.jpg


#7 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:22 AM

Photo No. 07: Three-quarter view of a different 1902 Campaign Hat bearing an Army company letter and regimental number.

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  • 07 1902 Campaign Hat Three Quarter View.jpg


#8 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:23 AM

Photo No. 08: Top and bottom view of the above 1902 Campaign Hat.

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  • 08 1902 Campaign Hat Top & Bottom.jpg


#9 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:23 AM

Photo No. 09: To my knowledge, the only Army issued campaign hat with a folded brim was the 1902 Campaign Hat. If you look closely at the hats worn by these Army soldiers wearing 1902 pattern service coats, you’ll notice that the brims of their campaign hats have been turned under and sewn.

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  • 09 1902 Hat in Army Service.jpg


#10 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:24 AM

Photo No. 10: There is no way to know if these Marines are wearing the Army issued 1902 Campaign hat with a folded brim or the later USMC issued 1912 Field Hat, which also had a folded brim.

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  • 10 1902 Field Hat Maybe.jpg


#11 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:25 AM

Photo No. 11: In these close ups of the Army soldier from photo number eight and one of the Marines from the above photo, the folded brim is plainly visible and nearly the same size on both hats.

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  • 11 1902 Hat Army & USMC.jpg


#12 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:26 AM

Photo No. 12: An Army 1902 Campaign Hat as used by the USMC. Note the star pattern ventilation holes, the felt washer to accommodate the tying cord, and the folded brim. Also of interest is the EGA cap badge and company letter and battalion number pinned onto the front of the hat.

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  • 12 1902 USMC Field hat.jpg


#13 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:27 AM

1904 Campaign-Field Hat

 

Photo No. 13: Two years after the adoption of the 1902 Campaign Hat, the 1904 Campaign Hat, Specification No. 651, was adopted by the Army on December 29, 1904. As shown by this example, the 1904 Campaign Hat was similar in appearance to its predecessor in shape, material, and color. The pair of insets show the unique design of the hat’s center punched ventilation holes, and the three rows of stitching which reinforced the hat’s unfolded brim.

 

Photo courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Attached Images

  • 13 1904 Army Campaign Hat.jpg


#14 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:28 AM

Photo No. 14: The 1904 Campaign hat differed from its predecessor by having an unfolded brim, and by eliminating the fur felt washer that reinforced the area where the braided tying cord passed through the brim. On the 1904 hat, the tying cord passed only through the two slits cut into the felt under the ribbon, at the base of the crown.

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  • 14 1904 Campaign Hat Profile.jpg


#15 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:29 AM

Photo No. 15: All of these USMC officers from left to right, Captain F.E. Delario, Sergeant Major John H. Quick (standing), Lieutenant Colonel William E. Neville, Colonel John A. Lejeune, and Major Smedly D. Butler in Vera Cruz, Mexico 1914, are wearing 1904 Field Hats. All but the sergeant major wear the USMC officer’s red and gold hat cord around the crown of the hat.

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  • 15 USMC Officers in Mexico 1914.jpg

Edited by Bruce Linz, 02 May 2016 - 06:15 AM.


#16 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:30 AM

Photo No. 16: It is difficult to tell if these enlisted Marines are wearing 1904 Field Hats, or if they are wearing 1912 Field Hats that have been creased to resemble the shape of the 1904 hat.

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  • 16 1904 Army Field Hat Details.jpg


#17 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:30 AM

Photo No. 17: Both of these USMC chow hounds somewhere near Vera Cruz, Mexico in 1914, appear to be wearing the 1904 Field Hat.

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  • 17 1904 & 1912 Field Hats in Mexico 1914.jpg


#18 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:32 AM

Photo No. 18: In these two photos also taken during the Vera Cruz campaign in 1914, both the Army 1904 Campaign Hat, aka USMC Field Hat, and the USMC issued 1912 Field Hat are being worn. The marching Marine at far left and the seated Marine in the inset look to be wearing the 1912 Field Hat. The other marching Marine and the officer peering through the scope are both in possession of what appears to be 1904 Field Hats.

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  • 18 USMC Field Hats Vera Cruz 1914.jpg


#19 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:33 AM

Photo No. 19: These two Marines guarding a Mexican prisoner near Vera Cruz, have either creased their USMC 1912 Field Hats in entirely different styles, or the left hand man is wearing a 1912 Field Hat with a ‘Montana Peak’, and the other has donned a ‘fore and aft’ creased 1904 Field Hat.

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  • 19 USMC Field Hats Vera Cruz Mexico 1914.jpg


#20 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:35 AM

Photo No. 20: The entire 3 inch gun crew appears to be wearing 1904 style Field Hats.

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  • 20 USMC 3 Inch Field Piece Dominican Republic 1916.jpg


#21 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:36 AM

1912 Campaign-Field Hat

 

In 1912, the Army replaced the 1904 Campaign Hat with the first of five specifications of the 1912 Campaign Hat. The 1912 Campaign Hat, Specification No. 1145, was adopted by the Army on January 2, 1912. The physical characteristics of the first pattern 1912 Campaign Hat were as follows:

  • The crown was 5.5 inches high.
  • Four ventilation eyelets were placed 2.75 inches from the base of the crown.
  • The hat’s brim was 3 inches wide.
  • There was no stitching reinforcing the brim’s unfolded outer edge.
  • The flat braided tying cord passed through two slits in the brim, located 0.25 inches from the base of the crown and 1.25 inches forward of the crown’s center point. Each slit was reinforced by a matching fur felt washer on the upper side of the brim.

On April 10, 1913, Specification 1177 was adopted to correct certain deficiencies of the previous campaign hat. The crown of the hat was made 0.75 inches taller to improve air circulation, and the four ventilation eyelets were now placed 3 inches from the base of the crown. Five rows of silk stitching were added to the hat’s unfolded brim to prevent its shape from collapsing after being exposed to moisture. Also, the fur felt washers were abolished. Thus the braided tying cord now passed through two eyelets which were inserted where the slits and felt washers had previously been located. The 1913 Campaign Hat was further modified when Specification No. 1248 was adopted on September 6, 1916. The only change made to this hat was that mercerized cotton thread replaced the silk thread that had previously been used to reinforce the outer edge of the brim.

 

The Army issued 1912 Campaign Hat remained for the most part, unchanged until December 21, 1917, when Specification No. 1289, dated December 21, 1917 called for two oblong shaped eyelets to be inserted through the brim where the slits had previously been located to accommodate the new russet leather chinstrap that had been adopted. Otherwise the hat was identical to the 1916 pattern campaign hat.

 

Army campaign hats that were manufactured during the last few months of WW I were radically changed in an effort to cut costs and conserve materials. The 1918 Campaign Hat, Specification No. 1357 was adopted on August 22, 1918. The new specifications called for the crown to be shortened by one-quarter of an inch, and the width of the brim to be shortened by one-eighth of an inch. The number of rows of stitching on the outer edge of the brim was also decreased from five to just two.

 

Photo No. 21: The Army’s new campaign hat as it appeared circa 1913 – 1918, with an unfolded brim that was reinforced by five rows of stitching.

 

Photo courtesy of the New Romantic collection

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  • 21 1912 Army Campaign hat.jpg


#22 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:37 AM

Photo No. 22: It’s possible that U.S. Marines were issued with early specifications of Army 1912 Campaign Hats whenever USMC 1912 Field Hats were not available. Note that the field hats worn by the two Marines in Vera Cruz, Mexico have completely lost their shape. Losing its shape was one of the major faults of the Army’s Specification No. 1145 Campaign Hat. It’s possible that these Marines are wearing unwanted Army hand me downs. The right hand Marine also looks to be wearing a campaign-field hat without a folded brim. If so, then they must have been Army issued?

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  • 22 Possible Army 1912 Pattern Campaign Hats.jpg


#23 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:37 AM

Photo No. 23: Photographic evidence indicates that Army style campaign hats without folded brims were in fact worn by USMC personnel later in 1917 and 1918. Note how thin the brim of the left hand Marines campaign-field hat is when compared to the folded brim on the USMC 1912 Field Hat to the right.

 

Right hand photo courtesy of the John Adam-Graf collection

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  • 23 Army & USMC Campaign Hats.jpg


#24 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:38 AM

Photo No. 24: Again, these two youthful Marine recruits appear to be wearing Army style Campaign Hats. Compare the edge thickness of the Marine campaign-field hats with the edge thickness of the Army campaign hat worn by the 26th Division artilleryman to their right … to me, they appear to be identical.

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  • 24 Comparison of Army & USMC Hats.jpg


#25 world war I nerd

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:39 AM

Photo No. 25: Another comparison of two USMC issued 1912 Field Hats with folded brims (upper left & right) … to the hat worn by a Marine (lower left), that looks like an Army issued 1912 Campaign Hat with an unfolded brim … to the hat of a U.S. Army soldier (lower right) who is also wearing an Army issued 1912 Campaign Hat with an unfolded brim. Note how much thinner the unfolded Army brims are compared to the folded USMC brims.

Attached Images

  • 25 Campaign Hats.jpg



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