Of all the articles of equipment associated with the 1910 Infantry Equipment, the Pouch for Small Articles, Model of 1916, which was fabricated by the U.S. Army Ordnance Department, is arguably, the least understood and most misidentified piece of World War I era web field equipment.
Over the years this pouch has been incorrectly referred to as a “Squad Surplus Pouch” – “Squad Leaders Pouch” – “Sergeant’s Pouch” – “General Purpose Pouch” – “Grenade Pouch” – “Medical Pouch” – “Pederson Device Pouch” – “BAR Magazine Pouch” – “Spare Parts Pouch” and “Pouch for the Springfield Rifle’s Experimental 20 Round Magazine”.
The conditions of service in Mexico in 1916, combined with the Army’s continuing effort to rid the Army of foot and shoe problems, along with the need for a convenient location in which to store the squad housewife collectively, spawned the need for the Pouch for Small Articles.
This post is a feeble attempt to explain how this misinterpreted pouch came to be and what its purpose actually was. If anyone can add additional period photographs of the Pouch for Small Articles in use or elaborate on any of the information within this post … please do so.
Links to other forum posts about the Pouch for Small Articles from which much of the data and many of the images used in this post were gathered:
Pouch for Small Articles,
Model of 1916
Photo No. 01: From left to right a 1918 contract dated pouch, a 1917 contract dated pouch, and 1918 dated contract pouch bearing an as yet unidentified stencil that possibly represented use by the American Red Cross, an AEF Hospital or the Medical Department.
Left hand photo courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com
Center photo courtesy of the Dustin collection
Right hand photo courtesy of 44th Avenue Collectors.com