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USMC Iceland winter wool fur cap

Started by Bob Hudson , Oct 26 2008 02:57 PM

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#1 Bob Hudson

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 02:57 PM

I had thought we already had a thread about this one but I cannot find it, only references to these caps in threads about other things.

These caps seem to have been worn by the Marine Corps detachment serving in Iceland in the pre-WII era. These are sometimes confused with the caps worn by Marines in pre-war China: those have a bill on them, while the Iceland fur caps don't. Here's the Iceland caps and then the China Marine caps in a photo from our thread on those at http://www.usmilitar...showtopic=13108

cap1028iceland.jpg

chinamarinecap.jpg

The Iceland caps have a notable "bare spot" and peaked top while the China caps have a very squared appearance with generally most fur showing.

This is the second of the Iceland caps I have found at estate sales in San Diego County. This latest one is size 7 and 5/8ths - normally LARGE sized hats are 7 and 1/2 and it is rare to find any military cap in even 7-1/2 let alone the extra large 7-5/8.

The cap is wool with mouton wool trim (the same thing used on Navy flight jacket collars) and a silky lining. The side flaps have have a snap to hold them up and a chin strap for when they're down. There is also flap that can be buttoned across the face.

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and this is how it looks inside-out:

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#2 J_Andrews

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 04:59 PM

A vet of the 1st Mar Bde in Iceland told me that the China Marine winter caps were made in China, by real tailors, using very nice real fur -- he thought maybe mink! He knew this because of of his senior NCOs was a China vet who had his mother mail two of the caps he had taken home from China mailed to Iceland. Though not shown in the picture posted, the Iceland Marines made shiney silver backings for their EGAs (which, with no backing, would be lost in the fur) out of metal shaving mirrors and then (when those became scarce) shoe polish cans.

#3 korea drab

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 06:03 PM

That is a nice one! Great pictures too.
I think winter clothing is for me a very desireable item.
Again nice hat!

#4 Bob Hudson

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 06:20 PM

That is a nice one! Great pictures too.
I think winter clothing is for me a very desireable item.
Again nice hat!


Both of the ones I have found were in excellent condition: these were very well made, much much better than any later winter caps from the US military: the Marines would have loved to have had these at Chosin.

#5 Bob Hudson

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 02:15 PM

I had previously found a pre-WWII photo of Army mounted troops at Fort Riley, I believe it was, wearing these "Iceland" style caps. Today I found a photo showing them being worn by officers of Co. "A" of the 31st Infantry in Vladivostok, Siberia on December 03, 1918.

siberia1918.jpg

siberia1918a.jpg

The front "triangle" where there is no fur, and the curve of the fur as seen from the side gives these a distinctive look. The older ones may have tied at the top instead of using buttons as did the ones worn by the Marines in Iceland.

cap1028up.jpg

cap1028upside.jpg

#6 deanglen

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 05:29 AM

Terrific thread! I'd love to start a collection of these style caps, actually the trotality of cold weather headgear going back as far as the Indian Wars era. Very great information and pictures. Thank you.

Edited by deanglen, 04 February 2009 - 05:30 AM.


#7 Hinrik WD

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 06:33 PM

Dear all,

Here is my original Iceland USMC cap

Still nice EGA and personalized hand stitch name on the inside " W. A. White"

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  • USMC_cap_rev1.jpg


#8 Hinrik WD

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 06:39 PM

Inside view of hand stiched name

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  • USMC_cap_inside_name.jpg


#9 deanglen

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 06:53 PM

Inside view of hand stiched name



Nice specimen! Thank you for posting it.






dean

#10 korea drab

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 09:02 AM

Found this last week,allready ended.But a very nice USMC pile cap.
http://cgi.ebay.com/...em=300462996103
403227646_o.jpg

#11 korea drab

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 09:03 AM

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#12 korea drab

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 09:07 AM

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#13 korea drab

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 09:08 AM

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#14 korea drab

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 09:10 AM

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#15 korea drab

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 09:14 AM

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#16 korea drab

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 09:14 AM

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#17 Hinrik WD

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 04:44 AM

Guys,

Nice to see this thread is still active. I just bought a very large grouping to a Iceland USMC
vet. It includes his hat and several photos of him wearing it. Note that this one has a smaller
EGA then my other hat, and still has the metal backing intact. This Marine later went to Guadalcanal,
Tarawa Atoll and finally Iwo Jima where he was wounded in action, receving the purple heart, which
is also in the grouping.

http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u58/HinniB747/Hat.jpg

PS. Always buying Iceland-USMC items for our museum project.

#18 Bob Hudson

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 06:53 PM

Guys,

Nice to see this thread is still active. I just bought a very large grouping to a Iceland USMC
vet. It includes his hat and several photos of him wearing it. Note that this one has a smaller
EGA then my other hat, and still has the metal backing intact. This Marine later went to Guadalcanal,
Tarawa Atoll and finally Iwo Jima where he was wounded in action, receving the purple heart, which


Nice to see that photo.

My wife and I were out making the rounds of thrift stores today and she found one of these. It's the third one I've bought in the last four years and, sadly, the first one with some mothing, but the mouton wool fur is still in good shape. But... no name and no EGA.

#19 shrapneldude

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 02:18 AM

I've been looking for information on these for some time now and glad to have found it on here!! There were two of these at the flea market last summer, and the seller kept insisting that they were German, because of the closeness of the wool to Kraut uniforms. He also insisted they were worth $500 each! I never knew enough to confirm, but always thought they were Marine. Thanks for posting!!

#20 Bob Hudson

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 06:41 AM

I've been looking for information on these for some time now and glad to have found it on here!! There were two of these at the flea market last summer, and the seller kept insisting that they were German, because of the closeness of the wool to Kraut uniforms. He also insisted they were worth $500 each! I never knew enough to confirm, but always thought they were Marine. Thanks for posting!!


I could see the confusion. For reference, here's a side-by-side with a WWII German fur cap I found at a thrift store a few years ago (by the way it sold for a nice amount, but no where near $500).

cap2.jpg

cap3.jpg


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