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Tattoos in the military


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#1 knd643

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:46 AM

I've gotten more and more interested in pics of tattoos in the military so I figured I'd start a topic for people to post photos of serviceman with tattoos.

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#2 knd643

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:47 AM

Tattooed sailor aboard the USS New Jersey

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#3 knd643

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:48 AM

Sailors, WW2

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#4 knd643

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:49 AM

Sailor reading playboys. 1950's

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#5 doyler

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:51 AM

NavyTat.jpg



#6 knd643

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:51 AM

Sailor being treated for burns received during the attacks on Pearl Harbor, December 1941

 

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#7 jerry_k

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 12:26 PM

US NAVY gunner from VT-10.

 

 

Cheers,

Jerry

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Edited by jerry_k, 12 January 2019 - 12:28 PM.


#8 knd643

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 01:25 PM

Sailor WWII Life Mag. Archives

 

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Edited by knd643, 12 January 2019 - 01:25 PM.


#9 aznation

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 05:14 PM

I really like the tattoo pic that Doyler posted.  Whoever did that one had some skills.  Love it.



#10 knd643

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 01:31 AM

A sailor with tattoos memorializing shipmates lost with the USS Vincennes when it sank on 9 August 1942.

 

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#11 knd643

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 01:32 AM

WW2 US Navy Sailors from Navy Scrapbook.

 

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#12 knd643

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 01:33 AM

US Coast Guardsman 

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#13 knd643

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 01:50 AM

.

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#14 Bluehawk

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 11:06 AM

Some general info:

"Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins was a Navy vet who built his rep inking soldiers and sailors in WWII-era Honolulu where he established his legendary tattoo parlor and himself as the undisputed father of American old-school tattooing. At 19, Collins joined the U.S. Navy where he was exposed to the art and culture of Southeast Asia that would later shape his legacy. After the Navy, Collins made WWII-era Honolulu his home and continued honing his skills as a tattoo artist.

Sailors on Shore Leave in Honolulu would wait in line for hours outside Collins’ Hotel Street tattoo shop to be inked by the master himself.."

https://chilledmagaz...ners-fleet-week

 

Also:

"From Sailor Jerry protegé Ed Hardy who attended the San Francisco Art Institute to the legendary Lyle Tuttle whose shop completes this list of the Bay Area's best tattoo parlors, San Francisco is a historic town for tattoos. First the domain of sailors and bohemians — and the area has been home to many — tattoos entered the mainstream perhaps thanks to Tuttle and the fateful tattooing of local musician Janis Joplin."

 

https://sfist.com/2015/03/18/the_bay_areas_9_best_tattoo_shops/


Edited by Bluehawk, 19 January 2019 - 11:10 AM.


#15 Bluehawk

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 12:22 PM

I have pieces drawn on by Ed Hardy, Lyle Tuttle, Pingay "Pinky" Yan (Alameda, CA), Cliff Raven (when he was in Chicago), Sybil "Dragon Lady" Erden, "Old 66 Tattoo" (Joplin), "Scholar Tattoo" (Frisco) and Ron "Breezy" Ackers (Chanute AFB area). I did get a couple in Oakland, CA by a guy who called himself "Sailor Jerry" - but don't think that was his real name. 

I started getting work done in 1960, as a Ward of the Court living in a state-run boarding school - simple pieces, made using a sewing needle stuck into a pencil eraser and wrapped thickly with cotton thread, dipped in India ink. 6 pieces total, not very good stuff, but tolerable. In the USAF I got those covered with professional designs (Ship at Sea, Sitting Eagle, Red Rose, Black Leopard, Female name inside a Heart... some typical standard imagery of that era). 

The tattoos shown in this thread were all done during a time when tattoo equipment was considerably more primitive than today, color choices were very limited. The lines were quite a bit thicker than they are now. A typical tattoo parlor might have, maybe, 200 or so choices of flash on display back then - today there are many hundreds of choices. But, the process is still basically exactly the same today as it was following the really traditional way of "pricking" technique. A major piece, maybe 6 or 8 inches in length, could at one time be had for about $20 or less. Today, that same piece would be lucky to get for $200-$300 or more. 

I don't regret having this work on my body, nothing below the wrist, above the neck line or below the waist... but, if I had it to do over, I wouldn't - for no reason other than the fact that people can be VERY judgmental and stereotyping about the subject, and being tattooed does not fall under special "civil rights" legislation when it comes to employment and the like. I've had some pretty rotten experiences over the years on that score... one city government supervisor told me I was not going to be invited (by her) to a high-level meeting because the gentleman had been a US Marine, and would not like my tattoos. I did enjoy a wonderful and long career in a high visibility profession, but there was always that question in the eyes of my peers, "Can this guy really be trusted? Does he ride a motorcycle and smoke pot? Will he steal the silverware? Was he drunk when he got those?" In other words, the good old days. 

From what I can gather, military tattoos these days are pretty much like the old ones in terms of subject mater related to branch of service, memorializing people or events, unit of assignment - with some major differences having to do with technique and cultural changes. For example, here is a piece (unusual but also traditional, believe it or not) done by Shaun Clark for a soldier involved with the OEF, listing names of fallen:
resized_article-2063151-0ED9CBFB00000578-47_1024x615_large.jpg
 



#16 world war I nerd

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 04:13 PM

Heavily inked sailors, crewmembers of the armored cruiser U.S. S. Huntington, WW I or earlier.

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#17 knd643

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 05:25 PM

I started getting work done in 1960, as a Ward of the Court living in a state-run boarding school - simple pieces, made using a sewing needle stuck into a pencil eraser and wrapped thickly with cotton thread, dipped in India ink. 6 pieces total, not very good stuff, but tolerable. In the USAF I got those covered with professional designs (Ship at Sea, Sitting Eagle, Red Rose, Black Leopard, Female name inside a Heart... some typical standard imagery of that era). 

The tattoos shown in this thread were all done during a time when tattoo equipment was considerably more primitive than today, color choices were very limited. The lines were quite a bit thicker than they are now. A typical tattoo parlor might have, maybe, 200 or so choices of flash on display back then - today there are many hundreds of choices. But, the process is still basically exactly the same today as it was following the really traditional way of "pricking" technique. A major piece, maybe 6 or 8 inches in length, could at one time be had for about $20 or less. Today, that same piece would be lucky to get for $200-$300 or more. 

I don't regret having this work on my body, nothing below the wrist, above the neck line or below the waist... but, if I had it to do over, I wouldn't - for no reason other than the fact that people can be VERY judgmental and stereotyping about the subject, and being tattooed does not fall under special "civil rights" legislation when it comes to employment and the like. I've had some pretty rotten experiences over the years on that score... one city government supervisor told me I was not going to be invited (by her) to a high-level meeting because the gentleman had been a US Marine, and would not like my tattoos. I did enjoy a wonderful and long career in a high visibility profession, but there was always that question in the eyes of my peers, "Can this guy really be trusted? Does he ride a motorcycle and smoke pot? Will he steal the silverware? Was he drunk when he got those?" In other words, the good old days. 

 

I've gotten a couple since I've joined the Marines. 2 of them I got when I was in Australia. Being into militaria and history they've all been American Traditional accept for one. One of the pieces I've gotten is a patriotic flash art from 1940. I plan on getting a lot more while i'm in. The regs though make it hard to get any good size pieces on your arms or legs though.



#18 knd643

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 07:48 PM

Crew activities aboard 'The Fighting Lady', the USS Yorktown, CV-10, in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Sailors on board the day before attacking Japanese forces on Marcus Island.

 

Pretty cool I've never actually seen a photo of a sailor from WW2 with one but it looks like he has either a pig or chicken on his foot.

 

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#19 doyler

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 07:57 PM

Lots of symbolism in the tatoos that many may not know of.

 

Pigs and roosters(chickens)were often used as symbols for not drowning by early mariners or surviving a sinking..Typically animals on ships were in crates and if the ship sank the crates would float.


Edited by doyler, 19 January 2019 - 08:00 PM.


#20 doyler

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 07:59 PM

Some of these symbols are explained here

 

https://www.military...-sailor-tattoos

 

https://tatring.com/...s-origins-ideas



#21 doyler

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 08:12 PM

vintage puma tattoos chest.jpg



#22 knd643

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 08:31 PM

Fall of Corregidor to Japanese, during World War 2, Japanese newsreel. Views of tattoo on sailor.

 

Pretty famous flash of the crying baby. 

 

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#23 m1ashooter

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 08:41 PM

Great pictures.  I enjoyed the pictures of the Coasties.  My young son who is a Bosuns Mate 3rd Class in the Coast Guard has his right arm sleeved.  The USCG doesn't frown on tats.  Its part of their tradition. 



#24 knd643

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 08:47 PM

Great pictures.  I enjoyed the pictures of the Coasties.  My young son who is a Bosuns Mate 3rd Class in the Coast Guard has his right arm sleeved.  The USCG doesn't frown on tats.  Its part of their tradition. 

 

Its part of the Marines traditions also but they frown upon it now. Tons of higher ups have full sleeves in my unit and are grandfathered in. The navy got rid of the regs they had so the navy can get pretty much whatever they want again.


Edited by knd643, 19 January 2019 - 08:52 PM.


#25 Bluehawk

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 09:23 PM

Those big spread wing eagles and two leopard heads facing one another on a chest are a couple of the most common traditional selections in that era.

 

The chest (rib cage) area is one of the most uncomfortable locations to receive a tattoo on the human body, the lower back rib cage being about as bad as can be stood. Some of the older artists would insist that you keep eyes closed until the piece was completely finished... or else they'd give the eagle/leopard "yellow eyes"   

 

True story...




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