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Study: USN WWII Gray Uniforms 1943-1949


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#201 KurtA

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 01:24 PM

Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King arriving at his headquarters for the Potsdam Conference - July 15, 1945. Those rank boards he is wearing would have to be among the rarest of rare, I would think.

 

Interesting that there are no "scrambled eggs" on the visor of his hat. I could understand if the  hat badge and chinstrap were black, but they're the bright normal finish.



#202 Justin B.

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 01:45 PM

Interesting that in the previous two photos all of the officers are wearing gold chin straps on their combination covers, rather than black.

 

You had to have a gold chinstrap for blues and whites and could also wear it with khakis and grays, so the black chinstrap was an extra purchase that never really caught on.

 

 

 

Interesting that there are no "scrambled eggs" on the visor of his hat. I could understand if the  hat badge and chinstrap were black, but they're the bright normal finish.

 

If King had got his way, gold chinstraps and scrambled eggs would have been worn on dress uniforms only, but he had to back down and they became optional for working uniforms.



#203 sjw83071

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 02:53 PM

King's garrison cap

 

King cap.JPG



#204 Justin B.

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 06:59 AM

One Hospital Corps officer in gray, one in khaki, NAS New Orleans, 1945.

 

80-G-K-5310.jpg

 

https://www.history....0-G-K-5310.html

 



#205 seanmc1114

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 11:58 AM

Commander John H. Balch, USNR during World War II. During World War I, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in action at Vierzy, France on 19 July 1918 and at Somme-Py, France on 5 October 1918. He served with the Third Battalion, Sixth Regiment Marines.

 

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#206 Justin B.

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 08:29 AM

A smattering of grays, including Admiral Mitscher, in the ComEighthFlt staff, 1946.

 

NH 83968 (2).jpg



#207 Justin B.

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 07:13 PM

A bit of a surprise, Adm. Leahy in grays and King in blues at the Quebec Conference, August 1943. RN admirals in whites, RCN in blues.

 

quebec_conf_1943.jpg



#208 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 05:26 PM

USN GREYS - Manufacturers, Distributors and Tailors labels montage

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  • A MMC 07.jpg
  • B MoMC 08.jpg
  • C ENS 10.jpg
  • C ENS 16.jpg
  • D LTJG 08.jpg
  • E USCG LTJG 08.jpg


#209 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 05:38 PM

USN GREYS - Manufacturers, Distributors and Tailors labels montage

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  • F LT 07.jpg
  • G LCDR 08.jpg
  • G LCDR 17.jpg
  • Label 002.jpg
  • Label 003.jpg
  • Label 005a.jpg


#210 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 05:56 PM

USS Wyoming (Battleship # 32, later BB-32 and AG-17), 1912-1947

 

Under the terms of the 1930 London Treaty, Wyoming was "demilitarized" in early 1931, becoming a training ship, with the new hull number AG-17. With half of her twelve-inch guns removed, she served in that function for the rest of the decade, and beyond, making midshipmen cruises across the Atlantic on several occasions. She also took part in a number of amphibious landing exercises, providing experience that would be vital to the Navy and Marine Corps during the 1940s.
 
In November 1941, with formal U.S. participation in the Second World War clearly in the offing, Wyoming took on the mission of training thousands of sailors in the art and science of gunnery. Throughout the war, she operated in the Chesapeake Bay area, reportedly firing off more ammunition than any other U.S. Navy ship. Wyoming's remaining big guns were replaced with more five-inch and smaller weapons in early 1944, reflecting an increasing emphasis on anti-aircraft requirements. In July 1945 she became an experimental gunnery ship with what soon became the Operational Development Force, serving in that capacity until August 1947, when she decommissioned and handed the function over to USS Mississippi (AG-128). USS Wyoming was sold for scrapping in October 1947.

 

 
Photo #: 80-G-334378
 
USS Wyoming (AG-17)
 
Chief Gunner's Mate Eugene Metzel, USN, who has served 24 years on board Wyoming, looks at the bronze plaque commemorating her First World War service with the Grand Fleet. Photographed in 1945.
Chief Metzel is wearing the World War II era service dress grey uniform.
 
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

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  • USS WYOMING 001.jpg


#211 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 06:11 PM

USN Stewards

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#212 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 05:37 PM

Newly discovered in my "what the heck is this" photo collection.

 

Skipper of the crash boat at NAS St. Simons, GA April 30th, 1944 in USN Greys with the proper black hat chinstrap and buttons, but wearing a gold eagle

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  • st simons island GA WWII Crash Boat Crew 4-30-1944 004.jpg


#213 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 05:43 PM

Full photograph - Rescue Boat Crew, NAS St. Simons GA 1944

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#214 29navy

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 06:59 PM

Newly discovered in my "what the heck is this" photo collection.

 

Skipper of the crash boat at NAS St. Simons, GA April 30th, 1944 in USN Greys with the proper black hat chinstrap and buttons, but wearing a gold eagle

Not sure of what you mean by gold eagle.  The Officer crest on the gray hat is supposed to be the standard crest.



#215 sigsaye

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 07:47 PM

Not sure of what you mean by gold eagle.  The Officer crest on the gray hat is supposed to be the standard crest.

. No, theRegulation hat crests got both officers and CPOs were Blackened. But, most didnt bother, or couldnt get them.

#216 Justin B.

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 09:04 PM

Black cap badges may have been proposed at some point, but they never got approval; the standard "bright" cap badges were regulation for gray working. An official Navy Department photo of the new accessories:

 

gray_cap_boards.jpg



#217 pararaftanr2

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 03:53 AM

Black cap badges may have been proposed at some point, but they never got approval; the standard "bright" cap badges were regulation for gray working. An official Navy Department photo of the new accessories:

 

attachicon.gifgray_cap_boards.jpg

Not sure of your source for that information, but they did exist, and were probably worn by some regardless.

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  • IMG_7956.JPG


#218 sigsaye

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:38 AM

I remember seeing photos of the darkened cap devices. I dont think they were all that common.

#219 Justin B.

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:38 AM

Not sure of your source for that information, but they did exist, and were probably worn by some regardless.

I know they existed, but I have never seen a contemporary photo of anyone wearing one. As for the source, a black cap badge never appears to my knowledge in regulations or orders 1941-1951. Obviously I can't cite the absence of a  reference, but I can say for sure that a black cap badge does not appear in BuPers JJ55-3 16 Apr 1943, "Officers' Working Uniform -- Changes in" which announced the change from khaki to gray. No mention of a black cap badge in Navy Department Bulletin R-1126 08 Jun 1943, which added the black chin strap and deleted scrambled egg for "other than formal occasions." No mention in SecNav circular letter of 02 Jul 1943 which made black chinstraps and scrambled egg optional. No mention in BuPers circular letter 153-43, 08 Nov 1943 which added the gray uniform description to the Uniform Regulations, which reads under "11-32 Caps, Working Uniform (for all officers and chief petty officers)":

 

These items shall be designed to conform to combination cap (blue and white) and the garrison cap as prescribed for commissioned, warrant and chief petty officers, except that the cloth top of the former and the cloth of the latter shall be of the same color as the uniform.

 

If anyone has an official reference for authorization of a black cap badge I would be happy to see it, of course.



#220 David Minton

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 08:47 AM

Not sure of your source for that information, but they did exist, and were probably worn by some regardless.

Question: is the eagle blackened, or just heavily tarnished?



#221 pararaftanr2

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:51 AM

There is zero tarnishing. It appears to be a conventional silver and gold colored insignia that was darkened. I don't know what process would have been used to achieve this, but it is not paint, or tarnish. More likely a chemical process, or plating, I'd think. On the reverse side, you can see the original color of the metal in small areas, as shown in the photos. The resulting color is a very, very dark gray, not black. This came with the black cap braid and black buttons. I do not see a manufacturer's mark on the reverse.

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  • IMG_7954.JPG


#222 pararaftanr2

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:51 AM

Reverse side:

 

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#223 jweitkamp

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:18 PM

The darkened insignia for both officers and CPO’s were used on forest green uniforms by naval personnel attached to USMC formations, primarily (but not limited to ) medical corps members.

#224 pararaftanr2

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 05:23 AM

The darkened insignia for both officers and CPO’s were used on forest green uniforms by naval personnel attached to USMC formations, primarily (but not limited to ) medical corps members.

The insignia you describe were "bronze" colored, not darkened, or black, as intended for the gray uniform. They are not interchangeable.



#225 sigsaye

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 06:16 AM

The insignia you describe were "bronze" colored, not darkened, or black, as intended for the gray uniform. They are not interchangeable.

. I could be mistaken, but I think I recall that the insignia for the grays was some sort of plastic or Bakelite. I could be wrong.


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