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Span Am USMC Tunics


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#1 warguy

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:32 AM

I recently grabbed this grouping and am quite happy with it. It is difficult to find Span Am Marine material, and a khaki tunic from that periord was needed to fill a gap in my Marine uniform pre WWII display. This tunic came with a fair amount of paperwork and photographs that identify the owner of the tunic as Perry Daubenfeld. Perry entered the Marines in 1901, rising to rank of Corporal in 1904 and was discharged in 1905. He led an interesting life, moving on to the Illinois National Guard where he rose to rank of Captain and then served as a Captain in WWI with the 132nd infantry. His service record with the Marines is recorded in some of the paperwork I received in the grouping as well as his muster records on Ancestry. He spent considerable time in the Philippines. 

 

Here is the tunic that came with the grouping. I really like the tunic, it "feels" right. It has a nice set of period correct USMC Cpl. stripes (a little dingy from some old water stains) and a complete set of matching Horstmann back marked Marine brass buttons. I found a very faded and difficult to see name hand written under one pocket flap that the seller missed (he said it was un-named). I can just make out the first half of the name which "P Daub" which is a match. There are no other markings in the tunic.

 

 

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#2 warguy

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:37 AM

Here is a photo of Perry when I believe he was in the Marines, wearing a khaki tunic, but not this one. It appears he is wearing a set of Marine Cpl. stripes dating this photo to 1904 or 1905. Close examination of the tunic he is wearing in the photo reveals it is NOT the same tunic I received. Note in particular the smaller pocket flaps in the photo compared to the tunic shown above, as well as the slightly lower stanbding collar. 

 

 

This comparison leads to my question. Were there several various styles of khaki tunics worn by the Marines in the Span Am/Philippines war??

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#3 warguy

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 09:43 AM

I have spent the last ten days or so combing over every photo I can find of Marine Span Am khaki uniforms or photos of them in ear. What I have found is that the vast majority of tunics worn in that time period match the one Perry is wearing in the photo. Smaller pocket flaps and a bit shorter standing collar. 

 

I have learned that there appears to have been an earlier khaki tunic worn by the Marines with standing collar that is rolled (the edges of the collar as they meet are rounded at the top). All Marine EM tunics I have seen are five button, standing collar, pointed cuffs and are two pocket, which essentially matches both the tunic I received as well as the one worn by Perry in the photo. Officers in the Marine Corps at this time appear to have worn a four pocket tunic. Interestingly, the officers tunic breast pocket flaps match p[retty closely the cut and style of the pocket flaps on the tunic I received. I think I have seen one or two EM Marines wearing tunics that also seem to have the larger pocket flaps. Here are a couple of photos pulled rom the internet for comparison. 

 

By the way, ALL Army khaki tunics I have seen from this time period are four pocket designs, so I don't think the tunic I received is an army one "borrowed" by Perry because of supply problems. 

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#4 warguy

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:00 AM

In the first photo above, you see two standing EM's and two seated officers from this time period. The EM tunics in this photo appear to match the one worn by Perry in the photo of him. The Officer tunics have pocket flaps similar to the tunic I received. It is hard to tell, but possible these officers tunics are FOUR pocket. I pulled this photo off the internet and don't own it.

 

The second photo is one I own. In the front row, second from left you see a seated officer. He is interestingly holding a round vent campaign hat and wearing a tunic with pocket flaps once again that are similar to the tunic I received. Hard to say if it is four poacket or not. The two men at far right in this photo (both one kneeling in front and one standing behind) appear to be EM's and their pocket flaps appear larger than the others in the photos. It also looks like the one standing is wearing a four pocket tunic. The photo is marked on the back to a Marine regiment in the Philippines. Some of the details are easier to make out under glass in hand.

 

The third photo above appears to be two Marines and it might just be me, but the one standing seems to have pocket flaps a bit larger?? I might be trying too hard though. I pulled this photo off the internet and I do not own it.

 

So again, I would love to hear from others. I think I remember reading a post many years ago that suggested there were uniforms being manufactured locally in the Philippines and these locally manufactured tunics varied in design. Of course I can no longer find that post. I also know that the Marine uniforms of this period went through a number of transitions, with the rolled collar being changed to a straight collar in 1898 (I actually have a blue wool Marine tunic with an 1898 dated label that has the straight edge standing collar, so I know the change was made that year). The far more common P1912 khaki cotton Marine tunic has the familiar two breast pleats running from the bottom collar edge to top of pockets. I am not sure when those pleats were implemented, but photographic evidence shows they weren't there around the Span Am period. I would also like to know when the Marines transitioned from bright brass buttons on these tunics to the darkened bronze (the army made the transition in 1902 from what I recently read, but I cant find when the Marines made this change). 

 

Anyway, again I feel good about this grouping and the tunic and don't think anything is "messed" with, I am just trying to figure out if I have a certain model or if the differences in the pocket design are just attributed to variances in local manufacture or something. Wish there were more resources out there on this time period. Thanks in advance. Kevin



#5 Alec

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 11:27 AM

Kevin, the first khaki uniforms were shipped to Marines already in Cuba. They had domed gilt buttons as your uniform shows, but they did not have standup collars. The initial uniforms had rolled collars like the Army sack coat. In early 1900 they switched to the standup collar and continued for decades after that.

I will try to find my pictures later but it will be awhile before I can post. Note the equipment your Marines are wearing in your images, 1903 cartridge belts, carrying a M1911 side arm with 1912 cartridge belt and M1903 rifles (not starting issue until about 1910). Your pics all show much later wearing of this uniform.

Your question about different styles the answer is yes. Collars were higher earlier in production years and pockets varied a little. A lot of overseas production took place at tailors overseas so you will see variances. I have a Manila manufactured officer's shirt from the 1900 to 1910 time period.

Your corporal coat is a good example of turn of the century Marine Corps garb. A nice piece for any collection.

#6 trenchbuff

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 11:28 AM

Very nice!  Especially with photos and ID!!!



#7 warguy

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 11:31 AM

Thank you both, you gentleman know your stuff and are a credit to the hobby and I appreciate you taking the time to weigh in. Kevin

#8 Dirk

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 12:57 PM

Kevin that is a fantastic pick up! The first photo was taken in China 1911 and shows the winners of the international competition for that year. Much later then yours....BTW they are all ided. I to am curious about early khakis worn by the Marines. Am hoping Alecs next book will clear it all up. I have a lot of photos with variations in Khaki uniforms thru 1910. Did the Marine change patterns around 1904 and are identified by a seam in the front of the cuff as well as a move from domed brass to flatter blackened bronze after 1904? The attached is from a Boxer Marine taken in the P.I. after his return.

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Edited by Dirk, 15 September 2019 - 01:16 PM.


#9 world war I nerd

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 02:58 PM

Inscribed: "US Marine barracks S. Carolina". I'm guessing this dates somewhere between 1910 and 1914.

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#10 world war I nerd

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 03:00 PM

Close up of the khaki field coat. Note the slightly taller "stand" collar.

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#11 world war I nerd

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 03:03 PM

This image appears to be a bit earlier as the campaign cover on the ground appears to be an Army issue 1902 Campaign Hat with a felt tying strap grommet and folded and stitched brim.

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#12 world war I nerd

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 03:05 PM

A closer look at the khaki cotton summer field coats in the above photo, which also appear to have slightly taller "stand" collars.

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#13 world war I nerd

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 03:07 PM

The reverse of this postcard is postmarked September 23, 1910.

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#14 world war I nerd

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 03:08 PM

A closer look at the summer field coats depicted in the 1910 dated image.

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#15 US Victory Museum

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 03:13 PM

I'm not terribly thrilled with the photos that you've posted; the overall image is tiny, and there is no complete

view from the rear.    I would have liked to see whether the rear "skirt" has two splits, or not.  Moreover, I'd

like to see the internal stitching to determine whether it is machine (treddle) sewn, or hand finished; and

a better view of the collar laying flat.

 

Because he served in the Philippines it is possible that this blouse is a personal purchase item from that

source, or British Hong Kong; better detailed photos could confirm or eliminate that possibility.

 

Your coat lacks the two welted gore seams that run from the collar to the upper pockets (see photo in your

post #3).  This detail to USMC clothing can be found on the enlisted summer service coat (khaki) starting

with the 1904 pattern.   The earlier 1900 pattern, which I believe yours to be, did not have this feature.

The 1900 pattern had two rear vents (also found on later patterns); a slightly rounded standing collar (I can't

discern this detail from your photos), whereas the 1904 pattern and later had a square standing collar; five

domed gilt brass buttons down the front.

 

What I am seeing seems to be consistent with a 1900 pattern enlisted summer service coat (khaki).

Whether foreign made, or domestic, it is a highly collectable prize for your collection.   Kudos!

 

 

 

Caveat:

The enlisted summer undress coats are the white linen coats.  The enlisted summer service coat is khaki twill.

 

Because these two names are so similar it is possible to mistake one for the other when casually reading

documents, so pay close attention; they differ slightly from each other in their details.

 

Your friend and fellow collector,

Msn

 

 



#16 warguy

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 06:21 PM

Hey thanks to all for chiming in. I was really hoping to see some intelligent discussion on this subject, and I am not disappointed. WWI nerd, I was also hoping you would show up and thanks for posting the photos. I actually saw these images when researching the past week. Dirk you are always a welcome visitor to any thread I post and always appreciate your input.

Msn, thanks for your comments as well. I thought I got the most prominent aspects photographed, but can see quickly I fell short. I will take some additional shots and post them by tomorrow evening (my Sunday was unexpectedly busier than I thought). Thanks for weighing in on your assessment of a possible 1900 pattern tunic. I will say that there are no vents to the rear of this tunic. I also read your thread from some time ago about the Hong Kong or British made army tunics of this time period and there is no internal belt in my tunic so I know it is not one of those. Finally, with regards to the rolled collar, my tunic definitely does not have one. I am familiar with that feature as I have a couple Marine tunics (blue wool ones) with rolled collars. As I indicated in the original post, I also possess a very interesting USMC blue wool tunic with a straight standing collar and a 1898 paper QM label sewn inside. This came from the Greg Beck collection (Greg’s collection was prominently photographed in Alec’s Equipping the Vorps volume 1), and he said at the time I purchased this uniform that it might appear in Alec’s next book. I think it is a key piece as it definitively answers the question on when the Marines went from the rolled collar to the straight...1898. Obviously Marines in the field probably wore their rolled collars until the uniform wore out, but I would imagine that tunics produced by the Marines from 1898 on likely had the straight collar. Just my assessment I guess. Thanks to all again for taking the time to help me out. I will definitely post more photos by tomorrow night. Kevin

#17 warguy

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 06:58 PM

Dirk, by the way the Boxer Marine you showed is very interesting in that his buttons are brass. His tunic has the smaller pocket flap so common on these khaki EM summer service coats. The 1904 transition date for the button would certainly make sense for the coat that started this topic. I could I imagine Perry wearing this coat any time between 1900 and 1905, sewing on his Corporal stripes when promoted in 1904.

#18 BEAST

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 12:35 PM

Warguy,  Thank you for starting this discussion. A few years ago, I purchased a summer service coat worn by a Hoosier Marine who served between 1906-1910. You can read about it here if you are interested: http://www.usmilitar...9/?hl=richcreek

 

 

I took a stab at understanding the various patterns identified by the regulations and published an article in the AAMUC FOOTLOCKER.  Attached is a copy of that article.  I look forward to reading more from the folks here.

 

RICHCREEK 1.jpg



#19 BEAST

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 12:35 PM

richcreek 2.jpg



#20 BEAST

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 12:37 PM

richcreek 3.jpg

 

 

richcreek 4.jpg

 

 

 

Sorry about taking up so much space! The files were larger than i thought!



#21 SgtMaddoxUSMC

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 01:34 PM

Great topic and some great images! Love USMC SpanAm!



#22 Dirk

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 02:12 PM

Beast great article! Gave me many of the answers I was looking for! Thank you!

#23 warguy

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 06:36 PM

As promised some more pics of this tunic:

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Edited by warguy, 16 September 2019 - 06:38 PM.


#24 warguy

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 06:39 PM

More

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#25 warguy

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 06:41 PM

And here is the example of the 1898 tagged straight collar I referred to as well as an earlier rolled collar on an EM dress from the Span Am war.

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