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Wearing Khaki:Post-Boxer Rebellion Marine Officer or Enlisted?


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#1 Dirk

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 01:53 PM

The photo was taken in Hong Kong, a Seagoing Marine, wearing a 4 button blouse.....but no rank like a Private or 2Lt of the period.....any opinion on if this is an officer or enlisted man...enlisted EGA dates it to pre-1904 but officers during this period wore Enlisted pattern EGAs on their field hats. Any opinions?

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Edited by Dirk, 03 December 2019 - 01:54 PM.


#2 warguy

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 03:09 PM

Hi Dirk, thanks for posting this interesting image. So I ran a thread a couple months ago about a named uniform grouping I picked up. The tunic in this photo looks identical to the tunic I received (it has deeper or longer breast pocket flaps than the later khaki tunic introduced in 1903, as well as a taller collar, and void of the typical two diagonal pleats or darts running to top of the pocket seen on later models- and has the five (5) button front with brass buttons. The BIG difference is the two lower pockets, which has traditionally been reserved for officers wearing khaki in the Marine Corps in this time period. I believe my tunic and the one in this photo you shared are both khaki tunics that would date pre 1903, probably 1898-1903. For further, see the robust discussion presented in this thread:

http://www.usmilitar...am-usmc-tunics/

So again, my take anyway is that this is either an EM wearing a borrowed army tunic (the army khaki tunics of this time frame had four pockets, even for EMs) or an officer (wish we could see the braid or lack of on the hat). The Marine in this photo is wearing probably the star vent campaign hat (model 1902) with the ega moved to the front (which was done sometime after the Boxer rebellion, after 1900), and in my opinion in part to get the ega off of the star vent. Have no idea what that collar disc could be in the photo though. I dont think the idea of a borrowed army tunic is too far fetched. I have an interesting period photo included in the thread above showing a Marine Officer wearing a campaign hat with screen vents, a rare item seen on a Marine but far more popular with army officers of that period. I have read there were local tailors to help meet demands and many supply issues for Marines and soldiers serving in the Philippines during this time frame. Kevin

Edited by warguy, 03 December 2019 - 03:12 PM.


#3 P-40Warhawk

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 04:52 PM

Hi, I agree with warguy that the Marine is wearing a borrowed Army tunic. I also agree with him that I think it was not an uncommon occurrence, especially given the supply issues he mentioned. Awesome portrait!



#4 Dirk

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:04 PM

Thank you both! When I first saw the image I was inclined to think Officer but the more I have looked at it the more I think enlisted and agree it could easily be a Army blouse. Kevin that was a great thread as I remember. Interesting question that we probably can't answer, did he get the blouse in the PI and is now seagoing or did he get it in Tientsin on the way home from The Campaign from Army stocks. The Marines left in two batches late September and early October.

#5 Brig

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 06:24 PM

Always great to see this one. As I said over lunch, I think it might be a button on the collar, possibly cuff button.



#6 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 01:04 AM

Never have been convinced the photos I’ve seen, are of buttons. A quick glance shows the device on the collar is larger than the pocket buttons. Another indication is the dome on the buttons is more pronounced that the collar device. I’m also not convinced the jacket buttons are USMC, those seen here simply look different from the high dome period buttons seen on actual USMC/Navy jackets of the era.



#7 Dirk

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 06:14 AM

Brig glad you could join us at the Globe! Great time handling some amazing artifacts!

D I think your right not a button....under magnification a possible eagle wing emerges but beyond that can't tell....still a mystery image


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