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USMC 1951 BOOTS


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#1 Greg Robinson

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 01:55 AM

I've been looking for these for a while and found a pair yesterday. Contract dated January 1951, these were the high top rough side out boots adopted during the Korean War......a much more sensible boot for cold weather wear than the WW2 vintage "boondockers". At some point I believe they became the standard issue Marine field boot but not sure when this happened. But I do recall seeing this boot, or one very similar, on the feet of "Old Corps" Marines in the late 1960's.

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  • usmc_boots_1951.jpg
  • usmc_boots_1951_1.jpg


#2 Andrei

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 03:08 AM

Those boots are bitches to find !
I picked up my first pair at the flea market near Vintage Productions Show room a couple of years ago.
Then a second pair at the military antique shop down in Berkeley, cant remember the name.

Valery got a nice pair for peanuts on eBay, had them sent to Mike in NY and I brought them to France during one of my trip.

#3 Andrei

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 03:36 AM

The pair I got in Berkeley. Seller said he bought them from a former Marine helo pilot.

Boots1b.JPG

#4 Andrei

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 03:37 AM

Boots1c.JPG

#5 Andrei

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 03:38 AM

Boots1d.JPG

#6 Andrei

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 03:46 AM

The pair I picked up in Huntington Beach.

Boots2a.JPG

#7 Andrei

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 03:47 AM

Boots2d.JPG

Both pairs have their markings erased by the wear.

Edited by Andrei, 15 March 2009 - 03:47 AM.


#8 Greg Robinson

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 03:53 AM

Those boots are bitches to find !


Right...........they're tough to find. And my search was made even more difficult since I don't collect Viet Nam War militaria so was looking for a pair of early Korean War dated boots and not the ones made later. And I wanted a pair with original soles with slanted heels just like the Marine paratrooper boots of WW2.

Greg

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  • usmc_boots_1951_2.jpg


#9 Andrei

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 03:58 AM

Did not know about the sole variation. My HB picked up pair is dated 1953, only one line of the marking is faintly readable.
Do you think that my boots have been re-soled for Vietnam ?

#10 Greg Robinson

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 03:58 AM

Those boots are bitches to find !
I picked up my first pair at the flea market near Vintage Productions Show room a couple of years ago.
Then a second pair at the military antique shop down in Berkeley, cant remember the name.


Andrei

Yours look like the ones I saw while at Parris Island Marine Corps boot camp in 1967. They were being phased out but you still saw them. And I believe the ones I saw had black laces.

Greg

#11 Greg Robinson

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 04:02 AM

Did not know about the sole variation. My HB picked up pair is dated 1953, only one line of the marking is faintly readable.
Do you think that my boots have been re-soled for Vietnam ?


Yes....the ones you show with metal heel protectors were probably re-soled in the '60's. Look at the heels on my boots and note how the heels are made with a slant on the front. That's how the WW2 Marine paratrooper boots.....Type 2....were made. In 1951 they copied that pattern.

Greg

#12 Andrei

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 04:02 AM

Thanks for the info. I was very happy to find these two pairs and in salty condition ! It looks better realistic on a Marine ground pounder mannequin !

Andrei

#13 Greg Robinson

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 04:08 AM

Thanks for the info. I was very happy to find these two pairs and in salty condition ! It looks better realistic on a Marine ground pounder mannequin !

Andrei


Absolutely, a Marine grunt going to Viet Nam in the mid '60's could have worn these boots.

#14 craig_pickrall

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 09:57 AM

I am not sure but possibly all of those square cut heels have been replaced. I have 3 pair in new condition ranging from 1951 to 1963 and all have beveled heels. Square cut heels will get a better grip when walking down hill or on muddy surfaces. The bevel heel is better to not get caught on parachute lines or possibly vines.

07HT1.jpg
08HT2.jpg
09HT3.jpg

#15 Greg Robinson

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 10:28 AM

I am not sure but possibly all of those square cut heels have been replaced. I have 3 pair in new condition ranging from 1951 to 1963 and all have beveled heels. Square cut heels will get a better grip when walking down hill or on muddy surfaces. The bevel heel is better to not get caught on parachute lines or possibly vines.


I agree......the slant (beveled) heel was part of the original specification for these boots and apparently it was never changed. But when sent to the shoe shop for repair they used a standard cut heel.

Your 1960's boots confirms my memory from 1967 that the later version of this boot used black laces. I distinctly remember this boot design but not the cordorvan laces. And I think the later production did away with the rough out leather design.

I also suspect my boots made by Endicott Johnson to an 18 January 1951 contract was the first production of this boot.

#16 coolman

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 11:14 AM

they used in nam in the 1965-66 period alongside the black all Army pattern & the jungle ones...

#17 DiGilio

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 01:30 PM

These boots are pretty hard to find but were commonly used by the Marines in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966. Heres just a few pictures from LIFE.

http://images.google...dbec1fffabd54de

http://images.google...47310d54f219435

http://images.google...img...t=90&um=1

http://images.google...img...t=90&um=1

#18 Greg Robinson

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 02:13 PM

they used in nam in the 1965-66 period alongside the black all Army pattern & the jungle ones...


These all service black boots replaced the USMC M1951's.....first they had stitched soles, later bonded soles. These are identical to what I was issued at Parris Island in '67 but there were still a lot of the M1951 boots in service throughout the '60's.

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  • usmc_boots_1966.jpg


#19 Greg Robinson

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:02 AM

My new Marine boots arrived in the mail this morning. I honestly don't think they've ever been worn from looking at how pristine and clean the interior is. And somebody took good care of these. Stuffing the insides with paper has kept them from losing their shape....a common problem with old leather boots.

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  • MVC_019F.JPG


#20 Rustykamel

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 10:12 AM

Hi, Nice boots! I no long have my issue boots, but do have the laces that I braded for inspections. My laces are black and date somewhere from 1961 to 1964. As far as soles, what I remember is that just before the battalion was sent to the Caribbean for the Cuban Missile Crises, a call went out for all boots needing heels or soles. As a group, they were taken to Oceanside (I think) for repair. Our boots were rough side out and spit shined black. Hope this helps.

Jim

#21 baker502

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:05 AM

What kind of price range do they fall in, I see veryone is saying they are hard to find. does the price go up for size and date? Just curious that way I can keep my eyes peeled in my travels for set.. Thanks Paul

#22 collector

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:20 AM

These were twenty bucks.

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#23 baker502

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 04:36 PM

ok here are the ones in question..Paul
003.JPG

#24 baker502

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 04:36 PM

002.JPG

#25 Greg Robinson

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 04:43 PM

ok here are the ones in question..Paul


Contract date of 1962...and black laces.....late production.

Edited by Greg Robinson, 19 March 2009 - 04:44 PM.



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