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Web Shoulder Strap, WWI

Started by New Romantic , May 01 2007 08:28 AM

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#1 New Romantic

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:28 AM

I came across this site which had some interesting photos of USMC officers during WWI.
http://www.scuttlebu...m/unknowns.html

I noticed in the photos many officers are wearing a web strap to support their pistol belt. This strap looks like a strap from the M1917 suspenders. Any thoughts on this?

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#2 New Romantic

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:32 AM

This made me think about my set of M1917 suspenders which are a mix matched pair. One strap is dated June 1917 and has several names of a Lt. stamped on it.

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#3 New Romantic

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:45 AM

I just looked at my suspnder strap. I was wrong, it's dated July 1917.

The officer who owned this belt stamped his name twice which reads

James ?........?
1st Lt. ?....?


The bit after 1st Lt. looks like it may read USMC, it's very hard to tell.

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#4 New Romantic

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 09:03 AM

I just put together this display to illustrate my observations. Yes, I know that this in an enlistedman's tunic, I don't have an officer's tunic.

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#5 Gil Sanow

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 09:18 AM

I just put together this display to illustrate my observations. Yes, I know that this in an enlistedman's tunic, I don't have an officer's tunic.


I have seen this khaki web shoulder strap in numerous photos too. It may be the strap you show or it may be the strap from one of the web mapcases. I suspect that if it was available, it was used.

Officers of all allied nations were to wear the Sam Browne belt as a symbol of rank - so soldiers of all nations would recignize them as officers. Certainly web straps worn this way would have been more practical in the field that leather, and besides, the leather strap on the SB was meant to support the sword on the left hip, not a holster on the right side.

Perhaps we should call this a Sam "Beige" or Sam "Khaki" belt!

#6 TrenchRaider1918

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 06:20 PM

Did US officers wear the Sam Browne belt during WWI?

#7 New Romantic

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 04:56 AM

Did US officers wear the Sam Browne belt during WWI?


General Pershing became fond of the Sam Brown belt b/c of it's sharp appearance when worn with the officers' uniforms. After the war, the belt was prohibited from being worn in the US but by the 1930's it had become a mainstay of the officers's uniform and was worn through the early 1940's.

The Sam Brown belts were rarely worn in combat as it would identify officers for enemy snipers. Below is a photo of a Sam Brown belt on a USMC officer display from fightn5th's Belleau Wood Exhibit topic.

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