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USMC / USN Captains' bars?


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#1 Sabrejet

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:32 AM

Would I be correct in assuming that these Captains' bars are intended for wear by USMC/USN officers by virtue of the fact that the bars are joined top and bottom to form a square? They're full-size bars just marked "Sterling" and have a nice aged patina. They have a basic open-clasp fastener (theatre-made?!) so would anyone care to suggest approximately when they might date from? Thank you.

2010_0903Patches0029.JPG 2010_0903Patches0028.JPG

Sabrejet

#2 normaninvasion

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:40 AM

I believe you are correct, USN/USMC. I would think these are perfect for WW2 era. Been looking for a pair :thumbsup:

#3 Dave

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:47 AM

They're actually a hybrid... USMC Captain's and USN Lieuenant's bars make the "square" (vice being like "railroad tracks") BUT they don't have the edge taper that these do. Interesting.

They are beautiful though!

Dave

#4 Allan H.

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:58 AM

By the configuration of the hinge on the pin and the open loop catch, I would say that they appear to be German made.
I would also say that as many of these same style bars that I've encountered with the tapered edges, these were most likely worn by an army captain rather than a USN or USMC officer.
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#5 Sabrejet

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:03 AM

Thanks for the helpful responses so far!

Sabrejet :thumbsup:

#6 KurtA

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:53 AM

By the configuration of the hinge on the pin and the open loop catch, I would say that they appear to be German made.
I would also say that as many of these same style bars that I've encountered with the tapered edges, these were most likely worn by an army captain rather than a USN or USMC officer.
Allan

Agree-
Despite the connector bar being flush with the edges of the rank bars, these are Army. USMC/USN bars would not have the bevelled edges that these have. USMC/USN bars always have the flat edges.

I have also seen British-made captain bars like these (i.e., connector bars flush with the edges of the rank bars and bevelled edges.)

Kurt

#7 Sabrejet

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:56 AM

Hi Kurt! Yeah? Ok...fair enuffski!!

Ian :thumbsup:

#8 craig_pickrall

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:07 AM

It isn't uncommon for the Army bars to have the cross bar on the ends rather than moved in. These are all WW2 era cloth versions but the bar is on the edge.

POPLIN
CAPT_2__POPLIN.jpg

COTTON
CAPT_4__COTTON.jpg

BULLION ON ELASTIQUE
CAPT_6__BULLION___ELASTIQUE.jpg

ELASTIQUE
CAPT_9__ELASTIQUE.jpg

HELMET DECAL WITH RECESSED CROSSBARS
CAPT_1__DECAL.jpg

#9 bulldog06

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:42 AM

I have an attributed M1 fixed bail with a similar set of bars affixed to the front. It belonged to a US Army Captain who served in the 13th Airborne Div. I have the mate to the bars, but not with me.

Sabrejet's bars have a British like pin and catch. The one I have is a US style IIRC.

#10 Sabrejet

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:44 AM

Interesting variants Craig..I have some similar examples myself but didn't make the connection. That said, from a purely practical point of view I suppose it was easier and quicker to run the embroidery thread straight across rather than to "step" it. This in itself could have determined why such embroidered bars are "square"?

Ian

#11 Stinger Gunner USMC

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 07:43 AM

Everything said is correct. I thought It may be worth while to add photos of an H&H USMC captains insignia for reference

Attached Images

  • IMGP0446.JPG
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#12 Captainofthe7th

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:20 AM

I had a 1st Army Captain's uniform for a short time in my collection...the Capt. bars were closer to the USMC/USN type. They were flatter than the typical army style and lacked the beveled edges. The 'crossbar' was at the tops, not inset. I am 90% sure the uniform is original, I bought it in person from a reliable dealer. I've since sold it, but I always thought the Capt bars were unusual.

This topic and the uniform I described have led me to consider that perhaps some Army personnel purchased or came across the USN/USMC type bars here and there and ended up wearing them. Until I find some definite evidence...it will remain a mystery.

Rob

#13 Stinger Gunner USMC

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:36 AM

I had a 1st Army Captain's uniform for a short time in my collection...the Capt. bars were closer to the USMC/USN type. They were flatter than the typical army style and lacked the beveled edges. The 'crossbar' was at the tops, not inset. I am 90% sure the uniform is original, I bought it in person from a reliable dealer. I've since sold it, but I always thought the Capt bars were unusual.

This topic and the uniform I described have led me to consider that perhaps some Army personnel purchased or came across the USN/USMC type bars here and there and ended up wearing them. Until I find some definite evidence...it will remain a mystery.

Rob


As always, there are plenty of variation to the rules, espically during WWII. Could be that the captain liked the more streamlined appearence of the flat style bars. They are somewhat larger, and give a cleaner appearence IMO. A member of the forum has a USMC officers uniform that has the pre war false bullion style captains bars that were worn by the army in the '20s. It is a direct vet purchase and even has photos of the officer with that insignia, which was never authorized for wear. He probably just liked it and wore what he wanted.

Its a good example of what we all need to remember as collectors. The servicemen of WWII were by and large, not professional soldiers. They simply wanted to get the war over with and return to their lives. Most didn't care about uniform regulations or whether their insignia was army or USMC issue or, in many cases even if it was placed in the right position.

#14 Dave

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 04:06 PM

This topic and the uniform I described have led me to consider that perhaps some Army personnel purchased or came across the USN/USMC type bars here and there and ended up wearing them. Until I find some definite evidence...it will remain a mystery.



I had a commanding officer in the Navy who wore a set of Army/Air Force LTC leaves on his shirt collars. Not sure if he just didn't notice, or if he was wearing them because they were given to him by someone special. Either way, I probably should have asked him.

Dave

#15 USMCRECON

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 05:47 AM

In a post I made just a little while ago, I attached a couple pictures of my newly-acquired WW-II Marine (and Navy) style H-H Imperial Captain's bars but will re-post one of the pix here for reference. I've also posted a composite of front and back of a pair of 1930s Marine Captain bars. You can see that, while the style of the bars is different, the edges of the bars have no bevel to them. At least on post WW-I and early 20s, this was a distinctive feature of Naval Service (Navy/Marine) rank bars.

I'm not saying that Naval service officers didn't wear Army/AAF rank insignia. When I was an AF 1st Lt, I wore a Marine LT bar on my 7th ACCS baseball hat and no one said a thing about it. Everyone knew that I was a former Marine; whether they didn't notice or just didn't say anything...I don't know but the official bars for the Naval service had no bevel to the edges.

Marine_Capt_bars1.JPG

Marine_Capt_1936.JPG


Edited by USMCRECON, 13 February 2010 - 05:55 AM.


#16 American Heritage

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 05:35 PM

Great thread and nice engraved 1930's CAPT bars!!


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