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Makin Raiders Helmet Covers


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#1 gunbarrel

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 08:09 PM

I thought these helmet covers are very interesting; they look like plain green material. As a side note, looks like the guy on the right is wearing denim pants (Navy dungarees?).

Makin_Raiders.jpg

#2 craig_pickrall

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 08:39 PM

They might be burlap material too. Like sand bags are made of.

The man in front is wearing a grenade vest which you don't see many photos of.

#3 doyler

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 08:51 PM

Intrestng picture.Wonder if the trousers are the navy work denims??

Thanks for posting

RD

Edited by doyler, 12 June 2010 - 08:54 PM.


#4 Garandomatic

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 08:51 PM

I read a book on the Makin Raid that mentioned a lot of Marines dying their khakis black for the mission. Might be the explanation for the dark pants.

Edited by Garandomatic, 12 June 2010 - 08:53 PM.


#5 gunbarrel

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 01:21 AM

I read a book on the Makin Raid that mentioned a lot of Marines dying their khakis black for the mission. Might be the explanation for the dark pants.


That would make sense, too. Here is another period photo. Britches are fairly dark, too; however, I don't know for sure if these guys are Raiders. There was no caption to go with the photo.

PS I love the blade!

WWII_Marine_with_Theater_Knife_and_.45_Auto.jpg

Edited by gunbarrel, 13 June 2010 - 01:21 AM.


#6 ccmax

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 03:17 AM

I agree with Craig, the covers are most likely burlap. Nice pics.

#7 gunbarrel

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 09:57 AM

Thanks, everyone. Glad you liked the photos.

#8 Corpsmancollector

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:24 AM

Hey guys,

They are burlap, or hessian covers. I'm led to believe that 1st or 2nd battalion raiders (for Makin or Tulagi) were issued 16 inch square cuttings of burlap prior to the above operations. Raiders are seen to be wearing these on a number of operations. Edson and his officers wore them on Guadalcanal, Carlson's raiders on Makin (as GB's photo shows. It was actually taken on the Nautilus) Mike Strank (can't remember were though) and W. Heumann on Guadalcanal, Bougainville and Iwo Jima.

Hope this helps.

I'll try and scan some photos for later.

Will

#9 Corpsmancollector

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:29 AM

I read a book on the Makin Raid that mentioned a lot of Marines dying their khakis black for the mission. Might be the explanation for the dark pants.


This is also true.

However, it is still heavily debated as to whether 'black khakis' were worn on the Makin raid. Raiders were ordered to hand in 1 set of dungarees (HBTs) or khakis prior to embarkation for Makin. They were then dyed in 50 gallon drums and given back to the marines prior to the raid. The intended use was for night operations. However, there are very few photos taken during the raid and no one actually has evidence of them being worn. There are a series of photos taken after the raid when the marines returned to Pearl Harbor and numerous pairs of black khakis can be seen. I'm led to believe by informed sources, that in interviews with 2nd battalion raiders, that none recalled wearing them on the raid because they felt uncomfortable after being dyed.

Having looked at the above photo, I think the marines HBTs are just very dirty and not dyed. There are examples of black khakis still in existence, both dungaree jackets and khaki shirts. I had the privelage of handling one very recently.

I'm currently researching the 2nd Raider Battalions actions on Makin and if anyone has any information on the above, I'd love to hear from you.

Edited by Corpsmancollector, 13 June 2010 - 10:32 AM.


#10 'Flage Guy

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:32 AM

Gunbarrel:
Thanks for posting those pics; there was some discussion on another thread about whether the large-mesh nets were used much in the War, and the second photo proves it (there's another shot of some Raiders making a sneak landing on Puruata, and the guy in the rear is rigged up identically to the guy at lower right in your pic- could be the same guy...?). I've got some pictorial histories at home which show them in use by both Army and Marine personnel. That picture is also in the 3rdMarDiv Unit History, but it doesn't say what Battalion these guys were with; could've been either Raiders or 3rd Division :think:

Edited by 'Flage Guy, 13 June 2010 - 11:36 AM.


#11 Corpsmancollector

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:42 AM

Gunbarrel:
Thanks for posting those pics; there was some discussion on another thread about whether the large-mesh nets were used much in the War, and the second photo proves it (there's another shot of some Raiders making a sneak landing on Puruata, and the guy in the rear is rigged up identically to the guy at lower right in your pic- could be the same guy...?). I've got some pictorial histories at home which show them in use by both Army and Marine personnel. That picture is also in the 3rdMarDiv Unit History, but it doesn't say what Battalion these guys were with; could've been either Raiders or 3rd Division :think:


Flage,

Was hoping you'd contribute to the discussion :)

The second photo GB posted, I think is a theatre produced net. If you look closely at the structure of the netting it's ad-hoc and not matching. Raiders were famous for making all kinds of crazy covers from string and wire and I think this could be one of them. Here's a photo of Mike Strank with what I'm led to believe is a burlap cover and wire net:


l57mike.gif

#12 doyler

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:59 AM

I think I have seen japanese helmet nets used also.

Wanted to add the picture od Sgt,Strank is credited to Bouganville if I recall correctly.

RD

Edited by doyler, 13 June 2010 - 12:21 PM.


#13 Garandomatic

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:21 PM

It's no wonder the Makin Raiders didn't have much documentation, they were lucky to escape with their lives battling that tide. The book I read was "Carlson's Raid" and it went into great detail about the numerous attempts made to escape the island. Seems to me that if the Makin Raiders were wearing their black clothing on the way home, it's probably because they didn't take it with them. I know thy lost most of the equipment that they took, I don't imagine their uniforms fared much better as they probably shucked at least their shirts to swim. I'm sure not purporting to be an expert, just concurring whole-heartedly!

Edited by Garandomatic, 13 June 2010 - 12:24 PM.


#14 'Flage Guy

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:41 PM

Ron: You got it: U.S. Troops' use of the enemy's "liberated" goodies is very well documented. Unlike those of us who collect their old stuff, they didn't give a rip about where it was made or if it had "U.S.", etc. stamped on it :lol: :lol:

Will, that's the best version of that Strank photo I've seen yet; and he's carrying an M55 Reising S.M.G. :w00t: :w00t:

#15 Corpsmancollector

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:48 PM

Garandomatic: You're absolutely right there, I (personally) think they wore them on the return trip and kept them on the subs as a spare uniform.

Flage: I can't take credit for that picture being my own unfortunately (should really have listed the source when I posted it!) if you do a Google search for Mike Strank, it's one of the first results :) Ron, I think you're right with the picture being taken on Bougainville!

For those requiring further info on Marine Raider covers, check out Grunt Gear for some excellent documentation. A lot of my above info stemmed from there :)

Edited by Corpsmancollector, 13 June 2010 - 12:51 PM.


#16 cmaher55

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 02:20 PM

Very cool pics...! One of my relatives was actually KIA during the earlier air raids (Feb. 1, 1942) on Milli, Makin, and Jaluit. He was a TBD Devastator pilot off of the Yorktown and was lost along with a few other planes.... They never found him, still out there somewhere.... Francis Xavier Maher was his name, Annapolis graduate, class of 1935 I think. Chris

#17 gunbarrel

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 03:19 PM

Thanks, everybody. I'm glad that the pictures generated a lot of discussion. For those not familiar with the Japanese helmet nets, here is a picture of Japanese paratroopers wearing them.

3_Japanese_Paratroopers.jpg

#18 gunbarrel

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 03:23 PM

Looking at this other picture you wonder if the Marines also did not adopt Japanese sniper camouflage outfits...

Japanese_Sniper_Outfit.jpg

#19 USMC RAIDER COLLECTOR

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 03:23 PM

I agree on the burlap material. I believe there is also an example in Grunt Gear that has a burlap base material with what looks like pieces of tattered khaki/tan shirt material. I made a cover up similar to this for a mannequin Raider display. Thanks for posting the photo.

#20 Corpsmancollector

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:27 PM

I agree on the burlap material. I believe there is also an example in Grunt Gear that has a burlap base material with what looks like pieces of tattered khaki/tan shirt material. I made a cover up similar to this for a mannequin Raider display. Thanks for posting the photo.


You're absolutely right. I have always thought that the covering was HBT material dyed brown. If you look at the picture with a magnifying glass, you can just about see the weave. Would love to see your mannequin helmet! :)

#21 gunbarrel

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 02:34 AM

This is also true.

However, it is still heavily debated as to whether 'black khakis' were worn on the Makin raid. Raiders were ordered to hand in 1 set of dungarees (HBTs) or khakis prior to embarkation for Makin. They were then dyed in 50 gallon drums and given back to the marines prior to the raid. The intended use was for night operations. However, there are very few photos taken during the raid and no one actually has evidence of them being worn. There are a series of photos taken after the raid when the marines returned to Pearl Harbor and numerous pairs of black khakis can be seen. I'm led to believe by informed sources, that in interviews with 2nd battalion raiders, that none recalled wearing them on the raid because they felt uncomfortable after being dyed.

Having looked at the above photo, I think the marines HBTs are just very dirty and not dyed. There are examples of black khakis still in existence, both dungaree jackets and khaki shirts. I had the privelage of handling one very recently.

I'm currently researching the 2nd Raider Battalions actions on Makin and if anyone has any information on the above, I'd love to hear from you.


Corpsmancollector,

I think this may be one of the photos you were talking about.

Makin_Raiders_Return.jpg

#22 Corpsmancollector

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 10:18 AM

That's the one GB! There's a Number of photos from the same series, some of them show Nimitz standing on the dock as the subs come in. There are numerous raiders wearing black khakis :)

Are these photos from your personal collection?

Edited by Corpsmancollector, 14 June 2010 - 10:18 AM.


#23 manayunkman

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 09:16 AM

A great thread.

#24 conn

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 05:33 AM

somewhere, cannot rember what book about the Makin raid, some marines took  fatigues off during their  swim off island. the fatigues became torn up during operation, with rough surf and tide made difficult swim to sub.  The sub is a tiny vessel, why would they have these dyed fatigues ? could the dyed uniforms be the ones given to marines prior to landing on island and not worn ? ? 

 

another bit about dyed fatigues that I was told too from someone who was at Guadalcanal.

there was an  island off Guadalcanal that raiders were sent to horas the enemy , my now deceased friend who was raider, said some had dyed fatigues, some had burlap helmet covers,  but this did not matter to conceal them. because the japanese were waiting and he said the raiders got shot up pretty bad, the raid did not go as plan, they were lucky to survive 




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