USMC Ship's Detachment Uniforms
Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:29 PM
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Sgt. Ostafski's uniform was a birthday gift from my wife so I am rather fond of it. It's worth pointing out that both of his hashmarks are for the same side. Odds are supply gave him two still together and he had to cut and use what he had. Again, American made Goonies on his collar.
Sgt. Ostafski marked his belt like a good marine should. He also did something else.......
A couple more images of the ports and duty stations he visited. Rather the well traveled man for his time!
Posted 01 January 2008 - 03:06 PM
Edited by Jeremiah, 01 January 2008 - 03:09 PM.
Posted 01 January 2008 - 03:08 PM
Edited by Jeremiah, 01 January 2008 - 05:11 PM.
Posted 01 January 2008 - 03:13 PM
Posted 01 January 2008 - 03:53 PM
Posted 01 January 2008 - 04:57 PM
Just a thought!
The strikers. I know the bursting bomb is ordnance and the quartermaster wheel as well as the gun turret with number but I have no clue what the inverted V is. Any ideas? Take note of the embroidery and texture on the strikers.
Posted 01 January 2008 - 05:07 PM
MW, that is an interesting thought. Could be a local seamstress' version of the same qualification. I was also wondering if it might be some sort of a cartographer insignia.
Edited by Jeremiah, 01 January 2008 - 05:39 PM.
Posted 01 January 2008 - 06:04 PM
I recall seeing one or more Trading Post articles, which covered these Marine insignia in exhaustive detail (maybe someone will recall the dates of these issues.)
The mystery mark on the right cuff of the same uniform looks like a partially folded straight razor to me (not to be flippant about this but I have recently seen Sweeny Todd).
Posted 02 January 2008 - 07:30 AM
Jeremiah, the first thing that struck me about your mystery insignia was that it was a slightly misshaped "A". What would that mean though?
Posted 02 January 2008 - 08:27 AM
Posted 12 January 2008 - 05:17 PM
I purchased and researched it to the actual veteran, Victor Kelber. We ended up becoming friends and remained so until his death. Victor probably had one of the best senses of humor despite everything. When Florida was hit with all those hurricanes a few years ago, he was stuck in the hospital (kidney failure I believe - he had several health problems) with only a skeleton crew to take care of bed-ridden patients. But, despite everything, he continued to keep everyone entertained and apparently never fussed to a soul about the situation. A truly great man - and friend.
Victor joined in the MarineCorp in 1940 to "see the world." And that he got to do - although a little more than he had planned. As luck would have it, Victor was stationed on the USS Hornet (CV-8). He recalled with great pride actually seeing and meeting Doolittle, whose infamous raid was launched off of the Hornet. He admitted that, up to this point (1942) there were some close calls but nothing too scary. It wasn't until the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands that things got rough.
The Hornet was repeatedly hit by enemy bombs. Either on the second or third bomb strike, Victor was hit with shrapnel. The metal tore through his face to the point it appeared his face was cut off. He doesn't recall the incident at all, only the explosion and waking up with a white cloth on his face. The detachment's Sgt. apparently saw Victor go down and believed him to be dead. So, they covered his face with a white cloth. Some time later a group of sailors realized Victor was alive. Immediately he was rushed off to receive medical attention (again he does not remember any of that). Victor wasn't sure how many operations he had, but I recall him estimating about 28 or so. In addition to the facial scars, he was deaf in one ear. Recovery took well over a year.
During that time, Victor worked as staff for an admiral - where he wore the below pictured uniform. The uniform is unique in that all the pockets and collar are sewn down so there are no bulges or any way the uniform could look sloopy. There is barely enough room to touch the nut on the back of the EGAs!
Once "fit for duty," Victor volunteered to go back into combat. He was then reassigned to a Marine Corps amphibious unit and fought on Okinawa.
(Of interesting side note, ever since the war's end, the USS Hornet's Sgt. believed Victor was dead. In the 1980s or early 90s, Victor attended a reunion for the USS Hornet. He learned the Sgt was still alive and lived not far from where Victor would be traveling to go home. So, Victor went by his home. No answer. Victor left a nice note with his information for the man to contact him. I believe it was at the next reunion both Victor and the Sgt. were present (or maybe it was a couple years after?). The Sgt stared at Victor like he had seen a ghost. Apparently the Sgt. thought the note was left by some sick individual who was taunting him. And, the Sgt even had nightmares about Victor's death following receiving the note. It was at that moment actually seeing Victor that the Sgt. realized it really was Victor that left the message.)
I figured I would close this post with an excerpt of an email Victor sent me. Pardon the caps, but that's what he used since he had to do the "hunt and peck" method (as he called it) and wasn't too good with computers :
I AM AMAZED THAT CHILDREN AND YOUNGER PEOPLE KNOW NOTHING AND HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF A WAR WE FOUGHT ON 2 OCEANS. AND WON. MY BROTHER NOW IN GODS CARE WAS ALSO WOUNDED AND ALSO RECEIVED THE PURPLE HEART MEDAL.. HE FOUGHT IN THE EUROPEAN SECTION OF THE WAR.
I SAW MANY BAD THINGS IN MY MISSION OF WAR. IT DID NOT SEEM TO BOTHER ME UNTIL I VISITED THR ARMY'S SEVENTH DIVISONS GRAVE SITE ON OKINAWA. AS FAR AS ONE COULD SEE THERE WAS CROSES IT UPSET ME KNOWING THERE WERE OTHER GRAVE SITES FOR THE MARINES AND NAVAL MEN WHO GAVE THERE LIVES DEFENDING AMERICANS.I THINK TOO OF ALL MOTHERS, WIVES AND CHILDREN WHO LOST A PART OF THERE LIVES.
Here is a picture of the uniform I mentioned above. It has his Marine stamp inside on the sleeve lining (I have a picture of him in it someplace and if I find it, I'll post that too):
Victor's brother Lawrence is on the left and Victor is on the right. This photo was taken about 1941.
Posted 12 January 2008 - 05:32 PM
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