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    St. Louis, MO

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  1. Not unusual for a National Guard officer to put his own non-regulation touches on a tailor made uniform. For the guardsmen who may not have been so well to do, the last units to relinquish the WWI vintage uniforms with choker collars was in 1931.
  2. Your cap is actually a pre or early WWII officers service cap. Palco made very high quality caps. Yours should be fully lined, and if everyone will look closely the fur felt crown of the cap is only two pieces, instead of the customary 4 or 5. This gives it a very clean appearance with fewer seams. As Matt has mentioned, it isn’t unheard of for an EM to purchase an officer’s item, even if it was unusual.
  3. December 1926 service wide, however, National Guard units were not completely outfitted in new uniforms until 1931.
  4. US Army khaki service uniform for summer and tropical wear. It was adopted in late 1942 and was worn until 1968. Nice 33rd Division patches, too.
  5. Here is the uniform as worn by cadets. In most photos cadets are not wearing the blouse.
  6. It’s the pre-WWII Flying Cadet uniform. The slate blue uniforms were dropped in favor of US Army officer style uniforms right before the US entry into WWII. Nice uniform. Fairly rare.
  7. Stetson also produced a khaki fur felt service cap. That's right, khaki fur felt. It's probably one of the rarest service caps out there. While fur felt was used to make service caps as early as WWI, the cap above has traits of a late war or post war cap. Most wartime fur felt caps have the visor stitched to the front of the frame, with the fur felt wrapping around the sides of the visor and being stitched to the inside of the frame. Late war and post war caps typically have the visor stitched to the inside of the frame of the cap. Most caps between WWI and WWII have a 1/2" chinstrap (the regulation width), which was widened to 3/4" around 1937. After WWII (I believe in 1951) the chinstrap was reduced to 5/8" although a number of cap makers made chinstraps 5/8" wide during WWII (notably on the Bancroft Flighter) to save leather (they could make 6 chinstraps with the same amount of leather it used to take to make 5 chinstraps; what penny pinchers!). Fur felt caps before WWII and early in WWII were mostly a very olive shade of olive drab. The color evolved to brown, with brown actually being the regulation color beginning in 1952. Wartime produced caps also usually don't have a cellophane or plastic sweatshield covering the entire inside of the cap (again, as a material saving measure), while postwar caps do. Also, real plastic sweatshields on wartime caps are rare, with cellophane being much more common. Remember, nylon was still relatively new during the war years and extremely expensive compared to cellophane. You can tell the difference between the two because cellophane usually melts to the inside of the cap, or it becomes sticky, or becomes very hard and brittle, depending on how the cap was stored. Frames on postwar caps also tend to be plastic, as it was cheaper and stayed rigid. Wartime caps are usually wicker cane, cardboard, epoxy coated buckram, plain buckram, or cotton webbing.
  8. I absolutely agree, in most cases, that caps should just be left alone. Unfortunately this Flighter was literally falling apart. The leather visor and chinstrap were dry rotted and they fell apart as I was removing them. There was no sweatshield, and the satin lining had become mouse food at some point. The wool was discolored from the leather turning into powder and from years of neglect. The stitching throughout much of the cap was shot and I have no doubt if Dan did nothing the cap would be a pile of junk in a few years.
  9. Dan, Again, so sorry it took so long. I think I have a photo somewhere of the wool top removed so I could sew in the new satin liner and sweatshield. I'll try to find it. That was actually the hardest part. Fortunately the new satin matches the original satin almost perfectly.
  10. If you decide to get rid of any of those let me know. I may be in the market.
  11. I used to have one. It was made without the braid. It just looked like an enlisted cap made from OD 51 elastique.
  12. Matt, who was the maker of that cap?
  13. Mike, glad to meet your acquaintance. I look forward to reading your future posts about Bancroft.
  14. I echo Matt's sentiments. Any and all information you are willing to share would be wonderful, not just the facts and figures (which would be great!) but personal recollections as well. As Matt said, there simply is not a huge amount of information concerning Bancroft Cap Co. available out there. What little we cap collectors have gleaned is from piecing together clues from caps, period advertisements, and trademark info.
  15. Eltee120, like Matt, I am also a cap collector (as well as reproducing them) and any information you can share concerning Bancroft Cap Co. would be greatly appreciated. Also, concerning the USN cap you have, it may very well be a WWII produced cap frame (it has the wartime era logo) but the insignia is definitely postwar. It could be the chief was a career man, and simply updated his wartime cap with the prescribed insignia when the change occurred.
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