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  1. Jim, regarding your tan mittens, they are CCC issue from the 1930s [part of the blurry contract number reads ECW, which stood for "Emergency Conservation Work". About 1937 or so the CCC contract number format was changed to CIV in place of ECW. I had a similar pair of mittens several years ago with the same markings. Nice stuff as always.
  2. Mike, Here are a few items I found that you can add to the list: M1910 Diagnostic Tag Pouch, R.H. LONG 8-18 M1918 Chauchat Magazine Bag [for the US-made Chauchat], R.H. LONG 9-18 Grenade Bag [reinforced cloth bag with three snap flap and two large wire hooks for attaching to belt], C.P. & CO. INC. 6-18 M1917 Rifle Carrying Case, PROGRESSIVE NOV. S.K. 1918 M1910 Shelter Half, EMPIRE MFG CO. May 1918 Grenade Vest [11 pocket], The Troy Carriage Sun Shade Co. 4-1918 [this one is unusual in that it was actually used and is unit marked--unusual since most of these that turn up are in mint, unissued condition.] I've also seen M1916 Rifle Cleaning Rod Pouches made by R.H. LONG and OMO. Also, keep in mind that Rock Island Arsenal manufactured several types of weapons-related pouches immediately after the war [examples: Pedersen Device magazine pouch, 8-19 date; Pedersen Device rifle bolt pouch, 1919 date; and Vivien-Bessiere rifle grenade launcher pouch, 3-20 date]. If you're interested, I can check America's Munitions and post the locations of the various contractors to accompany your list above. Many of the companies were located in Connecticut and Massachusetts, since that area was home to the US textile industry at the time. Alan
  3. Mike, Regarding the grenade vests, while a standard Mk1 or MkII frag will fit the pockets, it seems that the vests were made for use with the Vivien-Bessiere rifle grenades. As a fellow collector of WW1 items, good job on your list of the various WW1 gear contractors and the items each produced. The book America's Munitions 1917-1918 by Benedict Crowell is an excellent reference for this information, although not all the companies are listed [such as OMO and FSF]. I'll check my stuff and see if I have any examples you can add to your list. Alan
  4. The pouches are Russell manufacture [the only other company besides Mills that could manufacture woven web gear prior to, and during, WW1]. The "pucker" on the bottom of Russell made pieces has a bunched-up look to it, where the Mills "pucker" is a vertical ribbed design. Good deal on the pouches, for sure. Alan
  5. I've seen several methods of marking clothing or gear "Combat Serviceable" over the years, as follows: [1] CS white tag, either sewn or stapled to the appropriate article and stamped with the post where the item was reissued [in the case of David's first aid pouch, Pampa Army Air Field, Texas]. [2] Simple ink stamp "CS" directly on the fabric. Sometimes these stamps could be a little more informative--some years ago I had a M1928 pack extender that was stamped on the back side CS/QM C&E/CAMP SWIFT, TEXAS [QM C & E = Quartermaster Clothing and Equipment]. [3] Paper tag with string for securing to the article [for use on hard goods, such as pack boards, cots, field desks, and the like]. Nice pouches, all, and hope this info helps out somewhat. Alan
  6. Dave, I've always liked the pre-WW1 [1900 to 1916] GI gear as well. And, like you, I agree that the M1903/07 gear was quite poorly thought out for the reasons you mentioned. Which probably explains why we often see the canteen hanger straps in mint, unissued condition--I imagine they wore out pretty quickly on that floppin' and twistin' canteen, so having a large supply of replacement straps was a pretty good idea. Not to mention making us collectors happy many years later. Alan
  7. Great article, indeed. I remember reading production figures in "America's Munitions 1917-1918" and there was a reference to "pouches for small articles", which I thought was a catch-all for any odd pouch not widely used...now we know for sure! Regarding the question as to when eagle snaps gave way to lift-the-dots, over the years I have seen several M1910 canteen covers dated 1916 that had the lift-dot snaps. Might have been a result of Punitive Expedition experience, since sand [as well as mud] would cause the eagle snaps to lock up. Regarding the eyelets on back, what about being used for a leg tie-down cord? Given the way the pouch hung down, and the weight of the items to be carried, it would be somewhat annoying to have the thing flopping around on your leg while walking, running, etc. Alan
  8. Oh, the memories, indeed. I did WW2 living history for almost 20 years and have heard all the aforementioned topics, or variations thereof, that you can imagine. However, one incident does stand out in particular, regarding kids and the "Can I hold that?" routine: In the mid 90s, our group was doing a timeline display at the Ellington Field airshow in Houston. A friend and I decided to do the Vietnam part of the display, rather than WW2, for a change. Of course, the VN display seemed to draw kids like flies [they didn't know what an 1861 Springfield musket or a M1 Garand was, but they all recognized an M16, AK47, etc., from the movies]. Well, one of the things we had was a fired M72 LAW rocket launcher tube. The Pearl Harbor part of the airshow was in progress when these three kids walked up, all brothers, ranging from about 4 to 10 years in age. The oldest pointed to the LAW and asked, "Wow, a rocket launcher! How does it work?" After going through the motions, he asked if he could try it. I said "sure" and showed him how to open it up, "arm" it, and "fire" it, then told him to aim at one of the planes flying around. He did everything correctly, fired, and "missed" the plane. Of course, the next kid in line wanted to try, and he missed as well. And of course, the baby of the bunch wasn't going to be left out. So I showed him what to do, and helped him to open the LAW up, then put it on his shoulder and put my hand on the trigger. I told him to look through the sights and sight in on one of the planes, and when he was ready to say "FIRE!" Well, when he said FIRE, I pushed down on the trigger, it clicked...and the Zero started smoking. I said, "Hey, how about that? You shot down a Japanese plane!" At which point the kid is jumping up and down with joy, hollering "I shot down a Japanese! I shot down a Japanese!" Of course, then the other two wanted to try it again...I'd like to think that kid still talks about that to this day. Better yet, I'd like to think he acquired a lifelong interest in military history [or just plain history] as a result. I will say that I'm glad I was done with the hobby by the time the video game/airsoft craze took over. It was bad enough towards the end, when everything was about Saving Private Ryan/Band of Brothers/E Company 506 101/D Day was the only battle of the war and 101ABN was the only unit. Once again, thanks for the memories, and for all the laughs as well.
  9. SI Gordon, awesome phones and thanks for sharing. I have one of the M1917 phones and agree that, due to its construction, was probably intended for use in semi-fixed positions such as dugouts and bunkers. It appears that your other phone has a leather shoulder strap--if so, could you show a close-up of the strap and/or hardware? If they were equipped with a strap, I'd like to try and make a replacement one for the phone I have. Thanks Alan
  10. Guys, I've always heard these were WW2 training aids as well [much like the later "rubber duck" trainers used from Vietnam upwards], and all those I've had or seen were always fairly well detailed. In addition to the ones mentioned above, I have also seen an aluminum S&W Victory Model type revolver and just picked up an Italian Beretta M.34 pistol. My question is, concerning the WW2 training aid/recognition angle is...with so many attempts to save aluminum during the war and using substitute materials where possible [think canteens, canteen cups and mess gear, for instance], why would they use so much aluminum for making alleged "training aids"? Whatever the case, they do make for an interesting display, and come in handy for public displays where carrying a real gun would be frowned upon. Alan
  11. Guys, I've always been a nut for British Made gear for over 30 years [it was one of those unissued first aid pouches that got me hooked back then!] I have the Brit Made Thompson drum pouch, but had never heard of, much less seen, the stick mag pouch. Also, I knew there was a Brit Made BAR belt but this is the first photo I've seen of that belt as well. Thanks for sharing and now I have two more pieces of Brit Made gear to look for. Alan
  12. Some time ago I had a similar pouch but was a double version. I was told it was for mags used with the Stoner 63 series rifles. Alan
  13. I wonder if the belt may have been US production but reissued to the Belgian or Dutch Army post-war? I remember back in the 90s, a lot of British [and British-style] P37 large and small packs were imported into the US, which had a thick OD green rubberized painted finish applied by the Belgian or Dutch Army. On the same subject, some years ago I had a khaki M1923 belt that had been painted yellow. Yes, yellow. Highway-department/school bus yellow. And, of course, it was a USMC marked belt to boot. I tried everything from paint stripper to acetone and nothing even fazed the paint. Alan
  14. About 15 years ago, a friend and I bought a bunch of M1923 belts out of an old surplus store and quite a few of them had the flaps folded and snapped as shown above, and of course, we wondered the same thing. My theory was that some overly anal supply sergeant wanted the flaps snapped this way before the belts were turned in. However, about a year ago I had one of those Korean War-era basic training books [like a school yearbook], and several of the trainees were actually wearing the belt with flaps snapped this way, which got me to thinking--maybe this was done during training to indicate there was no ammo in the belts? As I recall, the photos showing the belts like this were of activities such as bayonet training, where the soldier would be wearing field uniform with helmet, cartridge belt, canteen, and bayonet, but not using live or blank ammo. Alan
  15. Guys, The only M1928 packs I've ever seen that were made in OD green canvas [darker than OD #3, but still lighter than OD #7] were some of the British Made ones. However, I do have both a US made mess kit pouch and extender in factory OD #7 canvas and both pieces are dated 1944. I've seen a few over the years, obviously made for replacement purposes. If I can ever figure how to post photos I'll be glad to share pictures of the two. Alan
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