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ShooterMcGavin

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  • Location
    New York, NY
  • Interests
    Merchant Marine history, US Maritime Service patches/insignia, US Navy ratings
  1. USMMA and SUNY Maritime have similar insignia at least for the basic grades of midshipmen (or cadets, as SUNY calls them.) I believe the USCGA has the same system as well, minus the specialty insignia for deck (fouled anchor) and engineers (propellor.) The 4 classes have a basic structure but the 1st Class (seniors) branch out more if they're awarded a specific command responsibility during their final year. SUNY is the only school in the bunch (possibly the only regimented college in the country) that utilizes CWO2 insignia for some cadets as well.
  2. Were these unofficial? I see photos of some USAAF personnel with the technician "T" chevrons, some with hard stripe and some with the above chevrons as well.
  3. I heard somewhere that during the Korean War the rank of Sergeant E-5 was dropped from use with no one wearing three chevrons in the U.S. Army at that time. Does anyone have any articles or info on the promotion issues of the 1950-55 period and what the causes and reasoning were for dropping SGT from use entirely?
  4. ShooterMcGavin

    Deck Jackets

    It always amazed me that these are looked at as so rare and expensive considering how basic of a jacket they are (the blue deck jacket.) I had one years ago and beat it to shreds working in it and have since bought a spot on reproduction (albeit with a fleece liner instead of wool) from ATTHEFRONT.
  5. This looks to me like this particular seaman was dropped from their rolls and released, considering it is from a training organization (USMS) ... probably meant the draft board was also notified and he was once again 1-A. The Merchant Marine, though they fell under Navy regulations during wartime did not dishonorably discharge any seamen/officers since they were employed by labor unions/shipping companies and at most were terminated from employment aboard a particular ship if necessary (same as today.)
  6. The USMS still exists today in the form of the Merchant Marine Academy and the six State Maritime Colleges. Our uniform buttons still have "USMS" stamped into them. The only difference is the specialty insignia has been reduced to anchors (deck officers) and propellors (engineering officers) and are found on shoulder boards or dress blue sleeves. Even those are RARELY seen, especially by engineers. Many of the officers on the campuses will have "USMS" in their titles in official emails/correspondence.
  7. It looks like a very old SUNY Maritime cap device, back when it was the New York Nautical School or the New York State Merchant Marine Academy. Great find, I am a graduate and would love to come across some old SUNYMC uniform items. The cap looks like pre-1930s to me. Looking at old photos from the WWII years the covers were wider at the peak/top.
  8. I was just curious if the men who reenlisted in the post-war Army (or any of the services) with the top enlisted rank would keep it or be reduced due to the manning levels changing. A 22 year old Navy CPO or Army Master Sergeant would seem to me (someone with no experience) to have it made serving from 1945 to 1971 in those ranks/rates thanks to rapid wartime advancing.
  9. I was talking to an old friend of mine who said his father enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 18 after Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. He was assigned to the Corps of Engineers and sent to the European Theater, rising to the rank of Master Sergeant in his unit by 1945, which would make him a senior enlisted man by the age of 22. My question about this has two parts: 1.) After the war ended, if an enlisted man like this chose to remain in the U.S. Army, was he able to serve for up to 26 more years as a senior enlisted man, or would his rank be reduced due to the reduction in size of the military in the post war period? It seems like if it was the former, the young man would have an easy ride due to high pay and rank at such an age and with so many years ahead of them. 2.) In today's military senior enlisted men with many years of service are a wealth of knowledge and expertise. In the WW2 era and immediately after, due to such rapid promotions in wartime, was this the case? Or were senior enlisted men a dime a dozen and replaceable? It seems like in some movies and written accounts being a Master Sergeant was nothing to really be revered for, as in today's Army. Different culture at the time, or simply less spoken of? Thanks for your input and answers!!!
  10. I've seen across the internet now photos dating primarily from the pre-1970 period of sailors in the white jumper with the E-7 chief insignia on the sleeve. There was a still shot from the 1955 film Mister Roberts showing this as well, which I wrote off as a "movie goof" despite the fact you'd think Navy veteran Henry Fonda and the Director, Ford would have caught, but I am starting to see it elsewhere in real Navy photos. Was this ever a practice used by the U.S. Navy? It seems a bit dimeaning, considering the rating and how hard it is to advance to Chief. Attached is one such photo of a graduation from recruit training, San Diego in 1970. The front row appear to all be petty officers, look at the one next to the CPO in khaki (on our left.)
  11. But there was not only one holder per service, it was awarded to multiple people who held 5-star rank at the same time?
  12. I have always been confused about the 5-Star ranks the U.S. used in wartime. The way the rank was described to me over the years, it seems as though it was a rank given to ONE man who commanded the ENTIRE service to which the rank belonged, however this chart makes me feel as though multiple people held it at one time: William D. Leahy – December 15, 1944 Ernest J. King – December 17, 1944 Chester W. Nimitz – December 19, 1944 William F. Halsey, Jr. – December 11, 1945 So as far as Fleet Admiral is concerned, was the rank given to one man from each "fleet"? (Pacific, Atlantic, etc..) cause the list makes it seem like all four held the rank at the exact same time. And did General of the Army mean the officer in command of a specific army? (1st Army, 2nd Army, etc...)? Thanks for clearing this up, as it has been a constant source of confusion for me and one which I kept forgetting to ask the right people!!
  13. I'm not sure if NCO clubs existed during WW2, but did this mean the technician grades were not permitted entry? And why did they end at Staff Sergeant and not Technical Sergeant and Master Sergeant? Or even consider PFC for that matter?
  14. Many years ago these uniforms were common with all shipping companies, not just during the war. Up through the 1970's companies like Moore-McCormack Lines, U.S. Lines, American Export Lines and even tanker companies like Mobil Oil had khaki uniforms that the deck officers were required to wear when in pilotage or in port conducting official business. This practice has fallen to the wayside in modern times.
  15. Oh it was an addiction for sure. Most of the rare ratings I have (Aviation Pilot, Nuclear Weaponsman) I found by accident, and it's funny how quickly my eyes always locked onto the rating insignia before anything else. I got those two cheap, about a dollar a pop, since the man who sold them to me specialized more in uniforms and footwear and had a hard time "getting rid of the patches." I cringe when I imagine how much good stuff he might have thrown out over the years. His shop is still open on 42nd Street in NYC, and I drop in on occasion to see what he has, but he gets a little irate when I ask if he has any U.S. Naval ratings, since he has to dig under piles and piles of uniforms and misc. items just to get to the box he ends up tossing them into.
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