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alibi

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  1. This is a bit out of my area of specialty and there is likely, with the popularity of U.S. helmets, someone that has an answer. Let me state that from the photographs I have examined the M1917 helmet was extensively withdrawn from service and replaced by the M1917A1. The process of rebuilding the helmets was probably such that units turned in the M1917 helmets in exchange for M1917A1s. The M1917s turned in then went to rebuild. It is clear that the regular Army and Marine Corps had M1917A1s in the late 1930s and that the Phillipine Army had also been re-equiped. If there were any M1917 helmets in service they were probably in National Guard supply rooms and federalized NG units may have brought them on activization. The production of the M-1 helmet was extrodinary and of course prioritized to units designated for OS deployment. I don't recall seeing images of any soldiers involved with the landings in North Africa in June 1942 with M1917A1s. However the Marine and Army troops deployed to Iceland and Britain in 1942 had M1917A1s. As previously stated the Marines that landed on Guadalcanal in August 1942 were all equiped with the M-1 helmet, but of course still had M1903 rifles.
  2. Yes you are correct about ALICE "my bad!" I was thinking of LINCLOE but even that equimpent is rarely seen in images. I just returned from four months research at the National Archives. I looked at 10s of thousands of photographs for images for my book project and soon noticed that the M1956 LCE was used all through the Viet Nam deployment. Except for a few nylon items like the 2-quart canteen cover a Viet Nam impression should feature the M1956 individual equipment. I was also surprised to see troops in the field carrying protective (gas) masks. This was of course in the mid-1960s but it was obvious from the images that the ABC/CBR/NBC mask was SOP.
  3. Lost Battalions, The Great War and the Crisis of American Nationality. Richard Slotkin. The author of this book has taken two microcosm units of the AEF and contorted them into representing the emerging problems of immigration and racism in the United States. The units are the "Lost Battalion" actually two battalions of the 308th Infantry Regiment, 77th (Infantry) Division and the 369th Infantry Regiment. The history of these units and the AEF is well researched and presented. If a reader is interested in the story of the so-called Lost Battalion and how they became "lost" and rescued (relieved) is interesting historically. The 369th Infantry Regiment was one of three colored regiments that were intended to be organized into the 92d (Infantry) Division. The later served with great distinction and valor with the French Army. Mr. Slotkin then tries to make a case that the soldiers of the "Lost Battalion" originated within the most heavily recently immigrated and ethnic areas of New York City. Slotkin focuses on these soldiers lives and fortunes to try to express the crises in the American "identity" that apparently became more acute with the media attention to the "search" for the Lost Battalion and the revelation of the ethnic background of the soldiers. Mr. Slotkin makes a "case" for referring to the 369th Infantry and by extension the 370th and 371st regiments as also "lost" because they served with or rather relegated to the French and were "forgotten." The convoluted story of how these units came to represent the whole of the United States in its purported nationality crisis of the late and post WWI America. The case regarding the "Lost Battalion" is rather murky at best and I have to report I was not convinced. The historical record of training, front line service and intended use in the AEF of the 369th Infantry is inaccurate and misrepresented in Lost Battalions. Mr. Slotkin relies on the activities of local black organizations angry over the "treatment" of the negro regiments, the 369th Regiment in particular. Slotkin is either ignorant of or ignored the historical documents that demonstrate there was no racist motivations for the loan of these units to the French. The record clearly indicates that headquarters AEF wanted and planned for every American unit deployed to be part of the American army. I am in no way trying to deny there were racist problems in America and in the Army. It just simply was not representative within the AEF and the three negro infantry regiments as purported by Mr. Slotkin. In much the same way I reported the implausible association of the Marines at Bois Belleau and the modern U.S. Marine Corps previously, the connection of these two "lost" units to American national identity was an ill conceived contortion of history not convincing. The stories would have made splendid books, but combined fails to make logical (and unfortunately historically inaccurate) conclusions.
  4. That makes sense, but sand casting is a one shot operation and the finished product often lacks the detail of other forms of casting molten metal. At least with this you can keep making sand casts until enough come out satisfactory. IMO this particular item belongs in the Graves Registration exhibit at the U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum.
  5. Collecting is a nutty human endeavor that is as varied as there are people. I collected "back when" and still have a huge accumulation of stuff. I was more into collecting an example of primary variations rather than every maker, year and material. In the process of researching and writing a book I have seen that trying to collect every maker and year of some items would make a very large and to me boring collection. With some items there was more than one contract in a given year so one could go bonkers trying to get variations by contract. I have consistently advocated that you all give up collecting anything larger than pennies. There is always that one SOB that has the one variation you think you need to complete your collection that won't give it up for anything! If you insist on collecting militaria acquire (collect) a library of reference material (a bibliophile be) and be very selective about what you "collect."
  6. How it was used is a good question... if a mold it should be reversed so that the molded object would be a positive. The lettering on the side of the "mold" and the aluminum can in the image are correct so the image has not been reversed. It appears there was another part to this "mold" that only further adds to the mystery. If a mold it must have been used to form sheet metal and the object shown was used for the back side of the finished object. One other thought this could be the master die to make the molds. Any tool and die people out there that can enlighten us what this is and how it's used?
  7. These would have been used primarily by U.S. Army CID (Criminal Investigation Division) investigators, or anyone authorized a concealed weapon while in civilian clothes. CID "detectives" are involved with investigation of criminal activity by military personell, especially any criminal activity that involves local civilians like "Black Market" sale of stolen supplies and equipment. CID and Military Police are both administrated by the local Provost Martial. The belt hook was probably purposefully removed to be more comfortable and concealed. Concidering the intended use of this holster I can't imagine why it would have been provided with a belt hook, except that it may be that on occasion it was carried assembled to a pistol belt.
  8. About ten years ago a large quantity of canteens, canteen cups and canteen covers were purchased in Europe and sold in the U.S. It is likely that these items and probably others were provided to former occupied countries to reequip military forces. I examined a great number of the canteens, cups and covers and found that most were items that had been superceded items with later specifications. For example all of the M1910 canteen covers I examined were olive drab. Some of these covers were unissued and others had the typical letter and four numbers indicating issue to Army troops. The OD covers were of all makes and years of manufacture including British made and the only thing in common was the OD color. The canteen cups that I examined with out exception were used and were early WWII M1910 aluminum, used CRS and cups made in Belgium. Many of the cups had obvious signs that the handle had been replaced, probably because they were corroded. The canteens without exception were used and were either the horizontal welded M1910 or CRS canteens. I think it pretty obvious that the equipment provided was considered non-standard or excess to Army post WWII requirements. Although I was not interested in any of the other equipment that came from the European warehouses I suspect that any other equipment provided was similarly sorted. That does not mean that none of this equipment remained in the Army supply system and it is likely that some of this equipment remained in stock long after the War. In fact there have been many cited examples of items still in stock long after they should have been surveyed. For example in 1970 one of my fellow trainees was issued a M1910 canteen cup manufactured in 1918. I observed an M1942 plated steel meat can on the supply room shelf of a USAR unit in the mid-1990s. The Quartermaster Corps in the War Against Japan a chapter is devoted to discussion of supplies acquired in Australia and New Zealand during 1943-44 when the Army required large quantities of QMC material. Much of the food issued to ANZAC and American troops in the Pacific was produced locally. Apparently the food was not wholly to the taste of Americans but served the purpose. The QMC contracted for large quantities of shoes, wool socks, uniforms and consumables. For example fifteen million pounds of soap, 33 million feet of rope, seven million pairs of leather gloves, six million tins of canned heat and 3.2 million pounds of candles. Not mentioned is any web or woven materials. This of course only covers Army QMC procurements and does not discuss any other Army requirements or Navy and Marine Corps procurements in Australia and New Zealand. Of minor interest is the QMC vegetable farming operations set up at various places in the Pacific to provide fresh vegetables.
  9. When I attended the Armor Officer Basic Course in 1975 the cadre AIs of the armor and cavalry units that supported training at Ft. Knox all wore black berets. As far as I can recall none of the students at that time were wearing berets and it was the first I had heard of the Armor and Cavalry branches wearing the beret. My understanding is that black was selected because many of the soldiers in foreign army armor units wore black berets. I bought two black berets and set one up with cavalry flash and rank. I had some formal photographs taken by the on-post photographer and wore the beret in a couple of the images. When I saw how goofy the beret looked in the print I never wore a beret again. After I got back to my unit I overheard the CSM going on about how impractical and silly the beret looked, especially on him, so I was not alone. I am grateful the beret was not officially adopted Army wide until after I retired. Our unit authorized the wear of the red bandanna which was practical at Ft. Irwin and aided in identification of Squadron soldiers when we were involved in manuvers. When the directive came down the bandannas were put away and only brought out of the pocket at social affairs where if you didn't have one you got to buy the other officer a drink. The Squadron also "awarded" spurs to soldiers that were selected by a group of NCOs and we did wear our spurs on occasion. The only person I ever saw wearing a beret in the Squadron was a captain that had been in ACAV in Viet Nam. By the time I retured from Ft. Knox he was gone. I have to say that the beret was practical when working around armored vehicles. The bill on the fatigue cap reduced visibility and hitting the head on hard things inside the track was more frequent. At least with the beret you had better vision for those nasty things that jump out at you inside the track. Of course when actually operating the vehicles we wore the CVC helmet.
  10. M-60 with camounflage scheme common in the 1970-80s. This tank was upgraded with the track that had seperate replaceable pads. There are two M-47s in So. California, one in Barstow, Ca. in desert camouflage scheme that was applied to M48A5s and M-60s starting in the mid-1970s. The other example is at Los Alamitos Reserve Center, in front of the Headquarters 40th Infantry Div (MECH) CAARNG.
  11. I was thinking along the same line, perhaps a press correspondent? I can't think of any use of an embroidered "U.S." by the Army. This kind of mysterious item adds frustration to collecting and satisfaction when figured out.
  12. Here is the a link to a website that is dedicated to war genre films and is taking a poll of top 50 war films. They are displaying a running count with the current and previous position of the film. The "voteing" is from anyone that wants to contribute and seems to be more of a popularity contest than by production values, acting, writing and etc. Any "top 50" or top 1000 list that includes Midway has to be something wrong. http://www.geocities.com/warmoviedatabase/etop50.htm
  13. alibi

    Hat Questions

    Your Army dress uniform service cap was adopted with the uniform regulations of 1912. The oak leafs on the visor indicate a field grade officer; major, lt. colonel or colonel. The black with red facings ribbon indicated Ordnance Department from 1912 to 1921.
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