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6th Marines in combat at Okinawa with red dots on jacket


wwIIfighterpilots

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wwIIfighterpilots

I thought I would share some research on the 6th Marines and Okinawa. I own a couple of ID'd HBT jackets worn by a Marine who fought at Okinawa. He told my friend the just before the invasion their jackets were stenciled with a big red dot on one sleeve for ID purposes. Sort of a variation of the UNIS tactical markings we commonly see. Still seemed odd and a red dot makes a nice target.

Even with him remembering it well, it's still good to verify everything, especially the unusual. So I am a documentary junkie and am sure I have seen this before in footage but could not find the exact scene I was thinking of. I did however find other Okinawa combat footage that I think shows the red dot well. I took a photo off the TV screen.

It's on the left sleeve on my jacket, and on the right sleeve of this Marine but I am pretty sure I have seen both in combat, plus the film could be flopped (backwards) as often happened in WWII.

Anyway, I think this screenshot verifies that some 6th Marines had red dots on their jackets (at least until they could put on another jacket). His other jacket does not have it. He said he wore the red dot one for the invasion, then switched to the other one.

Any thoughts? Do you agree or disagree that's a round red dot in the actual photo? Anyone else have any info to add on this? I would appreciate it.

Thanks.

Mike

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Wonder if he landed on Red Beach. I've heard of similar markings for that purpose.

Thanks for sharing,

Gary

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I thought that USMC engineer (pioneer at the time) units wore red armbands to distinguish themselves from other troops during the landings. Maybe this is another form of wearing red?-Ben

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My Uncle who was a 5th Marine at Iwo said they painted a red square on their trouser leg for Red Beach.Robert

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wwIIfighterpilots

Robert, great info, thanks.

 

Seems like someone here posted a photo of a Marine jacket with a black triangle on it as well, so symbols like these seem unusual/odd to us but did happen.

 

The Marine whose jackets I am the current caretaker of said he was with I Company, 22nd Marines, 6th Marines. He said he was infantry, and the combat experiences he relayed from Okinawa seem to bear that out.

 

As far as the red dot he said they were preparing for the Okinawa invasion and someone came along with a stencil and painted all their jackets with the red dot.

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This is a very interesting topic guys! I have in my collection an original WWII Marine Corps Helmet with camo cover that has the RED circle stencil on the back and I also have an original USMC P42 camo shirt that has the RED circle stencil on the arm (pictures to follow as soon as I can dig these items out of storage). I have always been told that this was begun just prior to Tarawa to easily distinguish between Engineers / Supply troops and frontline Infantry . . . if you had the RED circle stencil your role was strictly to bring the supplies ashore and get them into the hands of the infantry and nothing more. Like I said this is what I had heard, so if anyone has concrete evidence as to the legitimacy of this or otherwise, I would very much like to know.

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Here is a picture of the Helmet with the RED circle stencil (Back).

 

 

I promise it's NOT a stain and although not very defined in the picture the full circle is clear in person.

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Here is another view of the helmet.

 

That is a real Killer USMC Helmet you have got there Very Nice to see and thanks for sharing it :thumbsup:

 

Great Information there Guys on the Red Dot's on the Helmet's and Jacket's Excellent.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The "red patchers" as we called them, had a rectangular red patch sewn on the front of their cover and two on their utility trousers, one on each knee. It was probably about 1 inch by 1 1/2 inches. These were the guys that were in the FSSG, the landing shore party. The marking made it clear to anyone interested as to whether or that individual Marine was in the shore party.

 

The shore party guys were basically traffic cops on the landing party. In the mass confusion of an amphibious landing these were the guys that basically told the incoming boats where to come in to drop their load. Occasionally we would see a few that wear jump qualified.

 

It was a good system in that it let the Senior NCOs and Officers know who should be on the beach and who was "malingering"

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