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US Army/USMC Impressions 1938 - 1968


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Here is my latest grouping of acquisitions:

1. M1943 Jungle Pack reclassified as substitute standard for M1928 Haversack;

2. M1918A3 SLR (for M1918A2 Browning BAR);

3. Reproduction U.S. stamped "Mountain Type" M1910 E-Tool Carrier;

4. Reproduction M37 BAR Belt with 12 magazines inserted;

5. Five-Inch Leather Spare Parts and Tool Box for BAR;

6. Reproduction M1910 Aluminum Canteen with metal cap;

7. Reproduction M1910 Aluminum Cantten Cup with folding handle;

8. Reproduction M1910 First Aid Packet Pouch;

9. Small Carlisle Model First Aid Dressing in original sealed tin (pained red).

I put it together with other items that you have seen previously as "Italy 1943".

 

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This is the promised replacement for my ill-conceived Inchon impression. The following changes should be noted:

 

1. The dark brown wool trousers have been replaced by P41 dungaree trousers in the standard sage green. The uniform now, therefore, becomes a P44 "modified" because the upper is P44, with two grenade (or flotation bladdder) pockets on each chest and one breast pocket with buttoned flap. The upper shade was supposed to be green, but actually has a brown twinge when compared to the P41. Apparently, no one wanted to wear the P44 trousers because of the funny-looking double wide "poncho pouch". This back pocket had several USMC rivet-type buttons that were located right on the wearer's tailbone when he tried to sit. This was a very annoying situation if endured for any length of time.

2. The dark green gabardine shirt is no longer being worn under the dungaree coat.

3. The shelter half roll is no longer being carried. Photos that I have of marines scaling the sea wall at Inchon show haversacks with attached E-tools but, as was common in the Korea War, the bedding and shelter halves are being carried on vehicles (hopefully).

4. The three pocket OD-7 grenade carrier has been exhcanged for a two-pocket USMC type in pea green khaki.

5. The standard camouflage rubberized cloth poncho is being carried beneath the haversack, attached by bedroll straps.

6. The leggins have been bleached to the correct golden yellow color. The term "yellow legs" as applied to the USMC by the local inhabitants was first coined at the Inchon landing.

7. A second canteen, as was mandated after the Iwo Jima landing, is being carried on the pistol belt. It is in a third pattern khaki-colored carrier. In fact, there is no regard to consistency of OD-7 vs. khaki colored equipment. The haversack and compass pouch were "transitional" hybrids, with khaki reinforcing bands and OD-7 body material.

8. Khaki suspenders are worn with the pistol belt. As has been posted on this Forum, the dark green "OD-7" suspenders were an invention of the Vietnam War, after it was noticed that khaki did not match the deep green color of the Southeast Asian rain forest. My pair are original and dated 1968.

9. A flotation belt is being worn on the lower chest. It has been noted on this Forum, and in several personal accounts of marine veterans of the Inchon landing that the D-Day type flotation vest was the easiest and safest life preserver to wear on amphibious operations.

10. The camouflage helmet cover has been reversed to coral pattern for beach landings, as opposed to jungle greens.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is my redone/updated USMC Khesahn impression, 1968.

 

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I have changed from the M58 Utility Trousers to 3rd Pattern (Rip Stop) Jungle Trousers with green T-shirt. Also, the M-16 Rifle, instead of the M-14. The boots are now 1967 third pattern Jungle Boots, Instead of M51s. Associated small arms magazine pouch is the 20-rd. (nylon) M-16, instead of the M61 pouches for individual M-14 mags. Grenades (M-26 and M-18 smoke) are attached to the pouches, instead of in ther pockets of the M55Flak Jacket.

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After studying Stanton's book it was not very difficult to update the 1945 impression for Korean War. Trousers, shirt, and tie are different. Tie is dark green O.D.(officer "pinks and greens") instead of the mustard shirt and trousers and light green OD tie. Shirt is the TW wool in khaki shade. Poplin in the same shade was also acceptable, and a lot more comfortable in spring weather.post-8820-0-59739100-1360769507.jpg

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This is my USMC Summer Class B. I'm going to call it 1950, because the trousers and blouse match really well. In WWII they were often different shades, with one being more olive than khaki. Also, the overseas cap is M1950. Ribbons show Asiatic Pacific and American Theater Campaign Ribbons and WWII Victory Ribbon.. Expert Rifle and Pistol are (unfortunately) modern. I have my father's Expert Rifle, but it is too far gone to polish up.

 

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This is my US Army Korean War Summer Class A Dress Uniform for enlisted men. In theater (and I'm not talking about the Bijou or Grauman's) the saucer-shaped service cap would be replaced by the garrison (folding) cap. As far as I know, Army enlisted men did not have a full-breasted blouse to wear as an overgarment, like the officers. I have seen only only one tropical blouse for summer wear by enlisted men. It was the WWII "Vandegrift" jacket that was worn by Marines in the Pacific and stateside in WWII. Please correct me if I am in error.

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This is my standard U.S. Army summer khaki uniform. It would be class "A" for enlisted men. I think that the khaki tie came into service in 1943, and was replaced in 1945. The rest of the uniform would probably appropriate for any time from 1941 to 1961. The only difference between later Army summer garrison uniforms (until the advent of woodland camos) would be the short sleeve modification of 1962.

 

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This about-face impression just about finishes my collection. Thanks to all of you that have submitted replies of admiration and encouragement. For those of you that have seen me at the Crossroads of the West Gun Shows: thanks for the kind words. Please believe me, The best part about this obsession is talking to the aging combat vets as they choke back the tears, and the laughter, when they tell me their stories. It has been my pleasure and my honor, not to mention my good fortune, to meet your acqaintance. You are the shining stars in the dawns early light. May God "bless 'em all".

 

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  • 4 months later...

Part II - Prior to 1938 A.D.

The next set of postings is almost complete from the standpoint that I continued to receive critical components of the Impressions, on an almost daily basis. I haven't been ambitious enough to commit myself to USMC Impressions from this period (yet). That future undertakng will probably depend on the support and comments by you, the Members, and of course the most valuable (and appreciated) commentary by the Moderators. And so we cast forth our little boat into the river of time, looking for those ripples that are meaningful ... in newspapers, on teletypes, in Pony Express Rider's pouches. This is The Historical Collection.

 

Item No. 1 U.S. Army, Phillipine Insurrection: About 1905.

 

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