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US Army/USMC Impressions 1938 - 1968


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attachicon.gifArmy41 Front.JPG

 

This is the beginning of my dress uniform section. The first posting is the U.S. Army 1938-41.

 

If any insignia was worn on the enlisted man's Service Hat, it would be the unit's DUI attached below the ventilation eyelet (not through it), not the Service Cap insignia.

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Thanks atb,

 

I appreciate your comment. Now that you mention it, I always saw 1st Sgt. Warden wearing the DUI in the front of his Service Cap. What confused me, of course, was in 1941 the transition to the visor cap from the campaign hat was already underway. I just assumed that they transferred the Enlisted Man's Disk Insignia over directly.

 

Regards,

 

Steve (Dadwasajarhead) Speer

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is my Spanish American War impression. I call it "Sergeant, Rough Rider - Cuba 1898". Of course, in the hot and humid Cuban weather the Rough Riders would have worn only their blue shirts on top. The Model 1884 stable jackets would have been stuck in their haversacks.

 

post-8820-0-69999200-1379963862.jpg

 

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  • 3 months later...

This is my impression of the U.S. Cavalryman in the Punitive Expedition (P.E.) into Mexico c.1914-16. The trooper's blankets and shelter half would have been carried on the saddle, along with additional hardware items and fodder for the horse. Often times troopers could be seen carrying the saddle bags as a kind of de facto luggage. The M1910 Haversack would have been well known to the pony soldier, but not worn on this expedition. After the 1917 merger of the National Guard, U.S. National Army (a kind of national active reserve), and the regular U.S. Army, the American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.), under Major General John J. Pershing, would issue M1910 Haversacks to all troops preparing to sealift to France. Sadly, the horse had seen its final days as an engine of war.

 

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...
Hi Steve,


Have enjoyed viewing your wide range of impressions. Most impressive. I have the same interest in representing a range of US impressions. Here's a few of mine: http://smg.photobucket.com/user/pommel1876/media/Impressions/01_1876_em_cav_zps744061f9.jpg.html?sort=9&o=0


I wanted to offer a few thoughts on some minor details that you might consider. Based on your photos I sense that you are wanting to present "regulation" impressions, i.e. that of a soldier wearing what the manual or regulations state he would have rather than a "campaign or field" impression (what soldiers actually wore).


1905 Philippines Insurrection Impression:


-- The revolver lanyard was meant to be worn over the left shoulder with the snap coming under the right arm. The issue lanyard was a kahki cord (it's difficult to tell what mateial your lanyard is made of but it appears to be very dark...perhaps leather?). What Price Glory offers a good reproduction lanyard for this era.


-- In the service dress and undress photos for 1905; I *think* the blue and white polka dot scarf was an item unique to the 1st Volunteer Cavalry. Not to say that someone in another regiment didn't wear one, but it is most closely associated with the Rough Riders.


-- A quick check of the photos of troops of this era from one of my books shows the use of blackened numerals and letters on the front of the campaign hat to identify the regiment and company to which the trooper was assigned rather than the corps device (i.e. crossed sabers). The regimental number was positioned above the company letter. Some photos show that not all soldiers had the regimental/company devices on their campaign hats.


1898 Rough Riders Sgt:


-- I *think* that the Rough Riders were armed with the Model of 1896 carbine rather than the 1898 Rifle. I think they were the only Volunteer unit to be issued with Krags. But I'm not an expert on the Rough Riders, so I might be wrong.


1916-1917 Punitive Expedition


-- Looking at some of my books to refresh my aging noggin....I'm pretty sure that cavalry troops were not issued bayonets until the saber was discontinued as an arm, sometime around 1931, 1932 or 1933 (plus / minus).


-- None of the photos in the books I checked show cavalrymen carrying a haversack on their person. Only one photo showed a solider wearing an M1910 canteen (but few of the pix show the side or back of a person). I'm pretty sure (again, based on the regs and period photos) that troopers wore only their sidearm and first aid pouch on the cartridge belt. Perhaps a canteen, too. Most everything issued to a cavalryman (canteen included) had a specific spot on the saddle.


-- I believe that the boots issued at this time were not the roughout style of 1917. I'm pretty sure they were still the smooth sided leather boots intended to be kept brightly polished.


1876 Cavalry Sgt


-- While cavalrymen of this era were issued haversacks and canteens, they rarely wore them in the manner of infantrymen (after all, cavalryman were THE elite arm of the army :-). Both items were nearly always attached to the saddle rather than to the man.


-- Because of the darkness of the photos I'm not sure what is the color of the kerchief (it *seems* to be yellow)..... Any color but yellow and wearing the kerchief with the knot to the side or back of the neck and loose around the neck would be more accurate.


While kerchiefs were purchased and worn by soldiers on campaign, they weren't used as an identifying part of their uniform; the kerchief was (just as for cattle drovers of the day) used to limit the dust inhaled during a mounted march with a column(s) of horses in a dusty environment. The kerchiefs came in many colors and sizes.


It's my understanding that the use of yellow scarves tied in the manner of the Boy Scout neckkerchief was an invention of a Hollywood costumer designer or director who wanted more color on the actors. I believe that the widespread use of yellow suspenders (aka braces) was also a Hollywood addition and neither are historically accurate.


You've done a great job with your uniforms and gear. It's always great to see someone else interested in these obscure time periods. Great job, Steve!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am re-posting this impression, because the original was too dark to see the details. Also, please note that all of my cavalry troopers are dismounted. This means that they must carry everything that they need with them, including haversacks. This is the way that the Rough Riders were forced to fight in Cuba, and is the traditional role of "Light Cavalry", such as the U.S. Mounted Rifles and U.S. Dragoons.

 

As to the issue of yellow scarves being correct for the U.S. Cavalry: I have authentic period photographs of 5th Cavalry troopers cooling their feet in French Creek during October 1876; just four months following the Custer Massacre. Virtually every one of the men are wearing yellow or white scarves. I am more inclined to think that they are yellow, because white is the traditional color of a surrender flag. Not that the Sioux would care about a surrender offer, but commanding officers of the cavalry were notoriously concerned about appearances.

 

Please note that the Punitive Expedition trooper is an artilleryman. As such, it would not have been out of place for him to carry a short sword. The Springfield bayonet would have worked well for that purpose. The M1910 Mills Garrison Belt has a two-grommet canvas-web frog for attaching the scabbard, but no saber chape like a mounted belt would have. Thank you to the folks that took the time to write some very interesting and finely detailed research comments. I really do appreciate them.

 

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And here is the about-face impression. I was impressed by the details of the cavalry uniforms in the 1960's movie "Sergeant Rutledge", starring my favorite actor: Jeffrey Hunter. The costumers took the opportunity to make several period uniform changes to the characters, as the case against Sergeant Rutledge unfolds over a seven-year time span. Starting out with traditional "fireman shirt" bib fronts the uniforms evolve into the late 1880's pleated fronts and dark blue-piped semi-dress tunics. Also from dark blue M1872 forage hats to the smaller M1889 "silver tans". Taking a hint from them I still think that the regulation impression would include the yellow scarves in "Boy Scout Neckerchief" fashion.

 

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  • 1 month later...

This photo continues the Phillipine Insurrection collection by including an infantryman c.1905. Note that as opposed to the cavalryman (above) he carries the majority of his acoutrements on his M1903 cartridge belt. After all, what were all of those wire hooks for?

 

post-8820-0-34899700-1405843358.jpg

 

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And, of course, the "about face" impression. Note that the Infantryman has been ordered to carry his bedding and clothing in his new (khaki) shelter half. He, therefore, has left his M1878 Blanket Bag back at the post. He does not have the M1901 (.38 Long) Colt Revolver on his hip, but needs the new M1903 Watervliet Arsenal Suspenders to hold up the M1902 Haversack, canteen on a web suspender, M1905 bayonet, M1904 Medical aid for soldiers pouch, and the entrenching tool in its carrier.

 

post-8820-0-97766900-1405844150.jpg

 

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This is an impression of a coast artilleryman in the same time period as the cavalry and infantryman. He is able to carry only the most essential items (weaponry) on a simple M1904 leather garrison belt. The pistol is, again, the trusty .38 Long Colt. This time, I have given the trooper a cottom web lanyard, as opposed to the fancy leather lariat that the cavalryman wears. The cartridge box is an authentic model 1902 Mc Keever pouch that was well known (albeit in black leather) to soldiers in the frontier posts of the old west. The authentic piece was found on E-bay for a modest price, and arrived with 20 fresh .30 - 40 Krag cartridges with round-nosed elliptical bullets inside. I have replaced them with .30 '06 cartridges, because I don't have any .30 '03s.

 

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  • 2 months later...

 

This is my impression of the U.S. Cavalryman in the Punitive Expedition (P.E.) into Mexico c.1914-16. The trooper's blankets and shelter half would have been carried on the saddle, along with additional hardware items and fodder for the horse. Often times troopers could be seen carrying the saddle bags as a kind of de facto luggage. The M1910 Haversack would have been well known to the pony soldier, but not worn on this expedition. After the 1917 merger of the National Guard, U.S. National Army (a kind of national active reserve), and the regular U.S. Army, the American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.), under Major General John J. Pershing, would issue M1910 Haversacks to all troops preparing to sealift to France. Sadly, the horse had seen its final days as an engine of war.

 

attachicon.gif Mexico Front.JPG

 
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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.

 

attachicon.gifArmy 53 Front.JPG

This is the Class A evening version, which became available in 1945. The occupation of Japan saw a need for enlisted personnel to also take advantage of the night life. The same uniform was made available to WACS in 1944. Of course, the many secretaries that found themselves out on dates with officers surely overwhelmed the enlisted men that found nurses to date. The chevrons are the small 1948 variety that were blue on gold for combatants and gold on blue for noncombatants. This trooper is probably a driver for a ranking staff or flag officer. The SSIs are 9th Corps (right sleeve) and (left sleeve) 40th Division (California National Guard as sent to Korea in 1953).

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This is my impression of the U.S. Cavalryman in the Punitive Expedition (P.E.) into Mexico c.1914-16. The trooper's blankets and shelter half would have been carried on the saddle, along with additional hardware items and fodder for the horse. Often times troopers could be seen carrying the saddle bags as a kind of de facto luggage. The M1910 Haversack would have been well known to the pony soldier, but not worn on this expedition. After the 1917 merger of the National Guard, U.S. National Army (a kind of national active reserve), and the regular U.S. Army, the American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.), under Major General John J. Pershing, would issue M1910 Haversacks to all troops preparing to sealift to France. Sadly, the horse had seen its final days as an engine of war.

 

attachicon.gifMexico Front.JPG

I am correcting the explanation of this impression as follows:

  1. The trooper is an Artilleryman, not a Cavalryman, from the Punitive Expedition time period. Note the red cord for his M1911 Service (Campaign) Hat.
  2. The gear that he is wearing is normally classed as "Garrison Style". He can avail himself of this "Light Marching Order" because it is not necessary for him to carry his own bedroll and extra clothing. The bulkier items of his kit are rolled in a shelter half or poncho and strapped to the saddle or tack of a horse, or in one of the lockers on-board the towed limber and caisson.
  3. The trooper is pictured with an M1910 bayonet and leather-tipped canvas scabbard. It has been pointed out that the only troops that would have found any use for the bayonet would have been the Infantry. I would replace the bayonet with the M1910 Bolo Knife, if I had one at the time. I didn't. I now have a very nice reproduction Bolo, at the time of this writing.
  4. The leather carrier for the canteen does not have the regulation double-hook for hanging the item on an M1903 Cartridge Belt. It does, however, have a wide belt loop which enables the bearer to carry his canteen on a Garrison Belt. There is also, a leather strap with a brass snap hook that is the quick release for carrying the canteen on the saddle.
  5. The pistol is, of course, the M1911 Colts in .45 ACP. The M1909 Colts DA Revolver would have been equally correct. I do have one.
  6. The boots are the M1917 reverse (flesh side out) Marching Boots. The correct boots would have been the M1904 (shiny side out) which I do not own. The Philippine Insurrection Impressions have a similar boot that I was able to locate (Wolverine 1000-Milers) which would have worked here as well.
  7. Carrying of the M1898 Haversack would have been optional. I would think that the contents would have been valuable enough (food and toilet items) that a close watch of the contents would have been in order. Others have pointed out that period photos of troopers (primarily Cavalry) carrying the Haversack are rare to non-existent.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, you have an amazing collection. I can't imagine the amount of time needed to research and procure all that stuff. Kudos!

Hi ChooChoo,

 

Thanks for responding with the compliment. You know once the hobby reaches the point that I would really rather do this than anything else in the world, I guess it could be called an "obsession". God knows what my grandson will do with all of my crap, when I am dead. He only shows interest in electronic facsimiles of things military. I guess I just haven't understood kids for quite some time. At least my stepson liked minature characters (star wars more than anything in history). I could get him to watch old war movies with me, but that was about it. When I tried to explain all of the misery that my father went through in the marines 1945-51 it just fell on deaf ears. My grandson is even more distant. Well, if he is smart he will sell all of my stuff here in this forum. I can only hope that the impressions are sold as complete. Here are two more: The Cavalry impression that I was shooting for from the Punitive Mexican Expedition:

 

post-8820-0-11432000-1413161777.jpg

 

post-8820-0-45178200-1413161804.jpg

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This is the infantryman from the Punitive Mexico Expedition. Note that there has been a great deal of improvement over the Phillipine Insurrection Infantryman. The M1910 Haversack now doubles as a knapsack.

 

post-8820-0-94514900-1413162323.jpg

 

And, of course, the About Face Impression:

 

post-8820-0-84268300-1413162416.jpg

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Imparting the appreciation of history is definitely an artform that has eluded me too. By the way, what local events do you attend or exhibit at? Can you message me as I don't want to take your thread off topic? Thanks.

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