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US Army/USMC Impressions 1938 - 1968


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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).

 

This is the Class A Impression that I was referring to in the above quote. I have had some issues with .JPG uploads ever since I was infected with a virus on AOL E-mail. It kept opening blank windows with the title of various charitable organizations (Unicef, Red Cross, Amnesty Intntl., etc.) I used Norton Antivirus to get rid of it. I had to use the highest level cleaner "Norton Eraser". Some of my firewall settings were, therefore, changed. My ability to upload to the Internet was also altered. If anyone has information on this menace, please post to this thread.

 

Thanks,

 

Steve

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And this is the About Face Impresion for US Army 1945-48.

 

I used the same jacket and trousers to make an impression of the 1st Marine Division in Australia at the end of 1942. Having just come from Guadalcanal the Jarheads were filthy, wearing rags, and hungry for everything from booze to broads to clean beds. The Aussies, being generous and patriotic people, made nice short jackets for our boys, using their British Commonwealth style "Battle Dress". I don't know if the U.S. Army was starting to receive their "Eisenhower" jackets yet, but the Gyrenes christened their jackets "Vandegrift" after the Commandant of the Marines at that time.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

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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.

 

attachicon.gifCuster Rear.JPG

 

This is the earliest impession in my collection. It is Gettysburg: July, 1863. The Unit is the US 83rd Infantry otherwise known as the 83 Regiment of the Pennsylvannia State Militia "Old Pennsylvania" was imprinted on their Guidon Streamers and Band Drum Heads. The weapon is the 1861 3-band Springfield Musket in 0.58 caliber. With simple flip up sites for 100/200/500 yards the Minie conical projrctile made them quite effective. It is difficult to see under the cartridge pouch, but the infantryman has commandeered a .44 caliber Model 1861 U.S. Navy Revolver. Caps, and cartridges for the revolver are in the fanny pouch.

 

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Couple of things on your CW impression. The instances of an infantryman carrying a side arm are turkey rare. Many started with them but disposed of them as worthless. Many infantry officers did not bother with them. What is a US Navy .44 cal revolver? The Navy did not have specific hand guns made for them. The term "Navy" was a universal term devised by Colt for marketing purposes referring to all .36 cal pistols. All .44 cal pistols were referred to as "Army". This was from Colt and not a service designation. Additionally, Colt had a Naval Battle I graves on the cylinders of all his pistols regardless of cal.

 

By 1863, the blanket was carried inside the knapsack against the back. The March th Gettysburg was long and hard, over 90F, most knapsacks were dropped alongside the road and abandoned.

 

Leggings. Very early worn. The button type were pre war militia. Any actually used during the war were leather reinforced canvas and laced up the side. Those that were issued tended to be tossed as they were hot and uncomfortable. Universally despised by the soldiers.

 

Kepi. You seem to be wearing a kepi rather than the standard M1858 Fatigue Cap ( Forrage cap/ Bummer). Kepi were not issue items, but private purchase. Mostly worn by officers. Some enlisted did wear them, but extremely rare.

 

Canteen cover. By 1863. Wool covers were almost extinct. If covered it tended to be brownish or gray jean wool.

 

Basically, way too much stuff for a CW Soldier on campaign to Gettysburg in 1863

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Couple of things on your CW impression. The instances of an infantryman carrying a side arm are turkey rare. Many started with them but disposed of them as worthless. Many infantry officers did not bother with them. What is a US Navy .44 cal revolver? The Navy did not have specific hand guns made for them. The term "Navy" was a universal term devised by Colt for marketing purposes referring to all .36 cal pistols. All .44 cal pistols were referred to as "Army". This was from Colt and not a service designation. Additionally, Colt had a Naval Battle I graves on the cylinders of all his pistols regardless of cal.

 

By 1863, the blanket was carried inside the knapsack against the back. The March th Gettysburg was long and hard, over 90F, most knapsacks were dropped alongside the road and abandoned.

 

Leggings. Very early worn. The button type were pre war militia. Any actually used during the war were leather reinforced canvas and laced up the side. Those that were issued tended to be tossed as they were hot and uncomfortable. Universally despised by the soldiers.

 

Kepi. You seem to be wearing a kepi rather than the standard M1858 Fatigue Cap ( Forrage cap/ Bummer). Kepi were not issue items, but private purchase. Mostly worn by officers. Some enlisted did wear them, but extremely rare.

 

Canteen cover. By 1863. Wool covers were almost extinct. If covered it tended to be brownish or gray jean wool.

 

Basically, way too much stuff for a CW Soldier on campaign to Gettysburg in 1863

 

Dear Sigaye,

 

Thank you for your comments. I know that it seems like an error, but, yes, there was an 1861 Colt's Navy Model. Please see the attached link for a Wikipedia discussion:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_M1861_Navy . It resembled the 1860 Colt's Army (.44) Revolver, but some had fluted cylinders while others had the solid cylinder. It was the solid cylinder model that permitted the engraving of the naval battle scene, hence continuation of the Colt's Navy line. I suppose that was why I had assumed they were .44s, not .36s.

 

As for the Field Pack, the top roll is not a blanket. It is a rubberized ground cloth, with a white canvas shelter half rolled inside of it. Inside of the knapsack was a brown-striped "emergency issue" blanket, next to my back, which was the proper way to pack it as you indicated. On the opposite side of the knapsack was a change of drawers, issue shirt, and socks, wrapped in a rubberized rain poncho. Shaving and other toilet articles were also packed in with the poncho, but protected from soiling the underwear and extra clothing, by being packed outside of the poncho. Compared to 20th century Field Packs: M1928 Haversack, M1941/44 USMC Haversack/Knapsack, M1955 US Army Combat/Cargo Pack, and especially the Mountain Rucksacks (like the M1966-68 Vietnam-Era Lightweight Rucksack) The C.W. Knapsack was surprisingly light weight. The real killer was, of course, the wool clothing that C.W. soldiers had to wear. The Confederates, of course, had a lighter-weight cotton material dipped in tanning solution (butternut) that was cooler in hot weather, but not nearly as durable.

 

The issue of leggings was an interesting one. I had considered abandoning them because they were, after all, much more common with Zouaves and other irregulars. I wanted something, however, to stand out that "Old Pennsylvania" was a militia unit. But, being the third summer of the war, they were probably no longer being worn, as you indicated.

 

I had always thought that bummers and McDowell visors had fallen by the way side at that late date. Most movies tend to show Kepis in abundance over other enlisted men's head gear. Most sources do, however, indicate that they were private purchase.

 

Regards,

 

Steve (Dadwasajarhead) Speer

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Yes, sounds good. Ok, the roll with the poncho and shelter was actually carried between the halves of the knapsack. the real ones were very light weight at about a pound each. One of the main issues with carrying a roll on top of the knapsack was it is in the way. It bangs against your head and makes the position of "Right Shoulder Shift" very difficult. This was one of the main ways of carrying the weapon on the March. Also, it has crap balance. Uniforms. Federal fatigue blouses were actually 8 oz wool flannel. Extremely light and comfortable. The trousers tended about 16-18 oz Kersey wool. Not sure where you are getting your info, but the majority of CS uniforms were made from a fabric called "Jeans Cloth" which is a wool/ cotton blend. The different natural substances that the fabric was dyed in (Walnut shells, Sumac, Log Wood) turned the fabric gray, however, exposure to the elements caused the dyes to oxidize and change colors. Not uniformly, as it depended on how long it was exposed. Way too much stuff in the knapsack. First person accounts almost all say that very little personal stuff was carried. Most wore the same clothes for the entire season without changing.

 

The original combat load of the Federal Infantryman in 1861 was three days rations (about 2.5 pounds) of Salt "meat", 30 hard tack crackers and coffee. This pretty much filled the haversack. Also supposed to be carried in the haversack was the "Mess Furniture" tin plate, cup and utinsels. The tin cup was usually in the sack to keep it from picking up dirt and banging around. He also carried 40 rounds of ammunition in his cartridge box. In 1862 this load was increased to 5 days rations and 60 rounds and again inJanuary '63, to 8 days rations and 120 rounds. This increased combat load nesicitated the Army directing the Soldier to drop personal items and extra clothing so the increased rations and amp could be carried. During the Atlanta Campaign, Sherman directed that the individual Soldier was only allowed 1 rubber blanket (poncho) OR 1 wool blanket. Everything else was to be dropped to allow increased carrying capacity for rations and so, and speed.

Any way,

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Actually, if you dump the pistol and its cartridge box, you'd be a perfect example of a news lotus private whose unit has been Federalized in the early Sumer of 1861

 

pistols, funny thing about them. The "Army" (.44 cal), was unpopular. It was heavy and a bit unwheildly. Originally issued to Cavelry, many Cav troopers swapped them for the Navy model as it was lighter and Essie to bring back on target after firing.

 

On the other hand, the Navy which used lots of hand guns preferred the big bore "Army" model because of the blast and shock. Used as a back up to the cutlass, it was mostly to get someone off of you during a close quarter fight (and there were many still at the time of the CW).

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And, this is the "About Face" impression. Notice the unpainted E-tool, and the khaki-colored rubberized raincoat, tucked under the M-1910 outer pack flap.

 

attachicon.gifMeuse Argonne Rear.JPG

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This is my WWI US Cavalry Impression. The cartridge belt is the M1910 mounted version. The bandolier is the M1912 version. Note the different type of leggings worn with the M1904 marching shoe. The M1917 bolo is another item that was worn exclusively by cavalrymen. The only engagement that I could find in my research in which the U.S. Cavalry was employed was the battle of St. Miheil. This battle was part of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of 1918.

 

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This is the "about face" for the above. The M1911 .45 Auto pistol is barely visible from this view. The holster is the M1912 (drop swivel) with a tie down belt. The clip carrier is the M1916 double magazine with twin eagle snaps.

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On 10/18/2014 at 7:19 PM, dadwasajarhead said:

And here is the "About Face" impression:

 

 

attachicon.gifUSMC Aust 42 Rear.JPG

 

 

 

This is the winter dress for enlisted USMC (Gunnery Sergeant) that was seen stateside at the beginning of the war and for most of the duration. The Vandegrift Jacket did, however, catch on after the war. A tropical khaki version was also introduced. After the war the greens became only semi-dress, because the blues were again available to the majority of FMF.

 

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Here is my 10th Mountain Division trooper as he would have looked in training at Camp Hale, Colorado. From 1941 to the beginning of 1945 these ardent troopers practiced the most physically grueling discipline in the armed forces. In May 1943 some troopers were selected for a brief but exhausting deployment to Kiska in the Aleutian Islands, to fight the Japanese Imperial Landing Force. Finally, in January 1945, the U.S. 5th Army decided that it could not crack the hard nut of the central Italian mountain chain. The 10th and the US Special Services Force (newly formed joint unit with the Canadian Army) took on Mt. Della Torracia, Riva Ridge, Mt. Della Spe, and Mt. Belvedere. The alpine fighters climbed the mountains, guarded only by powerful searchlights that were set up to blind the Nazis at the mountain summit. Their mountain climbing training, therefore, paid off in a big win for the allies. Less used were the glamorous ski troops. Each man was an expert skier that could vault off of cornices, carrying 80 lbs. field packs and heavy weapons. Many of these remarkable men went on to found the recreational skiing industry in the postwar United States.

 

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Here is my about face impression. The Mountain Jacket, possessing internal shoulder straps, was a pack unto itself. The zippered back pocket could carry a reversible over-white parka and trousers. Ten other zippered pockets were available for carrying anything from ski repair kit, ski wax, ski goggles, pitons, carribeners, and the carribener hammer. The mountain rucksack is visible, along with the snow crampons (secured to the rucksack) and the ice axe (barely visible on the trooper's right side, secured with the issue rifle strap). Also, attached to the rucksack are a M1910 first aid pouch, an M1 Bayonet, and an M1910 E-tool. Carried inside the rucksack would have been: a mountain sleeping bag, a poncho, a toilet articles kit, skivees, huck towels, and a sleeping pad. Rations and the meat can were carried in the three external pouches. Every fourth man would have been responsible for a mountain stove and cook set, a two-man mountain tent, or additional weapons and ammo. Most typically the load reached 80 lbs. I will post my ski trooper impression (wearing over-white camouflage) at a later date.

 

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Excellent thread! Believe me I know the hard work that goes into these impressions, Time, money, collecting, searching, and researching! Hats or helmets off to you! great reference too. Thread should be saved. :) for future reference. Regards David


Pvt. James H. Honey 1st Md. Eastern shore Vol. Inf. Co. D (union) Gettysburg
Pvt. George Eddie Lear 26th Inf. Co.H 1st Div .(WW1) P.H. WIA Cpl. Richard Elsea 268th C.A. Bn. Battery A. WW2 SSgt. Grant Elsea 314th Inf. Hq.Co. I.R.79thDiv. WW2
Cpl. Harry Lawrence Butler Jr 23rd Regt. WIA Korea Lt. George Olin Tilghman 111th MG. 29th Div. WW1 DIS France 1919
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WOW! Most of us know how much money and time it takes. Excellent posts.

"The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him" G.K. Chesterton

"A people that values it's privileges above its principles will soon lose both" D.D. Eisenhower


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