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On WW2 White Army webbing -


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How is this one? Its clearly white and not khaki / OD#3. It has alloy fastener, brass adjuster and steel keepers.

 

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Johan Willaert

I bought this one at the 1995 East Coast MV rally at the Aberdeen Proving grounds...

 

No Mfr markings, no pistol ammo pouch snap...

All steel? hardware..

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This is one of those rare questions that we can't answer by studying the gear itself. I've been looking for this gear in QMC records and in TO&E and it just isn't there. When gear isn't provided by the QMC then where does it come from. Either it was purchased outside of channels (under what authority we're not sure) or it was made at the unit level.

Johan, I've seen belts like yours that have been sold commercially for use by colorguards and others. It could also date post war, when white pistol belts became more common. I have had several from different eras as well as Navy white gear.

Tom Bowers

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Just few tips about M1936 belts.

Buckle: brass until half 1942, then light alloy webbed ( or filled web) female. Post war M1936s have again brass buckle

Keepers: soldered copper in 1941, soldered brass early 1942, flat chinched steel until mid 43, then ridged chinched steel

Mag pouch snap always present. Postwar transiction M1936/56 are snapless being already in use alice clips

Grommets: always made out of brass. Only postwar samples are found with steel grommets.

 

Exceptions indicate special purpose (i.e. musician) or european made or commercial utility belt.

 

In the pics they are in order of data. The one inthe last pic is the transitional M1936 snapless, "tipped male" buckle with steel grommets.

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Johann's belt shows all characteristics of early M1936 and being snapless it could be the "new" medic officer belt. But only if all hardware is made out of brass (try with a magnet). My medic belt below (bottom one) is about 1932 so it's an M1912 but it's possible they shifted to M1936 when M1912 was discontinued.

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Arturo, what do you make of the belt I posted? It had a brass buckle and grommets, but steel keepers? Early/Mid WWII?

 

I had always considered it to be some post war belt, but before return to all brass during the Korean War.

 

RC

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Johan's belt looks very similar to the belt I found, although the keepers are different.

 

I wonder if they were manufactured by the same company, albeit at two different points in time.

 

RC

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If it is a civilian/private purchase this all gets tossed out the window as the maker could have all kinds of 'bits' sitting around and would not have to conform to a contact standard.

 

Anyway, found two interesting things tonight. 1939 26th ID (Nat. Guard) yearbook clearly shows their band members wearing white leggings, and a white cross strap making an "X" accords the chest with a large brass buckle. Now the photo of the MP unit shows them without white leggings, but it darn sure looks like they are wearing the same white "X" belt without the buckle- which makes me wonder if there might be some sort of tie in to band equipment. In thinking like a 1930's officer, I might wonder why the MP's wore big white belts, but did not wear the white leggings as well?

 

The MPs have no other special gear, except for a white pistol lanyard, and their YD MP badges. Being state troops, they could basically do anything the state wanted and were issued special police badges to wear when on duty. They also had the special YD/MP SSIs, but you can't see them in the photo (which is small and half toned) .

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Hi Rusty. Chance are strong your belt wouldn't be a GI issue but a postwar commercial having the tab end made out of steel. GI postwar belts used steel in very limited space of time, just to realize that steel is not ideal in tropic jungle enviroment. The only steel used in WWII was for keepers but I have a 1945 OD7 with ridged keepers made out of brass (see pic). ETO was over and PTO didn't like steel.

In the pic my sample of a commercial I've already posted. It's the bottom one ant it shows even the mag pouch snap.

From the top: 1941 copper keepers, 1942 flat steel chinched keepers, 1945 brass ridged chiched keepers

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Hi Arturo, I long suspected that. But the quality seemed too good, it looked pretty much identical to Johan's belt (except the the keeper style).

 

Johan, can you try a magnet on your belt and see if it's steel? I'm thinking they were both made by the same company..

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Johan Willaert

 

Johan, can you try a magnet on your belt and see if it's steel? I'm thinking they were both made by the same company..

 

Will have to dig deep to find that... It is somewhere in storage...

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Will have to dig deep to find that... It is somewhere in storage...

 

 

I fully understand, if I knew where mine was I would get more photos of it.

 

RC

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As much as it makes no sense to me to issue every MP a white lanyard if it were only for the pistol (as few MPs had a pistol as their primary weapon, and it seems th elanyard could have been just left on the weapon), I just went back through a massive number of photos I have aquired onver the yars and in every case the whistle is on the brass chain, and if the lanyard is there is it to the pistol.

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I went through all the original WWII & Occupation MP photos I have and couldn't find anything other than white gloves, at first.

 

I found a few photos that appear to show the white lanyard being worn on on the right shoulder and running down to the holster, unfortunately no view shows the lanyard clearly attached to a pistol, however we do know that there is little on a holster to attach a lanyard to.

 

I would post it but the photo is too small to get a good scan.

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As much as it makes no sense to me to issue every MP a white lanyard if it were only for the pistol (as few MPs had a pistol as their primary weapon, and it seems th elanyard could have been just left on the weapon), I just went back through a massive number of photos I have aquired onver the yars and in every case the whistle is on the brass chain, and if the lanyard is there is it to the pistol.

 

 

That concurs with what I have found.

 

And I have never found a whistle with anything other than the chain.

 

However I found several photos of MP's armed with M1911's and no lanyard or whistle, and that is in the same unit/time frame as other photo's showing the pistol lanyard.

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I went through all the original WWII & Occupation MP photos I have and couldn't find anything other than white gloves, at first.

 

 

 

I want to clarify this, there were plenty of pistol belts and leather belts, but I was focused on finding white lanyards and white looking web equipment, the only two things that were white were the lanyards and the gloves.

 

In case anyone cares, it appears several of the pistol belts have the hardware polished bright.

 

RC

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This may be too easy, but I looked at a 1942 list of equipment prices, and lo and behold- following up on my 26th YD band find, I see under equipment for band members:

 

stock number 73-B-5705 belt web with shoulder strap, white, special measurement $1.10

 

Now it may be totally different, but I would like to see a photo of a WW2 bandsman and see if their belts look anything like some of the MP belts.

 

I've been at this too long to just assume it'll be the same.

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craig_pickrall

This may be too easy, but I looked at a 1942 list of equipment prices, and lo and behold- following up on my 26th YD band find, I see under equipment for band members:

 

stock number 73-B-5705 belt web with shoulder strap, white, special measurement $1.10

 

Now it may be totally different, but I would like to see a photo of a WW2 bandsman and see if their belts look anything like some of the MP belts.

 

I've been at this too long to just assume it'll be the same.

 

Civilian police traffic control officers used to wear white Sam Browne belts. These were high quality like what you expect to see with a MP. Civilian band gear used by schools is usually lesser quality.

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craig_pickrall

MIL-B-1107 is the spec for the M1936 belt. The OD7 is a class1 belt and White is a class 2 belt according to this spec. The white belt is specified to have white thread while the OD7 belt has dyed thread in a spec to match OD7. There is no way I can tell exactly when this was added to the spec but they may have made them by a simple deviation to spec during WW2.

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MIL-B-1107 is the spec for the M1936 belt. The OD7 is a class1 belt and White is a class 2 belt according to this spec. The white belt is specified to have white thread while the OD7 belt has dyed thread in a spec to match OD7. There is no way I can tell exactly when this was added to the spec but they may have made them by a simple deviation to spec during WW2.

 

 

Craig, you're thinking the belt Jon mentioned is not the belt we're looking for?

 

I wonder if the Marines used the Navy version at the time, perhaps the MP's just ordered them rather than start from scratch.

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You are an MP in WW2. You get transferred to the ETO. They tell you to get a white belt.

It is WW2 so there is NO WAY you can get one without waiting perhaps weeks and months by snail mail, unless they are "in the system."

 

white gloves, white lanyard, all in the system. helmet? you paint it.

 

If you are in the London area it appears you can draw one of the ETO MP belt w/strap per ETOUSA instructions.

 

The question remains, where does everyone else get them, and the white leggings.

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One of the problems with have a large collection is most of it is in storage, and one often forgets exactly what one has. And as I was going to do some photography of some MP stuff I pulled my MP box out. One of the things I forgot I had was a short pair of white leggings named to a soldier which kind of appear to be bleached as the maker's name is almost bleached out. I now remember I bought them as they were cut down M-38 leggings that were as close ot white as I suspect you could get. And had the guy's name and SN as well.

 

So I start looking and !!! I find this: http://paratrooper.f...50&t=nouveautes

 

same guy, same type of leggins, but from the maker mark marker fading I can tell is it a different pair ! The thing that is more intersting is that the guy turns up in an MP unit at Stuttgard in 1950 in a clip from a S&S newspaper- of which I can not see the whole thing as I don't have a subsctiption to newspaperarchive.com. So while it looks like proof that they did indeed wear cut down bleached leggings, that he was a Sgt. means they may very well be a post war item.

 

To add to the confusion is that on both there is sewn into the seam a small white tag with 2R on it - even though the remains of an original 2R stamp can be seen on the camvas. so why stamp a maker mark of a different item on it, and then add in a small size tag? Only thing I can think of is that they used an old stamp which had the size in it, but still had the maker info - but then why the damn small tag?

 

So I shopwed them to one of my favorite textile people, who pointed out how fropm the way the top was made it had to have been made that way from the start- not cut down and resewn.

 

The and she also said she really doubts the bleaching idea as to get it that white would put such a strain on the fiber that by now it should be falling appart.

 

So this is a purpose built item, non regulation size tag in it, but stamped as a regulation different model legging.

 

 

 

 

 

So somewhere, someone's got Theodore's other set of white leggings.

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That makes sense.

 

The only leggings I have seen that were actually made in white canvas, were postwar looking commercial items. So they probably had to make their own by bleaching at least into the 1950s. I seem to remember a color photo of a color guard wearing short white leggings, but they may have been aftermarket.

 

I used to have a pair of WWI- Interwar era USMC leggings that were either bleached or made in white, probably bleached because the markings were not very crisp. Hard to say when it was done, I don't think the Marines ever threw anything out.

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Charlie Flick

Guys:

 

I ran across the photo below identified as USAAF MPs with the 440th Troop Carrier Group. The photo is a page from the book "DZ Europe" that is now listed for sale by member Clayton on our Forum. The book is described by Clayton as "Airborne Troop Carrier, DZ Europe", Army Air Forces publication, circa 1945, 203 pages, being the official record of the 440th Troop Carrier Group". These guys all appear to be wearing white MP gear.

 

Regards,

Charlie

USAAF MPs ed.jpg

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