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I enjoy collecting navy memrobilia and have put some effort into deciphering the US navy contracts.All contracts were awarded in numerical order starting with 1.Typically you see a contract example NXSX-12345 the

N-meaning naval

XS is the designation for the bureau of Supplies and Accounts which is the bureau that oversees all the contracting bureaus

the last designation represents the cognizant bureau which the account is for so an NXSX means is that the Bureau of supplies and Accounts awarded a contract on representing themselves

the other naval bureaus are as follows with thier designation

Aeronautics- A

Supplies and Accounts-X

Yards and Docks-Y

Radio division-R

Naval Personnel-P

Other-S

Medicine and Surgery-M

Ordnance-O

Secretary's Office-D

you might see an NXSA which the contract was awarded through the Bureau of supplies and accounts for the bureau of aeronautics.so the series of contracts you will encounter are

NXSX

NXSA

NXSY

NXSR

NXSP

NXSS

NXSM

NXSO

NXSD

Most of the bureaus contract through themselves their desigantions are as follows

Aeronautics-OA

Yards and docks-OY

Ships-OBS

Naval Personnel-OP

Ordnance-ORD

Marine corps-OM

Coast Guard-TCG

you will see these contracing bureau prefixes

NOA

NOY

NOBS

NOP

NORD

NOM

NTCG

 

There are also contract prefixes you will encounter they are 288, 140,145 and a few others these numbers represent the procurment station within the naval department.I have only been able to identify the 288 prefix this Identifies Naval Aviation Supply Depot Philidelphia (NASD) these contracts represent contracts for the bureau of aeronautics.

On a piece of naval equipment you rarely see a date only a contract number.It is possible to date a piece using the contract number.When you do see a date with a contract number that is the month/day/and fiscal year the contract was awarded not the actual date of manufacture but most likely within a few months.an example would be a date of Dec. 1943 is the fiscal year but the manufacturing carried over into 1944 so because your item is dated 1943 does not neccesarily mean it was made in 1943.

another contract prefix you will encounter is N5XS the represents the fiscal year [1945]when the series of contract numbers reached 99,999 and started over from 1.

This is a series i put together for the NXSX contracts these cannot be used for any other contracting bureau as they use there own numerical system.You can use this by plugging in your contract number and find out approximately when your item was made.

NXSX

 

16868 oct. 1942

19958 dec. 1942

 

21747 jan. 1943

23534 feb. 1943

27612 april 1943

28180 may 1943

32566 jun. 1943

37374 sept. 1943

 

47990 jan. 1944

51656 feb.1944

55601 mar. 1944

58293 apr. 1944

63353 may 1944

64856 jun. 1944

71083 jul. 1944

74718 aug. 1944

77162 sep. 1944

82724 oct. 1944

87107 dec. 1944

 

90338 jan. 1945

93082 feb. 1945

96119 mar. 1945

98850 apr. 1945

5sx 1974 may 1945

5sx 7547 jul. 1945

5sx 12406 aug. 1945

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  • 3 months later...
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Thanks Dustin!!

I've had a set of Navy HBTs for a while and have been wondering about when they were manufactured, and going by your list they were manufactured sometime between Sept. 43 and Jan. 44 (NXSX 40697).

 

Thanks again,

Charlie

Seeking anything attributed to General Clifford Bluemel

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here is an update theY are not totally complete but should help

NXSS:

1687 3-42

4217 4-42

7740 6-42

11928 8-42

14079 9-42

15015 10-42

18466 11-42

21824 1-43

26505 3-43

27168 4-43

28504 5-43

33385 6-43

34738 7-43

39910 9-43

40695 10-43

42644 12-43

48178 1-44

50286 2-44

55322 3-44

58215 4-44

60848 5-44

69361 6-44

77132 9-44

 

NXSA:

17154 11-42

22419 1-43

29656 5-43

39220 11-43

44572 12-43

49717 2-44

62370 5-44

73850 8-44

87501 12-44

87749 1-45

NX5SA 6383 6-45

 

NOA:

327 2-43

471 4-43

992 6-43

3071 2-44

 

288s

2231 2-42

2827 3-42

7545 10-42

9575 12-42

10907 2-43

12549 3-43

13174 4-43

15000 6-43

17304 10-43

19055 12-43

20396 2-44

21627 3-44

22480 4-44

23192 5-44

24513 7-44

24986 8-44

29393 2-45

30304 4-45

31909 5-45

 

140s

3335 5-42

7475 7-42

16782 2-43

19931 5-43

23194 6-43

33038 9-43

37799 12-43

40627 2-44

45809 6-44

53135 9-44

58624 11-44

58639 12-44

61836 1-45

70239 5-45

71746 6-45

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  • 2 weeks later...
I picked up an older blue deck jacket and instead of a number beginning with N***

it just says "NAVY DEPARTMENT CONTRACT 87305" - was that a labeling mistake or...?

Bob, what I can tell you is this type of marking "CONTRACT NO. or just ####" is pre WWII as it is only typical on early clothing circa 1941-40 or earlier from what I have observed. The NX type prefixes were not used till 1942 I suspect they developed this system because of the large amounts of contracts awarded for the neccessities of war and for a wide variety of departments, it keeps the books a little more strait which allows the naval department to keep track of monies spent.From other contract labels like the one you posted it is probably a circa 1940 contract number which also fits the type of garment,the blue deck jacket.Several other garments with that type of contract number system has been identified to a certain contractor and date and both have been 1940.

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Bob, what I can tell you is this type of marking "CONTRACT NO. or just ####" is pre WWII as it is only typical on early clothing circa 1941-40 or earlier from what I have observed. The NX type prefixes were not used till 1942 I suspect they developed this system because of the large amounts of contracts awarded for the neccessities of war and for a wide variety of departments, it keeps the books a little more strait which allows the naval department to keep track of monies spent.From other contract labels like the one you posted it is probably a circa 1940 contract number which also fits the type of garment,the blue deck jacket.Several other garments with that type of contract number system has been identified to a certain contractor and date and both have been 1940.

 

 

That makes sense. I read one source that said my particular type of blue deck jacket pre-dated the 1943 ones, which had the galoshes type buckles (anyone who wore those as a kid in the 50's knows what those are).


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That makes sense. I read one source that said my particular type of blue deck jacket pre-dated the 1943 ones, which had the galoshes type buckles (anyone who wore those as a kid in the 50's knows what those are).

What source is that,Bob? I know of atleast two variants of the blue deck jacket and one is with the clasps or galosh style buckle.I believed the difference in the two to be of service variation one being US Navy and the other USCG just a theory anyway.We know the green type deck gear came out in 1943 as can be varified with contracts plus they are listed in the QM supply catalog 1943.There was a disscusion about these deck jackets some time ago and if I recall correctly atleast one contract was awarded in late 1942 for the green type.It does not make sense to me that there was two different styles of a fastners used by the navy that is why I think they are seperate service variations.

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From my research, the original blue deck jacket was approved in (about April) 1939. It had a zipper front. In April 1943 they approved the change from the zipper to the buckles. The problem with the zipper front is that zippers are not water-proof and there was no cloth cover over the zipper. So they made the modification. The Olive Drab #7 foul weather gear (i.e., N-1 Deck jacket (officially, Jacket, Winter, N-1), et al) came out in mid-1943.

 

Charlie

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From my research, the original blue deck jacket was approved in (about April) 1939. It had a zipper front. In April 1943 they approved the change from the zipper to the buckles.

 

Charlie

 

The one I picked up this week is the one with the zipper. One of the companies that makes reproductions of the buckle front model has the same story about the zipper version coming before the buckle front. I will post photos of that in a new thread on Navy deck jackets (it's about time we got one started). This week I got the 1939 blue jacket, a an N-1 jacket and an alpaca lined hooded Navy deck parka (that and the N-1 both with 1944 contracts). A local estate liquidation store had this white Navy duffle bag sitting there among pile of unpacked items, but the owner was gone for a few days, so when he finally returned I asked him to let me go through it and it had the three jackets, a pair of 1945 Navy double buckle boots, some OD deck caps, a couple of cold weather masks and three pairs of never used size 12 WWII socks (and and two pairs of Polaroid goggles including the ones that pre-dated the M1944's). It was fun digging through that bag I can tell you.

 

I'm also considering moving this contract thread to some place where it might get more attention than under "MILITARY SHIPS AND VESSELS." Any ideas?


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  • 1 month later...

I recently purchased a navy sunhelmet with contract #N14062236s190488. It is OD#7. Using your decipher suggestions I seem to be lacking letters other than the "N" and "s". Can you decipher this for me? Thank you for any help you can offer, Ken.

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I recently purchased a navy sunhelmet with contract #N14062236s190488. It is OD#7. Using your decipher suggestions I seem to be lacking letters other than the "N" and "s". Can you decipher this for me? Thank you for any help you can offer, Ken.

 

That would be a 1950's or 60's contract. The contract number would be written out as "N140 62236s 19048B" (that last "8" is actually a "B" I believe)


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I recently purchased a navy sunhelmet with contract #N14062236s190488. It is OD#7. Using your decipher suggestions I seem to be lacking letters other than the "N" and "s". Can you decipher this for me? Thank you for any help you can offer, Ken.

Yes, the 8 is actually a "B". Thank you. Ken

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That would be a 1950's or 60's contract. The contract number would be written out as "N140 62236s 19048B" (that last "8" is actually a "B" I believe)

 

I don't think it is that late (50-60s). In the 1960s, it would be a DA or DSA contract number. In the 1950's it's probably a US ARMY contract number since they were tasked with buying clothing for all services after teh formation of DOD and before the Defense Supply agency got going.

 

N140 contracts are usually WWII-era contracts.

 

Charlie

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I don't think it is that late (50-60s). In the 1960s, it would be a DA or DSA contract number. In the 1950's it's probably a US ARMY contract number since they were tasked with buying clothing for all services after teh formation of DOD and before the Defense Supply agency got going.

 

N140 contracts are usually WWII-era contracts.

 

Charlie

 

The WWII contracts (1942 and after) all had the NX prefix from what I have seen. The DSA and DLA type contracts co-existed with other contract types as do modern day Department of Defense contracts. For instance there are flight suits with numbers such as "F4465098D0001." That happens to be a US Air Force contract. Then there are similar flight suits that will have a contract number such as "SPO100-99-C-5001" which was issued by the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Pa. And very close to the N140 contract discussed here is "N00383-98-D-022F" which was a 1998 contract issued by the Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa.

 

Then I found this reference to a Navy contract executed just five years ago: "contract No. N140-02-Q-3342 October 2002 – May 2004"

 

Navy contract numbers have always been a bear: why couldn't they have been like the Army which apparently had future collectors in mind when it so graciously stamped items with a pattern date and a manufacture date :)


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The contract n383-1356 can be from ww2???

I find a USN Slote & Klein nylon flight helmet with n288 contract and Ear phones navy anb-h-1a. And the earphones have a cord installed with naf stamp plug and small metal plate with exactly n383-1356 numer...

all of my anb-h-1a earphones have n288 or noa stamp on metal cord plate...

 

Thanks for help,

Jerry K.

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The contract n383-1356 can be from ww2???

I find a USN Slote & Klein nylon flight helmet with n288 contract and Ear phones navy anb-h-1a. And the earphones have a cord installed with naf stamp plug and small metal plate with exactly n383-1356 numer...

all of my anb-h-1a earphones have n288 or noa stamp on metal cord plate...

 

Thanks for help,

Jerry K.

 

There are many references online to "N383-" contracts being from the 50's and very early 60's and some of those have specific dates connected with them. The references I find for N288 say they are WWII era contracts, although none of the references cited any definite link to WWII. Both the N383S and N288 are Bureau of Aeronautics contract prefixes. In 1959 the bureau merged with the Bureau of Ordnance to create the Bureau of Naval Weapons so it seems plausible some BuAer contracts could have stlll been intact into the early 60's. The N140 contract prefixes seems to be not identified to any one Navy activity and the contracts with that prefix have more numbers than the N383 and N288 contracts. This would lead me to believe that the N140 contracts were part of a later numbering protocol and they certainly are close to current Navy contract numbers:

 

For example;

N66001-06-C-8001 (current era)

N140-62236s-38713B

N383-22356A

N288s-11913


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I believe that my navy earphones anb-h-1a are from WW2... After war this type of sets I guess wasnt used.. the ear phones is correct for ww2 maybe cord with n383s-1356 is late 45 war production????

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I believe that my navy earphones anb-h-1a are from WW2... After war this type of sets I guess wasnt used.. the ear phones is correct for ww2 maybe cord with n383s-1356 is late 45 war production????

 

I think some of the contract sequences lasted a long time and that there was overlap with new contract numbering protocols.

 

This morning I bought a few trunkloads of uniforms and equipment from the estate of a Marine Sgt. Major: included were three pairs of Navy winter pants with "N140" numbers - so I guess N140 is haunting me today :)


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Navy contract numbers have always been a bear: why couldn't they have been like the Army which apparently had future collectors in mind when it so graciously stamped items with a pattern date and a manufacture date :)

 

I agree with you in 100%. collector life would be easier...:)))

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  • 1 month later...

The only two prefixes I could connect with post WWII contracts is N140 and N383 as late as the mid 1950's.The N383 I am convinced is a post WWII contract prfix as I have searched through 18 hundred WWII contractor pages and never once seen a N383. it seems that when you have a N140 with two sets of contract numbers it is post WWII example N140-65784 3241B.

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  • 1 month later...

I have some great new information

N-140 represents the Navy Purchasing Office New York like N-288 represents the Naval Aviation Supply Depot Philiadelphia.

Also the s after the prefix represents the navy purchasing office for example you may NOA or NOA(s) the s represents the navy purcahsing office and contract for the bureau of aeronautics.

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  • 11 months later...
I have some great new information

N-140 represents the Navy Purchasing Office New York like N-288 represents the Naval Aviation Supply Depot Philiadelphia.

Also the s after the prefix represents the navy purchasing office for example you may NOA or NOA(s) the s represents the navy purcahsing office and contract for the bureau of aeronautics.

 

I have found an original US Navy document from WWII which shows an N140S contract, so I stand corrected: this numbering system was around then. The document was dated June 20, 1941, so the N140s contracts can be pre-WWII!


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