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Coast Guard CPO Cap Devices


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Here's a quick size comparison of the garrison size anchor with two earlier combination cap anchors. The Navy regulations stated the anchor would be 1 1/4" in height and this Blackinton example was pretty close (~ 1 3/16"). Interestingly here, the other two anchors are actually about 1/8" larger than what the regulations called for in their respective era's.

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Does anyone have a Coast Guard garrison cap example that actually used a full size anchor (same used on the combination style cap)?

 

 

The Navy didn't actually mandate a miniature cap device for CPO's until sometime in 1944. In BuPers Circular Ltr No. 97-44, the Secretary of the Navy approved a miniature chief petty officer cap device approximately three-fourths the size of the present cap device used on the combination cover, and the U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations pertaining to chief petty officers was changed to read as follows:

"Chief petty officers shall wear a miniature chief petty officer cap device on the left side of the cap, 2 inches from the front edge".

 

Up till that time, CPO's wore the full size anchor and here's a photo showing an example, circa July 1944. For the story on this guy, see the thread on garrison caps in the Navy section.

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/204780-garrison-caps-devices/

 

I assume, the Coast Guard must have followed in the practice.

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Beginning 1 June 1947, the blue and white garrison caps were discontinued for all male naval personnel, not sure if the Coast Guard was still following Navy uniform rules at this point.

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Great example and shows the Coast Guard did in fact follow the Navy in the practice. Thank you for showing it!

 

Tim

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Really nice covers guys!! Almost makes me want to start a new area!! :o NO!!

 

Paul,

 

Here's a shot of mine with the pin up and I would say they are a match IMO.

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I seen a mistake on the group comparison photo in post #27, so I deleted it. I'll post that "updated" comparison shortly.

 

First, here's a circa 1942 - '43 combination cap device manufactured by Hilborn-Hamburger with the dual H-H/Imperial hallmark.

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Interesting to see the shield was hollow back, which might account for trying to save on raw materials.

 

Close up of the hallmark. The dual hallmark was only circa '42/'43 timeframe when the companies merged.

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Found this photo on the Coast Guard's uniform site and thought I would add it here.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not mine but thought I'd share the photo of a bronze device on a olive drab combination cap.

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  • 1 year later...

New hand to the forum. Tim, I think we swapped some CG information a couple of years back.

 

A couple of tidbits I picked up since then..

 

PaulR and Tim posted some CPO insignia photos. Take a peek at the way the stars are arranged in the chief, the upper portion of the shield. The CG shield has 7 stars in the upper row and 6 in the lower row. The 13 colonies..

 

I found the CG addendum to the USN 1952 Uniform regs. It has the CPO insignia illustrated as the photos show. There is also a hand written notation stating the stars are not correctly shown and will be changed in the next revision..

 

The CPO insignia with the lifering is from the CG 1930 uniform regs. It was the insignia for the CPOs in the CG Lifesaving Branch. They would have been the CBM(L) and CMoMM(L). That insignia was discontinued with a 1939 change to CG uniform regs..

 

Will get my thoughts together on some of the early ones. Up until May 1920 they were the cap insignia of certain 'petty officers of the first class' . CG and Revenue Cutter Service specific..

 

The khaki cap and subdued insignia above is the #1 Surfman if the 1915 to 1920 Lifesaving branch. An item to date them would be a center mounting screw post to the center of the 'bell style' cap.

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The Shore Establishment uniform is a continuation of the Lifesaving Branch surfman uniform of 1930.. The surfmen wore the surfman insignia, lifering with crossed oars, on each collar and on the combination cap. The Lifesaving also wore the surfman insignia on the blue and white collar. There was also a white uniform version of the same design. Those that were authorized to wear the surfman uniform in Oct 1941 could continue to wear it. They kept the (L) after their rating. The surfman uniform faded away after about 1960 when most would ha either made CPO or retired.

 

The Shore Establishment added the CG emblem to the collars and a larger emblem to the combination cap. These were the same size as present day insignia. They were all brass rather than todays silver/gold version. I picked up somewhere that the shore establishment uniform was eliminated around 1947 or 48sh. It also had a khaki version. Rating badge on either left or right sleeve.

 

With slight variations to the lapels, color and lower pocket flaps, that uniform was advertised back in 1973sh as being the inspiration for the current CG Service Dress blue

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Welcome to the forum, am I correct to assume you're name is Dana?

 

Anyway, always happy to see when others are interested in actually discussing details vice the simple show & ask type threads on whether or not something looks good! I was waiting to see if you had more to show at this point but will go ahead with what I know or have on hand. Perhaps you have more references that I have not read yet and we can compare notes of sorts.

 

Regarding the topic at hand; I'm not sure I agree with everything you stated above but again, it might be references you have that I have not seen at this point. As you covered many topics, I'll address a few of these separately to keep it more straight forward. I'll have some attachments to add, so bear with me here.

 

First, like most of the maritime related services, the Navy sets the regulations when it comes to uniforms, especially in time of war. This includes the Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and what was the US Shipping Board and Maritime Services. Other lessor known services, such as Coast & Geodetic Service and even the Army Transport Service (Water Division) also used the Navy style uniforms for standardization, despite having a vast majority of civilian contract personnel.

 

Here's a Letter of Promulgation dated 12 June 1952 and it shows the Coast Guard adaptation of the 1951 Naval Uniform Regulations.

 

 

 

 

 

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The version I am reading has had seven amendments made to the original 1951 (adapted) regulations and I know there were at least 11 amendments made. If more were made, I don't know.

 

Here's a change page with the amendments and effective dates for reference. Most commands, when updating their references, simply did a pull and replace page change or pen & inks when possible. It should be noted that very few commands actually retained the old pages to show what was originally written and we tend to lose fine points when that happens.

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Here's a "green" change page, hand written page 12-10, that was part of Amendment #1 (18 June 1952). It discusses what I think you are referring to regarding the 13 stars being reversed. I'll add a close up in the next post.

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It would appear to me that you are actually referring to the enlisted sleeve distinguishing mark and not the CPO cap device. I don't study these particularly so I haven't noticed if the early versions had the stars reversed from what we see here but the reference is referring to the sleeve insignia, from what I read.

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Regarding the Coast Guard CPO Cap device; I have read no reference anywhere where it calls out an anchor cap badge for First Class Petty Officers.

 

The Navy had a round cap badge that was worn by First Class Petty Officers. In 1893 when the CPO rating came into being, "chiefs" wore this same badge on their caps until 1897 when an anchor style badge was designed specifically to designate Chief Petty Officers from other petty officers, but the Coast Guard didn't have CPO's until May 1920. As the Coast Guard typically followed the Navy in uniform regulations, I find it hard to understand why the Coast Guard would have had an anchor style device for 1st Class PO's prior to the Navy adopting an anchor style badge.

 

Maybe I haven't read something but I think you got this wrong here?

 

Regarding design changes, here's another green sheet, page 10-5, from Amendment #1. It shows what the Coast Guard CPO cap device was supposed to look like in 1952. If you read the accompanying written narrative, you will see that the anchor was basically the same device as the Navy's only with a shield, vice USN lettering, applied to the anchor shank. The garrison size device was described similarly.

 

You'll note a hand-written note about a cut-off date for "Navy style devices". I think the reason there is some confusion on patterns of devices and why changes were made were due to the wording in the initial regulations and early amendments. Basically, it says the devices are the same except the Coast Guard uses a shield in place of the Navy's USN lettering.

 

 

 

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Even as late as June 1957, when Amendment #5 came out, the wording in the regulations still stated that the only difference between these were the center device (shield vs USN lettering) and (Other details same as for Navy).

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Tim,

My name is Dana, we did correspond a couple of years ago. I also have a limited collection of older CG CPO devices, I am just not that adept at taking good photos and figuring out how to post them. Will work on it.

 

I have the 1952 USN Uniform regs with the CG addendum and when noting the arrangement of the stars for the distinguishing sleeve mark. It got my curiosity, and since then I managed to pick up a large size cap device. It came in a very worn older small cardboard box with a clear panel. The box is printed as a Vanguard and only has a small printed number of 7733 ABC on one of the tabs. The back of the anchor is fairly scaled and soiled, but cannot make out any stamped identifying ,arks. It is a screw post with a centering pin on the stock I also have a combination cap size of the style you and Paul R. have posted. It just has 'sterling' on the back of the shield.

 

Looking at postings #13, #21, #22, #27, #32, and #33 the CG shield, on the shank of the anchor, all have that same pattern of the stars. Six above and seven below.

 

There looks to be a period that some manufacturer picked up the 1952 regs, noticed the change in the illustration of the sew on shield and manufactured CPO insignia for a time with that oddity..

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It wasn't until April 1959, that the Coast Guard Commandant sent out General Administration Instruction No. 4-59, which called out that the design for the CG CPO device was supposed to be different from the Navy's pattern device. The Coast Guard had modeled their uniforms and insignia to match the Navy for several years prior and towards the later part of WW2 started to adapt to more distinctive uniform appearance that clearly separated them from the Navy.

 

This (4-59) Instruction was also meant to signal to the manufacturers that prior designs were no longer authorized but, existing on hand stocks in post exchanges could continue to be sold and those in wear still used (page 2, para b.)

 

This April Instruction references another instruction from the previous month (that I have not read) and it might show additional clarification on what the design issues were but as you can see above, at least as late as 1957, the wording in the regulations clearly state the "anchor" portion of the device was the same as the one used on the Navy CPO badge.

 

One more note before moving on. I want to point out that the design imaged still shows seven over six stars as originally designed. The top center star may not be as raised or pointed as before but it's still not a reverse of the original pattern. Again, this is why I think you were thinking of the sleeve insignia instead of the CPO cap badge. More on that later.

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A friendly reminder that my images and material posted here are not to be considered "fair use" or "public domain". If you want to legally use my material outside this forum, for any purpose, my express written permission is requested and required beforehand.

 

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