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Strange Correspondent hat badges in WWII documentary


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Look at this documentary:

 

 

At 12:50 minutes two Americans appear (supposedly in London) wearing US Army officers uniforms without any rank insignia. One of them has a badge with a laurelled 'US' on his cap, the other one has an anchor badge and an anchor SSI on his left sleeve.

 

The SSI comes close to that of a naval war correspondent, but is not quite the same.

 

Anyone got any idea what these guys are?

 

 

 

 

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The_Brick

The man on the left with the US patch on his cap is a War Correspondent aka WarCo

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The_Brick

Your guess about the man on the right being a naval warco is correct.

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We Brits find that "Cawn't miss it!" thing hilarious! It's a somewhat "twisted" approximation of what people actually said/ say! :D

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Thanks guys!! I learn all the time on this forum.

 

But why would a naval war correspondent wear an Army instead of a navy uniform?

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Thanks guys!! I learn all the time on this forum.

 

But why would a naval war correspondent wear an Army instead of a navy uniform?

It is curious, but check out this photo of a WWII Photographer with the War Correpondent Anchor patch and that Anchor cap badge, we see he's both wearing an Army Officers Shirt (with Shoulder Loops, Navy Officers didn't have this feature), and an Army Overseas Cap with an unknown Dark Colored branch Piping.

post-34986-0-50788200-1399232490.jpg

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It is curious, but check out this photo of a WWII Photographer with the War Correpondent Anchor patch and that Anchor cap badge, we see he's both wearing an Army Officers Shirt (with Shoulder Loops, Navy Officers didn't have this feature), and an Army Overseas Cap with an unknown Dark Colored branch Piping.

 

Strange...... :huh:

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I'll throw out a theory. Civilian correspondents were vetted by the military,(think embedded) They were treated as officer class,thus the officer uniforms. All officers were required to purchase their own uniforms. I speculate they went into a tailor shop and ask for an officers uniform and this is what they walked out with. Some being more military minded than others. Just a theory :dry:

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I'll throw out a theory. Civilian correspondents were vetted by the military,(think embedded) They were treated as officer class,thus the officer uniforms. All officers were required to purchase their own uniforms. I speculate they went into a tailor shop and ask for an officers uniform and this is what they walked out with. Some being more military minded than others. Just a theory :dry:

That might explain the Khaki shirt, an Army Officers type, but what about the Army Overseas Cap EM Type, plus opening photo of the guy with the anchor patch and cap badge who's clearly wearing an Army Officers Class A uniform. Could another possibility be that all Civilian War Correspondents fell under Army control thus were uniformed by the Army, and were then seconded to the Navy, with the only distinction being the wear of these Naval associated badges?

 

 

As a side bar, that dark branch piping we see on the guy in Khakis, could that piping be that Purple piping discused before?

 

post-124172-0-47017900-1376708124.jpg

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/185249-garrison-cap-purple-piping/

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I'll throw out a theory. Civilian correspondents were vetted by the military,(think embedded) They were treated as officer class,thus the officer uniforms. All officers were required to purchase their own uniforms. I speculate they went into a tailor shop and ask for an officers uniform and this is what they walked out with. Some being more military minded than others. Just a theory :dry:

 

One would think that even the correspondents would have some pride in wearing their own branches uniform, though? And I guess if possible they would prevent themselves from sticking out too much. So I am inclined to think that it was according to regulations.

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Here's another view of the anchor patch, this time on Ernie Pyle when he was onboard the USS Cabot, a CVL. note again the Army Officers shirt.

post-34986-0-46165000-1399324915.jpg

 

 

 

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Johan Willaert

The entire clip in the opening post is filled with correspondents, amongst which some well known...

 

At 24:33 you can see Brandt who wore a dark assault jacket ashore on Omaha Beach... Ernie Pyle appears at around 24:40

 

Much of this footage was shot by George Stevens' SPECOU(nit) and is available on DVD (D-Day to Berlin & France is Free)

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  • 2 weeks later...
willysmb44

I tried sending a detailed explaination for all this yesterday, but while trying to attach a photo, the screen locked up and I lost it all. Not gonna type all that again.

The short version is that correspondents had to go buy their own uniforms, so they most often bought Army ones. So Navy patches on Army uniforms was pretty common among the correspondents. So were pure officer uniforms. They quite often wore overseas hats with officer piping.

The hat insignia to the guy on the left in the color photo at the top is a Brit made correspondent patch, sewn to the service hat. Alaso pretty common as there was no official hat insignia for that hat (the Brits has one of their own, as did the Navy, though oddly the Navy one hardly ever turns up in period photos).

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I tried sending a detailed explaination for all this yesterday, but while trying to attach a photo, the screen locked up and I lost it all. Not gonna type all that again.

The short version is that correspondents had to go buy their own uniforms, so they most often bought Army ones. So Navy patches on Army uniforms was pretty common among the correspondents. So were pure officer uniforms. They quite often wore overseas hats with officer piping.

The hat insignia to the guy on the left in the color photo at the top is a Brit made correspondent patch, sewn to the service hat. Alaso pretty common as there was no official hat insignia for that hat (the Brits has one of their own, as did the Navy, though oddly the Navy one hardly ever turns up in period photos).

 

Thanks for the info. I should have got you involved right from the start, of course.

 

So that supports 72psb's theory.

I am not saying you are wrong, but it I do find it rather strange.

 

What was the status of these war correspondents? Where they considered to be part of the military like a chaplain, or where they actually civilians and therefore free to wear whatever they fancied?

 

 

 

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willysmb44

They were neither. They had to wear military uniforms with specific insignia, and in most cases they had to buy it all themselves...

Civilain correspondent could sort of travel where they wanted, but they were assigned to a specific theater of operations, and had to get permission to leave that theater. They were also subject to UCMJ, but I don't think any punishment ever occured to any of them for pretty obvious reasons.

They also had no transportation assigned to them. No Jeep filled with field desks and the like, they were at the mercy of GIs to give them rides. That said, a few were unofficically given transport, like Ernie Pyle had his own Kubel for a while...

The carried an unofficial rank of Captain, for Geneva Covention purposes, in case they were ever captured (no manual labor that way, in theory).

I wrote an article for Army Motors a few years back with a lot of detail on the subject, if anyone wants a PDF copy of it, PM me with your email address and I'd be happy to send you a copy of the file with that article.

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