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Marine Gunner Insignia


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Folks often are confused by the placement of Marine Gunner Insignia prior to WW2, here is a pic of Gunner Otto Wiggs, taken in China circa 1934. Note placement on lower collar tab, not on epaulet.

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The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great photo...

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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Great example. That would be a CWO Chief Marine Gunner, with the blue and gold bar on the shoulder. The WO Marine Gunner would wear the bomb on the shoulder loop in place of the rank insignia. Thanks for the post,

 

Justin B.

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Great example. That would be a CWO Chief Marine Gunner, with the blue and gold bar on the shoulder. The WO Marine Gunner would wear the bomb on the shoulder loop in place of the rank insignia. Thanks for the post,

 

Justin B.

 

 

Actually the Marine Corps Warrant Officer ranks are Scarlet and Gold or Scarlet and Silver depending on the rank. The rank bar was still worn on the shoulder and bombs (or other departmentals) worn on the lower lapel. In the photo above you can just make out the ranks on the shoulder straps.

 

Interestingly, at first they were called "Commissioned" Warrant Officers or CWO which was later changed to "Chief" Warrant Officer. Gunners were called "Chief Marine Gunner". I have a few uniforms that are named to Gunners and the tailors label usually abbreviates these as Ch.Mar.Gun. Henry Hulburt was the very first Marine Gunner having earned this distinction in WW1. In the attached photo, you can see he wears the bursting bomb insignia on his collar, in place of the EGAs. This was changed in the early 1920s when the roll collar replaced the mandarin style collars of WW1.

 

Great photo though... I also see "restored" uniforms where people have placed the bursting bomb on a Warrant Officer uniform thinking that all Warrant Officers wore the bursting bombs. In fact, there were other departmental insignia such as Chief Paymaster and finance that were worn depending on the officers' specialty.

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Actually the Marine Corps Warrant Officer ranks are Scarlet and Gold or Scarlet and Silver depending on the rank. The rank bar was still worn on the shoulder and bombs (or other departmentals) worn on the lower lapel. In the photo above you can just make out the ranks on the shoulder straps.

Not in the period we're talking about. From 1926 to 1943 Marine CWOs wore a gold bar with a blue enamel break across the center. As commissioned officers, they wore their insignia in the same way other commissioned officers did: rank on the shoulder loop and department insignia (or bomb for marine gunner) on the lapel or aft of the EGA on the stand-up collar. On the overcoat shoulder loop, CWOs wore both the bar and the department device. Warrant officers wore the department insignia or bomb on the shoulder loop in the position commissioned officers wore their rank insignia. WOs were also not authorized wear the shoulder strap for the Sam Browne belt, but CWOs were.

 

In WW2, the Navy Department decided the old warrant rank titles didn't fit anymore, so Congress abolished the old commissioned warrant ranks (Chief Marine Gunner, Chief Quartermaster Clerk, Chief Quartermaster Clerk (A&I) and Pay Clerk) in favor of one rank, "Commissioned Warrant Officer," and Marine Gunner, Quartermaster Clerk, Quartermaster Clerk (A&I) and Pay Clerk for "Warrant Officer." New gold and scarlet rank bars were introduced at that time.

 

In 1954-1955 the four grades of silver/gold and scarlet bars were introduced, and in 1956 the Marine Gunner insignia was reintroduced for qualified WOs/CWOs.

 

There is some good information in United States Marine Corps Ranks and Grades, 1775-1969.

 

Justin B.

 

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When were the dept & Gunner insignia removed from the lapels?

For WO/CWO, 1943 when the new bars were introduced. I believe the department insignia for commissioned officers were eliminated in 1946.

 

Justin B.

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