Jump to content

Olive Drab No. 2?


Recommended Posts

stealthytyler

At The Front makes their new reproduction M1941 jackets in OD#2 stating that this is the color the originals were made in. I have never heard of this color. I have only heard of the three main "khaki", OD#3 and OD#7. Can someone shine some light on this OD#2 for me? Is it more "green" than OD3 but not as green as OD7? Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Armed 2 tha Teeth

OD #2 is the correct color. Joshua Kerner and I discovered that OD #2 was the correct shade for the M-1938/M-1941 field jackets last Fall while doing research at the Quartermaster Museum at Fort Lee, VA.

For years (maybe decades) collectors have erroneously referred to these jackets being made from OD #3 fabric, the color the Quartermaster designated for web gear, but this is incorrect. The answer was pretty clearly listed in the wartime Quartermaster swatch books, which include not only a listing of the different shades and their intended uses, but also swatches of the fabrics.

You can see some pictures from our trip here (https://www.facebook.com/100thInfantryDivision/photos/a.597020237000759.1073741826.166960223340098/766134530089328/?type=1&permPage=1). Pardon our faces in the shots where we were looking directly into the sun:

post-763-0-82328700-1439586918.jpg
post-763-0-19439500-1439586928.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

OD #2 is the correct color. Joshua Kerner and I discovered that OD #2 was the correct shade for the M-1938/M-1941 field jackets last Fall while doing research at the Quartermaster Museum at Fort Lee, VA.

 

For years (maybe decades) collectors have erroneously referred to these jackets being made from OD #3 fabric, the color the Quartermaster designated for web gear, but this is incorrect. The answer was pretty clearly listed in the wartime Quartermaster swatch books, which include not only a listing of the different shades and their intended uses, but also swatches of the fabrics.

 

You can see some pictures from our trip here (https://www.facebook.com/100thInfantryDivision/photos/a.597020237000759.1073741826.166960223340098/766134530089328/?type=1&permPage=1). Pardon our faces in the shots where we were looking directly into the sun:

attachicon.gifUSMF3.jpg

attachicon.gifUSMF2.jpg

 

 

 

As you were...

 

I can admire and appreciate anyone who goes through the effort and trouble to do research as I have also done. But I must sound off on this subject.

 

According to Authority for Publication OQMG Letter Ist Ind. January 1, 1943, "Official shade numbers assigned for shades of olive drab, khaki, & Etc for officers, inlisted men, & Women's auciliary corps clothing" The Cloth, Cotton, Poplin is listed as a shade of OD #3. In fact, according to the above OQMG letter, no fabric of any fiber content, cotton, wool, or otherwise was dyed to a shade of OD#2

 

Furthermore, the sewing contractor specifications for the Jacket, Field, Od make no mention of which shade of OD poplin is to be used in contracts to produce this item. It just requires that the poplin be OD. This leaves the field wide open as to which shade the OQMG felt like matching on any given contract on that morning. But to say that replica M41 jackets were erroneously represented as OD#3 and should be OD#2 is jumping to conclussions.

 

Just clarifying respectfully. Email me if you have questions infor@wwiiimpressions.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

Juan,

From:

"United States Army Quartermaster Corps; Official Shade Numbers Assigned For Shades of Olive Drab, Khaki, & ETC. For Officers, Enlisted Men, & Women's Auxiliary Corps Clothing; Authority For Publication O.Q.M.G. Letter 1st Ind. January 1, 1943"

-Joshua M. Kerner

post-5574-0-42159000-1440531698.png

post-5574-0-86196700-1440531677.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Juan,
From two different versions of the January 1, 1943 Swatch book (first is for officer items, second is for enlisted mens items. The other designated items probably refers to the officers "Trench Coat"):
post-5574-0-93849200-1440531862.png

post-5574-0-55536600-1440531863.png

 

-Joshua M. Kerner

PS sorry for the repost of the AR 600-35 Quote in the last post, USMF won't allow me to remove it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Armed 2 tha Teeth

Juan,

Nevermind. Josh already posted it (see below).
post-763-0-07279600-1440536056.png

Juan,

From:

"United States Army Quartermaster Corps; Official Shade Numbers Assigned For Shades of Olive Drab, Khaki, & ETC. For Officers, Enlisted Men, & Women's Auxiliary Corps Clothing; Authority For Publication O.Q.M.G. Letter 1st Ind. January 1, 1943"

-Joshua M. Kerner

attachicon.gifScreen Shot 2015-08-25 at 3.21.34 PM.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you already have it.

 

I cited: "United States Army Quartermaster Corps; Official Shade Numbers Assigned For Shades of Olive Drab, Khaki, & ETC. For Officers, Enlisted Men, & Women's Auxiliary Corps Clothing; Authority For Publication O.Q.M.G. Letter 1st Ind. January 1, 1943" which is the same document Joshua cited. And, I do stand corrected that I see that 5oz poplin is listed in this document as indicating OD #2 and Od#7. But, If you read 6 lines above the line reading 5oz poplin you will find a line reading 6.75oz poplin which IS OD#3. Having been in the business of making uniforms for almost three decades I can comfortably say the difference between these two weights of fabric is barely significant and it would seem logical to me that the army must have picked between the two weights and shades during contracting.

 

I would argue that 5oz poplin is a very lightweight of a fabric to make field jackets. 5oz poplin is lighter than bedsheets. It is very flimsy and doesn't stand up to long exposure from the elements. My case in this point is the color of existing field jackets. There were some in the greener shade but many were in the Od#3 shade as well. In fact back in 2001, my M41 jackets were the first to be made in the more greener shade of Od#2 because I saw the same swatches you did. I eventually shifted my fabric to the more popular weight and shade to the earthtone OD#3 due to customer feedback and request. My comments are meant to only be heard from a tone of respectful disagreement that OD#3 is erroneous. It is NOT erroneous and all the original M41 jackets that you find in the more earthtone OD #3 shade is the proof. This is a case where we are BOTH right.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Armed 2 tha Teeth

I cited: "United States Army Quartermaster Corps; Official Shade Numbers Assigned For Shades of Olive Drab, Khaki, & ETC. For Officers, Enlisted Men, & Women's Auxiliary Corps Clothing; Authority For Publication O.Q.M.G. Letter 1st Ind. January 1, 1943" which is the same document Joshua cited. And, I do stand corrected that I see that 5oz poplin is listed in this document as indicating OD #2 and Od#7. But, If you read 6 lines above the line reading 5oz poplin you will find a line reading 6.75oz poplin which IS OD#3.

Yes, here is the section you are referring to. However, you are misreading the document in an obvious and fundamental way. It isn’t accurate to say that because the same document refers to a different fabric as being OD#3 that OD#3 fabric was used on field jackets. That theory is not supported in that document- or any others. See below.

post-763-0-09627200-1440556120.jpg

 

 

Having been in the business of making uniforms for almost three decades I can comfortably say the difference between these two weights of fabric is barely significant and it would seem logical to me that the army must have picked between the two weights and shades during contracting.

 

May seem logical to you, but you weren’t the Quartermaster General in World War II. In fact, the Army specifically chose the fabric for the jacket to be lightweight. If you believe that the Army did in fact choose to make its field jackets from a different fabric than was specified in the Quartermaster Swatch Books, Army Regulations, and other documentation we have provided, please provide your basis for that contention. However, in the absence of contrary evidence it seems very illogical to disregard the information we have in favor of an unsubstantiated theory.

 

Also, it seems odd that if the Quartermaster was using 6.75oz poplin to make M-1941 jackets, they would use 5 oz. poplin as the lining on the M-1943 and refer to it in Quartermaster documents as “the presently used 5 oz. poplin.” Roberts, Norman E., “Designed for Combat: The Army’s Field Jackets”, pp. 39-40, Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot (1946). The same document goes on to the describe the lining of the M-1943 jacket as “wind resistant five ounce poplin of the same construction as the cloth employed as the outer shell of the Parsons jacket.” Id. at 39 (emphasis added).

 

I would argue that 5oz poplin is a very lightweight of a fabric to make field jackets. 5oz poplin is lighter than bedsheets. It is very flimsy and doesn't stand up to long exposure from the elements.

Its' lightweight was one of the reasons why the Army adopted the 5 oz. poplin. Ironically, it was also one of the reasons why the Army moved away from the M-1941 field jacket and towards a system that incorporated layering principle and more robust and resistant fabrics for its field jackets. Furthermore, it was the Army’s intention use a 5 oz. fabric from the beginning as the tentative specification for the field jacket dated August 20th, 1940 specifies a “five-ounce twill.” “Designed for Combat: The Army’s Field Jackets” at p. 2.

 

My case in this point is the color of existing field jackets. There were some in the greener shade but many were in the Od#3 shade as well. In fact back in 2001, my M41 jackets were the first to be made in the more greener shade of Od#2 because I saw the same swatches you did. I eventually shifted my fabric to the more popular weight and shade to the earthtone OD#3 due to customer feedback and request.

 

You shifted your production to what appears to be an incorrect fabric and incorrect color even when you knew better?

 

 

My comments are meant to only be heard from a tone of respectful disagreement that OD#3 is erroneous. It is NOT erroneous and all the original M41 jackets that you find in the more earthtone OD #3 shade is the proof. This is a case where we are BOTH right.

Saying that poplin manufactured M-1941 field jackets were OD#3 is erroneous. Every piece of official documentation proves that. The Army did not refer to the shade of its field jackets as OD#3- ever (as far as we can tell). Thus, saying that M-1941 field jackets were OD#3 is wrong or incorrect, the very definition of erroneous (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/erroneous). Original jackets exist that are more brown or OD#3 in appearance, but until we find documentation showing that the Army specified jackets be made in that color we can only assume that they are in fact variations of OD#2.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Original jackets exist that are more brown or OD#3 in appearance, but until we find documentation showing that the Army specified jackets be made in that color we can only assume that they are in fact variations of OD#2.

 

Color is relative to the eye. My customers prove that statement by agreeing that my jackets are the correct shade. What the OQMG may say is OD#2 may in fact be MY Od#3 because that is how the jackets actually ended up. You are doing an excellent job of proving that the OQMG originally intended color is OD#2 but that is NOT the rule. The color on the original jackets speaks for itself. Dying the fabric to original specs is probably the most difficult task I have ever tackled. Because of the methond of dying, shading is NOT guaranteed from lab to finished production.

 

Researching the documentation from Quartermaster records is an excellent place to start your investigations. It has proven invaluable in my work. However, it is naive not to also consider the lessons and adjustments learned during contractor production. The OQMG archives are NOT the final word about what the contractors delivered during a time in American history when the Army had very little time to outfit a growing army of millions of personnel using hundreds of companies to produce the materiel. Substitutions were allowed in the course of production and contracting and the difference between what you have noted from your research and what you find on collectors show tables is indicative. In all my years of collecting uniforms and disassembling some of them I have seen the substitutions first hand. It only reinforces that the OQMG wrote guidelines that it tried to stick to as much as possible but the practical reality is that this perfectionism was NOT practical in every uniform contract. They tried to do the best they could given the arduous conditions of the time.

 

I would challenge anyone to take a large enough piece of fabric from an M41 field jacket and have a lab weigh the fabric, just as I have done and measure the true weight of the fabric. You will find that the weight of the fabric is NOT 5oz. Perhaps I should advertise on my website that my M41 jackets are an OD#3 version of the original OD#2. Perhaps then it wouldn't be erroneous. It would confuse the hell out of everyone but would be more accurately described.

 

As I said before, I respectfully disagree with your conclusions. Just my opinion FWIW.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Juan,

 

Color is relative to the eye.

 

Indeed it is, however we’re discussing field jackets, the QMC shade specifications, and the standard regarding those shades. Human physiology is a discussion for another forum. However to try to get out the “bias” of the human eye I’ve dropped several hundred dollars on a high quality pantone color scanner.

 

My customers prove that statement by agreeing that my jackets are the correct shade.

 

The customer isn’t always right, as you should well know. How many of your customers have done research at the Quartermaster Museum? How many have examined the wartime Swatch Books? Your customers, solely by virtue of their spending money on your products, cannot be assumed to have agreed that your jackets are the correct shade. Nor can you stand on your sales, and in defiance of all written documentation, and pronounce that your shade is inarguably correct.

 

What the OQMG may say is OD#2 may in fact be MY Od#3 because that is how the jackets actually ended up.

 

OD No.2 & OD No.3 are close in shade to each other and there will be variations that will overlap. However the Standard was OD No. 2 for the 5 oz. poplin that was used in the field jackets. This discussion has been focused on what the correct specified shade of OD was for field jackets not an evaluation of whether your jackets are an acceptable variant of that shade. You are attempting to change the nature and scope of this dialogue towards your reproduction field jackets.

 

You are doing an excellent job of proving that the OQMG originally intended color is OD#2 but that is NOT the rule.

That was the literally the rule. Three of the documents we have posted specifically and unequivocally state that the field jacket is to be made OD No.2 material.

 

The color on the original jackets speaks for itself.

 

Using 70 year old jackets in various states of use is not a foolproof method for figuring out how a new from the factory field jacket appeared. Colors can appear differently over time because of environmental factors light sunlight and exposure to moisture (like laundering) and even because of the chemical composition of the dyes themselves.

 

 

Dying the fabric to original specs is probably the most difficult task I have ever tackled. Because of the method of dying, shading is NOT guaranteed from lab to finished production.

 

Indeed it is a difficult task, however during the war the shade that the lab would have been starting with and would have been trying to achieve as closely as possible would have been the OD No.2 color shade specified by the QMC- not OD No. 3.

Researching the documentation from Quartermaster records is an excellent place to start your investigations. It has proven invaluable in my work.

 

Apparently not. You have not provided a single source that backs up what you say. In fact the one source you did cite actually backs up what we are saying.

 

However, it is naive not to also consider the lessons and adjustments learned during contractor production. The OQMG archives are NOT the final word about what the contractors delivered during a time in American history when the Army had very little time to outfit a growing army of millions of personnel using hundreds of companies to produce the materiel. Substitutions were allowed in the course of production and contracting and the difference between what you have noted from your research and what you find on collectors show tables is indicative. In all my years of collecting uniforms and disassembling some of them I have seen the substitutions first hand. It only reinforces that the OQMG wrote guidelines that it tried to stick to as much as possible but the practical reality is that this perfectionism was NOT practical in every uniform contract. They tried to do the best they could given the arduous conditions of the time.

 

It is obvious you have not read the QMC History of the Field Jacket by Roberts, Norman E., “Designed for Combat: The Army’s Field Jackets” that we cited to and quoted above. In it the QMC discusses various substitutions made in order to meet the quotas of jackets they needed.

One such substitution was the use of 8.2 oz. twill to make the shells. However twill jackets were the minority, and each time twill was utilized for the outer shell the QM reduced the number of jackets specified to be made from that material. Furthermore several times they actually stopped production on the jackets in order to wait for more of the 5 oz. poplin.

Finally nowhere in the history, despite going through all the minutiae of all the various substitutions, do they mention using any other weight of poplin other than the 5 oz. poplin.

 

I would challenge anyone to take a large enough piece of fabric from an M41 field jacket and have a lab weigh the fabric, just as I have done and measure the true weight of the fabric. You will find that the weight of the fabric is NOT 5oz.

 

So you took a small piece of fabric from an original 70 year old jacket to ascertain the weight, and you believe that is more accurate than the original QM specifications? As we understand it, measuring a small piece of fabric and attempting to extrapolate yardage weight typically yields inaccurate results.

 

Perhaps I should advertise on my website that my M41 jackets are an OD#3 version of the original OD#2. Perhaps then it wouldn't be erroneous. It would confuse the hell out of everyone but would be more accurately described.

 

Or just say that it is a lighter shade variation of OD No.2; one that looks closer to what a standard shade of OD No.2 looks like once it has been worn and faded. That is easy and accurate.

As I said before, I respectfully disagree with your conclusions. Just my opinion FWIW.

 

You can disagree all you want and have any conclusion you want but these facts remain.
1. You have quoted nor presented any sources, outside of one that actually supported our position.

 

2. We’ve quoted 5 sources. One of those sources, Roberts, Norman E., “Designed for Combat: The Army’s Field Jackets” we quote multiple times, however the sources used as footnotes for those quotes in the original work come from different documents.

 

3. Of those quotes:

-2 state unequivocally that “Cotton, Wind-Resistant Poplin, 5 oz. Water Repellent” in the Olive Drab No. 2 Shade is for field Jackets

 

-1 states unequivocally that color is “Olive-drab shade No. 2”

 

-1 states unequivocally that ALL “Cloth, Cotton, Wind Resistant, Poplin, 5 oz., Water Repellent” was either made in “Olive Drab No. 2” or “Olive Drab No. 7”

 

-2 state unequivocally that “5 oz. poplin” was what was used for the Field Jackets.

 

-1 states unequivocally that a 5 oz. weight fabric was what the QMC desired from the beginning. Something they obviously got as evidenced by the continued use of that both in the Field Jacket and later in the Lining of the M-1943 Field Jacket using the leftover poplin from the Field Jacket.

We acknowledge that our research is still ongoing, but we refuse to disregard the wealth of documentation which supports our position for an as-of-yet unsubstantiated personal opinion. We intend to continue researching the development and production of the Army’s field jackets, and we may discover additional information that adds greater detail and depth to this discussion. However, as we have shown above, our research to date inarguably shows that the specified color for M-1941 field jackets was OD No. 2.

 

 

Respectfully,

Joshua M. Kerner

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 years later...

We acknowledge that our research is still ongoing, but we refuse to disregard the wealth of documentation which supports our position for an as-of-yet unsubstantiated personal opinion. We intend to continue researching the development and production of the Army’s field jackets, and we may discover additional information that adds greater detail and depth to this discussion. However, as we have shown above, our research to date inarguably shows that the specified color for M-1941 field jackets was OD No. 2.

 

 

Respectfully,

Joshua M. Kerner

 

Just saw a post on the GI Reenactors Help page about this ebay listing and thought it would be a good time to return back to this discussion with some more information to reinforce my assertions. OD#2 may have been the intended color for the initial contracts to produce the M41 Jacket but over time this spec was not set in stone and changed. Indeed, many Army contracts for hundreds of thousands of jackets had to be completed and delivered with whatever the contractors could get their hands on which the Army allowed for. Here is just such an example of the M41 jacket in OD#7.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-40s-WWII-WW2-US-Army-m41-Field-Jacket-Rare-in-OD7-color/253348326838?hash=item3afcbcadb6:g:zDcAAOSwnYBaT3GB

 

Also for your consideration, please review this site...

 

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://www.usarmydatadepot.com/55_j_200_a_55_j_304_jacket_field_od_6515.htm&prev=search

 

On this page (Translated from French) and under the details pertaining to Spec PQD 20A adopted on 6 May 1941, you will find the following statement..

 

m41jacket.JPG

 

As you can see, this French website was written by someone who spent extensive time at National Archives, far longer then I ever wish to spend. I believe his information to be authoritative and supports my manufacturing practical experience and conclusions.

 

Below is an excerpt from the actual spec for the OD Field Jacket PQD 20A. Please note how the Army allowed for "suitable substitutions" on their contracted jackets. This clause is in every spec I have in my possession for items the OQMG wrote specs for. Furthermore, the spec does not actually specify which version of OD, whether OD #2 or OD #3, is to be used for completion of the contract. The Army contracting offices allowed deviations from their own specs, allowing for 6.75oz poplin just as an example.

 

m41specs2_c182effb-dbd9-46fa-83d6-cddca6

 

As I stated before, It is my opinion that my web site is NOT erroneous to indicate that these jackets were made from alternative fabrics and colors as demonstrated by all the original jackets floating around. It is clear to ME that jackets were made in OD #3 and OD #2, and in poplin weights ranging from 5oz to 6.75oz. While the Quartermaster museum has a lot of information, even they admit they don't have all of it. What the museum at Ft Lee does NOT include are notes from the invitation for bids and as well as annotations from the various Quartermaster Depots that contracted to have these jacket made. Many of those documents were lost over time since WWII and others reside at the National Archives. While having written documentation is a valued resource, it does NOT address the obvious proof that the color and fabric weights of many original jackets vary from such specifications. Having done my own extensive research and manufactured these uniforms for over 25 years I have an acute sense of fabric weights and colors. Lastly, our M41 Jackets are the ONLY quality reproductions made using a water repellent finish, and proudly made in the USA.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good evening Juan,

 

Just saw a post on the GI Reenactors Help page about this ebay listing and thought it would be a good time to return back to this discussion with some more information to reinforce my assertions.


I cannot wait to see what new information you have dug up to back up your assertions.

 

OD#2 may have been the intended color for the initial contracts to produce the M41 Jacket but over time this spec was not set in stone and changed. Indeed, many Army contracts for hundreds of thousands of jackets had to be completed and delivered with whatever the contractors could get their hands on which the Army allowed for.


We actually talked about this earlier:
"It is obvious you have not read the QMC History of the Field Jacket by Roberts, Norman E., “Designed for Combat: The Army’s Field Jackets” that we cited to and quoted above. In it, the QMC discusses various substitutions made in order to meet the quotas of jackets they needed.


One such substitution was the use of 8.2 oz. twill to make the shells. However twill jackets were the minority, and each time twill was utilized for the outer shell the QM reduced the number of jackets specified to be made from that material. Furthermore, several times they actually stopped production on the jackets in order to wait for more of the 5 oz. poplin.

Finally nowhere in the history, despite going through all the minutiae of all the various substitutions, do they mention using any other weight of poplin other than the 5 oz. poplin."

The discussion is not whether or not the Army made substitutions, but whether or not:
(1) They ever used 6.75 oz poplin for their field jackets.
(2) They ever manufactured 5 oz poplin in Olive Drab No.2.

Here is just such an example of the M41 jacket in OD#7.

https://www.ebay.com...DcAAOSwnYBaT3GB


A link to what is fairly clearly an overdyed Field Jacket? Not sure what that is supposed to prove, but ok. You will note how the cloth of the shell, wool lining, and thread all appear the same uniform color. While the label and zipper tape are indeed clean, this might be because of the specific cloth, finish, or both used did allow those fabrics to take dye well. Yes, the eBay description states "not dyed", however, I am not one for believing eBay listings as gospel.

 

 

On this page (Translated from French) and under the details pertaining to Spec PQD 20A adopted on 6 May 1941, you will find the following statement..

m41jacket.JPG

As you can see, this French website was written by someone who spent extensive time at National Archives, far longer then I ever wish to spend. I believe his information to be authoritative and supports my manufacturing practical experience and conclusions.

 


Actually, it is not. At all. If you yourself had ever actually done any research on any of the subject matter the author of the site has written about and you would pick up on numerous mistakes. But good to know the research you have done has included a google search and not just perusing Facebook groups.

Below is an excerpt from the actual spec for the OD Field Jacket PQD 20A. Please note how the Army allowed for "suitable substitutions" on their contracted jackets. This clause is in every spec I have in my possession for items the OQMG wrote specs for. Furthermore, the spec does not actually specify which version of OD, whether OD #2 or OD #3, is to be used for completion of the contract. The Army contracting offices allowed deviations from their own specs, allowing for 6.75oz poplin just as an example.

m41specs2_c182effb-dbd9-46fa-83d6-cddca6


Finally some real primary source research, you cite a specification. PQD No.20A, approved January 24, 1941. Once again though you miss what the specification says. The second material listed within section 'C' is:
"Cloth, cotton (wind-resistant) olive drab, 5.0 ounce, 36 inch".

Note the specification is for a 5 oz. cloth. Not a 6.75 oz. cloth. Spec. 20B also calls for a 5 oz cloth FYI.

Anyway, this is clarified in part A-1c. as "Quartermaster Corps Tentative Specification, PQD No.1" for "Cloth, Cotton, Wind Resistant" dated December 13, 1940.

What does that specification say? Unfortunately, we do not have December 13, 1940, version of the specification. We do have September 24, 1940, version, which is excerpted below. The only difference I have been able to gather is that the changes made were to the formatting.
post-5574-0-89988900-1515481397_thumb.jpg


As you can see it says "the color shall be an approved shade of olive drab." Does that mean that it could be ANY approved shade of olive drab, like OD no.33? No, it meant that it could be an approved shade of olive drab for that material. Those approved shades for those materials can be found in the early November of 1941 swatch book for instance.

Which brings us to the history of the color shade system. At the outset of World War II, the QMC did not really use "Olive Drab Shade No.X". This was because, for the most part, each weight and type of fabric only came in one shade. This started to change with the November of 1941 swatch book which assigned shade numbers to several colors, such as for 8.2 oz twill which was manufactured in both Khaki and OD No.3. The reason the system was created was exactly for fabrics like that, by giving each shade a specific designation (divorced from the fabric weight and type itself) it avoided a lot of unneeded confusion that was already starting to pop-up. This system would mature through 1942 and by 1943, and the before mentioned January 1, 1943, swatch book, it would be firmly in-place with each shade used receiving a number.

The 5 oz. 'Cotton Cloth, wind resistant and water repellent' does not get its shade designation for quite a while. Here it is being mentioned in Change No.7 to AR 600-35 dated December 8, 1942:
post-5574-0-72354600-1515481447_thumb.jpg


So let us look at a specification that post-dates creation of the name of Olive Drab No.2. Specifically PQD No.370C dated October 11, 1943:
post-5574-0-76669500-1515481526_thumb.jpg


As you can see it calls it out as being "olive drab, shade 2". Of interest, Specificifications 370, 370A, & 370B all called for OD No.7 linings made from the 5 oz. poplin material. However, beginning with 370B they started actually using OD No.2 lining to use up all of the leftover OD No.2 fabric that had been manufactured for the earlier 'Jacket, Field, OD'. Funnily enough, something that would not have been the case if the Army had been actually using OD No.3 5 oz. poplin OR 6.75 oz poplin instead. As you have been claiming.

In fact, they had so much left over 5 oz poplin that they manufactured for a while the M1943A Field Jacket (PQD Spec. 397). This jacket was made using the same materials as 'Jacket, Field, OD' (5 oz. poplin Shell, 12 oz wool flannel lining) in order to further use up material that the government had already procured.

 

As I stated before, It is my opinion that my web site is NOT erroneous to indicate that these jackets were made from alternative fabrics and colors as demonstrated by all the original jackets floating around. It is clear to ME that jackets were made in OD #3 and OD #2, and in poplin weights ranging from 5oz to 6.75oz.


Something that we have to once again point out you have provided no evidence for. At all.

 

While the Quartermaster museum has a lot of information, even they admit they don't have all of it. What the museum at Ft Lee does NOT include are notes from the invitation for bids and as well as annotations from the various Quartermaster Depots that contracted to have these jacket made. Many of those documents were lost over time since WWII and others reside at the National Archives.

 


Yeah, we know Ft. Lee does not have everything. That is why we have been to the National Archives II (College Park), the National Archives in Philadelphia, The United States Army Institute of Heraldry, the American Textile Museum (which unfortunately closed down), the Library of Congress, as well as other places to gather information regarding field jackets. In fact, I alone have spent a little over 300 hours at various archives doing research.

 

While having written documentation is a valued resource, it does NOT address the obvious proof that the color and fabric weights of many original jackets vary from such specifications. Having done my own extensive research and manufactured these uniforms for over 25 years I have an acute sense of fabric weights and colors.


You clearly have done so much extensive research that you quote a poorly sourced French website and use Facebook groups for research.

 

Lastly, our M41 Jackets are the ONLY quality reproductions made using a water repellent finish, and proudly made in the USA.


Well if you do not have historical accuracy going for you...



In summary, our position still is this:
(1) All specifications for 'Jacket, Field, OD' (20, 20A, & 20B) call for a 5 oz fabric, the pre-20 call for a 5 oz twill. After which, due to manufacturing difficulties, 5 oz poplin was substituted.

(2) All documentation regarding 5 oz poplin shows it was not made in OD No.3. It was made in OD No.2 as well as, later in the war, OD No.7.

(3) All documentation regarding substitutions of the shell material in 'Jacket, Field, OD' shows the substitution being for 8.2 oz Twill. These would be the only government procured OD No.3 field jackets.

(4) 'Cloth, cotton (wind-resistant) olive drab, 5.0 ounce, 36 inch' was indeed 5 oz. We have not only found the specifications for the cloth from the QMC. We have also found documentation from the manufacturers themselves that specify the weight of the fabric. This documentation goes into minute detail about how to best manufacture the cloth, including the machines needed and recommend dye recipes.

 

(5) There is no documentation that 6.75 oz. poplin was used to make 'Jacket, Field, OD'. This makes all the more sense once you know that the 6.75 oz poplin was specifically developed for use with Mackinaws; it was a fairly low production cloth. Furthermore, production of the cloth was periodically curtailed in order to free up "quality carded yarns"(quoting directly from a memo) in order to make more of a carded yarn version of the 5 oz poplin, which ordinarily used combed yarns. This is all detailed in "The Development, Procurement, and Supply of the Army Mackinaw" by Dorothy E. Green and written November of 1945 as well as "Memorandum to the Quartermaster General, Subject: Study of Proposed Change in Army Uniform" dated Mach 29, 1943.

 

Best Regards,
Joshua M. Kerner

Link to post
Share on other sites

OD No.2 & OD No.3 are close in shade to each other and there will be variations that will overlap. However the Standard was OD No. 2 for the 5 oz. poplin that was used in the field jackets. This discussion has been focused on what the correct specified shade of OD was for field jackets not an evaluation of whether your jackets are an acceptable variant of that shade. You are attempting to change the nature and scope of this dialogue towards your reproduction field jackets.

 

I do see that you are asserting that OD#2 was the standard for design specification purposes regardless of the outcome and I agree with you. Tom's remarks that web sites indicating OD#3 on field jackets as erroneous could have been misinterpreted by other readers to suggest that the color of our M41 jackets was wrong since the they leaned more towards OD#3. I feel the need to defend our product for this reason.

Here is a photo of a swatch of the interior unfaded side of an original "5oz" M41 jacket fabric. This swatch sits on top of one of our M41 jackets from our last run. I have weighed this original fabric in at over 6 ounces per square yard. FWIW, is the jacket OD#2 or OD#3?
originalm41x.jpg
Gérard Delavallée, the author of the French Website, USArmydepot.com, has personally confirmed for me the accuracy of the information on his web site. Other US Army museum historians I am in contact with have also validated his information. He offers his information with no bias in any direction on the colors or weights of the fabrics. I have also spent a significant amount of time researching the textiles and construction of this and other products I make. I am in business to produce quality uniforms and equipment made in America from as many domestic sources as possible in order to meet the demands of my well learned and meticulous customers (I admirably include you, Josh, in that statement).
We can both agree that:
1. The OD #2 swatches in the QMC museum were the designed standard.
2. That the army TRIED to match that shade whenever possible.
3. That the issued jacket colors varied with many appearing coincidentally similar to an OD#3 shade.
If you wish to discuss things with me further my office phone number is 562-9467-6768. I look forward to hearing from you.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Juan,

 

I do see that you are asserting that OD#2 was the standard for design specification purposes regardless of the outcome and I agree with you.

 

It took you long enough to at least see that.

 

 

Tom's remarks that web sites indicating OD#3 on field jackets as erroneous could have been misinterpreted by other readers to suggest that the color of our M41 jackets was wrong since the they leaned more towards OD#3.

Only if the reader is a dunce.

Tom says this:

"Saying that poplin manufactured M-1941 field jackets were OD#3 is erroneous. Every piece of official documentation proves that. The Army did not refer to the shade of its field jackets as OD#3- ever (as far as we can tell). Thus, saying that M-1941 field jackets were OD#3 is wrong or incorrect, the very definition of erroneous (http://dictionary.re...rowse/erroneous). Original jackets exist that are more brown or OD#3 in appearance, but until we find documentation showing that the Army specified jackets be made in that color we can only assume that they are in fact variations of OD#2."

Unless most of your customer base is functionally illiterate, this was never really a problem.

 

I feel the need to defend our product for this reason.

 

You were the one that brought up your products in the first place.
post-5574-0-70227200-1515727466_thumb.jpg

This was the state of the thread before you jumped in. You were the one who made it about you, your products, and their reputation. You will note World War II Impressions, Juan Gonzales, etc. are not once mentioned. To paraphrase Carly Simon, this thread was not even about you. You were the one that decided to make it about your company and your company's products.

 

Here is a photo of a swatch of the interior unfaded side of an original "5oz" M41 jacket fabric. This swatch sits on top of one of our M41 jackets from our last run. I have weighed this original fabric in at over 6 ounces per square yard. FWIW, is the jacket OD#2 or OD#3?
originalm41x.jpg

It looks good, in comparison, but then again as I said and has been the case from the start this is not about you, your company or your field jackets. I will note however photographs (and scans) when they come to color can be quite portraying the "true" color of an item, even when compared to another. Things that might look like the same color side-by-side in person may look different in photos and vice-versa.

 

Gérard Delavallée, the author of the French Website, USArmydepot.com, has personally confirmed for me the accuracy of the information on his web site.

With what? What was the document he cited to? Because it is not the specification for PQD 20A which you yourself posted an excerpt of (which matches our copy of 20A). Try citing to someone's word in the bibliography of a history paper and see how far that gets you. I personally prefer primary sources (or secondary sources that use lots of citations to relevant primary sources if I have to) but to each their own I guess.

 

 

 

Other US Army museum historians I am in contact with have also validated his information. He offers his information with no bias in any direction on the colors or weights of the fabrics.

 

Which ones, based on what primary source information? The ones I have run into while having spent years gathering, organizing, and facilitating access to that information, have not for the most part been intimately researching the intricacies of the development of the US Army Field Jacket through primary sources.

Such as this piece of information, not from the Army, but from essentially the manufactures themselves, from the February 1943 edition of the magazine Textile World, which was and still is the trade magazine for the textile industry. The article is "Textile War Manual, Manual of Military Fabrics: Part I - Wind-Resistant Cotton Cloth, Manufacturing and processing details for Type II 5 oz. poplin covered by P.Q.D. 1A" which is found on pages 83-5.While there is the early quote from the article, that explains why they chose this for the first article, "Type II, a 5-oz. water-repellent cotton poplin, is also employed in garments for arctic wear and is used extensively in making field jackets" (emphasis added), I think this latter part from the "Physical Requirements" is more interesting:
post-5574-0-67438400-1515727951_thumb.jpg

 

I have also spent a significant amount of time researching the textiles and construction of this and other products I make.

Which you have shown so far by citing primary source documents that have pointed towards me and Tom's points when you have cited them.

I am in business to produce quality uniforms and equipment made in America from as many domestic sources as possible in order to meet the demands of my well learned and meticulous customers (I admirably include you, Josh, in that statement).

I have indeed happily bought quality products in the past from you. However, what does that have to do with the price of eggs in China?

 

We can both agree that:

1. The OD #2 swatches in the QMC museum were the designed standard.
2. That the army TRIED to match that shade whenever possible.
3. That the issued jacket colors varied with many appearing coincidentally similar to an OD#3 shade.

I'd say:
1. What became known as Olive Drab No.2 was the color specification for the 5 oz. poplin that was used in Jacket, Field, OD. The swatch book that resides at the QMC museum is just one of many the PQD published and distributed to various other depots both to aid inspectors as well as to aid manufacturers.

2. That the Army AND manufacturers did there best, using 1940s dyeing technology, to match that shade.

3. That the 5 oz. Olive Drab No.2 poplin, that Jacket, OD, Field, was manufactured in would be in a variety of specific variations of that shade and some would look quite similar, if not overlap, with the spectrum of shades that composed the variation that was Olive Drab No.3. Much in the same way Black and a Charcoal Grey suit can both appear the same color despite being distinctly two different shades.

Ordinarily, I would love to discuss this on the phone, but I feel that would go like this thread.

Best Regards,
Joshua M. Kerner

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.