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M1939 Service Coat - 965th HAM, PTO Service


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I've read many posts that start with the statement that this item came straight from the Vet's family. The implication is that this is an original, untouched item that the Veteran owned, wore, used, etc. Here we have a coat and pair of trousers that were given to me by the Vet's son. The Veteran was a member of the 965th Ordnance (Heavy) Automotive Maintenance Company (often referred to as a HAM Company) deployed to Europe in the 1944-45 time frame. At some point prior to the end of the fighting in Europe, this HAM Company was redeployed to the Philippines. Given that this came straight from the Veteran's family, what questions should I be asking about the uniform (patches, ribbons, etc.)?

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This uniform is not in the configuration that it would have been in when the vet wore it home upon discharge from the Army

 

1) The chevrons are from the 1950s, which is after this style of jacket was no longer worn.

2) The 965th HAM has occupation credit for Germany from V-E Day until 4 July 1945 and is credited with one campaign (Rhineland) in the ETO before sailing for the pacific. So your guy likely served with another unit before joining the 965th.

3) Before someone says it, a CIB is not unheard of on a uniform like this. Its possible he was an infantryman who was injured (likely a non-combat injury with no Purple Heart) who was reclassified to a support unit. I've seen several legit WWII and Korean War period Ordnance uniforms where this was the case.

4) The ribbons have been altered. The dark ones are most likely what he wore home, with the brighter colored ones added later.

5) He would not have worn a 7th Army patch at the end of the war or when he was discharged, as the 7th Army stayed in Europe when the 965th went to the PTO. I'd be willing to bet the last patch the 965th wore was a US Army Forces Western Pacific patch.

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This uniform is not in the configuration that it would have been in when the vet wore it home upon discharge from the Army

 

1) The chevrons are from the 1950s, which is after this style of jacket was no longer worn.

2) The 965th HAM has occupation credit for Germany from V-E Day until 4 July 1945 and is credited with one campaign (Rhineland) in the ETO before sailing for the pacific. So your guy likely served with another unit before joining the 965th.

3) Before someone says it, a CIB is not unheard of on a uniform like this. Its possible he was an infantryman who was injured (likely a non-combat injury with no Purple Heart) who was reclassified to a support unit. I've seen several legit WWII and Korean War period Ordnance uniforms where this was the case.

4) The ribbons have been altered. The dark ones are most likely what he wore home, with the brighter colored ones added later.

5) He would not have worn a 7th Army patch at the end of the war or when he was discharged, as the 7th Army stayed in Europe when the 965th went to the PTO. I'd be willing to bet the last patch the 965th wore was a US Army Forces Western Pacific patch.

 

Good catch on the chevrons, I missed that. There are several things off on the ribbons; top bar reverse order of precedence, Europe/Africa/Middle East is upside down, obviously the NSDM (I'll explain that later). The unspecified Armor Troops patch on the right sleeve has me stymied. You are most like correct on the Seventh Army patch at the end of the war.

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Good catch on the chevrons, I missed that. There are several things off on the ribbons; top bar reverse order of precedence, Europe/Africa/Middle East is upside down, obviously the NSDM (I'll explain that later). The unspecified Armor Troops patch on the right sleeve has me stymied. You are most like correct on the Seventh Army patch at the end of the war.

 

Top bar is just turned over it appears.

 

Who did the 965th serve under or attached to: There were armored Bn that wore the plain triangle with out numbers as I recall.Was the 965th part of a Armored BN or attached?

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To me, the chevrons are the most alarming part, but possibly a clue. Only plausible scenario I can think of is that he stayed in the service post-WWII and was in the 7th Army at that point after his Japanese occupation was done. If so, maybe he liked this uniform and put it together from what he had on his Ike, or maybe something happened to his Ike and he used what he had left with his old WWII uniform. Maybe his family did it for him. Another explanation for the 7th Army could also be that he was issued or acquired an Ike after his time in the ETO came to a close, and 7th on the left and Armor on the right was appropriate if his HAM unit was attached to the 7th Army in the ETO and he just left it as is on that jacket.

 

Do any markings match up with his name? If so, it makes it seem more honest. If not, the sum of the parts don't make much sense!

Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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To me, the chevrons are the most alarming part, but possibly a clue. Only plausible scenario I can think of is that he stayed in the service post-WWII and was in the 7th Army at that point after his Japanese occupation was done. If so, maybe he liked this uniform and put it together from what he had on his Ike, or maybe something happened to his Ike and he used what he had left with his old WWII uniform. Maybe his family did it for him. Another explanation for the 7th Army could also be that he was issued or acquired an Ike after his time in the ETO came to a close, and 7th on the left and Armor on the right was appropriate if his HAM unit was attached to the 7th Army in the ETO and he just left it as is on that jacket.

 

Do any markings match up with his name? If so, it makes it seem more honest. If not, the sum of the parts don't make much sense!

 

The names on the coat (King and the laundry number) are to two different persons neither of which is the Veteran. The trousers are Australian made, the coat was made in November 1942, but both belong together as the name King (in same writing) are on both.

 

This is what I understand from the Veteran's son: he went ashore in Southern France during Operation Dragon in August 1944 and at some point served in an anti-tank unit while in Europe. He died some eighteen years ago and was buried in his original uniform. He used this uniform to display his ribbons, badge, patches, etc. that he earned during WWII. The Veteran's son doesn't know when he purchased the uniform. At some point in the early 1950s he was in the USAF reserves, hence the NDSM. The Veteran's son has said he'll give me a copy of the Veteran's DD Form 214, but we haven't gotten together since he gave me the uniform. I also haven't been able to find a history of the 965th HAM Company or what units it was assigned to.

 

One of the points here is that just because an item was owned by the Veteran doesn't mean that it's 100% original and correct. Ribbons get replaced, new patches sewn on, etc. I'm still researching information that even the Veteran's son doesn't know which is the primary reason for getting other peoples eyes on the uniform to see what I've missed and hopefully to help me find out more about the Veteran's service. Thanks for all the comments.

 

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Makes total sense then, given that part of the story.

Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


donation2011.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2019.gif

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