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I know the M-56 gear was used for quite a long time but does anyone know the last year of manufacture? The ALICE gear came in in 1974, but there must be some overlap in manufacture.

 

Thanks Bob

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I have seen 1973 dated contracts.

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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Hi I can add that the M-1967 gear came out before the ALICE, so I assume the M-1956 was starting to be phased out at that point. But I don't know when manufacture/issue of the M-1956 ended.

"Even Patton had bad days; days he just felt like slapping someone." - Hawkeye Pierce

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There was also some M-1972 gear. I have a 1973 dated M-1956 suspender with Nylon on the underside and 1971 dated M-1956 Canteen Covers. 1973 actually is the latest mfg. date I have seen so far.

Save Your Butt - Wear A Helmet

 

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Thanks very much. I have the nylon gear and several sets of M56 gear from 59, early, and late 60's and was going to look for a set from the last year of manufacture to fill a hole. It looks like 73 may be our winner. I looked at the specs and all the items have specs that were cancelled right around the 1972-3 range with the exception of the ammunition pouches which were cancelled in 1977.

Bob

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There was also some M-1972 gear. I have a 1973 dated M-1956 suspender with Nylon on the underside and 1971 dated M-1956 Canteen Covers. 1973 actually is the latest mfg. date I have seen so far.

 

I have never heard of M-1972 gear. Are you are referring to LINCLOE gear? LINCLOE gear was issued in 1972-93 before changes were made and re-designated as LC-2 (or ALICE).

ALWAYS ON A LOOK-OUT FOR OEF/OIF ITEMS.

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No the M-1972 gear is identical to the ALICE gear but labeled (stamped) M-1972. Right after the LINCLOE trials in 1973 the first sets were labeled with the M-1972 designation but this quickly ended when the labels changed to the ALICE labels. The canteen cover and first aid pouch never had the M-1972 designation. No many pieces were made with the M-1972 designation. If you have Forum Members C.A. Monroe and Craig Pickrall's book "American Web Equipment 1967-1991 it is explained on page 38. Great book by the way.

Bob

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I have personally seen 1973 contract dated suspenders and one 1973 contract dated ammunition pouch. In my opinion, of all the M56 series with a 1973 contract, the suspenders seem to be the most common.

 

RC

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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Nothing to do with dates of manufacture but more with actual M1956 web gear remaining an issue item. When I returned to an USAR infantry unit in 1986 a new solider to the unit was issued a complete set of M1956 web gear. This included the belt, suspenders, 1st aid/compass pouch, canteen cover and two universal ammunition pouches. All of this was in NOS unissued condition. The ALICE rucksack and e-tool carrier were the only non M1956 gear he was issued. I clearly remember this as I was already into collecting web gear and had some M1956 gear of my own.

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mrrm

 

That is interesting that he was issued a complete set of new old stock equipment that late. But being a reserve unit it does make sense, they were issued WWII gear into the 70's.

Bob

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I was not in during the 60's or 70's but you are correct in that ARNG and USAR were still using older, outdated equipment, of all sorts. The M1 Rifle and M1 Carbine remained in service with these Army components into the 70's. I am friendly with a gentleman that owned an surplus store here in CT., he also advertised and sold through the Shotgun News paper in the 80's, that spent over twenty years in the USAF finishing up in the CTANG. He related a story to me that during an annual two week training they did with a sister unit from I believe he said either MS or AL? That many of their members had WWII early OD, he called it khaki, pistol belts and WWII metal canteens with "khaki" covers. Being a surplus dealer he knew exactly what their gear was. This was in the later 70's.

 

Not issued gear, but the M1956 H-suspenders were a popular item with plenty of experienced Infantry types well into the 90's. I wore them as late as 1999/2000 with a ARNG unit. A couple of guys that came to our unit from a Ranger Bat. preferred the H-suspenders as well. Better load distribution than the ALICE Y-type suspenders. Of course those of us that were using the M1956 suspenders acquired them as private purchase items.

 

It should also be noted that the cotton canvas Combat Field Pack, aka "buttpack", which was a component of the M1956 web gear remained a popular private purchase item with many Infantry troops, especially USAR and ARNG units that had not yet been fully outfitted with MOLLE gear or other newer vest , into the late 90's.

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  • 3 weeks later...

bheskett, I had always been planning to ask this question. Even though M-1956 ILCE is not my area...I know enough to be dangerous...

 

Mercenary25 and sjw83071: the LLCE (later designated M-1967) WAS NOT designed as a replacement for the M-1956 ILCE. It was specifically, and shortsightedly, designed for tropical use only. The M-1956 ILCE remained Standard A until official replaced by the M-1972 (later renamed ALICE) ILLCE in January of 1973.

 

mrrm; I have recounted this before, but when I was in basic in 1987 I was given unissued M-1956 suspenders (still had the white twine on them) and an unissued M-1956 belt (with Davis buckle) out of stocks to go along with ALICE components. I think this is where my love for the Davis buckle began. I was also issued an M1 steel helmet and qualified with an M16A1.

 

Here is what I have been able to find during my research (again, I am not big on M-1956, so I only dabble with it from time to time):

 

M-1956 ILCE Individual Equipment Belt: latest date found 1972:

 

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M-1956 ILCE Small Arms Ammunition Case: latest date found 1973:

 

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M-1956 ILCE Water Canteen Cover: latest date found 1971:

 

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M-1961 Field Pack: latest date found 1970:

 

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M-1956 ILCE Intrenching Tool Carrier: latest date found 1971:

 

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M-1956 Individual Equipment Belt Suspenders: latest date found 1973 (like Constabulary states these are different from the normal M-1956 suspenders as they have nylon shoulder pads):

 

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I have not been able to find any later dates for the M-1956 ILCE First Aid/Compass Pouch (the latest I found was 1968). Also the field pack and sleeping gear straps only appear to be manufactured early in the systems history.

 

If anyone has any later dates for any items mentioned then please post them!

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SgtMonroe

 

Thanks, I was hoping you would chime in with some insight. With all the research you did for your book I figure you had to have run across some info on the M-56 gear.

 

I have never seen the later suspenders with the nylon padding.

 

Sgt Monroe could we perhaps see another book on this subject???

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Sgt Monroe could we perhaps see another book on this subject???

I doubt it. Craig and I had discussed it in the past since he had most of the EX-54 test equipments (I believe Keystone had items that Craig did not have). That was the main thinking, since no one had really covered the EX-54 tests, but it would have been more of his baby than mine. I had some of the earliest 1957 and 1958 dated M-1956 equipments, but had since sold them to a forum member (they are posted somewhere in the forum - or at least they used to be - by the new owner).

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  • 1 month later...

I have not been able to find any later dates for the M-1956 ILCE First Aid/Compass Pouch (the latest I found was 1968). Also the field pack and sleeping gear straps only appear to be manufactured early in the systems history.

 

In regards to the First Aid/Compass Pouch...I mis-typed...the latest I have seen has been dated 1969.

 

And, I found this the other day: DSA100-70-C-0484 (FY1970) contract dated sleeping gear carrier (aka "spaghetti straps"):

 

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The only thing left to try and find is a "late date" on the butt pack adapter.

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