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USMC Korean War Question


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G'day, lads.

 

Been looking through photos of the Marines during the Korean War and seem a bit stumped by their equipment. The USMC is my main focus of study/collecting, but I can't seem to figure out what these men are wearing on their backs in this photo from the Chosin Reservoir. It looks like a lot of different gear thrown together and what looks to be a shelter half appears very fat, maybe stuffed with other gear. Just wondering if anyone would be able to inform me of the different items they would carry and what a typical set up may be.

 

Thank you!

post-155440-0-43559800-1477864866_thumb.jpeg

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The Marine in the foreground looks to have a standard M1941 pack with the M1943 entrenching tool attached. It looks like he stuffed another wool blanket under the tool. The "fat" horse shoe roll seems to indicate another extra blanket, for a total of three, or even a sleeping bag. Extra blankets would have been issued in these arctic conditions. The added item on the bottom of the pack seems a bit odd, it looks like a heavy field jacket but they are already wearing the long field coat so that doesn't make sense. Just looking at the picture makes me shiver!

Tim

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Yesterday I watched a two hour coverage on the Chosin engagement, primarily the 1st Marine Division. Conditions were unbelievably cold that it required every bit of gear to stay warm as the temperatures got down to 30o or more below zero. Any extra blankets were a Godsend. I can well remember there were times in Korea that I have never been so cold--even traveling to Antarctica. Jack

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