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WWII Naval Beach Battalion Loadout - List of Issued Gear


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I would like to share a portion of a letter from a 4th Naval Beach Battalion sailor regarding the equipment that was issued to them once they were assigned to the beach battalion in Norfolk, VA in 1943. This is a good reference!


I will give you a list of our new equipment which has to be hauled around with our Navy gear.

2 zoot suits, 1 raincoat, 1 waterproof windbreaker with zipper and buttons (Marine issue), 2 prs. rough finish brown shoes with rubber and cord soles and heels, 1 pack carrier, 1 pack, 2 army blankets (we have 4 blankets now), 1 inner helmet and band, 1 steel outer helmet, 1 meat can (mess kit to you) with knife, fork and spoon, 1 shelter tent with pegs and folding pole, 1 mosquito head net, 1 mosquito net (covers two men), 1 first aid pouch, 1 first aid kit, 1 package sulfadiazine tablets, a cartridge belt, 1 trenching shovel or pick (I got a shovel), 1 Mark III Navy gas mask (none better), 1 nice long stabbing knife. Seamen get rifles, 1903 Springfields; radiomen, signalmen and hospital men get 45 automatics. Four men get tommy guns, the platoon busun, senior signalman, radioman and carpenter. I got a tommy – a Thompson submachine gun with clips and clip pouch. It’s a 45 and short barreled and only good for short range in a mob I would say. We also get a dual tube rubber life preserver, two canteens with cups and padded carriers. I guess I’ve forgotten 16 or 17 items but no matter,

It’s beautiful equipment and all practical, no silly stuff and no excess weight. However when we get our ammunition and portable radio sets we’ll have a weight to carry that no knight of the round table ever had in his armor.


The kids are all sitting around snapping their new rifles and saying bang, bang. New toys at the moment. Haven’t cleaned up Tommy yet so I guess I’ll get at it.




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