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M1941 Mermite markings


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I recently picked up my second M1941 mermite (the plan is to a mess jeep display), and I was lucky to find some original markings under the tastefully applied blue/yellow/white civilian paint :) .


The canister has 4 layers of OD green, and each layer has unit markings. The bottom two are marked to Battery B, 146th Field Artillery Regiment. I believe the top two layers are marked to B Battery, 803rd Field Artillery Battalion (B-803).


The lid has 4 layers of OD green, the bottom three are marked (a rubber stamp of sorts) to HQ Battery, 115th AAA Brigade, and the top coat is marked to D-803. I imagine that this lid and canister were joined during their time at the 803rd, even if they belonged to different batteries.



Now for a few questions..


Does anyone have any information on the "115th AAA Brigade"? I've done a little research and I can't find anything that lists a 115th AAA BDE, only the 115th AAA BN. The stamped markings on the lid very clearly show "Brig".


The fonts on the 146th FA markings are all the same, but all three are different sizes. The tallest one (BTY B 146 F) 1 5/8" tall. I have only seen military stencil kits in 1/2", 1", 2", etc. Has anyone seen a 1 5/8" stencil kit before?


If anyone has any information to add, please feel free to comment. If not, I hope you at least enjoy the photos.



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These are the lid markings. The first three layers of OD each have the exact same (HQ BTRY, 115 AAA BRIG) markings, and then the top coat is marked to D-803




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I apologize for the sideways photos, it makes it look a lot more confusing. They are all facing correctly on my computer, but get turned sideways when uploaded to the forum. It also won't let me edit the photos now that they are uploaded, go figure..


I just thought the different layers and styles of markings were interesting, here they are in order (bottom layer to top)





115-AAA-BRIG" ---- (identical stamp on three layers)








"BTRY B 146 TH FA" ---- (1" stencil)


"BTY B 146 F" ---- (1 5/8" stencil)


"B BTRY 146 ---- (3/4" stencil)

B 146"


"B-803" on top two layers

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You've probably found it already but the 146th Field Artillery is a Washington National Guard unit and formed part of the 41st Infantry Division in WWII


The 115th AAA, interestingly, was a WWII unit that served in Normandy, however it was a battalion at the time while yours clearly says Brigade, so that marking probably dates to after CARS in 1954.


Nice find


Tom Bowers

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Hi Tom,


Thanks for the reply. I hadn't considered the idea of the 115th AAA being a post war unit. I still haven't been able to find a single thing that lists a "115 AAA BDE", wartime or post war. Do you know if the 115th AAA BDE would have come directly from the 115th AAA BN?

It is curious that the lid is dated '42, and the stamp markings are on the first layer of factory OD green. Maybe it sat in storage unused until being issued post war?


I have been able to find a little bit of information on the 146th, I emailed a few arty specific pages to see if there is anything else that I can find. In 1942 the 146th FA Regiment was broken up and restructured into the 146th FA Battalion. This mermite came from Tacoma, so it makes sense that it was from a local guard unit.


The "B-803" and "D-803" markings are probably post war markings for the 803rd Tank Battalion. Here is an excerpt from the all knowing wikipedia:


"On 13 September 1946, the 803rd became a tank battalion, and was allocated to the state of Washington. On 1 February 1949, it was redesignated the 803rd Heavy Tank Battalion, and joined the 41st Infantry Division. On 1 September 1950, it was redesignated yet again, dropping the "Heavy" designation."


Thanks again for the info, Tom!

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It appears that the 115th AAA Brigade is the 115th Artillery Brigade (AD) of the Washington National Guard. "(AD)" as in air-defense. It's lineage has nothing to do with the 115th AAA BN, or the 115th Field Artillery Brigade. Strangely, I cannot find any references to the 115th Artillery Brigade (AD) in any of my usual lineage references. However, it appears as a distinct unit here: mil.wa.gov/uploads/pdf/history/fields_vol_vii.pdf


I also see other references across the interwebs specific to the 115th Artillery Brigade (AD), but information is scarce. Again, do not confuse with the 115th Field Artillery Brigade of the Wyoming NG. Not the same unit. Sadly, the unit's existence may have been brief and it's lineage largely unknown.

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