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Study: USN WWII Gray Uniforms 1943-1949


Ricardo

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Allied troops and an Army nurse on R&R at Dutch Harbor during the Aleutian Islands Campaign, Alaska in 1943. I see grays, khakis and blues in this picture. The officer in the background is wearing a Submarine badge and the two officers in front with beards suggest submariners to me.

 

post-1761-0-36441400-1410352340.jpg

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Jumpin Jack

Very informative discussion. If it hasn't already been pinned, it should. I learned a lot, and I already have a few grey uniforms, etc. in my collection.

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pararaftanr2

I'm lucky to have the shirt and trousers. Looked for many years before finding them though.

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Salvage Sailor

I have greys with the pants and shirts. When I come across them I'll post some detailed photos

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A nice b&w portrait of Adm Arthur Hepburn in grays with plain visor and black chinstrap. He was on the retired list but served as Chairman of the Navy General Board during WW2.

From https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/our-collections/photography/numerical-list-of-images/nhhc-series/nh-series/NH-49000/NH-49118.html

 

 

post-3982-0-23672900-1528761930_thumb.jpg

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Ive said this before, but I love the Grays! Much better than the khaki! As a Chief, I would have worn these over Khaki, every time, ( as long as I was some place I could get them?).

 

I was at a street festival in Bowling Green Kentucky a few years ago. There was a young girl ( high school/ early college) who was wearing a CPO Combination Cap with a gray cover. Anchor device was gone, and a plastic flower was stuck in the band. I SOOOIII wanted to approach her and buy that cap, but, old guy, young girl, you get the picture.

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Ive said this before, but I love the Grays! Much better than the khaki! As a Chief, I would have worn these over Khaki, every time, ( as long as I was some place I could get them?).

 

I was at a street festival in Bowling Green Kentucky a few years ago. There was a young girl ( high school/ early college) who was wearing a CPO Combination Cap with a gray cover. Anchor device was gone, and a plastic flower was stuck in the band. I SOOOIII wanted to approach her and buy that cap, but, old guy, young girl, you get the picture.

 

Yeah, I completely get that. The struggle to save the cap from utter destruction meshed with the very real concerns of scaring the crap out of a child and how that would look.

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I believe JFK is wearing the gray here.. I colorize B&W photos & did this one up.

Officer's buttons were either gold (for blue, white, or khaki), black (for gray uniform) or bronze (for aviation green). Correct buttons would be black with gray boards with black lace. It is possible he was wearing a gray uniform with gold buttons and black boards with gold lace, but this was far less common. More likely he was wearing a khaki uniform?
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Officer's buttons were either gold (for blue, white, or khaki), black (for gray uniform) or bronze (for aviation green). Correct buttons would be black with gray boards with black lace. It is possible he was wearing a gray uniform with gold buttons and black boards with gold lace, but this was far less common. More likely he was wearing a khaki uniform?

. In The B&W photo, the uniform looks a bit dark for khaki.
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Yeah, the contrast between the coat and the shirt (or the trousers, or the cap) is the best giveaway for grays in B&W photos. There were a lot of different shades of khaki, but the contrast doesn't get to that level.

 

Gold buttons and gold-stripe boards on gray were pretty common and were authorized for the first year or so while the new accessories were hard to get. After the war Adm. Nimitz authorized them again. Gold boards with black buttons is a rare combination, and I've never seen a photo of gray boards with gold buttons.

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. In The B&W photo, the uniform looks a bit dark for khaki.

I am not a military uniform expert (hence the post) but I can tell, some things from B&W photos. This is almost certainly a gray uniform.. The buttons can not be a dark color (black) they are either gold or silver.. The shoulder boards are either Navy Blue or Black. The buttons & the boards are really what have me stumped. I appreciate all the responses. I can go into my original colorized photo & make any correction if we can determine exactly what they should be. Also the uniform shirt under the jacket what color would it have been? Khaki?

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I am not a military uniform expert (hence the post) but I can tell, some things from B&W photos. This is almost certainly a gray uniform.. The buttons can not be a dark color (black) they are either gold or silver.. The shoulder boards are either Navy Blue or Black. The buttons & the boards are really what have me stumped. I appreciate all the responses. I can go into my original colorized photo & make any correction if we can determine exactly what they should be. Also the uniform shirt under the jacket what color would it have been? Khaki?

US Navy officers didn't wear silver buttons during this period, so they should be colorized as gold. A light gray shirt was worn with the gray uniform. While black buttons were regulation for the gray uniform, gold buttons were permitted. The boards in your photo are black with gold lace. The gray boards with black lace look very different, and examples are prevalent in this topic.
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post-206469-0-40485400-1544640658_thumb.jpgUS Navy officers didn't wear silver buttons during this period, so they should be colorized as gold. A light gray shirt was worn with the gray uniform. While black buttons were regulation for the gray uniform, gold buttons were permitted. The boards in your photo are black with gold lace. The gray boards with black lace look very different, and examples are prevalent in this topic.

Thanks for the help! Much appreciated.

post-206469-0-96913100-1544640384_thumb.jpg

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  • 7 months later...
Salvage Sailor

Anybody have the pants or shirt. Almost non existent.

 

I have greys with the pants and shirts. When I come across them I'll post some detailed photos

 

Finally cleaned out my warehouse and came across 2 bins full of USN Greys including a full uniform which belonged to a Medical Officer aboard a Destroyer, USS LOWRY (DD-770) 1944-1945

 

Pants, Jacket, the ever elusive Grey Shirt and the correct Grey Hat Too! Here's the Grey shirt with the grey buttons.

LT C. W. PEARSON 002.jpg

LT C. W. PEARSON 003.jpg

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Salvage Sailor

Grey Shirt with Grey buttons, tagged

LT C. W. PEARSON 005.jpg

LT C. W. PEARSON 015.jpg

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Salvage Sailor

Shirt with button up pants, tagged & stenciled

LT C. W. PEARSON 006.jpg

LT C. W. PEARSON 007.jpg

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Salvage Sailor

Tagged and stenciled Grey shirt and button up pants - USN 1944/1945, still starched and stained

LT C. W. PEARSON 008.jpg

LT C. W. PEARSON 009.jpg

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Salvage Sailor

I have to put his LT medical boards, black buttons and insignia back on his jacket and I may post it later in this topic, but here's his combination hat.

 

USNR LT (MC) with the proper black hat band, black fabric chinstrap and black buttons

LT C. W. PEARSON 011.jpg

LT C. W. PEARSON 012.jpg

LT C. W. PEARSON 013.jpg

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