Jump to content
Ricardo

Study: USN WWII Gray Uniforms 1943-1949

Recommended Posts

Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King arriving at his headquarters for the Potsdam Conference - July 15, 1945. Those rank boards he is wearing would have to be among the rarest of rare, I would think.

 

Interesting that there are no "scrambled eggs" on the visor of his hat. I could understand if the hat badge and chinstrap were black, but they're the bright normal finish.


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif


donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif


donation2017.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting that in the previous two photos all of the officers are wearing gold chin straps on their combination covers, rather than black.

 

You had to have a gold chinstrap for blues and whites and could also wear it with khakis and grays, so the black chinstrap was an extra purchase that never really caught on.

 

 

 

Interesting that there are no "scrambled eggs" on the visor of his hat. I could understand if the hat badge and chinstrap were black, but they're the bright normal finish.

 

If King had got his way, gold chinstraps and scrambled eggs would have been worn on dress uniforms only, but he had to back down and they became optional for working uniforms.


donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

donation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

King's garrison cap

 

post-154098-0-85212500-1571784781_thumb.jpg


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Commander John H. Balch, USNR during World War II. During World War I, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in action at Vierzy, France on 19 July 1918 and at Somme-Py, France on 5 October 1918. He served with the Third Battalion, Sixth Regiment Marines.

 

post-1761-0-90097800-1571860712.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A smattering of grays, including Admiral Mitscher, in the ComEighthFlt staff, 1946.

 

post-3982-0-95400400-1571927740_thumb.jpg


donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

donation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit of a surprise, Adm. Leahy in grays and King in blues at the Quebec Conference, August 1943. RN admirals in whites, RCN in blues.

 

post-3982-0-83162700-1571973096_thumb.jpg


donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

donation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
USS Wyoming (Battleship # 32, later BB-32 and AG-17), 1912-1947

 

Under the terms of the 1930 London Treaty, Wyoming was "demilitarized" in early 1931, becoming a training ship, with the new hull number AG-17. With half of her twelve-inch guns removed, she served in that function for the rest of the decade, and beyond, making midshipmen cruises across the Atlantic on several occasions. She also took part in a number of amphibious landing exercises, providing experience that would be vital to the Navy and Marine Corps during the 1940s.
In November 1941, with formal U.S. participation in the Second World War clearly in the offing, Wyoming took on the mission of training thousands of sailors in the art and science of gunnery. Throughout the war, she operated in the Chesapeake Bay area, reportedly firing off more ammunition than any other U.S. Navy ship. Wyoming's remaining big guns were replaced with more five-inch and smaller weapons in early 1944, reflecting an increasing emphasis on anti-aircraft requirements. In July 1945 she became an experimental gunnery ship with what soon became the Operational Development Force, serving in that capacity until August 1947, when she decommissioned and handed the function over to USS Mississippi (AG-128). USS Wyoming was sold for scrapping in October 1947.

 

Photo #: 80-G-334378
USS Wyoming (AG-17)
Chief Gunner's Mate Eugene Metzel, USN, who has served 24 years on board Wyoming, looks at the bronze plaque commemorating her First World War service with the Grand Fleet. Photographed in 1945.
Chief Metzel is wearing the World War II era service dress grey uniform.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS WYOMING 001.jpg

USS WYOMING 001.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Newly discovered in my "what the heck is this" photo collection.

 

Skipper of the crash boat at NAS St. Simons, GA April 30th, 1944 in USN Greys with the proper black hat chinstrap and buttons, but wearing a gold eagle

Not sure of what you mean by gold eagle. The Officer crest on the gray hat is supposed to be the standard crest.


donation2008.gif, donation2015.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure of what you mean by gold eagle. The Officer crest on the gray hat is supposed to be the standard crest.

. No, theRegulation hat crests got both officers and CPOs were Blackened. But, most didnt bother, or couldnt get them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Black cap badges may have been proposed at some point, but they never got approval; the standard "bright" cap badges were regulation for gray working. An official Navy Department photo of the new accessories:

 

post-3982-0-38360000-1581915823_thumb.jpg


donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

donation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Black cap badges may have been proposed at some point, but they never got approval; the standard "bright" cap badges were regulation for gray working. An official Navy Department photo of the new accessories:

 

attachicon.gifgray_cap_boards.jpg

Not sure of your source for that information, but they did exist, and were probably worn by some regardless.

post-9787-0-32410400-1581940319_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember seeing photos of the darkened cap devices. I dont think they were all that common.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure of your source for that information, but they did exist, and were probably worn by some regardless.

I know they existed, but I have never seen a contemporary photo of anyone wearing one. As for the source, a black cap badge never appears to my knowledge in regulations or orders 1941-1951. Obviously I can't cite the absence of a reference, but I can say for sure that a black cap badge does not appear in BuPers JJ55-3 16 Apr 1943, "Officers' Working Uniform -- Changes in" which announced the change from khaki to gray. No mention of a black cap badge in Navy Department Bulletin R-1126 08 Jun 1943, which added the black chin strap and deleted scrambled egg for "other than formal occasions." No mention in SecNav circular letter of 02 Jul 1943 which made black chinstraps and scrambled egg optional. No mention in BuPers circular letter 153-43, 08 Nov 1943 which added the gray uniform description to the Uniform Regulations, which reads under "11-32 Caps, Working Uniform (for all officers and chief petty officers)":

These items shall be designed to conform to combination cap (blue and white) and the garrison cap as prescribed for commissioned, warrant and chief petty officers, except that the cloth top of the former and the cloth of the latter shall be of the same color as the uniform.

If anyone has an official reference for authorization of a black cap badge I would be happy to see it, of course.


donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

donation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure of your source for that information, but they did exist, and were probably worn by some regardless.

Question: is the eagle blackened, or just heavily tarnished?


donation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

donation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is zero tarnishing. It appears to be a conventional silver and gold colored insignia that was darkened. I don't know what process would have been used to achieve this, but it is not paint, or tarnish. More likely a chemical process, or plating, I'd think. On the reverse side, you can see the original color of the metal in small areas, as shown in the photos. The resulting color is a very, very dark gray, not black. This came with the black cap braid and black buttons. I do not see a manufacturer's mark on the reverse.

post-9787-0-99956000-1581961797_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The darkened insignia for both officers and CPO’s were used on forest green uniforms by naval personnel attached to USMC formations, primarily (but not limited to ) medical corps members.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The darkened insignia for both officers and CPO’s were used on forest green uniforms by naval personnel attached to USMC formations, primarily (but not limited to ) medical corps members.

The insignia you describe were "bronze" colored, not darkened, or black, as intended for the gray uniform. They are not interchangeable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The insignia you describe were "bronze" colored, not darkened, or black, as intended for the gray uniform. They are not interchangeable.

. I could be mistaken, but I think I recall that the insignia for the grays was some sort of plastic or Bakelite. I could be wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.