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Early WW2 USAAF khaki NCO tunic w/ Triskelion Pinwheel SSI Patch


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Hello Everyone;

 

One of my long time passions has been collecting early WW2 US Military uniforms and equipment from 1939-42. Recently acquired this beautiful Early WW2 USAAF khaki NCO tunic w/ Triskelion Pinwheel SSI Patch from a good friend of mine and fellow military collector. I'm over the moon with it and I wanted to share it with you all.

 

The overall construction of it has more in common with WW1/Interwar period uniforms than it does with the more commonly associated USAAF tunics produced during the mid to late war era. The collar features the earlier screw back insignia with riveted metal grommets underneath. The Staff Sgt. chevrons are made of khaki canvas strips superimposed over black twill, and the SSI is made of two-piece wool construction.

 

Theres a real faint factory ink stamp on the back of the collar which reads M 22 MAR 38, which I believe is the date of manufacture. The inside features two metal buttons (just like those found on early WW2-era "Chino" pants worn by soldiers in the Pacific) stamped "*USA*", which are used to fasten belt hooks on to.

 

Unfortunately one of the belt hooks is missing, and who the hell knows where the hell I'll find another one to replace it with, to be honest I've never seen another tunic like this one before. Theres also a shadow on the lower right sleeve cuff where a small round patch was once sewn on but was later removed apparently. Not quite sure what that insignia could be exactly, it's too small to be a flight cadet patch although it's located in the same place. Appears to have been taken off the tunic a long time ago, possibly by the soldier himself. Do you guys have any idea what it could be? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

 

Studying the insides of the sleeves I noticed whoever this soldier was he was originally he had buck sergeant stripes and bumped up to staff sgt., upon which time he removed the old chevrons and put the new ones over the top. "A229X" is hand written several times on the back of the collar, near the stamped Mfgr. markings. The hardest part will be finding a mannequin bust small enough to fit it, the thing is so tiny it's like ridiculous trying to find something that would work for it. But at the same time it's too big for all the child size busts I've been able to find too. Oh well, a work in progress I suppose. Here's a little background on SSI patch itself:

 

The first shoulder sleeve insignia authorized for Air Corps wear was that of the General Headquarters Air Force, approved 20 July 1937. This sleeve insignia, which consisted of a blue triskelion superimposed on a gold circle, was retained after the USAAC became USAAF on 20 June 1941.

 

Three impeller blades represent the three wings of the original Air Corps. The blades in motion symbolize speed, mobility, and flight.

 

With a relatively short lifespan, this SSI patch was worn from 20 July 1937 until 19 March 1942. Eventually the GHQ AF patch was discontinued and the service-wide AAF sleeve insignia (the more commonly associated "Hap Arnold Emblem") was approved.

 

I'll post some more close up shots:

post-179193-0-15228500-1587159633.jpg

"TELL ME THE STORY OF THE FOOT SOLDIER.. AND I WILL TELL YOU THE STORY OF ALL WARS..."

-- MEN IN WAR (1957)

#RememberThem #LestWeForget | | otownmerch.com

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Thanks manayunkman, it really is. Honestly it's the first and only one I've ever seen in the flesh. My buddy who I got it from had it packed away in a closet for like 40 years. Couldn't remember exactly where he got it, he thought it was maybe a garage sale.

"TELL ME THE STORY OF THE FOOT SOLDIER.. AND I WILL TELL YOU THE STORY OF ALL WARS..."

-- MEN IN WAR (1957)

#RememberThem #LestWeForget | | otownmerch.com

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Beautiful jacket. On the collar you noted the rivets....how common was riveting on American made prewar-interwar uniforms? Also it looks like a z pattern stitching under the collar (similar to German collar work we see on WWII uniforms)? Is that correct, and if so was it a common practice to stitch prewar collars like such? Thanks for sharing this one!

Always looking for items associated with the China Marines! Visit chinamarine.org

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A not often seen beauty.

 

 

That is a fact! This is a first for me.

 

otownmerch - Sorry I don't have any insight on your questions, but I really appreciate you sharing this find.

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Dirk - Great questions Dirk, I wish I had answers for them, hopefully someone else on here can clue us in. Good eye, yes it does feature the zig zag stitch must like the style used by the Germans. But I just haven't seen enough examples yet to give any sort of proper input on the subject. I did see an officers green dress tunic with the pinwheel SSI dated 1940 once, and that tunic had a zig zag stitch on the underside of the collar as well.

 

But being an Officers tunic it didn't have any sort of provisions for the EM/NCO discs. My friend did say he had another tunic like this one lurking around somewhere in his massive stash, when he does come across it I'll take some photos of it and share them here in another thread. I'd be curious to see what similarities and differences there are between the two.

 

Old Crow 1986 - Thanks for weighing in on it anyways Old Crow 1986, I'm grateful just to hear any thoughts about it from a fellow collector. post-179193-0-41294700-1587168487.jpg

"TELL ME THE STORY OF THE FOOT SOLDIER.. AND I WILL TELL YOU THE STORY OF ALL WARS..."

-- MEN IN WAR (1957)

#RememberThem #LestWeForget | | otownmerch.com

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Thank you for the feedback! The reason I ask is I have 4 jackets either made or modified in Asia between the turn of the century and 1948...all having basicly the same collars as yours. One has rivet collar holes and zig zag collar stitching. I have identified this man having left the states with a standing collar and had his collar modified around 1928 before he returned to the states. The uniform did later go to a movie costume house when he left the service. So it could have been modified by the costume house as well. So looking forward to seeing what your friend turns up.

Always looking for items associated with the China Marines! Visit chinamarine.org

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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
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