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Nick_M

Help me realistically decorate an old "Class A"

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Hi all!

 

I've got a "blank canvas" uniform and I'd like your help bringing it to its full potential. Pictured below is a US Army service uniform of an E-5 specialist of the 4th Armored division (It needs needs a good dry-clean, I know). Its quite bare, but it definitely used to have a lot more on it. Picked it up on eBay for cheap a while ago and it came with everything pictured. Not pictured was the matching service cap with a name inside. After a lot of research dead-ends, I was only able to come up with an obituary for the previous owner.

 

So with that being said, I'd like to come back to the main topic of this post: how to realistically decorate this old uniform with ribbons and DUI crests. Considering this man was stationed in Germany and was discharged as a specialist, its safe to assume he probably didn't win any Medals of Honor. I want to show what the average enlisted man or draftee could've earned during a 3-year stint in Europe. Here's what I know:

 

-4th Armored was active post-war in Germany from 1957 to 1971

 

-The original owner of this uniform served from 1965-1968 (if the obituary is correct)

 

-He was discharged as an E-5 specialist. 

 

- A resource on the 4th AD in West Germany

 

And that's everything. I'd also love to see any guidebooks or diagrams of what service uniform regulations were at the time. Please feel free to add any and all information you'd like to share on the green "Class A". All input is appreciated!

 

https://i.imgur.com/aYx4gFp.png

 

https://i.imgur.com/uaxQvyZ.png 

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A Three Year Enlistee, so barring any feats of derring do that would see him awarded a Soldiers Medal, or being an outstanding soldier in the performance of a duty that would see him awarded an Army Commendation Medal (This being back in the days where this award was sparingly awarded) he would have two medals in this time period, the Good Conduct and the National Defense Service. That's the ribbons, just what his branch and unit and marksmanship badge would be, that's hard to tell.

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I took the liberty and tracking down your i.imgur images, don't think you can use this image host.

 

 

If he was in for 3, he normally would have one service stripe, he doesn't, but that is not a big deal some guys didn't bother as they were getting out, their time is up, and they're out

aYx4gFp.png.jpg

uaxQvyZ.png.jpg

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Excellent! Thanks for info and for displaying my pics. I was wondering why they weren't showing up automatically like they used too. I couldn't even edit my own post. 

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50 minutes ago, patches said:

A Three Year Enlistee, so barring any feats of derring do that would see him awarded a Soldiers Medal, or being an outstanding soldier in the performance of a duty that would see him awarded an Army Commendation Medal (This being back in the days where this award was sparingly awarded) he would have two medals in this time period, the Good Conduct and the National Defense Service. That's the ribbons, just what his branch and unit and marksmanship badge would be, that's hard to tell.

 

I would like to keep the unit displays as generic as possible. I have a few collar disks and I was thinking of going with armor branch. Likewise for the DUI crests I've been trying to track down sets of 4th AD pins. This raises a question: If someone were to just display crests of the division they were in (as opposed to a regimental DUI) what would their job have been? Still keeping in mind their modest rank. 

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3 hours ago, Nick_M said:

 

I would like to keep the unit displays as generic as possible. I have a few collar disks and I was thinking of going with armor branch. Likewise for the DUI crests I've been trying to track down sets of 4th AD pins. This raises a question: If someone were to just display crests of the division they were in (as opposed to a regimental DUI) what would their job have been? Still keeping in mind their modest rank. 

This would be the proper DI for the 4th Armored Division, it's Non Color Bearing Unit Crest, came out in like 1965, and getting a matching pair is hard as this division was inactivated so long ago. Guys who wore these were generally found at the divisional headquarters and brigade headquarters and could be from a myriad of support branches, if not any company sized unit within a division, like the MP Company in example.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4th-Armored-Division-NCBU-unit-crest-DUI/274326732507?hash=item3fdf25bedb:g:cXsAAOSwFqZeh2gO

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21 minutes ago, patches said:

This would be the proper DI for the 4th Armored Division, it's Non Color Bearing Unit Crest, came out in like 1965, and getting a matching pair is hard as this division was inactivated so long ago. Guys who wore these were generally found at the divisional headquarters and brigade headquarters and could be from a myriad of support branches, if not any company sized unit within a division, like the MP Company in example.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4th-Armored-Division-NCBU-unit-crest-DUI/274326732507?hash=item3fdf25bedb:g:cXsAAOSwFqZeh2gO

 

Thanks again for the additional info! I'll do a bit more digging to see if I can't find a complete pair of DUI pins. Or find a reasonable alternative that would fit the time period. If you or anyone else have more general information about Class A uniform regulations of the era I'd love to hear it. 

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3 hours ago, Nick_M said:

 

Thanks again for the additional info! I'll do a bit more digging to see if I can't find a complete pair of DUI pins. Or find a reasonable alternative that would fit the time period. If you or anyone else have more general information about Class A uniform regulations of the era I'd love to hear it. 

Any specific questions you might have ask.

 

In the meantime, can you like his obit?

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5 minutes ago, patches said:

Any specific questions you might have ask.

 

In the meantime, can you like his obit?

 

I guess since we're here, is there anything I should do with the khaki uniform? I suppose khakis were mainly used as utility clothing so they'd have no reason to be decorated but I'm no expert. Would the khaki shirt have its own cap? If so, would it likewise have any special insignias I should keep in mind? 

 

I believe the soldier's obituary can be found here. The name written inside the uniform cap is pretty unique, and the years of service listed on the obituary fit very well with the style of uniform and the active years of the 4th Armored Division. 

 

6OIiPNp.jpg

 

 

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3 hours ago, Nick_M said:

 

I guess since we're here, is there anything I should do with the khaki uniform? I suppose khakis were mainly used as utility clothing so they'd have no reason to be decorated but I'm no expert. Would the khaki shirt have its own cap? If so, would it likewise have any special insignias I should keep in mind? 

 

I believe the soldier's obituary can be found here. The name written inside the uniform cap is pretty unique, and the years of service listed on the obituary fit very well with the style of uniform and the active years of the 4th Armored Division. 

 

6OIiPNp.jpg

 

 

The Khaki Uniform was thee Summer Uniform if you will, the Summer Dress Class C Uniform, and Full Insignia was indeed worn on it.

 

image.png.99526fb36b9e35b159e7c037b513e32e.png

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3 hours ago, patches said:

The Khaki Uniform was thee Summer Uniform if you will, the Summer Dress Class C Uniform, and Full Insignia was indeed worn on it.

 

image.png.99526fb36b9e35b159e7c037b513e32e.png

image.png.718f0fd361204686fcade3b135fe01ee.png

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Very nice display! That's good to know then. But for now I'll focus on the Class A. Especially given how rare 4th Armored pins appear to be. Besides, I doubt a regular soldier would have several sets of ribbons and medals for each of his service dresses, right? In any case, did the summer dress uniform have a unique hat? I feel like I've seen pictures in that era with people wearing their Class C with a green garrison cap. Perhaps it was just a different branch? 

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3 hours ago, Nick_M said:

Very nice display! That's good to know then. But for now I'll focus on the Class A. Especially given how rare 4th Armored pins appear to be. Besides, I doubt a regular soldier would have several sets of ribbons and medals for each of his service dresses, right? In any case, did the summer dress uniform have a unique hat? I feel like I've seen pictures in that era with people wearing their Class C with a green garrison cap. Perhaps it was just a different branch? 

From WWII to 1958 the cap was either the Khaki Service Cap or the Khaki garrison Cap was worn, the shirts were long sleeve then, after 1952 or so the Garrison Cap more really. In 1958 the new Army Green Class As came out, so with the Khakis the new Army Green Caps were worn the Service cap being back in.

 

Two from the early 60s, as they're wearing shoulder patches both these guys are wearing the long sleeve Khaki Shirt, it was replaced by the short sleeve one in mid 1965, now no shoulder patches are t be worn anymore.

image.png.0edec7f570138dd3951d7de44b4752cc.pngimage.png.b4b65e316eff262841262695293ad472.png

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Phenomenal. Thank you so much for all your help today. If I have any more questions on the subject I know who to go to now. I think this should be enough information to get me started. Again, if there's any supplemental information that you think would be relevant, please feel free to share. 

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15 hours ago, Nick_M said:

Phenomenal. Thank you so much for all your help today. If I have any more questions on the subject I know who to go to now. I think this should be enough information to get me started. Again, if there's any supplemental information that you think would be relevant, please feel free to share. 

Yeah, this regarding his Rank, Specialist 5th Class, E-5. Specialists 5th Class could be found as Tank Crewmen in an Armor Battalion Army Wide back in the 60s, guys holding this Rank could be found as the Gunner or the Driver or less so, the Tank Commander (Tank Commanders were normally Hard Stripe Non Commissioned Officers, IE Staff Sergeants E-6 and or Sergeants E-5. So it is within the realm of possibility this Barker was a Tank Crewman, it's just difficult to know obviously without seeing his DD-214 or his Service Jacket (IE His Records)

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Update!

 

I was able to scrounge up a few pieces and added them to the Summer Khaki shirt. As patches mentioned, 4th Armored DUI pins are rather scarce. I was able to find a NOS garrison cap from the late 90's and add the only pin I have at the moment. As they become available I plan on adding more pins to the epaulets. 

 

dROlFd6.jpg

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By the by, you don't "win" the Medal of Honor. It's not a Cracker Jack prize.

 

 

Mark sends


Mark Conrad, MSgt, USAF (Ret)

"Poor is the nation that has no Heroes...shameful is the one having them that forgets."

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4 hours ago, mvmhm said:

By the by, you don't "win" the Medal of Honor. It's not a Cracker Jack prize.

 

 

Mark sends

 

Duly noted, thank you. 

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The Khaki looks good, however you need to shift the collar brass outward more.. for the era you are portraying.... The vertical axes of the collar insignia were parallel to the inside collar edge during this time period.... The collar insignia were rotated in 1975 so that the horizontal axes were parallel to the ground.

 

If that sounds confusing, look at the black and white photo of the engineer.. Notice how the collar brass for the castle is straight out, and not in line with the point of the collar..

 

Here is a photo of the angle of collar brass from the era prior to the 1975 uniform regulation changes. This Vietnam uniform was donated to the US Army NCO Museum by the Soldier himself and it has never been altered. To protect the privacy of the Soldier, I have blacked out his nameplate..

 

Leigh

 

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"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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18 hours ago, Nick_M said:

Update!

 

I was able to scrounge up a few pieces and added them to the Summer Khaki shirt. As patches mentioned, 4th Armored DUI pins are rather scarce. I was able to find a NOS garrison cap from the late 90's and add the only pin I have at the moment. As they become available I plan on adding more pins to the epaulets. 

 

dROlFd6.jpg

Just a note: you need to flip the ribbon bar. The Good Conduct Medal ia higher in precedence

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1 hour ago, FtrPlt said:

Just a note: you need to flip the ribbon bar. The Good Conduct Medal ia higher in precedence

 

Thank you! I wouldn't have guessed that. Fixed right away. 

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3 hours ago, Rakkasan187 said:

The Khaki looks good, however you need to shift the collar brass outward more.. for the era you are portraying.... The vertical axes of the collar insignia were parallel to the inside collar edge during this time period.... The collar insignia were rotated in 1975 so that the horizontal axes were parallel to the ground.

 

If that sounds confusing, look at the black and white photo of the engineer.. Notice how the collar brass for the castle is straight out, and not in line with the point of the collar..

 

Here is a photo of the angle of collar brass from the era prior to the 1975 uniform regulation changes. This Vietnam uniform was donated to the US Army NCO Museum by the Soldier himself and it has never been altered. To protect the privacy of the Soldier, I have blacked out his nameplate..

 

Leigh

 

This is the kind of detail I'm looking for. Thank you very much!

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Nick

I'm certain you are not intending to deceive others by assembling these.  Just reminding you to consider the future of those uniforms and whether or not you will always be around to explain which are just period parts and which ones are original to the owner. Others have done it a lot but just something to keep in mind.

We are only caretakers of this stuff.

Dave

 

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The collar brass is wrong on all the photos.  There were three types of short sleeve khaki shirts.  One was basically a cut-off long sleeve shirt.  Those had the enlisted collar brass worn perpendicular to the front edge of the collar (like officer brass).  The shirt that cam with the grouping I am honestly not familiar with.  It has the pleated pockets like the cut-off shirts, but it does not have the top collar button.  This shirt was made to be worn with the collar open, never closed with a tie as the long-sleeved shirts were.  The third is the flat pocket, short sleeve only shirt.  On those, the collar brass was worn with the insignia worn parallel to the front edge of the collar, or basically horizontal.  Enlisted men's collar brass was not worn at an angle at this time, however the rank insignia was.  Kind of doesn't make sense, but that's the way it is.  I can post my basic training "graduation" photo and maybe some others (if I can find them) if anyone is interested - and I can figure out how to post photos here...


Collecting 3rd Armored Division items of all kinds from all eras, specializing in the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment.

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1 hour ago, dmar836 said:

Nick

I'm certain you are not intending to deceive others by assembling these.  Just reminding you to consider the future of those uniforms and whether or not you will always be around to explain which are just period parts and which ones are original to the owner. Others have done it a lot but just something to keep in mind.

We are only caretakers of this stuff.

Dave

 

 

You make an excellent point, Dave. I've decided to drop the anachronistic garrison cap. I'll try to avoid any unnecessary accouterments as not to detract from the grouping. I'll keep this wisdom in mind if I every have any future projects in mind. Thank you. 

 

 

37 minutes ago, Steve B. said:

The collar brass is wrong on all the photos.  There were three types of short sleeve khaki shirts.  One was basically a cut-off long sleeve shirt.  Those had the enlisted collar brass worn perpendicular to the front edge of the collar (like officer brass).  The shirt that cam with the grouping I am honestly not familiar with.  It has the pleated pockets like the cut-off shirts, but it does not have the top collar button.  This shirt was made to be worn with the collar open, never closed with a tie as the long-sleeved shirts were.  The third is the flat pocket, short sleeve only shirt.  On those, the collar brass was worn with the insignia worn parallel to the front edge of the collar, or basically horizontal.  Enlisted men's collar brass was not worn at an angle at this time, however the rank insignia was.  Kind of doesn't make sense, but that's the way it is.  I can post my basic training "graduation" photo and maybe some others (if I can find them) if anyone is interested - and I can figure out how to post photos here...

 

Thank you for your input. I'd love to see any photo references you can muster. Your specialty with 3rd Armored memorabilia could shed a lot of light in my 4th AD grouping. 

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