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Pre WW1 and WW1 USMC Blankets


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Recently been trying to figure out just what exactly makes up the blanket that was issued to Marines pre WW1 and into WW1.  From what I can tell, it appears that there was no "standard" issue blanket issued to Marines during the pre war years. It looks like the standard Army blanket may have been issued to Marines with the chain stitched USMC added. So far I have seen the brown 1904 pattern Army blanket, 1884 pattern blue Army blanket with the USMC chain stitched to them. I've looked at the USMC uniform regulations from several periods, but they are no help. It just states that the Marine was to be issued a blanket consistent with the sample provided.  It makes sense that Army blankets would have been issued in some way during the pre WW1 years with all the other type of gear that Marines were issued with such as campaign/field hats, blue flannel shirts, haversacks, blanket bags, cartridge belts, etc....  As I talked with a fellow forum member, like he stated, the only close to being a Marine cartridge belt the Lee Navy belts, other wise they utilized Army cartridge belts til the 1908 belt came out. But back to blankets, I don't believe that the commonly seen USMC forest green blanket with the chain stitched USMC is a WW1 era blanket. I believe it more than likely is a post 1920's regulation blanket. I've seen on on this forum with a 1942 contractor's tag on it. 

 

So, I would like to ask anyone out there... Hey Alec and WW1 Nerd !!!.... to chime in with any info you may have on the subject or if you may have an example in your collection to share. 

 

I'll continue below with photos of two blankets that I have that I believe to be either WW1 or pre-WW1 issue....

***WANTED: MINT UNISSUED USMC DEPOT WEB GEAR AND A SIZE 38 P42 CAMO JACKET***

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The first blanket that you see here is the Army 1904 issue version with the chain stitched USMC. It is well used and abused. Color is brown with brown stripes on each end. The USMC is also stitched with brown thread. The ends were bound, but have become unraveled and freyed. 

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***WANTED: MINT UNISSUED USMC DEPOT WEB GEAR AND A SIZE 38 P42 CAMO JACKET***

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Here is what I believe is actually a WW1 era issue USMC blanket. The colors in the photos are pretty washed out to what it looks like in hand, but the first pic gives the closest idea of the color. It is definitely forest green with darker green end stripes. The USMC is stitched in dark green thread. The ends were bound, but they have become completely unraveled and frayed. It is a very well used blanket. I wonder if they started making these blankets when the Marines started to use forest green in the 1912 regulations. 

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***WANTED: MINT UNISSUED USMC DEPOT WEB GEAR AND A SIZE 38 P42 CAMO JACKET***

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Both of your blankets are beautiful examples. I really look forward to some discussion on this topic. Not much in the way of published research out there on Marine blankets. Thanks for posting! Kevin

I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after. Let me know if you have something you want to part with. 

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So I thought I would add the following:

 

From The Civil War Uniforms of the United States Marine Corps, by Lt. Col. Charles H. Cureton and David M. Sullivan, pg. 267...

 

"The blankets to be all wool, and to weigh four pounds; color grey, with letters U.S.M. in black, four inches long; blankets to be seven feet long, and five and a half feet wide; the letters U.S.M. to be placed in the center."

 

Now I know this is the regulation for Civil War era blankets, and the discussion in this thread pertains to Span Am War and WWI. I find this interesting though, as it describes a blanket that resembles the ones used by the Army in the CW, with the exception of the lettering U.S.M. It is also interesting to note that the USM (later USMC) embroidery was being used as early as the CW. 

 

I sure hope others will weigh in on any regulations or information regarding blankets used in Span Am to WWI. 

I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after. Let me know if you have something you want to part with. 

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