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USMC UNIS Marked canteen cover


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I got another really lucky buy today, ebays been full of these amazing items lately and this is one of them. I found this about 2-3 weeks ago and it was marketed as a Japanese capture canteen and marked at a $99 starting price and it didn’t sell, and i ended up removing it from my watchlist but i ended up finding a thread which had the same red circle markings and identified them as UNIS marking used for the landings at Okinawa so i immediately went on the hunt to rediscover it and to my surprise, he never relisted it, and was willing to relist it at a lower price for me to buy it which i did. It seems to be a 41’ made cover with a 1918 canteen, i don’t believe theres a name on it but we’ll see once its in-hand. 

D7BE2116-9BF4-4724-B098-570115CB5890.jpeg

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That is not UNIS, nor anything resembling it.  If you do a search on the forum, you can find plenty of information on it.

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6 hours ago, Blacksmith said:

That is not UNIS, nor anything resembling it.  If you do a search on the forum, you can find plenty of information on it.

I have and everything i’ve found says its some sort of variation of UNIS markings used at Okinawa, and theres no definite answer on it was used for. 

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The acronym “UNIS” stands for Unit Numerical Identification System.  Pay special attention to the word “Numerical”.  If there is not a number, it is not UNIS - it really is that simple.  Whatever you are reading, that states that a solid red circle is UNIS, is summarily inaccurate.  In the era of Internet and “Social Media”, anybody can post any opinion, whimsy, anecdote, conjecture, hypothesis, theory, or misinformation they like.  Sorting through the chaff, to get to facts, becomes the exercise.

 

Another thing to consider is that what you have is an Army canteen cover, not USMC.  This is revealed by the vertical “quilt” stitching on the front of it.  This would indicate that it is insulated, which was not done on a WWII Marine cover.  Now, I would offer that the Marines did use some Army gear; that is known.  That leaves the door open for UNIS marked Army equipment, which this is not.  

 

There are oodles of topics on gear markings, to include the generic - and ever-elusive - “tac mark”.  In my approximation, that is a catch-all category for markings on equipment that nobody can ID; a “UMO”, Unidentified Marked Object, if you like.  Akin to a mixed-breed dog that vaguely resembles a Labrador Retriever being a “Lab-Shaped Object”.     

 

In my opinion, you have an Army canteen with a red circle on it.  Anything else is guesswork.  If you have information - from a factual source - that canteens with red circles were used on Okinawa, I would enjoy seeing that, and learning.  

 

Good luck.

 

 

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On 10/25/2020 at 8:43 AM, Blacksmith said:

The acronym “UNIS” stands for Unit Numerical Identification System.  Pay special attention to the word “Numerical”.  If there is not a number, it is not UNIS - it really is that simple.  Whatever you are reading, that states that a solid red circle is UNIS, is summarily inaccurate.  In the era of Internet and “Social Media”, anybody can post any opinion, whimsy, anecdote, conjecture, hypothesis, theory, or misinformation they like.  Sorting through the chaff, to get to facts, becomes the exercise.

 

Another thing to consider is that what you have is an Army canteen cover, not USMC.  This is revealed by the vertical “quilt” stitching on the front of it.  This would indicate that it is insulated, which was not done on a WWII Marine cover.  Now, I would offer that the Marines did use some Army gear; that is known.  That leaves the door open for UNIS marked Army equipment, which this is not.  

 

There are oodles of topics on gear markings, to include the generic - and ever-elusive - “tac mark”.  In my approximation, that is a catch-all category for markings on equipment that nobody can ID; a “UMO”, Unidentified Marked Object, if you like.  Akin to a mixed-breed dog that vaguely resembles a Labrador Retriever being a “Lab-Shaped Object”.     

 

In my opinion, you have an Army canteen with a red circle on it.  Anything else is guesswork.  If you have information - from a factual source - that canteens with red circles were used on Okinawa, I would enjoy seeing that, and learning.  

 

Good luck.

 

 

There is definite evidence that these red circles were used for something at Okinawa, however there is no definite answer on what they were used for, its mostly regarded as some sort of shore party markings but there is conflicting evidence that these were used by the 29th Marines. Also i did not know this was a army canteen cover, i’m not too familiar with canteen covers so i appreciate you bringing that up. (Here is a pic from of the threads which displays multiple instances of these being used.)

BE52E2D8-765C-4858-9230-B5BC80CD1548.jpeg.b807222922d66c3c67b2ab5b7f6ebbdd.jpeg

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Blacksmith is correct as this not being a UNIS marking. 
 

Firstly I’m not saying what you have is an invasion mark On yours but my named P41 to a vet of Okinawa has the red circle invasion mark, He was in the 29th. 
 

On Iwo Jima I have photos of marines coming ashore with white circles on their helmets.
Im sure there where many reasons to have these, each island with their own invasion markings for some units for the purpose of identification etc. 
 

Its a very interesting topic and sadly without the vets here to tell us our best bet is to look at items we have that are named etc and go from that information. 
 

Your canteen is Army and Marines did use army items also, lots can be seen on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. 
please measure the circle for me and I will put that measurement against my ID’d shirt. If it’s the same size then maybe it’s another piece to the puzzle 

 


 

- Dean 

A1FAA980-3A2E-452A-B4F6-8CBFFA84D891.jpeg

D01D4F2D-92DA-47D2-AA04-47A4E412BF35.jpeg

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On 10/26/2020 at 2:58 PM, ArchangelDM said:

Blacksmith is correct as this not being a UNIS marking. 
 

Firstly I’m not saying what you have is an invasion mark On yours but my named P41 to a vet of Okinawa has the red circle invasion mark, He was in the 29th. 
 

On Iwo Jima I have photos of marines coming ashore with white circles on their helmets.
Im sure there where many reasons to have these, each island with their own invasion markings for some units for the purpose of identification etc. 
 

Its a very interesting topic and sadly without the vets here to tell us our best bet is to look at items we have that are named etc and go from that information. 
 

Your canteen is Army and Marines did use army items also, lots can be seen on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. 
please measure the circle for me and I will put that measurement against my ID’d shirt. If it’s the same size then maybe it’s another piece to the puzzle 

 


 

- Dean 

A1FAA980-3A2E-452A-B4F6-8CBFFA84D891.jpeg

D01D4F2D-92DA-47D2-AA04-47A4E412BF35.jpeg

I’ll be sure to post some measurements in the follow-up posts on Thursday when i get it for you.

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2 hours ago, Blacksmith said:

I would hit that name on the bottom with IR, and see if you can make it out.


Great shout ! 

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3 hours ago, Yankeeman said:

Here it is, the circle is about 3 inches all around. 

433EC7CF-1AC9-409A-B8EE-AE07FEF872CD.jpeg.bf338bc533311f4c322ff9c88961217d.jpeg

3A751DFE-CEC8-46FA-A473-BA0EE2F10132.jpeg.a6bac9f36280e18cfd403f801baab720.jpeg2BC5B8C2-598D-4208-AD8D-3ECF8302F009.jpeg.d045ac3e81786240b7e49f51d58449a0.jpegF22B1423-3669-41CD-A12F-E5F435B23C8E.jpeg.4f39932e1cde8f632edd547bce108c2c.jpeg

I’ll check the size of mine for you 

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Alright, also as much as i’d like to i don’t have anything capable of using IR to try and bring out the name sadly. 

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11 hours ago, Yankeeman said:

Alright, also as much as i’d like to i don’t have anything capable of using IR to try and bring out the name sadly. 


if you have an I phone take a pic and then edit - increasing and decreasing gamma, clarity, contrast etc etc. 
 

if not there is a program called night eyes which allows for IR shots, it’s also free from the App Store 

 

 

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