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WWII Collapsible Canteen Carrier NOS 1945


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Hello

 

I bought this in an army surplus store some 35-40 years ago when I was a kid.  Didn't know what it was for at the time but it looked cool and I was a young WWII buff.

 

I now know it is a NOS 1945 Collapsible canteen cover made by the International Latex Corp.  Is it a common item?

 

Best Regards

Rob

 

 

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Quartermaster

This 2 quart canteen is a pretty rare item.  It was part of the 1943 Experimental Combat Uniform along with the redesigned jungle pack (M1943 Combat Field Pack).

 

It came in two styles - one with a shoulder strap and the other, like yours, with a rather odd belt attachment.  This attachment was touchy and would disconnect from the pistol or ammo belt and easily lost or at least a pain to keep track of. 

 

I have both versions of this canteen.

 

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And here is a detail of the connection that was unsatisfactory.

 

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Here are period photos of the canteen in use.

 

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New one for me!  Probably a little too late to go back to that store and see if they have any more.  Seems your kid self had some good instincts.  

 

Mikie

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Thanks for the great info.

 

Told my buddy about it and it appears that we both bought one of these.  He is trying to find his.  I think they were for Halloween costumes.

 

Best Regards

Rob

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I had a collector acquaintance that found some of the experimental covers  and then several years later he bought a pallet of stuff from Drmo on the west coast and I believe he told me there was a whole box of bladders.  He sold some off through his mail order shotgun news listings. He had every infantry uniform and accessory from the span-am war to modern times. 10th mountain items were his specialty. It was a crazy collection, he had every canteen, cup and maker for WWII, etc. all years.  He had everything archived in notebooks. The collection was so complete the Army museum system bought his entire collection. 

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  • 2 months later...

Thought I would add a couple of these canteens to the thread, picked these up off of Craigslist this week. One is dated 1945, the other has the vets name stenciled on the carrier and his first name penciled on the bladder. 34E9E2B4-9912-45F1-81EF-B5558690497A.jpeg.b56bada18c42612dc64f83fae2f4f861.jpegC0C5CF35-18C8-4D22-974F-0FA93D6D6447.jpeg.ed46e7f99afadcc8283801dab9df1c5b.jpeg

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Here are images of the collapsible canteens from my collection. From what I understand the canteen with the shoulder strap was designated the jungle canteen and issued in some quantity, The second cover with no strap was supposedly an experimental canteen cover and as pointed out earlier had a major flaw where it would come uncoupled from belt and the canteen would drop off without much effort. My cover has no markings on it and along with the cover shown in Quartermasters post, my cover is  smaller in size than the jungle canteen cover. Interestingly, the experimental covers shown in robinb's post appear to be the same size as the jungle canteen cover. I bring this up because I could not get my jungle canteen bladder to fit into my experimental cover, because the bladder was too big. However, the bladder was somewhat stiff so I was hesitant to try and force it in too roughly, but I am not convinced that this bladder was designed for this version of the cover. Also, the cover posted by Robski has the US and manufacturer markings ink printed in it, but that is the only cover like this that I have seen with markings. Could it be a Jungle canteen cover with either the shoulder strap not sewn on or maybe neatly removed and the experimental belt fastener added. Not sure when this modification would have been done, wartime by the supplier or post war by a surplus dealer. Comments?

 

Bob

Jungle canteen back.jpg

Jungle canteen bladder.jpg

Jungle canteen front.jpg

1943 Canteen Cover Front.jpg

1943 Canteen Cover Back.jpg

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Hello

 

I had no idea how interesting this thread would become.  I think my buddy and I paid $3 for these when we were kids at the surplus store.  It was the only WW2 item we could afford.

 

The carrier is brand new NOS and the stitching on the back/top has never been altered. 

 

When closed and flat it is 9 inches square.

 

Best Regards

Rob

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Rob, this is why I love collecting WWII US militaria, because of all the mystery on patterns and variations of the same item. The fact that a lot of surplus dealers also created fantasy items post war from odds and ends they had in quantity, doesn’t help getting to the bottom of one of these mystery’s. I am looking forward to any additional information, from any forum members, on this subject that may help in figuring out these collapsible canteen covers, with the “experimental” hardware to attach them to a soldiers gear.

 

Bob

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Rob, it was great you gave the dimensions of your cover. My “experimental” canteen cover is also 9 inches square. However, my jungle canteen cover is 10 inches square which may also explain why I couldn’t get the bladder from the jungle canteen to fit into the “experimental” cover. So your 9 inch square cover is different from mine in that it has 3 eyelets on the front and one eyelet on the back. My cover only has 2 eyelets on the front. Also, your cover is ink stamped with the US and maker info on it, while mine is unmarked. Now I have a question about has any forum member found  a bladder that will actually fit well into the 9 inch square cover without folding the dickens out of the bladder? I have never seen a smaller bladder than the one I showed above which fits a bit tight even in the 10 inch square jungle canteen.

 

Bob

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Quartermaster

The attached pix might help shed some light on this subject.  Here are three Quartermaster blue prints dated 6 Mar 45 where the two canteens are documented.

 

The nomenclature is Canteens, Collapsible 1- and 2- Quart.  Both canteens are shown with dimensions and construction data.  The canteen with the funky belt attachment is the 1 quart version and the other with the shoulder strap is the 2 quart type.  The 1 quart canteen is shown as approximately 9 inches square and the 2 quart canteen is approximately 10 inches square.  The third blue print documents the bladder and there are both a 1 and 2 quart size bladder to match the carrier.

 

No where on these blue prints are the words "jungle canteen" or "experimental canteen."

 

Hope this helps some.

 

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Quartermaster, Great documentation you provided for the two types of collapsible canteens. Thanks!!  I believe the terms jungle canteen and experimental canteen are collectors terms, not official military nomenclature. The first reference book I ever bought for collecting US militaria was the excellent Doughboy to GI written by Kennith Lewis, alias General Apathy on this forum. In this book he referred to the two quart canteen with shoulder strap as a jungle canteen and that term has stuck in my mind ever since. Shelby Stanton’s book on WWII military, that you have posted pictures from above, was the first to refer to the canteen with the weird belt connection as an experimental canteen, which again appears to have stuck in the collectors community.

 

Bob

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