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WW2 USMC / Army Hand Camouflaged collection - A collection of detailed photos of Helmets and field gear hand painted for use in the field


ArchangelDM
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ArchangelDM

The first thing that always fascinated me about the marines was their overall look when in the field, rugged, tough, and ready for anything. They looked to me as if everything they wore and used was something that was ready for any situation, Was ready to blend in to any environment, and was suited to any environment. From the tough wearing HBT green P41 shirts, to the rugged and heavy wearing field gear which had lots of variations when worn. 
Not to mention the highly successful Frogskin pattern used on their P42 shirts and pants, the Marines knew what was needed to combat and win in such harsh environments as Guadalcanal, Saipan, Iwo and many more of the pacific islands. Each island as different and varied as the previous, from harsh sharp rocky landscapes to heavily wooded tropical battlegrounds. For me the Marines and Army fought in some of the toughest environments known to man, let lone against one the the most deadly and fanatical enemies the Japanese. 
 

Here I want to focus and detail my collection of the camouflage that was hand painted onto their headgear and field gear to show the extra steps these men took to work within their environments to ultimately conceal them and hope to save their lives. 
 

Enjoy 

 

Dean 

 

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ArchangelDM

ROY A WATCHER shows up on the Muster rolls in 1941 and with Headquarters and service company, 1st Mar, FMF

1944 Heavy artillery, 3rd Amphibious Corps FMF 

1945 1st Battalion, 15th Mar Div, FMF 

 

This is Roy’s early 1941 D ring bottom pack with an interesting Marine green swirl pattern added, beautifully marked and named with what I believe to be his unit markings from his time with the Artillery unit Amphibious Corps. The camouflage would have been added for engagements within wooded areas with shrubbery and palm trees , mimicking leaves and foliage. 
 

 

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ArchangelDM

Here is the only pair of Hand Camouflaged gaiters I have encountered, these are an army pair dated 1942 with a splotch camo added made with 2 different greens. 
As I list my collection you will start to notice colour and pattern similarities in the greens and browns. 

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ArchangelDM

Here is a 2nd pattern lower pack named to Barnett, featuring once again the very typical Marine green hand camouflage. This was applied with a think brush and was put on fast. 
Unfortunately Barnett is a common name and leads us too several marines that served. 

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ArchangelDM

Here is an interesting Set used by SGT CHARLES M SCOTT 

6th Tank BAT 6th MAR DIV 

 

He has used a splotch pattern camo on both of his 2nd Pattern packs with the typical marine green paint being used. What’s nice to see is the way both packs are marked, freehand and stencil. 

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ArchangelDM

GASPER M BELLANCA 

Company A 1st BAT - 1st MAR DIV FMF

 

Early 1st Pattern D ring lower pack Clearly marked up with Gaspers surname and company A being used as part of the camouflage. 
Thank you to a forum member for this one 

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ArchangelDM

A hand Camo’d 1942 officers bag used by ROBERT S KEITH

 

Robert enlisted on 6/17/41 and became a 2nd Lt. in April of 1942 at Quantico. In July of 1942 he was assigned to K/3/3 at New River, NC.
In October of 42' he is in the field with the 3rd Marines in Samoa. He next went to New Zealand and then to Bougainville. He is listed as WIA by January of 44', so he was wounded on Bougainville. By April of 44' he is stateside at Mare Island till October of 45'.
There is no muster rolls for him after that, so he was probably discharged as a Captain. 
If he was at Mare Island for over a year, his wounds were probably bad. 
 

Thankyou to Wilson for the research and to a forum member for allowing me to caretaker for this one. 

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ArchangelDM

Let’s change it up and look at some hand camouflaged canteens, 

 

2nd pattern Canteen belonging to PVT LEONARD E LITTERAL 

3rd BAT - 2ND MAR DIV 

 

Leonard shows up FMF In 1944 and 1945 on the islands. 

 

 

 

 

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ArchangelDM

Here is a 3rd pattern 2nd Variant with water hole canteen painted in a thick Green Camo. This one is not named but I’m guessing it was either used on Iwo or Okinawa. 

 

It some nice discolouration to the Paint and wear to the hanger 

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ArchangelDM

3rd pattern 1st variant without water hole unnamed Canteen but one that’s seen a lot of use throughout its life.
The Camouflage paint has completely worn down in areas, with clear wear and tear on the whole cover. The paint used looks to be green when it was painted and now it’s a turned almost black with age and wear. 

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ArchangelDM

This is my favourite Pattern of the Marine canteen, 

 

1st pattern canteen with the problematic Pop studs, these pop studs are notorious for getting dirt/grit in them and then not being able to close them. Still this for me is the quintessential Marine canteen, this one has had an early brown/black camo applied by hand/rag. On the hook at the back you can also see a little bit of marine Green paint. 
 

 

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Really fascinating items, I have always been amazed at the craftsmanship of marines. My Dad hand wrote all of the ships he served on on one of his sea bags and all of the locations he visited on another. He also had a neat "swagger stick" made. His writing was always very neat and almost artistic, but that is not a side of him I ever saw. You have an amazing collection! Thanks for sharing.   Scott

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ArchangelDM

Here is another hand camouflaged canteen named to WACHTER - showing a brown and a green camo reminiscent of the frog skin camouflage developed by the marines in 1942 on a US Army canteen. 
 

After looking at the name and the way it’s written I believe this belonged to R A WACHTER the same marine who the 1st pack in this thread belonged too. 
 

An interesting piece of camouflage on a Army canteen.  

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ArchangelDM

MARTIN HARRY SMITH - ESB 

 

Fought in the pacific and was given the Bronze star for service in a combat zone

 

This is his Hand camouflaged HBT cover and his Hand camouflaged Helmet. 
 

Typical Pacific green and Black used ! He even camo’d his liner. 
 

Topic on his grouping  here ➡️
 

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1canpara

Amazing collection Dean, really stunning! Museum worthy pieces and fantastic photography that really brings the camo to life! Some of them look like pieces of art. A bunch of years ago the Imperial War Museum in London had a huge display of camouflage through the ages, how it originated and it’s influence on fashion and modern day applications, these pieces of yours would have been an incredible addition to that show! 
 

Thanks for sharing! 
 

Rick 

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Blueprint

Thanks for sharing Dean!

 

Why don’t you make a high quality book of the camouflaged/Unis marked/helmet‘s of the USMC?

 

With These good looking pictures it would be standing in my shelf! 
 

Yours

Hannes

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On 4/23/2021 at 1:45 AM, ScottG said:

Really fascinating items, I have always been amazed at the craftsmanship of marines. My Dad hand wrote all of the ships he served on on one of his sea bags and all of the locations he visited on another. He also had a neat "swagger stick" made. His writing was always very neat and almost artistic, but that is not a side of him I ever saw. You have an amazing collection! Thanks for sharing.   Scott

 

On 4/24/2021 at 5:00 PM, Blueprint said:

Thanks for sharing Dean!

 

Why don’t you make a high quality book of the camouflaged/Unis marked/helmet‘s of the USMC?

 

With These good looking pictures it would be standing in my shelf! 
 

Yours

Hannes

 

20 hours ago, Gtilk8455 said:

Now this is a cool thread, thanks for sharing 

 

 

 

On 4/24/2021 at 1:57 AM, kaliman0352 said:

Wow great items 


Thankyou All 

 

I’ve been wanting to document the items and I thought this was a great place for people to look at some cool items I’ve collected over the years. 
More to come ! And maybe even a photo book in the future 

 

- Dean 

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ArchangelDM
On 4/24/2021 at 4:57 PM, 1canpara said:

Amazing collection Dean, really stunning! Museum worthy pieces and fantastic photography that really brings the camo to life! Some of them look like pieces of art. A bunch of years ago the Imperial War Museum in London had a huge display of camouflage through the ages, how it originated and it’s influence on fashion and modern day applications, these pieces of yours would have been an incredible addition to that show! 
 

Thanks for sharing! 
 

Rick 


Thankyou Rick 

IWM Has some incredible pieces and is a great museum

if anyone is over this side of the pond. 
I’m humbled by your words mate 

 

Thank you 

 

Dx

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ArchangelDM

MELVIN S HOLSTEIN 

 

1st BAT - CO. B - 6th MAR DIV 

 

Heavily Camo’d with a think Brown paint like the early 1st pattern Canteen. Melvin marked his gas mask bag nicely, including B company in Blue. 
 

Infantry Marines favoured these US gas mask bags as they could hold a lot of ammo and also had an extra strap on the bottom to attach it around your waist. I believe Melvin made quite a few landings with his company, I’f only the bag could talk. 

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ArchangelDM

This early heavily Camo’d mag pouch even though it has Thompson ammo inside is in-fact for the Reising sub machine gun. The stick ammo was slightly taller ! 
 

You can see clearly the extent of the thick camo applied when the flaps are opened. 
 

 

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ArchangelDM

Also I would like to add that if anyone has any hand camouflaged gear no matter how small I would love to hear from you. I have lots of UNIS gear, and helmets for a trade 

feel free to contact me 

 

TIA 

 

- Dean 

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Hessian

Dean
Amazing. Just amazing. Thanks for sharing it.
D


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Longbranch

Thought you might get a kick out of this cover for a 1944 issue of Infantry Journal...

 

That crazy camo is camo hiding those 4 guys pretty well!

 

 

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