Jump to content

Help with identifying Commissaryman Rates and variations


 Share

Recommended Posts

PatLaabs

I have in my collection these 3 rates that I had initially identified as being Commissaryman. I know the 1st class is definitely one but I was wondering why the other 2 differ so much from the 1st class and if those were in fact Commissaryman. According to John Stacey's book the rate Commissaryman was around from 1948 to 1975 which makes sense for the 1st and potentially right 3rd class. But the left 3rd class is throwing me off since it's dated as 1944 and only Chiefs and 1st classes were Commissary Stewards back then. I know the dates on back are typically just contract dates but I figured that's a long time between Commissaryman being for all petty officers and Commissary Steward being only for Chiefs and 1st class.

 

Any ideas?

 

Also why the variation in the feather design? 

20210601_195724.jpg

20210601_195736.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sigsaye
1 hour ago, PatLaabs said:

I have in my collection these 3 rates that I had initially identified as being Commissaryman. I know the 1st class is definitely one but I was wondering why the other 2 differ so much from the 1st class and if those were in fact Commissaryman. According to John Stacey's book the rate Commissaryman was around from 1948 to 1975 which makes sense for the 1st and potentially right 3rd class. But the left 3rd class is throwing me off since it's dated as 1944 and only Chiefs and 1st classes were Commissary Stewards back then. I know the dates on back are typically just contract dates but I figured that's a long time between Commissaryman being for all petty officers and Commissary Steward being only for Chiefs and 1st class.

 

Any ideas?

 

Also why the variation in the feather design? 

20210601_195724.jpg

20210601_195736.jpg

My uncle was Ships Cook Third Class at Pearl Harbor. And made Chief Commissary Steward in 1944. He served 20 years, retiring in 1969. He had a booklet that explained it all. Sadly when he passed away, his daughters tossed it along with all his uniforms and other “Old Navy Junk”. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PatLaabs
8 hours ago, sigsaye said:

My uncle was Ships Cook Third Class at Pearl Harbor. And made Chief Commissary Steward in 1944. He served 20 years, retiring in 1969. He had a booklet that explained it all. Sadly when he passed away, his daughters tossed it along with all his uniforms and other “Old Navy Junk”. 

Darn, that would've been nice to take a look at. 

 

My main reason for wanting to get this sorted out is because I have all my rates sorted by their abbreviation and then by date. So a WWI era Pharmacists Mate comes before my 1939 dated one and then my WWII era ones come next. I just want to know where I should be placing these in my collection in order to make it accurate and also for when I make little labels detailing the rating name, abbreviation, uniform type, usage dates, and any notes for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Justin B.
12 hours ago, PatLaabs said:

I have in my collection these 3 rates that I had initially identified as being Commissaryman. I know the 1st class is definitely one but I was wondering why the other 2 differ so much from the 1st class and if those were in fact Commissaryman. According to John Stacey's book the rate Commissaryman was around from 1948 to 1975 which makes sense for the 1st and potentially right 3rd class. But the left 3rd class is throwing me off since it's dated as 1944 and only Chiefs and 1st classes were Commissary Stewards back then. I know the dates on back are typically just contract dates but I figured that's a long time between Commissaryman being for all petty officers and Commissary Steward being only for Chiefs and 1st class.

 

Any ideas?

 

Also why the variation in the feather design? 

 

A lot (and probably the majority) of the oddities that we see are WW2 manufacture. My guess is this is usually related to inexperienced companies jumping in to fill contracts, or experienced companies having quality control issues due to the sheer size of the contracts. As you say, there were only Chief Commissary Stewards in the WW2 period, but I think that some manufacturers just cranked out CPO and PO lots with each specialty mark in the book and didn't catch the exceptions. WW2 rating badge backstock was sold for decades after the war; luckily for the "mistakes" with the commissary steward mark, that that old stock would be back in demand after 1948.

 

One interesting thing is that in the 1941 uniform regulations, that specialty mark is the only one illustrated in bullion embroidery, and is labeled "Chief Commissary Steward." But of course the white/khaki/gray/green badges would use plain thread embroidery so manufacturers would have a pattern for that mark.

 

The different feather designs are just manufacturer variations. I don't know how that weird looking symmetrical feather came about but you do see it sometimes. Maybe the draftsman made half a drawing, mirrored it and called it a day?! You also see variations in the yeoman feathers, some with vanes on both sides of the quill, some more curved, some more angular. Also the commissaryman and storekeeper keys, sometimes with a round bow, sometimes oblong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PatLaabs
On 6/2/2021 at 9:44 AM, Justin B. said:

 

A lot (and probably the majority) of the oddities that we see are WW2 manufacture. My guess is this is usually related to inexperienced companies jumping in to fill contracts, or experienced companies having quality control issues due to the sheer size of the contracts. As you say, there were only Chief Commissary Stewards in the WW2 period, but I think that some manufacturers just cranked out CPO and PO lots with each specialty mark in the book and didn't catch the exceptions. WW2 rating badge backstock was sold for decades after the war; luckily for the "mistakes" with the commissary steward mark, that that old stock would be back in demand after 1948.

 

One interesting thing is that in the 1941 uniform regulations, that specialty mark is the only one illustrated in bullion embroidery, and is labeled "Chief Commissary Steward." But of course the white/khaki/gray/green badges would use plain thread embroidery so manufacturers would have a pattern for that mark.

 

The different feather designs are just manufacturer variations. I don't know how that weird looking symmetrical feather came about but you do see it sometimes. Maybe the draftsman made half a drawing, mirrored it and called it a day?! You also see variations in the yeoman feathers, some with vanes on both sides of the quill, some more curved, some more angular. Also the commissaryman and storekeeper keys, sometimes with a round bow, sometimes oblong.

Thank you for the insight, I appreciate it. That makes alot more sense now. As for the different feather designs I'm gonna keep going until I have all sorts of weird varieties. Once I'm "done" with my current collection log I'm going to start on variations of different rates. I'll probably be collecting until I'm retired from the Navy and then some 😂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Justin B.
On 6/3/2021 at 3:32 PM, PatLaabs said:

Once I'm "done" with my current collection log I'm going to start on variations of different rates. I'll probably be collecting until I'm retired from the Navy and then some 😂

 

Sounds like a good plan, just remember to keep posting them here!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PatLaabs
1 hour ago, Justin B. said:

 

Sounds like a good plan, just remember to keep posting them here!

Don't worry I will! I want to see this part of the forum alive again. I'll be heading to the Reading, PA WWII weekend airshow tomorrow. If I find anything good they'll get posted on here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...