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USMC Dress Blues

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I have seen a dress blue "WWII Woman Marine Uniform" for sale. I have a strong suspicion BAM's were not authorized such uniforms during the war. Can anyone give me a starting date?

 

Thanks,

Tom thumbsup.gif


Learn to ride hard, shoot straight, dance well and so live that you can, if necessary, look any man in the eye and tell him to go to Hell! US Cavalry Manual, 1923

WWII APS

 

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**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY**

 

 

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Women Marines did not have a dress blue uniform until 1952, and the term BAM is considered an insult to many former WMs.


"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American . . . There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have no room for but one flag, the American Flag . . . We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language . . . and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

 

- Theodore Roosevelt, 1919

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Women Marines did not have a dress blue uniform until 1952...

 

Here is a well known photo of Gunnery Sergeant Opha Mae Johnson, inspecting 3 Marines (F), taken in 1918, wearing her (possibly) one of a kind women's dress blue uniform. The three Marines (F) she is inspecting are wearing their standard uniform. While a Marine (F) dress blue uniform never may have been authorized by regulations, it clearly was, at least in one instance "allowed."

 

post-594-1235275022.jpg

 

As far as I know It is the only known photograph of this particular uniform in wear, and I have never seen any reference to it.

 

 

Chris


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Thanks for the info. That answers my question.

 

Tom thumbsup.gif


Learn to ride hard, shoot straight, dance well and so live that you can, if necessary, look any man in the eye and tell him to go to Hell! US Cavalry Manual, 1923

WWII APS

 

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gif

donation2009.gifdonation2011.gif

**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY**

 

 

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Here is a well known photo of Gunnery Sergeant Opha Mae Johnson, inspecting 3 Marines (F), taken in 1918, wearing her (possibly) one of a kind women's dress blue uniform. The three Marines (F) she is inspecting are wearing their standard uniform. While a Marine (F) dress blue uniform never may have been authorized by regulations, it clearly was, at least in one instance "allowed."

 

OphaMae.jpg

 

As far as I know It is the only known photograph of this particular uniform in wear, and I have never seen any reference to it.

Chris

 

Life magazine had another version from 1917 with a caption that said, "Lillian Russell wearing US Marine Corps Woman Reserve uniform..." Lillian Russell was a popular singer of the era and according to Wikipedia, "During World War I, she recruited for the U.S. Marine Corps and raised money for the war effort." I suspect that the uniform was something put together just for the recruiting duty. I believe the other photo is also of Miss Russell: Opha Mae Johnson was the first woman Marine but she was a private. Miss Johnson may be one of the other three women in the photo.

 

bam1.jpg



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Also from the LIFE archives on Google is a 1918 photo of the "Marinettes" of WWI wearing the typical uniform. Below that is a 1994 shot of a female Marine in a "summer dress" uniform.

 

bam2.jpg

 

bamsummerdress.jpg



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Life magazine had another version from 1917 with a caption that said, "Lillian Russell wearing US Marine Corps Woman Reserve uniform..." Lillian Russell was a popular singer of the era and according to Wikipedia, "During World War I, she recruited for the U.S. Marine Corps and raised money for the war effort." I suspect that the uniform was something put together just for the recruiting duty. I believe the other photo is also of Miss Russell: Opha Mae Johnson was the first woman Marine but she was a private. Miss Johnson may be one of the other three women in the photo.

 

post-214-1235276464.jpg

 

 

Bob,

 

Well, Opha Mae Johnson enrolled as a Private, but she also holds the distinction of having been the highest ranking Marine (F) attaining the rank of Sergeant by the end of the war ("Dressed for Duty Vol 1" -- Halcomb Smith P333). A photograph of Opha Mae Johnson (ibid: P334) shows that she does indeed look very similar to the woman in the photographs identified by Life Magazine as Lillian Russel.

 

The three other women are identified in another famous photo, taken in the same location, (probably during the same photo session) are left to right: PFC Ruth Spike, PFC May O'Keef, and PFC Mary Kelly ("American Women in WW1" -- Gavin, P40). All three were were assigned to Headquarters USMC, Washington, DC.

 

So, you are most assuredly correct. I put two and two together and came up with 5. Opha Mae Johnson was mustered out as a Sergeant (but not a Gunnery Sergeant), she looked similar to Lillian Russel, and apparently Lillian Russel's "uniform" was a "stage prop."

 

Thanks for correcting my math! :)

 

Chris


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So, you are most assuredly correct. I put two and two together and came up with 5. Opha Mae Johnson was mustered out as a Sergeant (but not a Gunnery Sergeant), she looked similar to Lillian Russel, and apparently Lillian Russel's "uniform" was a "stage prop."

 

Thanks for correcting my math! :)

 

Chris

 

It's those fairly new LIFE archives in the Google Images: there's a lot yet to be learned from those millions of (mostly unpublished) photos with captions.



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.

jax942.jpg



The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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So, you are most assuredly correct. I put two and two together and came up with 5. Opha Mae Johnson was mustered out as a Sergeant (but not a Gunnery Sergeant), she looked similar to Lillian Russel, and apparently Lillian Russel's "uniform" was a "stage prop."

 

Thanks for correcting my math! :)

 

Chris

while not an expert on ranks of the past by any means...I do believe that back when that chevron was used, a Gunnery Sergeant was one who was a master of arms and ordinance, and was even paid a bit extra for this certification...I believe that criteria would have been beyond the scope of WM's in those days


-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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Stumbling on this again and realizing that she must have been wearing the blues blouse solely for the photo purposes...enlisted Marines didn't rate collar emblems, aside from the disks seen in France/Germany...until 1920


-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Here is another photo of Lillian Russell as a pretend Captain in the July 1918 issue of Recruiter's Bulletin:

post-133515-0-25008600-1494081114.jpg


Semper Fidelis, to all Marines past, present and future..

*Remembering CWO3 James Warren Maddox, USMC 1957-2018*

LOOKING FOR EARLY USMC CHEVRONS & RANK INSIGNIA, COMPETITIVE MARKSMANSHIP AWARDS, RECRUITING MATERIALS AND POSTERS, PHOTOGRAPHS, PENNANTS, SIGNATURES, EARLY NUMBERED CAMPAIGN MEDALS, PRE-1900 USMC GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL, USMC ENGRAVED NAVY MARKSMANSHIP MEDAL, ANY MATERIALS RELATED TO 1ST BATTALION 9TH MARINES OR ANY OF THE THREE SHIPS BEARING THE NAME "USS MADDOX".


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VERY COOL THREAD!!!


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I "primarily" collect Gulf War 1 patches. All branches (USA, USAF,USN, USMC & USCG) and ALL Countries..
US - Op.'s Desert Shield / Storm / Provide Comfort /Some Southern Watch - F-4G's Wild Weasels
UK - Op.'s Granby / Sabre / Warden
Canadian - Op. Desert Storm / Op. Friction
French - Daguet / Aconit
Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, South Korea, etc.
Looking for the oddities, including unfinished & flaws
I HAVE EXTRA's!! Will trade as well.

 

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