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hello i’m asking if anyone can help me with my impression. i’m doing 1970 Army 1st infantry division Vietnam war 28th Infantry Black Lions 1st battalion


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Cobra 6 Actual

Looking good! I was in a ‘sister unit’, the 1st of the 2nd (Black Scarves) in 1968-1969.  What you’ve got is absolutely fine so these are just some random thoughts, going from top to bottom:

 

1. Helmet: Not everyone had cool sayings on their helmets, but my recollection is that most guys had something written on them, even if it was just their nickname, service number, or blood type.

 

2. The way you’re carrying the M-60 ammo is fine if you were on an operation in a rice paddy area. But, if you were in jungle, when you bent over what would happen is the tips of the rounds would dig into your neck, so most gunners in those areas carried the ammo belts with the base of the rounds facing in (essentially you would flip the belts over in your photo). The 1st Infantry’s area of operations, III Corps, included both rice paddy areas and dense jungle, so your ammo belt positioning could be correct if you were thinking of rice paddy areas.

 

3. The OD towel was used as both as a way to keep crud off of our necks and as a way to cushion the M-60.

 

4. Our field uniforms were provided by a system of “Direct Exchange (DX)”: when we came in from an op we’d take a shower if possible. There was a pile of uniform jackets and a pile of uniform pants near the shower exit. You found your size and took one of each; leaving the nasty, smelly ones you had worn in the field in other piles. These would be cleaned and repaired and then distributed again the next time we came in from an op. This is the main reason that most guys didn’t have any insignia on their uniforms they wore in the field … we didn’t “own” them or have any expectation of getting the same ones back from the laundry. So, no name tags, no rank indicators, no Battalion identifiers (such as a “Black Lions” patch), no CIBs or jump wings, and so on, There were two exceptions: occasionally you’d pick up a uniform that would have the “U.S. Army” tag sewed over the top of the left pocket and most often there would be a 1st Infantry Division “Big Red One” patch sewed on the left sleeve.

 

5. On your pistol belt you have what looks like a first aid pouch or perhaps a compass pouch. That’s fine. But then you have two magazine pouches. Two things: 1) Why would a gunner carry rifle magazine pouches? (He could be carrying C-rations, etc.; but you need to think that through). 2) If you plan to keep the pouches then you may want to re-position them off to the sides a bit more. A guy carrying “The Pig” would usually return fire from a prone position. Where you have the pouches would prevent him from laying as flat as possible. Same for that C-ration can in the front pocket. I would move it, perhaps to one of the leg pockets.

 

6. The pistol belt looks like its position is a bit high on your body. It should sit just above your hips and below your belly button. (perhaps yours is OK, but I can’t tell from the photo).

 

7. A lot of the guys that carried the M-79 or the M-60 also were issued pistols. Just something for you to consider.

 

8. Sleeves up or sleeves down? We’re back to where the operation was. Rice paddy area, most often sleeves up. Heavy jungle, a lot of guys, myself included, sleeves down.

 

9. Last thing: The boots need to be roughened more so they look like suede almost. 
 

Again, great job!

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16 minutes ago, Cobra 6 Actual said:

Looking good! I was in a ‘sister unit’, the 1st of the 2nd (Black Scarves) in 1968-1969.  What you’ve got is absolutely fine so these are just some random thoughts, going from top to bottom:

 

1. Helmet: Not everyone had cool sayings on their helmets, but my recollection is that most guys had something written on them, even if it was just their nickname, service number, or blood type.

 

2. The way you’re carrying the M-60 ammo is fine if you were on an operation in a rice paddy area. But, if you were in jungle, when you bent over what would happen is the tips of the rounds would dig into your neck, so most gunners in those areas carried the ammo belts with the base of the rounds facing in (essentially you would flip the belts over in your photo). The 1st Infantry’s area of operations, III Corps, included both rice paddy areas and dense jungle, so your ammo belt positioning could be correct if you were thinking of rice paddy areas.

 

3. The OD towel was used as both as a way to keep crud off of our necks and as a way to cushion the M-60.

 

4. Our field uniforms were provided by a system of “Direct Exchange (DX)”: when we came in from an op we’d take a shower if possible. There was a pile of uniform jackets and a pile of uniform pants near the shower exit. You found your size and took one of each; leaving the nasty, smelly ones you had worn in the field in other piles. These would be cleaned and repaired and then distributed again the next time we came in from an op. This is the main reason that most guys didn’t have any insignia on their uniforms they wore in the field … we didn’t “own” them or have any expectation of getting the same ones back from the laundry. So, no name tags, no rank indicators, no Battalion identifiers (such as a “Black Lions” patch), no CIBs or jump wings, and so on, There were two exceptions: occasionally you’d pick up a uniform that would have the “U.S. Army” tag sewed over the top of the left pocket and most often there would be a 1st Infantry Division “Big Red One” patch sewed on the left sleeve.

 

5. On your pistol belt you have what looks like a first aid pouch or perhaps a compass pouch. That’s fine. But then you have two magazine pouches. Two things: 1) Why would a gunner carry rifle magazine pouches? (He could be carrying C-rations, etc.; but you need to think that through). 2) If you plan to keep the pouches then you may want to re-position them off to the sides a bit more. A guy carrying “The Pig” would usually return fire from a prone position. Where you have the pouches would prevent him from laying as flat as possible. Same for that C-ration can in the front pocket. I would move it, perhaps to one of the leg pockets.

 

6. The pistol belt looks like its position is a bit high on your body. It should sit just above your hips and below your belly button. (perhaps yours is OK, but I can’t tell from the photo).

 

7. A lot of the guys that carried the M-79 or the M-60 also were issued pistols. Just something for you to consider.

 

8. Sleeves up or sleeves down? We’re back to where the operation was. Rice paddy area, most often sleeves up. Heavy jungle, a lot of guys, myself included, sleeves down.

 

9. Last thing: The boots need to be roughened more so they look like suede almost. 
 

Again, great job!

thanks so much this is super helpful i’ll put all this into consideration 

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Looks good but you need a .45 pistol holster.  Crew served weapons folks carried a .45 in the 82nd. and one magazine pouch.  The first aid pouch was usually attached to the loops on the side of the magazine pouch.  The two magazine .45 pouch never seemed to show up so the two extra pistol magazines were placed in the M16 pouch.  In the field troops modified their gear as they saw fit.  Helmet cover grafitti was discouraged in the 82nd but names were usually written on the camo band.  Great looking display.

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A pack of cigarettes, C-Ration smokes preferably in the camo band would look good.

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47 minutes ago, Legion72 said:

A pack of cigarettes, C-Ration smokes preferably in the camo band would look good.

me personally i think that is very overdone 

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50 minutes ago, Legion72 said:

Looks good but you need a .45 pistol holster.  Crew served weapons folks carried a .45 in the 82nd. and one magazine pouch.  The first aid pouch was usually attached to the loops on the side of the magazine pouch.  The two magazine .45 pouch never seemed to show up so the two extra pistol magazines were placed in the M16 pouch.  In the field troops modified their gear as they saw fit.  Helmet cover grafitti was discouraged in the 82nd but names were usually written on the camo band.  Great looking display.

thanks :)

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USMC_COLLECTOR

If you are doing 1970, what you could do would be to take the right M56 pouch off your belt and replace it with a two quart canteen in the cover. After 1969 I've seen a lot of guys using the cover on the front of their belts for water. Just a thought

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22 minutes ago, USMC_COLLECTOR said:

If you are doing 1970, what you could do would be to take the right M56 pouch off your belt and replace it with a two quart canteen in the cover. After 1969 I've seen a lot of guys using the cover on the front of their belts for water. Just a thought

ohhh got any photos i’d love to see that 

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USMC_COLLECTOR

Here’s one that I found. Also found another very similar to your setup that’s captioned. 

IMG_7217.png

IMG_7191.png

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439th Signal Battalion

Just FYI.

 

The 1st Infantry had left Vietnam for CONUS in early 1970.  By late 1969, large numbers of personnel who had 10 months or less in the 1st ID had been transferred to other units with combat operations winding down for the unit.  A few hundred were transferred to the 199th LIB.  The image of the RTO above (which is one of mine that I posted years ago on a website) is of D/3-7, 199th LIB in 1969.

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