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WW2 Navy Uniform questions


T-Bone
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Ok here it goes;

 

The colour of socks for wear with Blues by PO and below were white, or blue?

 

Did Bonsuns Mates (BM) each weave there own Bosun's Pipe Lanyards or were they standard issue?

I ask because the lanyards in WW2 pictures often look a bit fancier than the regulation ones I have seen.

 

What year did the Flat Cap change? The front seam was eliminated and the colour became closer to black than blue. I did not notice until I had my WW2 and WW1 types alongsides of each other.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

T-Bone

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Ok here it goes;

 

The colour of socks for wear with Blues by PO and below were white, or blue?

 

Did Bonsuns Mates (BM) each weave there own Bosun's Pipe Lanyards or were they standard issue?

I ask because the lanyards in WW2 pictures often look a bit fancier than the regulation ones I have seen.

 

What year did the Flat Cap change? The front seam was eliminated and the colour became closer to black than blue. I did not notice until I had my WW2 and WW1 types alongsides of each other.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

T-Bone

I'm going to guess you are wanting this information for WW2 or later? The uniform worn for WW2 and after was adopted in 1933. Prior to that they were the more blue, "Flannely" uniforms with wider flat hat. That is when the dark blue wool melton was adopted and the flat hat that you are asking about with out the front seam came into being. That flat hat was finially dropped from the seabag in 1963. Black socks are always the color for wear. There were ocassional periods where white socks were worn with white uniforms, but black is always right.

 

There are no regulation Bosuns lanyards. They are all made individually. Prior to the 1930s, they were simple plain affairs. The Bosuns CALL was not the property of an individual and was passed from one Boatswains Mate of the Watch to his relief as the badge of office so to speak. These lanyards were simply there to keep the Call from falling over the side. They were routinely replaced when they became ratty. While fancy lanyards were found earlier, they were not common. Just before WW2 when the Navy started filling up with guys trying to avoid being drated into the Army by enlisting in the Navy Reserve, making fancy lanyards became a badge of the "Old Salt, Regular Navy Boatswain Mate". This continued post war, and every BM I knew had to make his own before he would be recommended for BM3 (BM3/c, or Cox'n depending on time frame). Many have simple lanyards for every day use, these are generally black for wear with dungarees, and fancyier ones for dress occassions (piping the side for dignataries and such). These are done in black for wear with white uniforms and white for wear with blue uniforms.

 

Up into the late 1950s/early 1960s, they were made of a stuff called "Belfast Cord". A natural fiber twist cord. It is no longer made, so now any small stuff is generally used. The most common I remember was white Nylon or cotton that could be died black.

 

Do not be confused with photos of Span-Am Sailors who all seem to be wearing a white lanyard of a uniform style (flat synet with a turks head. This was a uniform item used from 1883 to 1913. It was worn with all unfiorms by all Sailors. It was called a "Knife Lanyard", but was actually used to keep the Sailors locker key. Many folks see these old pictures and think that just about every one in the Navy was a Boatswains Mate and carried a Call with them every where they went. Oh yeah, officially the "pipe" is called a "Call" "The BM PIPES CALLs on his CALL". Just another of those obscure odd Navy things that doesen't really make any sense and few people even know anymore, but neat to know any way.

 

Steve Hesson

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Thanks Steve, I was going to just shoot you a PM with these but figured I would put it out there for all to see.

 

Also hoping to draw some interest to the Navy side of the house.

 

T-Bone

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Thanks Steve, I was going to just shoot you a PM with these but figured I would put it out there for all to see.

 

Also hoping to draw some interest to the Navy side of the house.

 

T-Bone

It's pretty hard to get musc interest without a ship to work with. There are Sea Bea units, but that is a different thing. And, unless you can fit into original items there is only one source for repro SUN uniforms and they are not quite right. I do a Civil War Sailor impression. I have been lucky to do it on the Constellation and in naval displays in museums. Living along the Mississippi also helps as there was a lot of Naval action there during the war. I am hoping to put together a WWS Chief Signalman inpression (that's what I was in the Navy) and possibilly work with a museum ship up the road, but again, I have to make all my own uniforms and stuff. And then convince the museum that I am not just a reenactor and actually know what I am talking about.

 

Steve Hesson

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It's pretty hard to get musc interest without a ship to work with. There are Sea Bea units, but that is a different thing. And, unless you can fit into original items there is only one source for repro SUN uniforms and they are not quite right. I do a Civil War Sailor impression. I have been lucky to do it on the Constellation and in naval displays in museums. Living along the Mississippi also helps as there was a lot of Naval action there during the war. I am hoping to put together a WWS Chief Signalman inpression (that's what I was in the Navy) and possibilly work with a museum ship up the road, but again, I have to make all my own uniforms and stuff. And then convince the museum that I am not just a reenactor and actually know what I am talking about.

 

Steve Hesson

 

I agree, part of the reason why I have considered a Coast Guard impression.

 

As for SUN uniforms, I take it you mean whites? I think WW2 impressions is the only dealer who stocks them.

Are they not right for WW2? They look a lot like a set of Custom Made whites I had made in the Hawaiian Islands before 1941.

 

I lucked out a while back and got 2 sets of original blues in my size, the jumpers are 50 and the trousers are 46 waist (a little large but better that way than the other) and I picked up a Flat Hat in 7 3/4. I just picked up a third jumper (size 52) in serge, not melton, came with a PM2/ HM2 crow with 1945 stiched in the back.

 

Dixie cups are not a real problem but do require a bit of luck to get real cotton ones. So all of what was just a neat idea before becomes doable. Though I am still looking for a working dress jumper.

 

Now I am squirling away chambray shirts when I can find them, trying to find 100 % cotton is hard as heck now.

I also know of the problem with dungarees and the changes in pocket shape over the years. Who thought work clothes would be the pain.

 

I have my Civil War jumpers around here and I look through the catalog (Hesson's ) with lust in my heart.

If I was back in Virginia there would be more opportunities than here in Louisiana, even though there were Navy forces in the Red River Campaign here in Shreveport.

 

T-Bone

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I agree, part of the reason why I have considered a Coast Guard impression.

 

As for SUN uniforms, I take it you mean whites? I think WW2 impressions is the only dealer who stocks them.

Are they not right for WW2? They look a lot like a set of Custom Made whites I had made in the Hawaiian Islands before 1941.

 

I lucked out a while back and got 2 sets of original blues in my size, the jumpers are 50 and the trousers are 46 waist (a little large but better that way than the other) and I picked up a Flat Hat in 7 3/4. I just picked up a third jumper (size 52) in serge, not melton, came with a PM2/ HM2 crow with 1945 stiched in the back.

 

Dixie cups are not a real problem but do require a bit of luck to get real cotton ones. So all of what was just a neat idea before becomes doable. Though I am still looking for a working dress jumper.

 

Now I am squirling away chambray shirts when I can find them, trying to find 100 % cotton is hard as heck now.

I also know of the problem with dungarees and the changes in pocket shape over the years. Who thought work clothes would be the pain.

 

I have my Civil War jumpers around here and I look through the catalog (Hesson's ) with lust in my heart.

If I was back in Virginia there would be more opportunities than here in Louisiana, even though there were Navy forces in the Red River Campaign here in Shreveport.

 

T-Bone

ooops, I meant USN uniforms (fat fingers). They have isues. Are the original blues you found in the larger sizes pre-1950 (WW2) or post 1950? The only real exterior visible differances are in the trousers.

 

WW2 impressions stuff is not bad, but I look at original stuff just about every day, It's about all I do, so I see things that most people miss or don't notice.

 

Steve Hesson

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ooops, I meant USN uniforms (fat fingers). They have isues. Are the original blues you found in the larger sizes pre-1950 (WW2) or post 1950? The only real exterior visible differances are in the trousers.

 

WW2 impressions stuff is not bad, but I look at original stuff just about every day, It's about all I do, so I see things that most people miss or don't notice.

 

Steve Hesson

 

I would bet post-1950 but they have all of the old pattern labels.

 

What are the differences, since my last pair of WW2 pants are on a friends mannequin in Alaska...or his girlfriend who fell in love the first time she saw the set.

 

I am also curious, when did stripes and insignia (red cross for HM/PM,hash marks etc.) get embroided in vs. applied as red felt. The reason I ask is the HM2 Rate has an embroidered Red Cross but the stripes are applied red felt. I also picked up thre hashmarks that are embroidered on a melton cloth which I would swear was WW2.

 

Like I said curious.

T-Bone

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I would bet post-1950 but they have all of the old pattern labels.

 

What are the differences, since my last pair of WW2 pants are on a friends mannequin in Alaska...or his girlfriend who fell in love the first time she saw the set.

 

I am also curious, when did stripes and insignia (red cross for HM/PM,hash marks etc.) get embroided in vs. applied as red felt. The reason I ask is the HM2 Rate has an embroidered Red Cross but the stripes are applied red felt. I also picked up thre hashmarks that are embroidered on a melton cloth which I would swear was WW2.

 

Like I said curious.

T-Bone

First off, the lables of WW2 manufactured uniforms are Naval Clothing Factory. They have no size on them. Post 50 are the standard modern type

 

With the trousers, the differances between WW2 and post is that the WW2 trousers have small eyelets set in towards the tops of the front pockets. They also have a zipper set in the left hand (as you wear them) front pocket. The pockets are actually in the waist band. Post WW2 trousers do not have the eyelets, no zipper and the pockets are set in at the seam where the waist band attaches. There will also be two loops of black ctton sewn into the inside, on the sides where the waist band attaches to the trousers.

 

The jumpers fo WW2 had two pairs of eyelets set into the side seams at the hem, and most had draw strings in the hem. These features were dropped in post WW2 jumpers. Now, you can find WW2 jumpers without the draw strings and sometimes with out the eyelets, but not too often. Most you find like that were tailored to shorten the jumper and these items were just left off during the tailoring.

 

Some rating badges began to be made with fully embroidered chevrons in about '43 or '44, but not many. They continued to be made that way until the late fourties/early fifties, however, the sewn tape type were not withdrawen from service and continued to be used as long as the stocks of them lasted. My father retired from the Navy in 1967 and had sewn tape crow and hash marks on his dress blues. I have a left arm Chief Signalman crow which would be after 1958, and it has sewn tape chevrons.

 

WW2 though, sewn tape was most common. The rate marks were always pretty much embroidered.

 

The whites also had the small eyelets in both the trousers and jumpers.

 

Steve Hesson

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First off, the lables of WW2 manufactured uniforms are Naval Clothing Factory. They have no size on them. Post 50 are the standard modern type

 

With the trousers, the differances between WW2 and post is that the WW2 trousers have small eyelets set in towards the tops of the front pockets. They also have a zipper set in the left hand (as you wear them) front pocket. The pockets are actually in the waist band. Post WW2 trousers do not have the eyelets, no zipper and the pockets are set in at the seam where the waist band attaches. There will also be two loops of black ctton sewn into the inside, on the sides where the waist band attaches to the trousers.

 

The jumpers fo WW2 had two pairs of eyelets set into the side seams at the hem, and most had draw strings in the hem. These features were dropped in post WW2 jumpers. Now, you can find WW2 jumpers without the draw strings and sometimes with out the eyelets, but not too often. Most you find like that were tailored to shorten the jumper and these items were just left off during the tailoring.

 

Steve Hesson

 

OK here we go because I am a bit confused right now.

 

My trousers have;

 

The Naval Clothing Factory Label w/ no size

The zipper in the left pocket

No eyelets

The Pockets are set in the seam where the waistband attaches

Two black cotton loops are present

 

The trousers appear to be a blend of the two types. If it help the second pair came in a brown paper bag as issued.

 

My Jumper has;

 

The Naval Clothing Factory Label, w/ the size (50R) and cleaning instructions

No eyelets on the side seams, but cotton loops on the sides

No Drawstring

 

I have a 1973 Jumper in melton wool and the label is very different but it has a lot of common features, like it is a jumper.

 

I checked out the wool jumper which had the 1945 rate patch (big one also 50-52, dealer was going to toss it after he removed the rate but gave it to me) and it is layed out just like this Sz 50 one but of the gaberdine (?) wool matching the rate patch.

 

So what do you think? Some where between 1940's and 1950's?

 

I never gave it much thought before.

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OK here we go because I am a bit confused right now.

 

My trousers have;

 

The Naval Clothing Factory Label w/ no size

The zipper in the left pocket

No eyelets

The Pockets are set in the seam where the waistband attaches

Two black cotton loops are present

 

The trousers appear to be a blend of the two types. If it help the second pair came in a brown paper bag as issued.

 

My Jumper has;

 

The Naval Clothing Factory Label, w/ the size (50R) and cleaning instructions

No eyelets on the side seams, but cotton loops on the sides

No Drawstring

 

I have a 1973 Jumper in melton wool and the label is very different but it has a lot of common features, like it is a jumper.

 

I checked out the wool jumper which had the 1945 rate patch (big one also 50-52, dealer was going to toss it after he removed the rate but gave it to me) and it is layed out just like this Sz 50 one but of the gaberdine (?) wool matching the rate patch.

 

So what do you think? Some where between 1940's and 1950's?

 

I never gave it much thought before.

Sounds like you have very late war/imediate post war. The dropping of the eyelets and draw string was actually called for in a 1940 contract, to be instituted when the older stocks were depleated. But, WW2 happened, and the Navy had other things to worry about. As the WW2 stocks ran out, the replacement items were made to the new specs, that's what you have. The gaberdine jumper would be a tailor made item.

 

 

Steve Hesson

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