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post WWII, 50's & 60's US Air Force uniform photos


Bob Hudson
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...Does anyone know the "wear-out" date for Army uniforms being worn in the USAF?

I have a complete run of USAF directives on this subject but they are out my reach right now. Maybe someone else can answer sooner, but in the meantime, 1952 is my recollection of the approximate year of mandatory switch to USAF blues. A 4-pocket OD service coat probably would not have been worn in the USAF anywhere near that long, as it was long out of issue even in the Army, in preference to the Ike jacket. More later.

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...Does anyone know the "wear-out" date for Army uniforms being worn in the USAF?
...I have a complete run of USAF directives on this subject but they are out my reach right now...More later.

Here's the rest of the story:

Regarding the Army pattern 4-button OD service coat for enlisted men: Not authorized for USAF wear as of September 1, 1948, at the latest. The governing USAF directive was Air Force Letter No. 35-4, dated September 1, 1948, entitled: USAF Uniforms for Male Personnel. The prescribed USAF winter uniform for enlisted men was "Jacket, Winter: Serge, Army shade No. 33, as issued..." (in other words, the OD Ike jacket) along with trousers of matching material and the other uniform articles comprising the standard Army winter uniform for enlisted men. In fact, AFL 35-4 explicitly states that then current Army uniform regulations would continue to apply in the USAF until further notice. (Note: According to Emerson, the Army stopped general issue of the 4-pocket service coat during WWII in favor of the Ike jacket, except for limited use in special units, such as the U.S. Constabulary in Germany.)

Regarding the mandatory cut-off date for USAF wear of Army pattern uniforms: July 1, 1952. The USAF directive announcing this policy was Air Force Letter No. 35-46, dated April 8, 1949, entitled: The New Air Force Uniforms for Male Personnel. Key points from this directive:

 

"The new Air Force blue uniforms, shade #84, winter, and the new summer uniforms...may be purchased and worn immediately by officers, warrant officers, and airmen...Distribution of the new blue uniforms will be made to activities as soon as stocks are available; however, general issue to airmen is expected on or about 1 September 1950...

 

"On or after 1 September 1950, the new uniforms...are authorized for wear at all times, by airmen, regardless of station or assignment. Initial issue of the Army-type uniforms will cease on or about the above-mentioned date, provided that all practicable usable stock has been declared economically unserviceable through fair wear and tear by that date...All military personnel of the Air Force are authorized to wear existing Army-type clothing until 1 July 1952; thereafter, the new Air Force uniforms as prescribed herein will be required for wear by officers, warrant officers, and airmen."

Regarding insignia worn by USAF enlisted men during the transition: Either Army or USAF insignia was authorized, depending on the local situation. The governing directive was Air Force Letter No. 39-25, dated 23 August 1948, entitled: USAF Enlisted Insignia. The policy: Enlisted men will continue to wear [Army] insignia items currently issued until new [uSAF] insignia authorized below are available at a particular Air Force base or installation in quantities sufficient for a complete issue to all enlisted men at that activity. Issue of the new insignia will then be made." In practice, it is likely that USAF chevrons began immediately to appear on USAF Army-pattern uniforms as they were commercially available.

 

This picture shows an group of airmen wearing blues soon after they became generally available for issue in September 1950:

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Going through duffle bags found these in the first three I rechecked. Have more, but have to go through them again. First is a 1st A.F.

post-470-1250896322.jpg

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Going through duffle bags found these in the first three I rechecked. Have more, but have to go through them again. First is a 1st A.F.

post-470-1250896351.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Just inkeeping with this thread....

 

1. RAF Celle Airmen's Club, W.Germany, 1948 during Berlin Airlift. My Dad the only airman with the new blue USAF chevron. Wartime USSTAF patch on right shoulder.

 

2. 1948 Ike with new blue USAF chevrons, and theater made USAFE patch on felt.

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Airman 1st Class -- or was it still called sergeant then? -- Gordon Ellis. England, 1951. USSTAF patch has moved over onto left shoulder of his blues. Note hash mark on left sleeve.

My Dad served in USAAF/USAF from 1943 thru 1969.

post-7471-1254977116.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

These flight line scenes show Brigadier General Keith K. Compton, USAF, arriving at Ben Guerir Air Base, Morocco, ca. 1959. General Compton is wearing the USAF's new Cotton Summer Service Jacket (also seen on the partially obscured officer standing next to him in the first picture). More colloquially called the "bush jacket," this innovation is described in Air Force Manual 35-10, dated 5 May 1959.

 

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Note: The "Standard Jacket" (left drawing) is the Air Force Ike jacket. This edition of

AFM 35-10 announced its eventual phase out following "...an adequate wear-out period."

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Air Force Manual 31-10 (5 May 1959) announced that the Air Force's winter and summer "Ike Jacket" would be phased out following an unspecified wear-out period:

 

post-1963-1258246329.jpg

That phase out period ended May 31, 1964 (link here).

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  • 1 month later...

This Captain's promotion was a BIG event: October 6, 1955 (1st Lt. DOR March 13, 1946). He was OIC, Productions Section, 6004th Air Intelligence Service Squadron, Shiroi Air Base, Japan. In addition to the supersize bars on the new Captain's shoulders, we see an eclectic array of transition era uniforms worn by members of "Braun's Bandits" lined up behind him.

 

post-1963-1261638567.jpg

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  • 2 months later...
vostoktrading

Here are some usefull photos of those odd, straight, early Air Force stripes we've all seen over the years but were always unclear about what they were.

I found this box with 200 patches at a gun show about 15 years ago. Then as now the attraction was more the label on the box rather than the patches. I resubmit these pictures at the urging of Wailuna to preserve the record. Jon.

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  • 4 weeks later...
post-1963-1269763004.jpg

Don't mess with us!

The "More-Bang-For-Your-Buck" BINGO Buddies (thanks to Charlie Flick).

 

 

That is a great picture!

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  • 2 months later...

The two transition era aircrewmen on the right are wearing Army pattern Master Sergeant chevrons, while the Tech. Sergeant on the left is wearing new Air Force chevrons. The man standing between them is identified as a Corporal but his stripes are not visible (and the officer in the center shows just the hint of a shoulder patch on his left sleeve). The scene is of undated Korean War vintage. The B-29 "That's It" was assigned to 28th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) based at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. From the caption: "...this bomb-packing Superfort totaled just 5 minutes short of 169 hours during 15 missions over Korea last month." Date WAG: ca. 1950/52.

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