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


Bob Hudson
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@ DutchInfid3l : The Air Policeman picture(s) -- really great. Thanks for posting.

 

I agree... that is is a neat photo!

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A USAF 1st Sgt. looks on approvingly while his commanding officer seems to be signifying a preference for San Miguel beer (ca. 1955).

 

post-1963-1313888883.jpg

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WWII combat medic with an interesting backstory to judge from his ribbons.

 

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I've never seen before (what I presume) is the combat medic badge above the ribbons. Was that used by all branches of service?

 

***** Thanks for the post.

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...the combat medic badge above the ribbons. Was that used by all branches of service?

The Combat Medical Badge is an Army award. When it was created (January 1945) it was intended to be a parallel award to the Combat Infantryman Badge. It was awarded to combat medics serving in Infantry units of regimental size or smaller under criteria similar to CIB awards. Taking the picture at face value, this USAF Master Sergeant evidently served in WWII as an Army combat medic with an Infantry unit in ETO/MTO/NATO, as indicated by his EAME ribbon with four service stars, and note that he also earned a Purple Heart while he was at it.

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Airmen on duty in Korea ca. 1953 (detached from 136th Communications Security Squadron, Nagoya Air Base, Japan). Note the eclectic uniform combinations and their "Eight Ball" cap insignia.

 

post-1963-1314410168.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Another sighting of the USAF cotton summer service jacket (aka: "bush jacket"), worn here by the officer assisting in this award ceremony, standing beside the Colonel who is presenting a medal to the staff sergeant. Detachment 3, TUSLOG (somewhere in Turkey) ca. 1958.

 

post-1963-1317462448.jpg

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Another sighting of the USAF cotton summer service jacket (aka: "bush jacket"), worn here by the officer assisting in this award ceremony, standing beside the Colonel who is presenting a medal to the staff sergeant. Detachment 3, TUSLOG (somewhere in Turkey) ca. 1958.

 

post-1963-1317462448.jpg

 

Thanks for the post. Do you know how long the bush jacket -- along with the matching shorts and "pith" helmet --were in use? Seems the uniform didn't make it very far into the '60s, if at all.

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Air Policeman wearing a Segram's "Short-Timer" ribbon (on his right pocket), 734th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron, Morocco ca. 1960.

 

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Do you have info regarding the "short timer" ribbon?

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...Do you know how long the bush jacket -- along with the matching shorts and "pith" helmet --were in use?

The “bush jacket” and shorts were authorized in 1955. They were first available in the fall of that year by purchase in Air Force Exchanges or base clothing sales stores and in July 1956 as initial issue to newly enlisted airmen. The USAF sun helmet undoubtedly was on duty as organizational equipment long before 1955. By regulation, the sun helmet could "... be prescribed as ‘required’ when issued as organizational equipment…” (meaning that the sun helmet was not a required personal uniform item). I’ve never seen a documented phase out date for the “bush jacket” but I have seen anecdotally that it was eliminated in 1965 and that the shorts stayed on the books until all USAF tan uniforms were eliminated (1970s?)

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...Do you have info regarding the "short timer" ribbon?

The black-and-gold short-timer ribbon was a fad of the 1950s and ’60s (and maybe even before and/or after that period). It was used to signify that the wearer was approaching some such service milestone as transfer (particularly from overseas) or discharge. The ribbon itself came with bottles of Seagram’s V.O. Canadian whiskey (see below). In practice, the short-timer acquired a bottle of V.O. to celebrate his status (perhaps as a gift from his envious comrades) and attached the ribbon to his uniform to show his short-timer colors. This was all completely unofficial and unauthorized, of course. Wearing the ribbon was tolerated in some units and not in others. In any case, it was probably prudent to leave the ribbon easy to remove (as the pictured A.P. has done) in case of encounters with a military superior whose disapproval might matter to the short-timer.

 

post-1963-1317521205.jpg

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The black-and-gold short-timer ribbon was a fad of the 1950s and ’60s (and maybe even before and/or after that period). It was used to signify that the wearer was approaching some such service milestone as transfer (particularly from overseas) or discharge. The ribbon itself came with bottles of Seagram’s V.O. Canadian whiskey (see below). In practice, the short-timer acquired a bottle of V.O. to celebrate his status (perhaps as a gift from his envious comrades) and attached the ribbon to his uniform to show his short-timer colors. This was all completely unofficial and unauthorized, of course. Wearing the ribbon was tolerated in some units and not in others. In any case, it was probably prudent to leave the ribbon easy to remove (as the pictured A.P. has done) in case of encounters with a military superior whose disapproval might matter to the short-timer.

 

post-1963-1317521205.jpg

 

I figured the ribbon wasn't authorized, but didn't know anything about the story behind it all. Thanks for the information.....

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The “bush jacket” and shorts were authorized in 1955. They were first available in the fall of that year by purchase in Air Force Exchanges or base clothing sales stores and in July 1956 as initial issue to newly enlisted airmen. The USAF sun helmet undoubtedly was on duty as organizational equipment long before 1955. By regulation, the sun helmet could "... be prescribed as ‘required’ when issued as organizational equipment…” (meaning that the sun helmet was not a required personal uniform item). I’ve never seen a documented phase out date for the “bush jacket” but I have seen anecdotally that it was eliminated in 1965 and that the shorts stayed on the books until all USAF tan uniforms were eliminated (1970s?)

 

I have an enlisted USAF sun helmet with a quartermaster's stamp of 1948 on the inside, so it does seem they were in use way before the bush-jacket came in.

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...I have an enlisted USAF sun helmet with a quartermaster's stamp of 1948 on the inside, so it does seem they were in use way before the bush-jacket came in...

 

DutchInfid3l has posted some excellent pictures of the USAF sun helmet being worn in formations and other settings at Johnston Island AFB ca. mid-1955 (link here). You should be able to work back from here to find other uses of this helmet going back to 1948 and, probably, earlier.

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A WAF barracks scene ca. 1950 (the photo has a "Randolph AFB" stamp on its reverse). The seven WAFs sitting on bunks on the left side of the scene and the Sergeant seated on the footlocker are wearing Army style uniforms and the five of them with discernible collar insignia are wearing pierced "wing-and-prop" discs on their left collar points. The lone exception is the WAF Private seated in the background (partially obscured by the Sergeant), who is wearing the new pattern USAF two-piece summer service dress, which was just rolling out in 1950 (source p. 230 The Air Officer's Guide, 5th ed., 1951).

 

post-1963-1318117571.jpg

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Another early WAF (ca. 1948). In this picture Private Patricia Rahe is taking a break from basic training in San Antonio, Texas. She is wearing the contemporary Army WAC uniform, with double sets of collar insignia discs per Army regulation of 1948. Link here to see a newspaper report of her enlistment in the WAF and link here to see more about the establishment of the WAF in June 1948 and the first WAF enlistment of record.

 

post-1963-1318183355.jpg

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Another early WAF (ca. 1948). In this picture Private Patricia Rahe is taking a break from basic training in San Antonio, Texas. She is wearing the contemporary Army WAC uniform, with double sets of collar insignia discs per Army regulation of 1948. Link here to see a newspaper report of her enlistment in the WAF and link here to see more about the establishment of the WAF in June 1948 and the first WAF enlistment of record.

 

post-1963-1318183355.jpg

 

Nice pic. I'm wondering about the braid piping (that appears to be) around her overseas cap. Think they were still using the AAF colors?

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