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USMC WW2 UNIS mark quandry - 1st & 3rd Divisions


Sgt. Boghots
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Since long before currently available references for UNIS marked equipment were readily available, I've owned and seen a number of items from the 3rd Division which used a "horizontal" versus "vertical" diamond. Intuitively, and in keeping with the early war design of the 1st Division's use of a vertical diamond shape for their patch, it always seemed like the vertical diamond would have made sense for 1st Division equipment. However photographic evidence of vehicles and equipment, along with equipment I have owned, bears out 1st Division use of the UNIS "horizontal" diamond.

 

Likewise however, I've found equal substantiation of the 3rd Division also using the "horizontal" diamond. In fact, I can't actually say that I've ever owned marked gear or recall seeing photos of a "vertical" diamond in period use by the 3rd Division.

 

While I don't doubt that by regulation guidelines the "vertical" diamond could have been specified for the 3rd Division, I've got my own pet theory about why I haven't seen it: the elongated vertical diamond would have been very difficult to apply horizontal markings inside of, unless it was made very large. The width of the diamond would need to be about that of the width of the 4th & 5th Division UNIS marks, in order to include markings within its boundry. That would have made the diamond's height too large to be practical on personal gear; even pretty big on vehicles, though possible.

 

Below are photos of three items:

 

The first is my uncle's depot mfg'd. D-Ring 1941 pack, that he was issued in the spring of 1942, and carried through the Iwo Jima campaign in 1945. His name is written on it in a couple of places, though not stenciled. He was first assigned to the 2nd Medical Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Division at Camp Elliott. He was among those 9th Marines commanded by Lem Shephard, who were detached from the 2nd Division to form the nucleus of the 3rd Division. This pack made the march from Camp Elliott to the newly opened Camp Pendleton. My uncle, Plt Sgt Dan Bridge, was eventually the 1st Sgt. of "D" Company, 3rd Medical Battalion. His marine riflemen were in charge of patrol and security for the BN, and the major share of their combat was on Guam and Iwo, though his records show extensive patrolling on Guadalcanal too, in 1943.

 

The second item is the seabag of N.J. Kaufhold, whom I believe to have been a member of the 21st Marines. Afraid I don't have any further information about his service, other than what is stenciled on his seabag. Those places and their sequence would be in-line with 3rd Division service. As to the stars by Bougainville and Iwo, all I've got is speculation. Wounded maybe ? Perhaps made the initial beach landings at those two ? I can't say for sure.

 

The third item is a photo from a Purple Heart grouping I had some years ago. The original picture stayed with the grouping, however I kept a copy for my research files. Front and center is Sgt. Ray Fernwood, as was marked on the back of the picture. He does show up in the roster included in the unit history for the 9th Marines, joining the regiment in Nov. '44 and transferred in Apr. '45. - He was wounded on Iwo Jima. I don't know where he came from before the 9th Marines, but those sure look like Paramarine boots he's wearing in the picture. I'm still curious about that.

 

But all that aside, toward the right side of the group of men is a crate standing on end, with a horozontal diamond UNIS marking; "100" inside the diamond.

 

Anyway, I'm probably making a mountain out of a mole hill here, but I'd enjoy getting other opinions on my UNIS marking quandry !!

 

Best regards,

Paul

 

'41 pack of Plt Sgt D.R. Bridge

 

post-6057-1258934980.jpg

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1st MarDiv = vertical diamond, 3rd MarDiv = horizontal diamond. Both reference books are incorrect. 

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On 11/22/2009 at 4:18 PM, Sgt. Boghots said:

Since long before currently available references for UNIS marked equipment were readily available, I've owned and seen a number of items from the 3rd Division which used a "horizontal" versus "vertical" diamond. Intuitively, and in keeping with the early war design of the 1st Division's use of a vertical diamond shape for their patch, it always seemed like the vertical diamond would have made sense for 1st Division equipment. However photographic evidence of vehicles and equipment, along with equipment I have owned, bears out 1st Division use of the UNIS "horizontal" diamond.

 

Likewise however, I've found equal substantiation of the 3rd Division also using the "horizontal" diamond. In fact, I can't actually say that I've ever owned marked gear or recall seeing photos of a "vertical" diamond in period use by the 3rd Division.

 

While I don't doubt that by regulation guidelines the "vertical" diamond could have been specified for the 3rd Division, I've got my own pet theory about why I haven't seen it: the elongated vertical diamond would have been very difficult to apply horizontal markings inside of, unless it was made very large. The width of the diamond would need to be about that of the width of the 4th & 5th Division UNIS marks, in order to include markings within its boundry. That would have made the diamond's height too large to be practical on personal gear; even pretty big on vehicles, though possible.

 

Below are photos of three items:

 

The first is my uncle's depot mfg'd. D-Ring 1941 pack, that he was issued in the spring of 1942, and carried through the Iwo Jima campaign in 1945. His name is written on it in a couple of places, though not stenciled. He was first assigned to the 2nd Medical Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Division at Camp Elliott. He was among those 9th Marines commanded by Lem Shephard, who were detached from the 2nd Division to form the nucleus of the 3rd Division. This pack made the march from Camp Elliott to the newly opened Camp Pendleton. My uncle, Plt Sgt Dan Bridge, was eventually the 1st Sgt. of "D" Company, 3rd Medical Battalion. His marine riflemen were in charge of patrol and security for the BN, and the major share of their combat was on Guam and Iwo, though his records show extensive patrolling on Guadalcanal too, in 1943.

 

The second item is the seabag of N.J. Kaufhold, whom I believe to have been a member of the 21st Marines. Afraid I don't have any further information about his service, other than what is stenciled on his seabag. Those places and their sequence would be in-line with 3rd Division service. As to the stars by Bougainville and Iwo, all I've got is speculation. Wounded maybe ? Perhaps made the initial beach landings at those two ? I can't say for sure.

 

The third item is a photo from a Purple Heart grouping I had some years ago. The original picture stayed with the grouping, however I kept a copy for my research files. Front and center is Sgt. Ray Fernwood, as was marked on the back of the picture. He does show up in the roster included in the unit history for the 9th Marines, joining the regiment in Nov. '44 and transferred in Apr. '45. - He was wounded on Iwo Jima. I don't know where he came from before the 9th Marines, but those sure look like Paramarine boots he's wearing in the picture. I'm still curious about that.

 

But all that aside, toward the right side of the group of men is a crate standing on end, with a horozontal diamond UNIS marking; "100" inside the diamond.

 

Anyway, I'm probably making a mountain out of a mole hill here, but I'd enjoy getting other opinions on my UNIS marking quandry !!

 

Best regards,

Paul

 

'41 pack of Plt Sgt D.R. Bridge

 

post-6057-1258934980.jpg

 

<735> for your uncle Daniel R. Bridge is for Service Troops, 3rd Medical Battalion, Company D, so that jives with what information you gave about him. Anything starting with a seven inside a horizontal diamond is for 3rd MarDiv Service Troops, which includes a medical battalion, transportation battalion and supply battalion. I have a sea bag with <744> on it and that jives with the Marine as Service Troops, 3rd Transportation Battalion, Co. C, which I verified on his muster roll.

 

<742> for Norbert J. Kaufhold is Service Troops, 3rd Transportation Battalion, Co. A, which jives with his muster roll.

 

<100> for Raymond F. Fernwood is HQ Battalion, 9th Marines and that jives with his muster roll. I have identified other 9th Marines unis markings and they all start with a #1. I also believe that whatever is in the background is a horizontal diamond and it's just standing on its side. 

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