Jump to content
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
craig_pickrall

USN Corpsman Bags

Recommended Posts

The 3rd and 4th bags are size 3 but this example is also a size 3. It looks very much like a standard M1941 Knapsack but it is not. The carry strap is much longer so it can be worn across the chest but it can also be worn below the Haversack like the knapsack. There are also additional small pockets inside and closure snaps on the sides.

 

post-5-1166818863.jpg

post-5-1166818873.jpg

post-5-1166818885.jpg

post-5-1166818896.jpg


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see the bags shown in posts #1 and #2 and described as "Navy Corpman" bags but I don't believe those were what the Corpsmen assigned to the Marines used. They used a bag called the "unit 3" bag that early on had two parts....left and right, hence the 3R and 3L. But I'm told later unit 3's were simplified to have only one bag. Not sure about the one that looks like a knapsack....maybe experimental?

 

James Bradley, in his book, "Flags or our Fathers" tells the story of Japanese soldiers trained to spot "unit 3" bags so they could target Corpman and demoralized the Marines.


Greg Robinson "marine-kabar"

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY**

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/106069-rip-greg-robinson/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of questions on these bags, do the second and third bags have the flap inside that the pill bottle and instrument holders attach to like the Army ones have and if so what do they look like and how do they attach (snaps or laces)? Also, I thought the last beg was a radio bag, I can't find a reference now, maybe some one just told me so I could easily be wrong. I thought they were used with the MAB radio, not to carry the radio itself but for accessories.


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gif

donation2010.gifdonation2011.gifdonation2012.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am pretty sure I have seen pics of the first two bags used by Corpsmen serving with Marines. They were early pics. I don't think the Unit 3 bags were available until mid 1943 or later. I did a little looking for pics but didn't find them so far.

 

Webcat is the one that ID'ed the Knapsack type bag for me. It is marked 3 on the back. I never got the documentation from him before he fell ill. I will see if I can find more on it too. It may have been an attempt to confuse Japanese snipers that were looking for the other style bags.


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you mean the 3rd and 4th bags, right?? There is nothing inside. They are not like the army bags with the lace in compartments.

 

I had guessed that the last bag was a radio bag too until Webcat ID'ed it. He had done lots of research on medical gear so I think he knew what he was talking about.


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to do a follow up on Greg's comments. They are Hospital Corpmen whether attached to the Marines or not. I did not state that these bags were for Marine Corpmen specifically. That having been said I did go back for additional research. The following post is directed at Marine Corpsmen in particular.


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14-280 Canvas Carrying Case

 

Both the large and small bags are known as the Case, Canvas, Carrying, 14-280. The 1939 Hospital Corps Handbook states the small bag is for each Hospital Corpsman and the large bag is for the Chief Pharmacist’s Mate. In 1939 the Navy was using the Army Medic Pouches too. It is believed that the large bag was used for only a short period of time and the small bag became the standard used by all rates.

 

The large and small bag exists with and without a Red Cross on the flap and the large bag exists with and without the belt loop on the back.

 

The bag is part of portable medical supply sets called units. For example Medical Unit 5A included 51 assorted items of which there was one empty 14-280 bag. The bag was also included in Units 5B, 6, 7 and others. The bags were empty in the Units and intended to be loaded with supplies as needed.

 

These bags were carried by Corpsman attached to Marine Units. It probably is correct to say they were used more in the early war years and as other bags became available they saw less use in the field.

 

post-5-1167324713.jpg

 

 

14-450 Medical Pouch (Unit 3)

 

This pouch was part of Medical Units 1 through 4. It was empty and intended to be filled with supplies from the unit as needed. Carrying the supplies from the Medical Unit 3 was just one of the intended uses. It was probably called the Unit 3 Pouch because people associated it more with Corpsmen than other medical personnel.

 

Medical Unit 1 was for Medical Officers

Medical Unit 2 was for Dental Officers

Medical Unit 3 was for Hospital Corpsmen

Medical Unit 4 was for Dental Assistants

 

The pouch could be carried as a single unit with a shoulder strap or in pairs with the Medical Suspenders. These sets were issued to Naval Medical Personnel attached to Marine units beginning in 1942.

 

post-5-1167324759.jpg

 

 

Unknown name or model number

 

This bag was developed late in the war. It is intended to carry the contents of both 14-450 Pouches. It is dived inside to separate components.

 

post-5-1167324798.jpg

 

Other than these bags intended for medical supplies there were many other items used by Corpsmen to carry supplies. It may have been to conceal the fact they were Corpsmen from the enemy snipers, or personal preference or simply because it was what was available for use.


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do the snap-in inserts for the Unit 3L and Unit 3R turn up for sale very often at Militaria Fairs in the States? I'm looking for a pair for my Corpsman Unit 3 bags but I believe they are a bit like "hens teeth"


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gif

donation2010.gifdonation2011.gifdonation2012.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only seen one of the snap in inserts in 35 years of looking.


donation2017.gif

donation2016.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just knew they had to be super rare.

 

I have adapted a pair of repro Medic bag inserts, added snaps, and use these in my bags at the moment.


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gif

donation2010.gifdonation2011.gifdonation2012.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's some pics of a "small" Corpsman pouch I own. Definitely the pre/early war design and made in that distinctive shade of tan used by the Navy and Marines in that period. Note the green dot partially obscuring the red cross and stencilled initials in red ink superimposed over the "USN". Was this an attempt to hide the bag's purpose from Japanese snipers? Or a modification done later when the bag was used for other purposes? I guess we'll never know.

post-4-1200080509.jpg


Greg Robinson "marine-kabar"

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY**

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/106069-rip-greg-robinson/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Unit No. 3 bag made in the pattern similar to the USMC M1941 knapsack. My initial guess was it might be post WW2 being a dark OD color shade. But then I recalled seeing one of the other pattern unit 3 bags that belonged to a collector in the UK, and it was dark OD also. So I now think those are WW2, but made late in the war. There would have been no need for continued production between 1945 and 1950 and I would think there'd still be amples supplies of unit 3 bags early in the Korea War. I'm told a new style corpsman bag was adopted later in the Korean war

post-4-1201038970.jpg

post-4-1201039029.jpg

post-4-1201039056.jpg

post-4-1201039084.jpg


Greg Robinson "marine-kabar"

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY**

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/106069-rip-greg-robinson/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are my two Unit 3 bags.

 

This one is marked 3-L on the rear

 

UNIT3BAGL-FRONT.jpg

 

 

 

UNIT3BAGL-REAR.jpg

 

 

This one is marked 3-R on the rear

 

UNIT3BAGR-FRONT.jpg

 

UNIT3BAGR-REAR.jpg


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gif

donation2010.gifdonation2011.gifdonation2012.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of my Corpsman bag, because I don't see other ones here marked with the same inscription.

post-70-1214531654.jpg


GB

 

 

 

 

 

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

donation2018.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a close up of the inscription. The bag is in good shape, except for that one tear on the bottom.

post-70-1214531854.jpg


GB

 

 

 

 

 

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

donation2018.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.