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Various WW1 Uniforms


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Kurt, The pair of chevrons were the second thing I noticed. My first question would be why is the SSI on the right shoulder? I have NEVER seen a WWI uniform with a shoulder patch on the wrong sleeve.

I think your opinion that the uniform may have been reconstructed by the veteran might be accurate.

I love that bullion Statue of Liberty though!

Allan

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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I would tend to agree with the reconstructed theory. Note that the collar brass are opposite of the regs as well. The Infantry brass being on the right side and the US on the left collar. It could also be that a relative has reconstructed the vets uniform and got the insignia placement wrong. Nevertheless, it's still a nice looking uniform.

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I wonder also if the patch was removed for drycleaning, though from the condition it seems unlikely. Certainly the bullion would have been damaged with any sort of tumbling. I suspect that someone reassembled it incorrectly. I have seen sewn-on ribbons put on inverted too, so that is a possiblity.

 

Nice outfit, either way.

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I hope you, or any one else for that matter, do not take this wrong and in view of the response you have received on your other recent post, I do not mean to sound negative or to put you down but I have a few problems with this uniform. Given the cost of rare and desirable uniforms like this and the greed and willingness to take advantage of collectors of many dealers I believe you have to look at uniforms with an eye to what is wrong with it, not to how it might be right. I believe the main object of this and all other forums is to exchange information and not just show and tell and even if the information is not what you want to hear it helps increase the knowledge of every one and that is what we are after. Now that being said, here I go. Soldiers going home after the war were issued a new uniform to wear home and the patches were usually added then so the excellent condition of your uniform and patch are to be expected however the collar discs show quite a bit of wear, compare them to the buttons and yes he may have mover the old ones to his new uniform but it would be unlikely. Next the medals show considerable wear and he would not have received them until he was home and you would expect them to be in the same condition as the uniform. The 92nd Div was authorized the Meuse-Argonne and Defensive Sector Bars not the France Bar. The shoulder patch is sewn on with very prominent white stitches and the Discharge Stripe is not, it is most likely that on a going home uniform all insignias would have been added at the same time. There are also no overseas stripes. I know none of these things for sure make this uniform wrong but when you are paying more then the sum of the parts for a uniform, to my way of thinking, all it takes is enough to tilt the scale towards the wrong side. I have no problem with a uniform made up as a representative piece with original and proper insignia as long as as it is sold for the sum of the parts and not as a rare original. This is my opinion and you can take it or leave it for that it is worth.

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I am not a World War I collector but I have to agree with QED4.When you pay a lot of moneyfor rare stuff you do need to look at what is wrong. I noticed the stitching on the patch first thing. I am not saying its not right but when I see things that bother me.. I just don't buy it. I wait until I get one that doesnt have the problems and then I have the warm fuzzy.

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While this is a very nice uniform, I view it as a "reconstructed" or perhaps simply a "constructed" uniform as well. I have no particular problem with constructed uniforms but they should be viewed and understood as such. A uniform can be constructed out of proper period parts but the question always arises, was it worn in that configuration during the actual time of use.

 

While Chris did not specifically ask for an opinion on this uniform, he has posted it asking if it might be a lost batallion uniform. subsequently, he has gotten several opinions, so here is one more.

 

I go by the three strike rule of how many red flags I can find on one of my (or anyone else's) uniforms. First, is the fact that the unit patch is sewn on the wrong shoulder that is mentioned by both Chris and Allan. Second, is the fact it improperly has two sets of Sergeant chevrons as mentioned by Kurt. Third, the collar brass is on backward as pointed out by Lee. Gil mentions that it appears reassembled to him and I agree that it is certainly assembled incorrectly.

 

I think it is important here to critically look at all posted militaria and point out any observed issues/problems that are seen so all viewing collectors can understand what is right and what is wrong with various items. I have some issues with this uniform if it is to be viewed as being worn in this manner during the time of use. If it is viewed as a constructed, or assembled, uniform it should be noted that it is assembled improperly according to then existing regulations.

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Okay, you guys need to calm down. All of my WWI uniforms, except for ONE, and that is an Aero, came directly out of houses. This one came from a "house call" in I believe 1998. The New York State service medal was found in the pocket, and the victory medal was already on the uniform.

 

I have an "almost mint" in the box WWI victory medal, that came with a 33rd Engineer's tunic, which I can also post for your scrutiny. The tunic has seen better days, but as is the case with all of my WWI tunics, is 100% right. It is interesting to note that the tunics condition does not in any way, shape, or form, match the condition of the medal. The medal does not, and never had any bars on it, although in theory, it should!

 

Anyone that has been in this field for a long time, must admit that the proverbial "textbook example" simply does not exist. There is a thousand variables that attribute to a piece, and it's state of being. I have seen cases of people, including MYSELF pulling German helmets out of houses, and 10 people will say it's a fake, and 10, or less will say it's ok - when you, yourself know that it is right. It's insane, and it gets a little tiring.

 

To add to the variation in our field, let me give you another example. A number of years ago I had purchased an SA dagger with a totally unmarked blade. There was no maker, and no "Alles Fur Deutchland" on it. When shown to several collectors, they thought that it was laughable that one could think that it was real. I held on to the dagger, and come to find out, Tom Johnson validated that this type of dagger did exist, and are very rare.

 

I don't know why the collar discs show more wear than the buttons, or the difference in coloration in the thread. When I am done digging out of this snow, I will go back to the lady that this came from, and I'll ask her. I'll ask her why her WWI ancestor intentionally made a deceiving fake.

 

Chris

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Another possibility is that this 77th Div. Sgt. was a dummy, and couldn't decorate his uniform correctly. lol

 

I think that your theories are quite interesing, and I would have to agree. One thing that is absolutely certain, is that it was never done by a collector, as I am the only owner that this piece has ever had.

 

I have seen only a couple of other examples that have the patch on the wrong side. Obviously done by the veteran. When did they authorize the wearing of chevrons on both sleeves? It is interesting that WWI was one of the few wars that saw use of only one chevron. Civil War uniforms used patches on both sides, as did IW.

 

Perhaps he saw service post WWI as well?

 

Chris

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I think it was 1919 or 1920 when chevrons went back on both sleeves. (I don't have Emersons Chevrons book handy to pin down an exact date.) WW One was the only time since the pre-Mexican War days, that the Army went to one chevron on the sleeves. The Marines did it in WWII.

I think Sarge is probably right that this piece has a lot of red flags, but it could have very well been a post war worn coat and for some unknown reason the division patch was applied later on, but on the wrong sleeve. The mis-applied collar brass could have been just a simple mistake.

With all this guessing, we'll never know the true story. These things can make ya go nuts, but that's part of the fun of being a militaria collector. Right?

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I'm trying to identify the detail on a WW1 82nd Division Uniform. This came as a group ID’ed with paper work to a Private Wilford Warne, Co A, 327th Infantry. It has MG disk, 82nd division patch, discharge stripe and a strange Gold stitched crossed rifle insignia on the right sleeve. Research I have done on Private Warne states he was a POW from 10-9-1918 until 12-9-1918. I have no idea what the strange patch means or why it was added. Could It be a light MG patch like the French had for Chauchat Gunners?

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The insignia looks like the crossed rifles of an Infantry PFC, but rather than being on the round disk on the right sleeve, the wearer has cut it down and sewn around the rifles. Gorgeous example of a desireable uniform!

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Chris, et al.,

 

One of the things that has always appealed to me about WW1 is actually the lack of standardization you see in the uniforms.

 

It is a fact that a lot of these uniforms that we see today changed somewhat in thier immediate postwar lives. What I mean by that is that many of the insignia we see (especially SSIs) were added by the veterans themselves in some cases years after the war.

 

Look through any 1920s American Legion magazine, and in the back you see numerous adds for companies selling "official" insignia to veterans. In the years after the war, quite a few vets pulled out those old uniforms and wore them proudly to VFW, 40/8, American Legion, etc meetings. They also wore them in parades. Sutlers were known to set up at meetings and sell items like victory medals (this is where some of the odd ball bars come from), SSIs, unofficial "first 10000" stars, ribbons, and medals. These items can and do show up on uniforms from this period. Finally, a lot of vets in the northeast dug thier uniforms out one last time for the "Bonus March" on Washington. A group of these former doughboys tore off their honorable discharge chevrons as a sign of defiance.

 

Pershing also ordered that every doughboy would have a servicable uniform when he returned to the US. These are generally the uniforms we see today. WW1 combat was really rough on uniforms, and a lot of transfer of insignia from the used up coat to the new coat happened. Add to that the veterans modifying thier coats and you end up with some interesting and seemingly incongrous combinations.

 

Finally, I'm not saying this is the case with Chris' uniform, but just as we have pretenders to military service today, they had them back after WW1 too. It was a simple matter to obtain insignia, and if a doughboy was less than proud of his stateside service, or just wanted to fit in better at the local VFW post, all he had to do sew on the combat patch, and voila' instant acceptance.

 

The keys to collecting WW1 are accepting that exceptions occur, thoroughly researching each group and letting it stand on it's own merits, and never, never, never pay more than the value of sum of the parts unless it is established, with documation, that the group is truly attributable.

 

Chris

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How about a WWII era parade uniform for a WWI vet? The boys come home, Dad gets his uniform out of th closet and "modernizes" it by putting the chevrons on both sleeves and moving his SSI to the right because it was his combat patch. Any evidence of the patch having been on the left sleeve? Of course "Dad" may have put on a few pounds since 1918 and bought himself a whole new surplus coat for the parades.

 

What do you think?

" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

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Here is a patch to a fellow that was among the lost batallion group. A Mr. A. R. Looker. 308th Bn Co B. I believe there were 149 survivors.

Please note the statue of liberty is holding a star rather than a torch. The lost battalion was comprised of several units from the 77th besides the 308th, Co.K 307th, Co.C 306th MG Bn. etc.

I have had a few at the Quapaw Casino tonight and can not remember all of them and will post the rest later when the memory isn't quite so cloudy.

#1- patch

#2- collar tabs

#3- I.D. inside of tunic

I also acquired his side cap, ammo belt, backpack, gas mask, shoes and personal gear with this uniform in the 1970's.

The tunic is a model 1912 with a lot of wear and damage to include pockets torn loose and soiling. The pockets have been repaired. I have another tunic that he had that is an officers style minus the sleeve stripes with a liberty loan patch with the star. There was only 1 set of tabs.

I assume the mdl 12 is the one worn by Mr. Looker in the trenches and the Officers style worn after the War.

I hope this helps with identifying lost battalion tunics.

Steve

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  • 4 months later...
FRANK SOUCEK WWI 2ND DIV VET

 

Although he's not a Hoosier, this is still one of my favorite uniforms.

 

Note the 23rd INF insignia and Indian head on the CdG cord. The uniform is tailor made and I assume it was made post war for the parades.

 

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The information that I received from NARA on his military service was minimal, but the were able to locate his award cards. However, the number on his medal and the number on the award card do not match. Is this normal? Also note that his fourragere is listed as an individual award.

 

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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

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