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WW1 EGA Collar Discs


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Gary,

 

My weekend plans got cancelled so I had some extra time to post. So here is the Jacket:

 

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What you see, is exactly the way I got it.

 

Discs

The disks are identical to illustration 9 and 10 on Plate 36, p171; Scipio/Patterson. I believe this pattern of disk to have been made for Veterans some time in the 1920s. There are two types of disks that show up on original WW1 groupings and can be proven to be from 1919 or before. The "issue" variety, and the "Army and Navy Store" Variety. I will post those in a follow up post. These disks are neither of those two types. Still, they are definately old, and have been on the coat for a long time. As you can see from the picture, the collar is punched for the insignia. Also you can see above the verdigris beneath the nut. The disks themselves clearly have been polished. Blackening remains in the background areas and recesses of the design.

 

Coat

The coat itself is a standard, non-split-back (Pre 1921) coat. It has a Quartermaster Stamp, but it is faded, and only the size "1-M" can still be read. I bought this uniform from Rolf Holbrooke about 30 years ago. It was actually one of the first USMC items I ever bought for my collection. Although I really only collect named items these days, I have kept it all these years because it is so unique. It was formerly on display in the Holbrooke Arms Museum in Miami, FL, and according to Rolf, he bought it sometime in the 1960s. Whoever this Marine was, he must have been in during WW1 as only during a Wartime expansion could there be a Sergeant Major with no hash-marks! No overseas stripes. It doesn't appear that there ever were any.

 

Hat

The sweat band is long gone from the hat, so no quartermaster marks there. The EGA is the pre-WW1 pattern in gilded brass, It is prong backed, so I will not take it off the hat.

 

Belt

The belt is a pretty standard WW1 era enlisted dress belt in buff leather.

 

Chris

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These disks are the so called "issue" variety. They are identical in construction to most Army disks made by the Army Quartermaster Deptartment. These are the most common type of disk found on original WW1 2nd Division, 4th Marine Brigade uniforms. This disk is the most likely candidate to be the disks ordered through the AEF supply system after Franklin Roosevelt's inspection of the Marines.

 

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They are identified on p171, Plate 36, fig 3, and fig 4 of Scipio/Patterson.

 

Chris

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These disks are the so called "Army and Navy Store" or "Long Wing" variety. These disks are illustrated in the 1918 Army and Navy Store Catalog. This variety of disk shows up mostly on original WW1 era 5th Brigade uniforms (the "issue" variety also shows up on 5th Brigade uniforms--the ratio, based only on my observation, seems to be about 2 to 1; issue type to Army Navy Store type). Members of this organization did not go overseas until the waning months of the war, and some marines apparently bought these disks from commercial suppliers around Quantico.

 

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They are identified on p171, Plate 36, fig 11, and fig 12 of Scipio/Patterson.

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These disks are a variety probably made for veterans in the 1920s and I have only seen one set of these disks. These particular disks have been well polished.

 

post-594-1182632318.jpg

 

They are identified on p171, Plate 36, fig 9, and fig 10 of Scipio/Patterson.

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Hey Gary/Jeremiah... if you come on tonight... the set in post 2 looks like the real deal, original to uniform / period, so forth)? Right amount of period wear, toning, patina and pattern (as I have come to know?)... help crying.gif


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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THret,

 

The disks in post 2 and 3 are the "real deal." Both are commonly found on original uniforms--not that original WW1 USMC uniforms are common... I won't vouch for those in post 4. I believe them to be old, but other than this one uniform, I have never seen another pair. My opinion is that those in post 4 were made for veterans in the 1920s.

 

Chris

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Chris,

 

A very nice uniform! Without reading comments first, I like looking at the photos as if I'm seeing this for sale at a show or in a museum for the first time. It's a bad habit of mine, but I just like looking at something first to see if I can spot anything out of the ordinary before reading about it. First thing I noticed was the much earlier M1908 cover emblem. Nothing wrong at all there, because for such a senior rank, it could be his issue emblem applied to a later cover. I did notice the lack of hashmarks and/or overseas chevrons and find that most unusual for this rank. To achieve this senior a rank back then in his first enlistment, he would have been "one squared away Marine!" and even today, pretty much unheard of in the Corps. I've got a few Marine GCM's for Privates and PFC's from the 1920's that had excellent character in their records, but yet never achieved a higher rank in their original enlistment, with one being a two enlistment Private. Saving grace here would be the "Reunion" discs you say are on this blouse. Is it possible that the uniform was made up for such an occassion and the hashmarks/os chevrons left off? Even today, I see Vietnam era S/Sgt's and Gy/Sgt's in surplus store bought blues showing up at Marine Corps Birthday Balls without hashmarks. It is a very nice blouse and cover none the less.

 

Ahhh, and here I thought I had a slightly mismatched set of attributed discs. You just supplied a wealth of information on the different types of original service discs found. I don't imagine the reunion discs will ever be added to my collection, but now that my dry spell of 25 years has ended on attributed discs, I need to find a set of the "issue" ones. Mine are the Army and Navy Store type and I had originally thought were sligthly mismatched because of the slightly different anchor rings and legs on the birds. The set you posted are identical to mine, so it would appear this is the way they came. My photos are actually my friend's photos from when we were doing our trading. It can't be seen in the photos, but my pair have much more brown finish than what the photos show. I guess I need to take new pictures to show the true finish, but his camera does take good close ups!

 

Gary

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Gary,

 

These days I have thinned out my Marine holdings to named groups only. However, I have had about 12 USMC uniforms with disks over the years. The vast majority of them (probably 90%) were the "issue type" (my designation). I currently have two attributed USMC uniforms with the "issue" type of disk, and one attributed set with the "Army Navy Store" (again my designation) type disk. Last year I also bought a set of "Army Navy Store" disks off e-bay for $75. It was around the time some guy was peddling a whole bunch of the fake "reunion" ones so I think buyers were scared off! So currently I have four sets of WW1 USMC disks (five if you count those on the Sergeant Major coat).

 

I call them the "Army Navy Store" type because they are illustrated in their catalog (available as a reprint--check ebay for it from time to time). For all I know they may have actually been manufactured by Whitehead and Hoag, Art Metal Works or any of the myriad other manufacturers of insignia during the war. All I know for certain is they are illustrated in a 1918 catalog, and they show up on original uniforms.

 

As far as that Sgt Major's coat goes, anything is possible. Made for a reunion? Possible. I know that it has been together since at least the mid 1970s because thats when I got it. Holbrooke told me he had it in his musem. Of course, when he had the museum, in 1960s Miami beach, many of the elderly tourists would have been WW1 vets, and in those days, this sort of thing was just junk surplus. So again, who knows. Maybe he "married" all the parts? On the other hand, I have a medal grouping from a Marine 1Lt who I recently learned, from the ancestry.com muster rolls, was, within a three month period, promoted from Private to Quartermaster Sergeant and then to 1Lt (and every rank in between). Thats one squared away Marine! So during a wartime expansion, even that is possible.

 

I tell people all the time, when it comes to WW1, and after some of the wacky stuff I have seen, anything is possible.

 

Chris

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Chris,

 

I am very glad you mentioned it first so I wouldn't have to, but we're on the same page when talking "reunion" and "reproduction." When I first started encountering and noticing the 1st generation fake discs, they were being sold in Manion's catalog auctions and at shows as original USMC WWI discs. Fairly easy to spot with the eagle pattern and soft, smooth butter cast appearance. In the very early 1970's, I collected Army Type I discs for a 2-3 year period and pretty much knew what I was looking at until the fakes started showing up in the exotic types of those in mid and late 1970's, so I definitely knew something was fishy when handling and examining the Marine discs being sold as originals at the same time. When many of the knowledgeable USMC collectors back then didn't bite with these and most would go unsold, many of the same discs showed up shortly after, being sold as reunion discs. Because I can't personally tell the difference between "reunion" and outright "reproduction" discs, I usually won't give them a thought when seeing them now, but with Darrell stating that he handled some legitimate reunion discs in the hands of the veteran's son and your confidence that the discs on the blues blouse are legitimate, maybe I would add a set to my EGA collection, but only if they were handed to me as attributed or documented to the Marine and the Reunion by family or a very trusted collecting friend as were my A-N set.

 

Your statement regarding your designation "issue" discs as mostly 4th Bde and "Army-Navy Store" discs being mostly 5th Bde makes allot of sense to me, when taking into account the locations of each Brigade at the time and the supply chain involved. I was pretty sure my A-N set was attributed to 6th MG Company, so I'll have to double check on that and will let you know. I have also been going through my 97th Company (suffered fairly heavy casualties at Bouresche on 6-7 June) muster rolls I snagged from the Ancestry site to see if any 5th Bde replacements were used to fill ranks after Belleau Woods. I found that most replacements used were from other companies within 6th Marines after being released from hospital, so your theory is holding water. When I acquired a nice attributed, documented and engraved CdeG, Silver Star, Purple Heart medal grouping for Cpl. Neil Shannon, 97th Company, 6th Marines back in the late 1970's, it was housed in a delapidated shadowbox that had hung in sunlight for years. The US medal ribbons faired very well, but the French medal ribbons, especially the French Wound Medal and Verdun Medal suffered heavy fading. Because the wood was so dry and crumbling, I removed everything and put it all in a Riker Mount. Neil Shannon had been severely wounded on 6 June during the fierce fighting in and around Boureshe, so spent until January 1920 recovering from his wounds before being discharged. While all of his medals, service cover emblem and Sharpshooter Badge were in the shadowbox, I noticed the glaring absence of collar discs. I believe that many 5th and 6th Marines who were wounded and evacuated never received either type of disc and was hoping others with similar groupings could comment. It's only my theory, but at one time, I also owned a 5th Marines 1917-1918 dated service blouse that had wound stripes, but no discs and the collars had never been punched. I think it a myth that all WWI Marines were issued or wore these discs.

 

Gary

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Gary.

 

I can't say I take issue with anything you wrote. In fact, I think you hit the nail on the head as to why these "re-union" disks even exist at all: I believe that in the early years after the war, when the vets were still wearing thier uniforms in parades and to conventions, we had a case of star bellied sneetches and plain bellied sneetches (Dr Seuss, for those who don't get the reference). I'll bet that the disks became a sort of "badge of honor" among marine vets to show that they had been "over there", as upposed to those who served stateside. Some enterprising soul must have made up disks to sell to the vets. Thats the only way I can explain USMC disks on a uniform that got into collectors hands way back in the 1960s. Now, I also believe that either the dies for the type of disks that Gary illustrated still exist or huge caches of these disks are still out there. They are the predominant "non-correct" variety on the streets today. I too have seen them with regimental numbers as well as MG--none are good.

... noticed the glaring absence of collar discs. I believe that many 5th and 6th Marines who were wounded and evacuated never received either type of disc and was hoping others with similar groupings could comment. It's only my theory, but at one time, I also owned a 5th Marines 1917-1918 dated service blouse that had wound stripes, but no discs and the collars had never been punched. I think it a myth that all WWI Marines were issued or wore these discs.

 

Gary

The disks on the Sergeant Major's coat are not die struck, They appear to me to be jewelers castings (lost wax). However, the shanks and nuts are not standard threaded (neither metric nor ANSI) and are therefore old. I'ts possible someone could have de-soldered the shanks from real WW1 disks to make these, but in 1960 why bother? I am convinced that they are old. ANSI really started to take hold in the US after the 1930s so pre-ANSI shanks would roughly make these predate then.

 

On the other hand, they are NOT WW1 disks. I, like you, have spent a lot of time researching this stuff (have to, I can't afford too many costly mistakes) and I have come to the conclusion that only the two types I label "issue" and Army Navy Store" can legitimately called WW1 disks. Untill proved otherwise, all other types besides these two should be considered re-union, reproduction, or fake. Of the three, the re-union ones are interesting at best, but are not WW1 USMC disks.

 

Right now, for IDd enlisted groupings Forrest Greens I have:

3rd/6th Marines Pvt -- Wounded twice; has disks (issue pattern) punched holes

2nd/5th Marines Corp -- Wounded twice; no disks no holes in uniform

6MG P1C -- has disks (issue pattern) punched holes

2nd/13th Marines Pvt -- Has disks (A/N pattern) punched holes

 

So those at least match up with the theory that 4th Brig Marines got the issue disks and at least some of the 5th Brigade Marines got the A/N store disk.

 

Chris

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  • 1 month later...

This is a topic that got its start with a dialogue on the topic of "Gilt" EGA collars discs. It has been separated from those posts for the purpose of having a ready pictorial and written narrative about these unique emblems. This thread will remain in the EGA discussion area for a period, should anyone wish to add more historical perspective on these collars. Eventually it will be moved to the EGA Reference Section.


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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WWI USMC Collar disks are a subject that always has perplexed me. I think early on years ago I heard they were all fake so I always had a jaundiced eye towards them. I picked up a few here and there, relying on the person from whom I got them to be honest. This I have found was not always the case, intentionally or unintentially. BUT, here are a pair that I'll bet the left family jewel on. They came with a group to a 49th Company 5th Marine vet, right out of the woodwork. He arrived at the front 5 June 1918. WIA 18 July at Soissons, Rec. for a "Distinguished Service MEDAL" by Capt. George Hamilton; approved by the Regt'l C.O. Logan Felan but he ended up with a Silver Citation Star and a Croix de Guerre. He was selected to join Pershing's Honor Guard, the Composite Regt. under Captain C.B. Cates in Germany on May 2, 1919. At that time, all of the participants were issued new uniforms. I believe the below disks were issued to him at that time. Some of the material I have of his is indicative of having been removed from his deteriorated uniform. He got out on Sept. 19, 1919.

Hanigan_Collar_Disks_sgl_rev.JPGHanigan_Collar_Disks_sgl_rt_obv.JPG

Hanigan_Collar_Disks_sgl_left_obv.JPGHanigan_Collar_Disks_sgl_rev_screw_on.JPG

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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Bob, these are about a authentic "issue type" as they come. Don't think you will have to worry about losing any family jewels crying.gif . Thanks for sharing... hopefully more will show up here. s/f Darrell


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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Bob,

 

Very nice discs! I have to agree with you that for many years I was under the impression that 99% of all early Marine discs were repro or fake and should be left alone unless they had documentation or attribution. No worries with your pair! It's a good feeling to finally get a pair with that attribution, isn't it?

 

Now comes the question...clean or not clean? What are your opinions and thoughts on cleaning the corrosion and crud off the reverses? I know many collectors believe that something with this much evidence of old should be left alone, but I always have to ask myself, what would the Marine who wore these want them to look like? I'm not talking about age patina or mild dirt, but actual corrosion that could harm them over time. Have you given it any thought as to cleaning the discs up a little? I'm thinking that with the before photos, it might not hurt to try and clean a little bit of that corrosion off the rollers and reverses.

 

s/f, Gary

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Thanks.........Good points. I had pretty much decided to leave them alone. I believe that "patina" wins out over shine. Should a nice dark gilt M1898 be polished up the way it was on the Marines kepi on the USS Texas? Or, should it be left with the 100 years of "patina" its acquired? I think the answer lies in the eye of the beholder. Maybe I'll take a toothbrush lightly to the backs of these guys........or maybe I'll just leave them the way I got them..................Ponder, ponder ponder!!!!!!!!!!

S/F y'all.................Bob

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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Bob,

 

I agree completely with the 100 year patina rule and leaving emblems alone, if that's all you're dealing with, but corrosion is a completely different deal. That corrosion on the rollers looks like it might cause problems for the next owner and if left on it's own, just might weld the rollers to the screws. I've also found emblems that would have had some original beautiful paint finishes, if not for corrosion. That stuff on the rollers will eventually work it's way to the paint on the front.

 

s/f, Gary

 

CLEAN OR NOT CLEAN... :blink:

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These disks are a variety probably made for veterans in the 1920s and I have only seen one set of these disks. These particular disks have been well polished.

 

post-594-1182632318.jpg

 

They are identified on p171, Plate 36, fig 9, and fig 10 of Scipio/Patterson.

 

Just for information, a pair of the so called 1920 period fantasy collar discs ( I would call them of the 3rd type) have been unhearted last year by a french friend on a September 1918 -4th Brigade sector, ( they were both contained if a first aid packet copper tin box).

Another CD of the Army and Navy type ( ( the second type) has been bought last Month at the Flirey ( France) militaria trade show.

This exemplary is obviously a " digged up" one ( see reverse) and was also probably discovered on a USMC 4th Brigade sector ( vicinity of Thiaucourt ) near Saint Mihiel.

The 5th brigade arrived in France on September 24th 1918 only ( after the Saint Mihiel and too late to participate to the Blanc Mont offensive), and has never been engaged in actual combat since the Brigade was assigned in several duties in the AEF such as the management of Camp Pontanezen ( Brest Area ) as well as the surveillance of the communication lines from Brest to the front ( Le Mans, Tour, Saint Aignan)

 

The USMC Collar discs story is a realy never ending one, but evidences speak for themselves.

Teufelhund

 

Third type digged upup last year Thiaucourt ( France)

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Second type Army and Navy type bought af gun show Flirey France

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WOODS NOW U.S MARINE CORPS ENTIRELY, our lines include now the entire Bois de Belleau. Signed, Major Shearer "Skipper" 5Th Marines, 3rd Bat - June 25th 1918

 

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Sorry, Teufelhund, but the first set of discs got me to :lol::lol::lol: ! I have a hard time believing your friends story about these being original, much less being found in a First Aid copper box. They really aren't anything that resembles any known originals and look cast instead of stamped to me, but just for this threads sake, can you post reverse images of them?

 

The second Army-Navy style disc looks right as rain to me, but then again, I have a hard time believing that a disc found in the ground would retain almost 85-90% of its finish to the front after being in the ground for the past 85 or so years. It looks to me like someone recently set it in the mud and stepped on it. Here is an M1937 that only laid in the ground for 15-25 years before I found it while in ITR at Camp Pendleton in 1969, so I would think that beautiful Army-Navy disc would show more ground wear than what it has.

 

I don't mean to offend you or your friend with my doubts, but his story sounds like an eBay or militaria trade show "sales pitch" to me.

 

Gary

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  • 1 month later...

No problem about these discs...115 % genuine congratulation

First model ever made, and made in France, with the bright brass roundel

we are coming close to the truth,about the subject , here..;

 

Are any pictures of the uniform available here???? Army or USMC FG one???

 

T

WOODS NOW U.S MARINE CORPS ENTIRELY, our lines include now the entire Bois de Belleau. Signed, Major Shearer "Skipper" 5Th Marines, 3rd Bat - June 25th 1918

 

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I have posted some of his photos before, so will only show a photo of the field green uniform as it appears today. One of the photos in the link shows him wearing it in 1921 at the time he was outgrowing it (waist size).

He served as an MP at Pontanezen post war - the armband and whistle were in a trunk with the uniform and many other items. I have since found out that the EGA on the cap is later, and the one that is on the cap in the other photos is probably one of the others that I show in the other photos. The belt is a souvenier belt that he made up at Pontanezen.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v97/bayo...rivate%20Green/

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Gary Cunningham - Bayonetman

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  • 1 month later...

Fellow forum members:

 

You are in the EGA "reference section". This area is were posts from the EGA "discussion section" are moved for permanent retention and education about the history of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. As time moves forward there maybe additional information the EGA Moderators wish to add or will add to this specific post. We ask for your input as well.

 

We encourage further comments about this post and its content. In order to do so, you will need to start a new post in the "EGA discussion area" which is listed in the main page under insignia. And as needed we will be pleased to move any new and or valued information that is derived from your post (and subsequent comments) into this reference.

 

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The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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