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MattOravik
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I discovered this over Christmas when I was at my mom and step-dads. He was using this blanket to cover his Harley and had no idea what it was besides an army blanket. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. I informed my step-dad as to what it was and that I would be taking it from him. After a little barganing I got it after trading him another blanket. This was his grandfathers so I kind of felt bad but he knows I collect this stuff and understands I will take better care of it. It won't be getting anymore Harley grease on it that's for sure! It has some small paint marks and some small oil/grease stains near the edges but they don't ruin it. Only a couple tiny holes here and there. This blanket feels just like a WWII wool blanket. I have another brown stripe blanket without the 'US' that is very thick compared to this one. Anyone know the reason for this? Maybe one is for field and one for the barracks? Or maybe a horse blanket?

 

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  • 5 weeks later...
Greg Robinson

The Marine Corps used basically the same blanket from the WW1 period through the 1950's, maybe even the '60's but I don't remember what they looked during that period and I don't have any examples in my collection. Only thing that changed was the "USMC" markings in the center. Otherwise they were all forest green wool with black stripes at each end. This is the blanket that was rolled up with the shelter half to become a "blanket roll" carried on the field pack.

 

WW1 blankets, which were used throughout WW2, had a heavy chainstitched "USMC" which due to the fact that the machines couldn't make a 90 degree turn had a very distinctive look.

 

In the 1930's they went to an embroidered "USMC" with block letters

 

During 1942 they dropped the "USMC" markings until the end of the war

 

By 1950 they'd gone to a black inkstamped "USMC".

 

Pictured is an example of a 1942 dated blanket with block style embroidered "USMC".

 

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I have a few blankets from WWI era up to WWII. I'll start with my 1904 bedding blankets.

 

-1st one is the thinner type but has the US in center.

 

-2nd (pic 3) is much thicker but doesn't have the US in center.

 

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- Group shot of my various blankets. 2 have 1940 dated tags. The Army MD is stitched 1944, The USMC has no date or USMC stitching on it. The gray blanket is kind of unusual. It's very soft, has no edge stitching and has no tags. It does have some faded markings in 2 corners. It came from the estate of a man who was in the AAF. I also have a few more plain OD blankets not pictured.

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I see the 1904 blankets have a brown stripe near the end, is it in exactly the same position as the black/grey stripes on the USMC blanket? Is this the distinguishing feature of the 1904 ?

 

Whats the designation for the WW1 dated blankets? If they have no label, whats the differance between WW1 and WW2 blankets? I'm thinking that on average the WW2 ones are more Mustardy, but I think there's quite an overlap in shades, is there not?

 

Is the white with maroon stripe Medical?

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Yes the brown stripes are in pretty much the same place as the black stripes on USMC blankets. The 04's blankets are like a light brown color with dark brown stripes. Some 04's have 'US' either stitched or printed in the center of the blanket.

The plain WWI OD blankets feel different than WWII blankets. I'm not sure if the WWI are thicker or just woven with course wool. The color is more brown OD than the mustard OD of WWII. But the shades do vary like you said.

 

The white blanket with maroon stripes is the army medical blanket. The stripes at the ends are in much the same place as the 04's and USMC. In the center it has 'MD US Army' stitched and the date is stitched at one end in between the maroon stripe and the edge of the blanket.

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In Post #2 Greg provided some information about markings on USMC blankets. The images above, taken from ebay because of my lack of technical capabilities, will hopefully clear up some persisting confusion regarding the chain stitched markings of WWI versus WWII blankets. The blanket on the top is a WWI blanket that I now own. It matches exactly another that I bought at SOS last year and then traded to a very knowledgeable Marine collector. He was quite postive that this is a WWI blanket. The stitch patterns on the two blankets are virtually identical.

 

The blanket on the bottom, like the one in Greg's post, is the one I have most frequently seen that was in production early in WWII. I have seen mint condition blankets with this type chain stitching with contractor tags dated 1942. I do not know when this more crude form of stitching originated, but I believe it is definitely some years post-WWI. The pattern on every blanket using this type chain stitching seems to be somewhat different, depending on the whim and/or skill of the seamstress who did it.

 

I must mention also, that the color of the WWI blanket is decidedly different than the forest green with black stripes of WWII blankets. It it much more of a brownish-green shade, though NOT as brown as the image above would suggest. The stripes are of a very slightly darker shade of blanket wool with a more greenish hue when viewed in daylight. The color contrast between the stripes and the rest of the blanket is very slight. You have to look closely just to find the stripes. The thread used for the chain stitched "U.S.M.C." is done with brownish-green thread again slightly darker than the blanket wool.

 

I apologize for not being able to show a single good, overlapping, side-by-side comparison image that would make my feable attempts at describing color differences unnecessary. The important issue, though, is to take note of the differences in the pattern of the stitched "U.S.M.C". The free-form chain stitching style of the blanket on the bottom does NOT indicate a blanket of WWI origin as seems to be the general belief. It is most assuredly WWII or perhaps a bit pre-WWII. The very frequency with which blankets having this type stitching become available on eBay and at shows would argue that they aren't from the earlier conflict, but are WWII contracted items.

 

Everything I've said may be proved wrong eventually as more information and blankets with clear provenance come to light, but for now, I feel my conclusions are provisionally valid. If you can prove me incorrect, please do so. I'm always willing to give a heave-ho to incorrect beliefs. I'm in this to learn.

 

Hope this info will be useful to someone.

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Greg Robinson

Interesting! I've never seen that top blanket before but agree it's got to be WW1. Your lower blanket is the one that came out sometime "later" but it had been replaced by the embroidered one with block style letter (shown in my pic) no later than the 1930's. Then sometime in 1942, there was an overlap in the changeover, they went to the wartime blankets with NO "USMC" stitching. The one shown in my pic has a spec tag dated 1942 and I also have a blanket with no "USMC" also dated 1942.

 

Then I have one with no date but the Nom contract number prefix dates to 1950 and it has remnants of a black inkstamped "USMC". I remember the blankets we had on our bunks at Parris Island in 1967 were green with black stripes but I don't recall markings. I had a DI screaming at me in those days so no time to be a militaria collector.

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Greg Robinson

A US Navy blanket from the '50's. Grey wool with "US" inkstamped in the center. I got it from a guy who found it in a blanket roll with USMC shelter half.

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Greg Robinson

1950's US Army blanket. Green wool marked "US".

I wonder what that marking "MC and TSA Phila QM Dept" refers to? Could the Marine Corps have purchased some of these?

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  • 1 year later...

Standard US Army wool blanket, made in 1963.

The label is not sewn on, it is held on by some kind of adhesive.

It has halfway peeled off of this particular blanket.

This may explain why you don't find very many labels on army blankets.

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  • 10 months later...
Standard issue GI blanket, dated 1943.

 

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Photo courtesy of Bob M. And soon in my collection ;)

 

Regards

Carl

Hello,

 

A very interesting post -- thanks a lot for sharing Type I blanket for WWII era GIs. I have identical blanket of 1942 but with a little other cutter tag which is the following:

 

J. P. Stevens & Co., Inc.

Cont. W669 QM-24653

Dated 12-24-42

Spec. No. 8-111A Type II

Med. Dept. Item No. 99090

Phila. Q. M. Depot

Contents 100% Wool

 

Does anybody know what was the difference between Type I and Type II blankets then?

 

Best regards

 

Greg

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I recently obtained a pair of blankets from an estate sale wherein the deceased was known to have stated they had been in the family since 1930. They have no markings whatsoever. Were any unmarked blankets made in the 20's - 30's or were they all marked at least with the "US"? FWIW, they look like my WWII blankets but seem to be of a coarser wool.

 

Thanks,

Tom thumbsup.gif

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craig_pickrall

Gregory, your blanket is a Medical DEPT item which is separate from the QM. The blanket you referenced with the pic is shown in the QM manual as BLANKET, WOOL, OD, M-1934 with the stock number 27-B-678. When I look up your blanket in the MED DEPT manual it is shown as: 99090 BLANKET, OD, WOOL, 90 x 66 INCHES. I am guessing the two blankets are different sizes.

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Gregory, your blanket is a Medical DEPT item which is separate from the QM. The blanket you referenced with the pic is shown in the QM manual as BLANKET, WOOL, OD, M-1934 with the stock number 27-B-678. When I look up your blanket in the MED DEPT manual it is shown as: 99090 BLANKET, OD, WOOL, 90 x 66 INCHES. I am guessing the two blankets are different sizes.

Hello Craig,

 

Thank you very much. That's very valuable information for me. If I am not mistaken the J. P. Stevens & Co. still exists, isn't it?

 

There is never ending debate between the US WWII reenactors, collectors and other people interested in the US WWII era militaria which model of the blanket was more typical in the midst of WWII era frontline GIs for their foxhole service -- M1934s or medical ones in their OD variants? I would be very thankful for any comments.

 

Warm regards

 

Greg

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  • 1 year later...
- Group shot of my various blankets. 2 have 1940 dated tags. The Army MD is stitched 1944, The USMC has no date or USMC stitching on it. The gray blanket is kind of unusual. It's very soft, has no edge stitching and has no tags. It does have some faded markings in 2 corners. It came from the estate of a man who was in the AAF. I also have a few more plain OD blankets not pictured.
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Hi Matt, Can you i.d. this gray wool blanket.Is it even issue ? Seems to be reg. size. no tag . Thank you in advance. Ty

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