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Desert Storm Commemorations this year?


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The funny thing is I was old enough to have fought in Desert Storm and almost joined a USAG AC-130 specical ops wings right before it but changed my mind right before Kuwait was invaded.

Anyway, for thr 20th anniversary of the war, myself and at least two other guys are going to do appearances in parades locally and are looking to corral others to do DS impressions well. I have a few questions that I couldn't answer with the books I've gotten and the vets can't remember:

  • I know all soldiers were issued a boonie cap, but how many went to Saudi with a standard BDU cap in desert camo?
  • What color web belt did they use for their trousers? When I served starting in 1996 as a ROTC cadet until I switched over to ACU in reserve duty, it was black belts. Did they use black in 1990/91 as well?
  • Were the issued eyeglass the brown "birth control" types, or were they a different pattern at that time? I have the flexible black frames you can wear under a pro-mask and I know those existed then, but what pattern BCGs were those with bad eyes wearing in the suck?
  • I'm having a hard time dating photos from pre-invasion to post-invasion, and I can't tell if they used colored US flags in the right sleeves in any numbers. The photos I see with them also show desert boots being worn, which to me suggests after the invasion as many photos of troops in the fight they're wearing black boots and few flag patches are seen. Does anyone recall when they were issued in numbers?

My impression will be standard web gear, flak vest, pro mask bag, choco chip BDUs with green insignia and name tapes and a 1st cav patch as my active duty company was re-flagged from 1st Cav after DS and sent to CONUS, so I want to represent that lineage.

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flashesandovals

Here we go...

 

. None of the 6-color desert BDU hats were issue items. They were part of the commercial hype around the war during which you could almost buy anything ranging from Zippo lighters, Parker pens, flyer's kit bags to ties (I'm not joking!), all in chocolate chip pattern. I bought items at MCSS and on the economy outside of Ft Bragg too. You will however find a few pictures of mainly officers wearing them caps. The most available pictures of someone wearing one are the ones of GEN Schwarzkopf. I also have seen pictures of USAF officers wearing them at Welcome Home ceremonies.

The one I have came from a surplus store on Yadkin Rd. Don't really remember from where exactly. It has an OD tag inside, and that already indicates that it's "bad".

You will also notice that the sizes are S,M, L etc. rather than expressed in inches.

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flashesandovals

There also was a special insert for the M17A2 mask, made of silver colored wire. I have seen at least one picture of a guy wearing the flexible black glasses too (I spotted them because I own a pair myself).

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flashesandovals

. The first unit to deploy with issued flags sewn on was the 24th ID. They were worn on the right sleeve, with the blue portion to the observer's left. Unlike the regular flags which were fully embroidered, they were embroidered on twill. All flags had a merrowed edge. I acquired a uniform from SPEC Montgomery from 35th SIG BDE when visiting Ft Bragg in 1992 which has the same flag.

Lane Toomey also wrote in his book that XVIII ABN Assault Command Post members were issued flags and safety pins right before deploying on AUG 7th, 1990. They did not even have pin on rank insignia, nor any other identification on the issued DBDUs when they left for Saudi. It is not wpecified which type of flags these were (left or right facing).

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flashesandovals

And last one; an interesting one coming from Jim Calhoun himself right after he redeployed to Germany in 1991.

I have many pictures of guys wearing these "right facing" flags on their DBDUs when coming home.

In general, I must agree that mostly no flags were worn.

 

Hope this helps,

 

 

Pascal

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Pascal,

Thanks! I was hoping you'd sound off here. :thumbsup: I'm sure I'm not the only one who would want to know these things this year.

Funnt about the BDU hats because i specifically recall a Florida Nation Guard unit coming back from the sandbox and all of them were wearing them. I remember well because I wanted on at the time but couldn't find one (you're right of course, everything was available in desert camo then, mostly baseball hats where I lived, though).

Good to hear about the BCG glasses, as I have several from active duty so I don't need yet another set of re-enacting specs...

As for the flags, I didn't even notice they weren't star field forward in the photos I have seen. Good to know that detail. From what I can tell, the 1st Cav didn't wear flags, at least not at first.

A few more questions:

  • I see your example BDU tops have tan nametape backings. From your website, it looks like most have OD green insignia, though, as does most from the books I have showing the early stages of the deployment (I also have the Europa Militaria book on Desert Shield the first 90 days printed in 1990 on the way and a friend of mine says his copy shows almost exclusively OD green insignia and nametapes).
  • On the boonie hats, did they wear ranks on them? In the photos I have on book they're mostly at side angles and you can't tell. I'd assume they did but you never assume with these things, I've learned. And if so, were they sewn on or mostly pin-on? Did the officers were subdued or brights on those hats?

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flashesandovals

Hi Lee,

 

It is true that most name and US ARMY tapes were all black on OG. I do however own several sets with tan tapes. There is photographic evidence available as well. They came in all sorts of variations towards the end of the deployment. This is one of the topics I am writing about and I will post it when ready. It looks like there already is a forum topic on the subject too.

 

Deployed troops mostly wore subdued pin-on rank on DBDU hats - according to AR 670-1 from SEP 1987, these were the only ones authorized. Again, where there are rules, there are deviations.

I have pictures of a female Captain wearing dress CPT bars on her hat. I also have pictures of 101st ABN LRSD guys even wearing Ranger tabs above their sew-on rank...

 

Pascal

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Hi Lee and Pascal.

 

here is are a couple of photos of an 82nd Trooper (me) in Desert Shield/Storm. We didn't quite meet up with the standards of the examples you have Pascal. We wore a pretty hodge podge collection of gear, woodland and chocolate chips uniform bits, nylon and canvas web gear, all od tapes and insignia, I wore my black buddy holly's, etc., etc.

 

Also, while unit specific, we never wore boonies, only our helmets were authorized (gotta luv divisional commnaders). We did wear our woodland patrol caps on patrol (we were a scout platoon), but we spray painted them brownish and tanish colours.

 

Here is a link to a photo (you should be able to see the others in this set also):

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/airbornetroop...57603782206170/

 

Jeff

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son of desertrat

My father(Desertrat) was in DS in the 24th ID. He wore a 6 color boonie cap and did wear ranks. Every one wore the subdued ranks on there hats. They were pinback. I can get him on this thread if you'd like him to say more.

Keenan

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flashesandovals
Hi Lee and Pascal.

 

here is are a couple of photos of an 82nd Trooper (me) in Desert Shield/Storm. We didn't quite meet up with the standards of the examples you have Pascal. We wore a pretty hodge podge collection of gear, woodland and chocolate chips uniform bits, nylon and canvas web gear, all od tapes and insignia, I wore my black buddy holly's, etc., etc.

 

Also, while unit specific, we never wore boonies, only our helmets were authorized (gotta luv divisional commnaders). We did wear our woodland patrol caps on patrol (we were a scout platoon), but we spray painted them brownish and tanish colours.

 

Here is a link to a photo (you should be able to see the others in this set also):

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/airbornetroop...57603782206170/

 

Jeff

Hi Jeff,

 

Thanks a lot for that link - I love the pics. Photographs are the best reference indeed, and it's a real pleasure analysing them.

I had seen many troops wearing M1956 butt packs and suspenders in ODS so far, but you're the first with the old ammo pouches.

It also looks like you carry a trench knife. I guess not too many of these were seen there :blink: .

If you have any other pictures I'd love to see them. Did you happen to shoot any at the PHA?

 

Kind regards,

 

Pascal

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Great photos, Jeff. Thanks for posting those! :thumbsup: I’m not the least bit shocked by the knuckle knife. I carried an M-3 trench knife on active duty myself, a few years after DS.

My impression will be standard web gear, flak vest, pro mask bag, choco chip BDUs with green insignia and name tapes and a 1st cav patch as my active duty company was re-flagged from 1st Cav after DS and sent to CONUS, so I want to represent that lineage.
I just realized that is in error, they were actually with the 1st AD, per Pascal’s website listing of units (thanks for that listing, by the way) and confirmed elsewhere. All this time I thought they had been with the either the 3rd AD or 1st Cav. The 1st AD wore their shoulder patches on the sleeves and not the chest, right?

Here’s a few more questions I thought of:

  • Did they use the translucent green ear plugs cases in that timeframe?
  • Were the NVG mounts commonly used on K-pots, they one with the strap that goes over the back with a (almost) flat plate up front? I have one from when we were throwing them out around 1999 and was told they were among the very first NVG mounts. Does anyone know if they got used in DS? I know PVS-7s were there and can’t think of any other mount they would have used for them.
  • How common were the use of Keffiyehs and/or Shemaghs during DS? I don’t see too many photos from the time of them being worn then, but I do recall returning vets in 1991 with them. Were they just souvenirs brought back and not worn in the sandbox? If they got used with any frequency, what pattern was the most common?

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flashesandovals

Lee,

 

Which 1AD unit are you referring to?

 

The earplugs were carried in a small brownish square box with a pivoting lid and was attached with a chain, mostly to a suspender D-ring. I know for example that the 82ND ABN DIVs 1st BDE had an SOP stating that the box was to be stored in the small pouch of one of both canteen covers.

 

I am not aware of any helmet mounts for the NVGs other than the ones on helicopter flight helmets. The PASGT system only appeared in the mid-90s. There was some sort of a head mount assembly for the PVS7 during ODS.

 

I have only seen a few pictures of SF guys wearing a red shemagh during the liberation of Kuwait.

 

Cheers,

 

Pascal

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oskar_2ndchev
There also was a special insert for the M17A2 mask, made of silver colored wire. I have seen at least one picture of a guy wearing the flexible black glasses too (I spotted them because I own a pair myself).

 

These were pretty hard to get (had a buddy who worked in an optical lab get them for me special). In the end, they were more trouble than they were worth so I never used mine.

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Pascal,

I was refering to the placement of the Division patch or the US 1st Armored Division. I know the 2nd AD wore their patch on their chests.

These were pretty hard to get (had a buddy who worked in an optical lab get them for me special). In the end, they were more trouble than they were worth so I never used mine.

I need to get my hands on an M-17 mask and see if my M-40 eyeglass frames fir into those as well, I think they would as the eyepieces look about the same to me. I still have at least one of those sets from when I spent WAY too much time in MOPP4 on active duty... :thumbdown:

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Hi Jeff,

 

Thanks a lot for that link - I love the pics. Photographs are the best reference indeed, and it's a real pleasure analysing them.

I had seen many troops wearing M1956 butt packs and suspenders in ODS so far, but you're the first with the old ammo pouches.

It also looks like you carry a trench knife. I guess not too many of these were seen there :blink: .

If you have any other pictures I'd love to see them. Did you happen to shoot any at the PHA?

 

Kind regards,

 

Pascal

 

I would imagine its because he is armed with an M14 or M21 by the looks of the stock thus needing the M1956 pouches for the mags.

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flashesandovals

Paul,

 

That makes sense - I never looked at it that way.

 

Can anyone out there confirm that it was common practice for snipers using 7,62 mm rounds to carry their magazines in old style M1956 ammo cases?

 

Thanks

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We got fitted for these at Fort Lee and then got them back about a week later from the Navy Optical folks at Norfolk---the cover paper work even included cheery little Merry Christmas messages---yeah thanks a lot for that, Merry Christmas to you too...

 

and the only 6 color DCUs we were issued in CONUS were the trousers---and new old-style jungle boots----luckily, there were a lot of containers in theater that acted as resupply points---When the 24th came back down from Iraq, I remember seeing them getting mass formation issues of desert boots near the port in jubayl---all the telephone lines in the area were soon decorated with old black and jungle boots swinging below them....good times!

 

 

There also was a special insert for the M17A2 mask, made of silver colored wire. I have seen at least one picture of a guy wearing the flexible black glasses too (I spotted them because I own a pair myself).
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oskar_2ndchev
Pascal,

I was refering to the placement of the Division patch or the US 1st Armored Division. I know the 2nd AD wore their patch on their chests.

 

I need to get my hands on an M-17 mask and see if my M-40 eyeglass frames fir into those as well, I think they would as the eyepieces look about the same to me. I still have at least one of those sets from when I spent WAY too much time in MOPP4 on active duty... :thumbdown:

 

I was an NBC NCO...that REALLY sucked! Not sure about the M-40 frames- my Reserve unit hadn't transitioned to the M-40 when I finally got out. For the M-17, there was also an eyeglass insert framed in plastic that plugged into the inside of the mask with brass prongs and they never stayed in. In the end, I never bothered with the lenses and I was pretty much as blind as a bat. :crying:

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Can anyone out there confirm that it was common practice for snipers using 7,62 mm rounds to carry their magazines in old style M1956 ammo cases?

 

seen it a few times on pictures from the 190/91 ds and it have also been used by us army and us army rangers

on exersice in norway from time line 1980 to late 1998.

 

any pictures of your settup?

 

cheers ken,norway

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