Thursday, December 19, 2013

Have a Forest Green Christmas 2013!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

WWII USMC Private 4th Marine Division Dress Blues Jacket

Here is a recent pick up for the Iwo Jima uniform collection. This pocketless WWII Dress Blues coat belong to Marine who was originally a guard at the then unpopular and now demolished Navy and Munitions Building in Washington DC. The difficulty of finding WWII Dress Blues is that they were a limited standard only issued to Guards and Ships Detachment Marines. Most Marines had to purchase their blues from out of their own pocket. Since this Marine was a guard in Washington DC he was issued this dress blues. Later in his career he would be transferred to the 14th Marines 4th Marine Division where he would participate in the Battle Of Iwo Jima. An incredible Dress Blues uniform coat to a Top Marine!

WWII USMC Trunk Seabag Pad Lock by Slaymaker

Part of the challenge of collecting and documenting USMC items is the difficultly of finding items that are Marine Corps specific. Where as Army and Navy items and even Air Corps items are relatively easier to locate, the Marines were truly "The Few, The Proud.." Recently I came across this little gem, a USMC ID Brass padlock at a local Militaria show earlier this year. Although I didn't purchase it, it was definitely worth the price the dealer was asking for it. Sigh....another item to look for but at least I know "It Exists!" Below is another style of USMC lock that is made by Slaymaker.
Finally found myself a USMC lock!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

WWII US Coast Guard DC1c Amphibious Assault Patch

One of my latest purchases is a uniform I thought I would never own for my collection. This is WWII US Coast Guard uniform set consisting of a patched Amphibious Assault Jumper and bell bottom pants. What made this purchase interesting is a piece of paper folding in the pocket stating this Coast Guardsman name and that he participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima on an LST. Looks like it was written by a family member fairly recently in terms of how old the jumper is. Although this isn't a lot to to go by ( "Buy the Item, not the story"), it is a start when I started to research this sailor. A little background on the Coast Guard at Iwo Jima, 20 ships were manned by the Coast Guard, two of them were Attack Transports, and the other 18 were LST making the Coast Guard presence at the Battle of Iwo Jima small in comparison of the Marine, Navy and Army. Sadly this Sailor died quite young in the 1950's, so there isn't much information on his life not to mention his service considering Coast Guard WWII information is very hard to come by. His records have been sent for so this thread will be updated when I get his service information. Whatever this information will be I am sure it will be eye opening for many of us who study the Battle of Iwo Jima.6/14 UPDATE: I received the records last year and haven't gotten around to update this post. I received the records and it it turned out he wasn't at Iwo Jima but at the Battle of Okinawa. This made a lot more sense as to the note that was left in the pocket of this uniform which explains that he survived a Kamikaze attack on his group of ships. Iwo didn't have any large scale Kamikaze attacks on US ships. This is a fantastic uniform belonging to a very brave Coast Guard sailor to survive so many attacks during the Battle of Okinawa.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WWII USMC Wool Shirt I. Unterberg & Co, Inc

This excellent example NOS WWII USMC Wool shirt appeared recently, manufactured by I. Unterberg & Co, Inc and dated 1945. Very rarely does one still see manufactures and contract tags still attached to USMC items as they were well used by Marines.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

WWII USS Iowa (BB-61) Navy and Marine Uniform Pair

Last year I was fortunate to pick up a navy uniform belonging to a sailor EM3c who was on the USS Indiana and USS Iowa during WWII. Although it was out of the scope of my Iwo Jima collection, I thought is was great to have a jumper from a WWII ship that has recently been berthed in Southern California. The jumper also came with a few photos of the sailor and was quite happy when I received it in the mail. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to pick up an alpha forest green service coat belong to a Marine guard PFC who was also on the Iowa during the entire duration of the war. Incredible enough both this sailor and Marine served at the same time for a six month period. Locating WWII Marine battleships detachment coats are not easy, but also finding a sailor who also served aboard the same ship is incredible. The Marine served aboard the Iowa during her entire WWII career, his Asiatic ribbon bar perhaps might mirror the Iowa's nine battle stars she earned in the war. I don't need to tell you these two uniforms send off a great vibe when displayed together. The stories this Sailor and Marine could tell! Requests for both records have been sent and will update this post when I get more information.

Wolf and Brown Mania! WW1 & WW II USN or Marine Ribbon Rack

This stellar example of a Wolf and Brown ribbon rack of a two war Navy or USMC military veteran is one of the nicest I've seen offered up for sale. The rack includes many rarer W&B ribbons not often found on the loose.

Friday, September 6, 2013

WWII Coral and Brass Book by General Holland M. Smith

General Holland M. Smith controversial book has been published a few times since it's original publication in 1946. Serving more as a way to get his version of the incident of his relieving of army commander General Ralph Smith at the Battle of Saipan, the book is filled with many factual errors but serves as a nice historical document of his mindset at the end of WWII. This is less a review of the book but a gallery of the different covers of the book, the one above being the first edition. I love the first edition cover with the two tone artwork typical of 1940's art design. One aspect I do love of this book is the title, "Coral and Brass" a simple but highly effective description of the Pacific War.
This is a later paperback edition of the book, I believe dating from the 1950's and 1960's. The oil painting style cover is beautifully done.
This is latest edition from 1987 of Coral and Brass, and usually the one most often found. Besides the first edition, they are very plentiful and easily found. It is worth picking up and reading if you are a reader of USMC history.
Also in the 1980's the USMC released this version of the book as an official study manual for Marines. I like the unique binding and cover of this version which is very different from the others. If you would like to read Coral & Brass online, here is its entire text posted online here

Thursday, September 5, 2013

WWII USMC Sgt. 2nd Armored Amphibious Battalion Iwo Jima

Here is a coat I picked up a few months ago but wanted to wait until I received his records before I posted it here on Marines in Forest Green. This is a coat I've been looking high and low for, to include it my Iwo Jima collection. This Marine belonged to the Company A 2nd Armored Amphibious Battalion, which covered the 4th Marine Division on Blue Beach II, the farthest right beach landing. The 2nd Armored Amphibious Battalion was outfitted with LVT(A)4, the turreted tank version of the famous amphibious tractor. These LVT's from the 2nd lead the landing craft LVT's to shore, essentially being the first Marines to land on Iwo preceding the assault troops of the 4th and 5th MarDiv. Many of the pictures you see of the LVT(A)4's on the first few hours of the invasion are from the 2nd Armored Amphibious Battalion. This Marine was the Amphibious Commander on one of these LVT's, with Iwo being his second landing after Saipan. He passed away in the mid 1970's and his incredible coat seemed to floating around over the years. What is so great about this coat is his incredible FMF-PAC Amtrac patch which are only worn by these brave Marines.

WWII USMC Marine Liberty Pass

Here is a classic example of WWII USMC paper material, a Liberty Pass IDed to Marine who was based in New York and Massachusetts during WWII. These items are not often found, unless the Marine kept all his paperwork, but nearly every marine had one filled out to them at one time or another, while they were passing through many cities throughout the world.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

WWII Two 5th Marine Division Coats Iwo Jima

I haven't been posting to much lately but here is a quick lowdown on two recent coat purchases, both belonging to Marines in the 5th Marine Division. The left coat belong to a Marine who was in A Co, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines. He was WIA during the Battle of Iwo Jima and taken back to Oakland where he recovered from his wounds. He was a local Californian, which is where I purchased this coat from. The second coat on the right belong to a Marine in the 5th Medical Battalion and also participated in the battle of Iwo Jima. When the 5th MarDiv was disestablished he was moved over into the 2nd Marine Division and was later discharged.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

WWII Navy Corpsman Unit 3 Bag First Aid

Here is a great example of the not often found Unit-3 bag that was used by Navy Corpsman who were attached to USMC units. I'm still missing a pair of bags for my collection of this classic piece of field gear webbing.
Here is a Corpsman Bag that came my way, its missing one of its hangers but very nice overall.

WWII 5th Marine Division The Spearhead Magazines

I was lucky enough to acquire two of the three 5th MarDiv produced Spearhead Magazines as published by the Division and given to the Marines in the 5th. It appears three were originally published during WWII and are different from the Spearhead Newsletter that is associated with the 5th Marine Division Association. As far as I know only three were produced, a Camp Pendleton Edition, and Iwo Jima Edition and the Japan Occupation Edition. Unfortunately I was not able to purchase the Occupation Edition. These magazines are fantastic. Pendleton issue has many great pictures of the Marines in training for the then unknown Iwo Jima Invasion. There are also some great pictures of the surrounding areas and what the Marines did when they were not training.
The Iwo Jima Edition features many Official USMC photos of the battle but there are also many pictures I haven't seen anywhere else.
The third and last issue highlights the Japan Occupation. I am not sure if anymore issues were produced and after talking to some Iwo Vets and famlies of Iwo vets it appears only these issues were produced. Incredible magazines and documentation of the 5th MarDiv.

Friday, July 26, 2013

WWII US Navy FC2 White Jumper USS Wesson (DE 184)

Here is another great US Navy undress white jumper belonging to a FC2 who served on the destroyer USS Wesson (DE 184) from 1942 through 1945. As destroyers go this was a hard fighting ship, from capturing IJN Cutters, the Philippines and Iwo Jima invasions and surviving a Kamikaze attack, and Japanese Occupation, this little ship seemed to have done it all and this sailor was a part of his ships story during the entire war. A wonderful Navy Jumper that tells a story!

WWII USMC Platoon Sgt. V Corps

Another wonderful Forest Green Alpha jacket belonging to a Marine who was in the MP Battalion in V Corps with all its original EGA, Patches and Ribbon items still attached to the uniform.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

WWII USMC 5th MarDiv Ribbon Bar Leu's Handicraft

I've been recently working on a restoration of a WWII USMC Khaki Officer coat from a Marine who was in the 13th Marines, 5th Marine Division and Iwo Jima vet. Although I usually build my own wide ribbon bars for my WWII USMC enlisted uniforms, my officer coats I prefer to have them professionally made for that sharp officer look. I discovered Leu's Handicraft, who are located in Taiwan, when some vets were discussing where they used to have their custom ribbon bars made when they were in the service. This company seemed to be everyones little secret and not only do they produce modern vintage bars but vintage ones as well. They are beautifully made and are extremely inexpensive to produce. Within two weeks I received this ribbon bar in the mail and was very impressed with the quality. Highly recommended! Leu's Handicraft's Website

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

2nd Lieutenant Cornelius Hayes V-12 Program Photo

With as many pictures I look through at swap meets and thrift stores it is amazing how few Marine photos I find. This is another WWII Marine photo I found at an antique store a couple of years ago. Cornelius Hayes was part of the V-12 program at the University of Redlands in Southern California. He received combat training at both Camp Pendleton and Camp Lejune but the war ended and he missed going off to combat. He was later attached to the 3rd Marine Division and in 1946 was part of the 6th Marine Division. Thank you for your service in WWII Mr Hayes!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

1950's Marine Ernest L Kyles Photos Snapshots

From the same box of photos that I found the 5th Marine Division Cemetery photo at, here is a set of photographs I found of a Marine named Ernest L Kyles who served in the USMC from 1956 through at least the early 60's. One of the photographs has his name written on the back and I was able to cross check it against the USMC rosters. He served a few years at Camp Pendleton, CA which is what I believe these photos are from. These pictures document the crossover of uniforms from WWII to Viet Nam era. Notice that even at this late date P41s are still being worn along side the Gomer Pyle HBT and Sateen style shirts. I also love the Jackets with the EGA stenciled on them. Another great detail is the 50's boots with the fast lacing for the top eyelets. Finally I like the last picture with his Alphas Service Greens on, I would love to identify the building in the background. Overall a wonderful snapshot of a 1950's Marine. Thank you for your service Ernest Kyles!