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!

WWII Demilled Japanese Bayonets

I came across these photos of Demilled IJA Bayonets on a Japanese website. An interesting photo that answers the question " I wonder what happened to all those Japanese bayonets?"

Ol' Glory Beer Amber Light Iwo Jima Can

I walked into a 99 Cent store a few weeks ago and happened to come across a shelf of these Ol' Glory Amber Beer cans with the silhouette of the Iwo Jima the Flag Raising. I really don't have much to say about these but at least the VFW Foundation gets a piece of the proceeds to help Veterans out.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Iwo Jima Springboard to Final Victory Book by Captain Raymond Henri

A recent purchase last week was a copy of Iwo Jima Springboard to Final Victory Book by Captain Raymond Henri A US Camera Book. Published in 1945, Springboard is one of the first books published about the battle. Although there is text, the book is mostly photographs, more than half that I haven't seen published in any other book. I love the pulp two tone cover of the flag raising photograph. These usually sell for around $15 and worth picking up for the many photographs I haven't seen in any other book.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

WWII USMC 4th Marine Division Master Technical Sergeant

Here is a great jacket that was on our favorite auction site this week, belonging to a Master Technical Sgt who was in the 4th Pioneer Battalion. He was a long time Marine enlisting in the early 1930's and most likely saw all the 4th MarDiv actions in WWII. Am uncommon rank from a great Marine Division.

Iwo Jima 5th Marine Division Cemetery Original Photo

Going to one of my local antique store haunts last weekend, I decided to sit down and look through a huge pile of photos and one of the last photos I found in the box is what I believe is an original photo of the 5th MarDiv Cemetery at Iwo Jima. By the looks of the building in the background I believe the photo dates from around 1946. A tragic reminder of the huge cost of fighting on Iwo Jima.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The US Marines on Iwo Jima By Five Marine Combat Writers Book

Last night I finally finished reading The US Marines on Iwo Jima By 5 Marine Combat Writers. One of the first books written about the battle and published in 1945 by The Infantry Press. I originally bought it as a collectable but after reading it I feel this is one of the finest books about the battle. It reads more like a extended news magazine article as opposed to a academic study or novel. Although over 68 years old the book still has a freshness to it that belies its age. Having read many Iwo Jima books it doesn't appear to many modern books have used it in its bibliography, which is a shame as the book offers so much "new" rediscovered information. For example one aspect I have been looking for more info on is how the Beaches were managed during the invasion. A few pages are devoted to this very subject and was a revelation to me while reading it. The Tank battle at the end of one of the Motoyama runway with Japanese gun placements is an incredible read that I haven't read anywhere else. I double checked many of the names with the USMC Rosters online and indeed many of the people mentioned and quoted in the Battle check against it. Sadly many of the Marines that were quoted were later killed in the battle. Even the mention of the heroic "Colored" African American DUWK landing crews was very forward thinking and the mention of the two flag raising on Surabachi makes light of the fact the the first flag raising wasn't as unknown as I previously thought. Yes this book is nearly 70 years old but it is one of the best and very contemporary accounts of the battle.
Here is an interesting copy of the Hardcover edition of the book.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

WWII USMC M-1941 Pack Haversack Layout Contents

M-1941 Haversack Contents
  • Bayonet In Scabbard Hooked to Bayonet Attachment passing through hoop.
  • Intrenching Tool with Carrier hooked to intrenching tool attachement and strap.
  • Poncho, folded and inserted into haversack to act as pad against pack.
  • Meat Can and Cover
  • Knife, Haversack
  • Fork, Haversack
  • Spoon, Haversack
  • 1 Socks, Pair
  • 1 Undershirt
  • 1 Drawers
  • Toilet Articles
  • 6x Cans C-Rations
  • 1 D-Ration
M-1941 Knapsack Contents
  • 1 Shoes Pair
  • 1 Trousers
  • 2 Shirts
  • 2 Socks pair
  • 2 Undershirts
  • 2 Drawers

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Early WWII USMC P-1915 Haversack and Bunk Layout 1940's

First Published in 1938, this is the 7th edition of the Marine Handbook published in 1940. The pack layout is for the early M-1928 pack, only used by the Marines in the very beginning of WWII.