Tuesday, November 24, 2015
UPDATE 3/16: The restored 5th MarDiv jacket was publicly debuted at the 71 Annual Iwo Jima Survivors Banquet at Camp Pendleton last month. A real honor to have this coat displayed to represent the 5th MarDiv Marines who couldn't be there.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Here is a unique modified USMC WWII Service Coat. It appears one pocket has been removed, and another is missing its flap. Interesting enough they never took off the Marine buttons. Most likely a modified coat for civilian wear.
Voice O Gram records were recordable records that soldiers can record a personal message and sent back home to played on a record player. These were usually provided by the Red Cross or other service organizations. This is a unique example of a Marine themed record that are currently selling on eBay at the moment. I love the great humorous Marine themed artwork used throughout.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Here is an interesting study. If I happen across a barrel full of Army First Aid pouches I usually take the time to sit and sort through all the FAP to see if I can find any Marine identification stamped items. Here is a good example of two I have in my collection. Although when WWII started the Marines had their own first aid pouches, as the war progressed the Marines started to procure Army FAPs to fill up orders. Accordingly when the Marines received them they would mark them with their name stamps as they would with all their gear. The bottom FAP is a Boyt manufacture, a common maker for Marine items in WWII. The top two FAP are Army pouches with Marine name marking, unfortunately all three names are common and I was unable to identify the Marines who wore them. The middle pouch is unusual as it never appears it had a "US" stamped on the front, or if it did it was rubbed or worn out completely. Since Marine items were never marked "US" there is a possibility it was made without the "US" making it a very unusual Army FAP specifically made for the Marines. This is pure conjecture as I've never seen any paperwork or orders that states as such. Regardless all three FAP are interesting example of FAPs with a Marine association.
Friday, November 6, 2015
Here is a recent addition to my 5th Marine Division collection. This is a Vandegrift style cutdown service coat IDed to a Marine who was in the 5th Engineers. These are always uniques coats as they were done by tailors and each one has minor details that make them different from each other. This coat was stripped and looks like with was modified after the war with the Marine buttons removed and replaced with grey civilian buttons, most likely to be worn as daily clothing. This is the first one I've managed to find for my collection.
Monday, October 26, 2015
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
The second Corpsman coat I managed to locate last month was this incredible 4th Raider Battalion Corpsman coat I found at a local antiques fair. This is one of those dream finds that comes around once in a lifetime. The coat was stripped but the PhM rate and IMAC outline were clearly on the coat and the name in the coat only matched one Corpsman who was in the Raiders. This Sailor left the service in 1944 for reasons unknown at the moment as I haven't received his records. Like the 1st MarDiv corpsman coat it's difficult to locate a Forest Green Corpsman rate and loose Raider patches can be pricey but I had a friend pull through for me for the rates and found a great deal online for the SSI. I will be taking it to the seamstress shortly and hopefully have it by the end of the weekend.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Last year I picked up this Forest Green Marine Coat IDed to a Corpsman in the 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. I was finally able to locate a proper left facing crow Forest Green Corpsman Rate to start the restoration. Very happy to finally see this one come together after a year of looking. I'm still having difficulty locating his records but I plan to start working on it again. Still a long way to go!
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
These break my heart, coats who somewhere along the line somebody felt that the patches needed to be cut off the coat. This one hurts the most since it was a WWI coat.
Monday, September 28, 2015
The second item I sent to J. Murray to be refurbished was a dead look a like WWII M1 Euroclone helmet liner shell I found at a local surplus store. The cloth liner had already been taken out and it looked near exactly like a WWII M1 Helmet liner. I thought this would be a good liner to use for my reenactor/living history helmet. I sent along the liner shell and purchased a liner kit to install into the liner shell. A couple of weeks later I received my restored liner back and the cloth liner kit was beautifully assembled into the liner shell. I already had a leather headband and liner strap from ATF, so those were used instead of the J. Murray versions. Overall I am 100% satisfied with both projects that were sent to them and as stated before looking forward to completing more projects with them.
About a month ago J. Murray Inc. 1944, WWII M1 helmet restorers, announced that they found original WWII #07 Helmet Chinstraps for restorations. Having been working on my WWII Navy Helmet restoration I found last year I figured it would be a good opportunity to replace the missing chinstraps on the helmet. For those who restore WWII helmets its the most difficult item to locate for restorations. Having never used J. Murray before I figured this would be a great opportunity to get some work done through their services. It could be a little intimidating at first since there are a lot of fly by night and shady operators who take your helmet only for it to never be seen again. But through word of mouth and excellent reviews with many collectors and renovators and with J. Murray having some incredible hard to locate original parts I figured this was the time to get my helmet completed. After some discussion on with them on their Facebook page, I sent in the helmet and liner. A couple weeks later I received my helmet back and I was blown away with the quality of the restoration. Not only did I have original parts on the helmet but it was beautifully sewn on at a very reasonable price. Looking forward to getting some more projects finished through them.
Saturday, September 26, 2015
As seen in a pack layout in The Word this is Carter's Indelible Outfit ink pad used by Marines to mark uniforms and gear. This was a pad and brush only with the ink needing to be brushed into the pad.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Also taken from a 1951 issue of Marine Corps Gazette, this is a good example of the prescribed Marine Cold Weather clothing layering system.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
One unique item that I have located is an official Japanese government letter written to a Japanese family who lost a family member in the Battle of Iwo Jima. This also includes a two armbands for a patriotic civilian organization. One of these letters is talked about in Dan Kings' A Tomb Called Iwo Jima.
Friday, August 28, 2015
While many reenactors might be familiar with WWII Marine Utilities manufactured by WWII Impressions, At The Front and SM Wholesale, WWII HBTS have always been popular with the vintage culture in Japan and more than a handful of makers in Japan have reproduced their own items for the Japanese Market. Here is a good example of one made by Toyo in Japan. At first look it appears that one might have found a unique field drawn uniform but just a quick look in the pocket says otherwise. While many of might be familiar with the US made items, its these Japanese items that seem to be unknown here in the USA. Always check those pockets for tags before drop the big cash. Toyo Enterprises
I real great looking ad for Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils featuring a Marine with a Thompson Machine Gun. These period ads are a great source of info on what a particular everyday item looked like during WWII.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Here's a list of items that Marines would have issued and in their possession, taken from one of my WWII USMC vet service record.
Monday, July 20, 2015
A few weeks ago some amazing uniforms appeared on Ebay, too many to be honest. One of the uniforms I missed out on was this amazing Khaki Marine Officer's coat. While I am not much of a khaki coat or Marine Aviator collector or a big fan of the Corsair (My favorite WWII fighter is the Wildcat), this original owner of this coat was quite a Marine....! Earning a flying Cross for actions in the Korea War flying corsairs, really changed things up for me. There are very few things I regret missing out on but this Marine Pilot hero really tells an incredible story. Congratulations to the winner!