Friday, December 11, 2015

WWII USMC Pack Layouts

These are WWII Pack layouts by collectors and reenactors as seen at local events.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

WWII USMC H&S Co. 28th Marines 5th Marine Division Jacket Coat

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.
This is one of those unique circumstances finds that I have ever had over the years. I originally bought this coat online for the sole purpose of taking off the buttons for another restoration. I didn't even ask the dealer the usual questions, and the condition of the coast wasn't the best, with large mothing holes on the collar and wrinkled with age. I really didn't bother with even watching the auction and was surprised that I won the auction for not very much. When I received the coat I opened up the sleeve and there was a prominent 5th Marine Division thread outline in the inside of the coat! I opened the other sleeve and sure enough there was a name which matched to a Marine in the Headquarter & Service Company, 28th Marines and an Iwo Jima vet. When doing some research into his life, sadly I discovered that he passed away very young, at age 29 in 1952. All of this was so random, as his coat was floating around for 70 years and it fell into the hands of a collector/historian who studies the 5th MarDiv and Iwo Jima. It saddens me he died so young, so soon after the war. His records have been ordered and his coat has been dry cleaned with the 5th MarDiv SSI of his unit sewn back onto his jacket. This will be the Jacket I display next year at the Iwo Jima Banquet to honor the men who served in the unit. An incredible circumstances that was meant to be.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

WWII USMC Modified Forest Green Coat.

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.

WWII USMC Marine Themed Voice O Gram Record

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

WWII US Army First Aid Pouches with Marine Name Identification Stamps.

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

WWII USMC Corporal 5th Engineers Cutdown Vandegrift Coat 5th Marine Division

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

WWII US Navy Corpsman Stretcher

WWII Navy Stretcher dated 1943. This style was produced so it could fold in the middle.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

WWII USMC Raider Corpsman PhM2c 4th Raider Battalion

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

WWII Navy Corpsman Forest Green Coat 1st MarDiv Update

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

Chop Chop! The Sad Demise of USMC Coats that didn't make the Cut so they got the Cut.

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.
Khaki Shirt Survivor!
Why unscrew the EGA when you can just cut it off...
a new one!

Monday, September 28, 2015

J. Murray Inc. 1944 WWII M1 Helmet Liner Restoration Part2

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.

J. Murray Inc. 1944 WWII NOS OD#7 M1 Helmet Chinstraps Replacements Part1

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

WWII Carter's Indelible Outfit Ink Marine Clothing and Gear Marking Kit

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

Korean War USMC Marine Cold Weather Clothing Gear 1950-1951

Also taken from a 1951 issue of Marine Corps Gazette, this is a good example of the prescribed Marine Cold Weather clothing layering system.

Korean War Suggested Officer List of Items

Taken from a 1951 issues of Marine Gazette, this is the suggested list of items and gear for a Marine Officer heading over to Korea.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

WWII Japanese Iwo Jima KIA Government Condolence Letter & Armband

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

WWII US Navy Higgins Boat Operator PhibsTraPac

Great full color photo cover of a Higgins Boat Operator and gear. From the PhibsTraPac Training Command Amphibious Forces Pacific Fleet" The Story of the Amphibious Trainee" book.

Japanese Toyo Made WWII USMC HBT Dungarees Utilities

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
Here is another Buzz Rickson Toyo USMC HBTS Reproduction:

WWII USMC Ticonderoga pencil AD Thompson Machine Gun

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

WWII USMC Marine Clothing Issued Items List 1944-45

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

Korean War Khaki Pilot Marine Coat Corsair Flying Cross

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!