I have been wanting to create a conclusive online Pictoral reference of the peices of Web Gear that the United States Marine would have been issued in WW2.
I have been collecting for some time now and feel that my collection is now large enough to start catalouging and posting pictures of it.
This is a work in progress and still has a very long way to go. My ultimate goal is to obtain at least one example of every type/ style of web gear and other items that were used by the USMC in WW2.
As of now this collection mostly represents the peices of gear that would have been used and seen in 1942 through mid 1943 ( with some exceptions) as this time period is what my main focus on USMC gear is concerned with. Not everything I own has been photographed yet.
The next installment of my USMC Web gear and Items reference will include all versions of canteens used and equipment seen from late 1943 - 1945.
I will also post in the future pictures of complete web gear sets, that is to say the gear assembled on a person.
Here is the first installment of my USMC Gear and Items, A pictoral Reference.
All items are WW1 or WW2 originals unless noted otherwise.
P-41 Pack System:
Here are three types of P-41 packs all of which were manufactured in 1942. On the right is a Depot made rivited buckle upperpack (some were stitched buckle as well). In the middle is a first contract 42 dated BOYT Made upperpack as distinguished by the makers marking (See picture below) and on the left is a Second contract 42 dated BOYT made Upperpack as distinguished by its makers mark ( See picture below)
Here is a picture of the 1st contract BOYT made upperpacks marking. It is characterized as a 1st contract pack becuase this type of manufacture marking was only used on the 1st contract placed by the USMC with BOYT. All other contracts markings followed the next pictures style.
This picture shows the makers marking employed after the 1st contract of P-41 packs from BOYT. This marking woudl stay the same through the rest of the war.
This is a picture of 3 Depot made lower packs and one 42 dated 1st Contract BOYT lower pack (the one at the end) Note the varying shades of canvas and webbing used on each fo the Depot made packs and slight size/ shape variation in the packs themselves.
This is a picture of a complete Issued as such Depot made pack Both the lower and upper parts have matching stains and wear (where the two packs meet) indicating that these were issued together.
Here is a picture of the items that would typically go onto a P-41 pack, a bayonet scabbard, shovel, and shelter half with blanket rolled up inside. The only reproduction item in this picture is the M1910 scabbard. Early in the War the USMC used WW1 Army issue and WW2 army issued shelter halves (seen above the pack)
Here is a picture of the P-41 pack fully assembled. This type of equipment set up woudl have been typical for a Marine from 42-mid to late 43. The use of the Khaki shelter half, and M1910 Bayonet scabbard is well documented into 42-43.
Here is a pack set up typical of a soldier seen from mid to late 43 all the way until the end of the war ( use of M43 shovel as well as M1910 though) Depot made packs were far less common and BOYT packs were the norm. The cammo shelter half was introduced in 1943 and became standard issue. The shelter half, shovel and shovel cover are reproductions.
Here we see three P-41 suspenders, each oen is very different from the other and represents two distinct versions used during the war. As can be seen color variation in the Suspenders was quite high, ranging from mustard yellow to a combination of khaki and olive drab.
In this picture we see two version of suspenders, a first pattern with an early flat buckle (top) and a second pattern with a curved buckle (bottom) They were never reffered too as 1st or 2nd pattern but for clarifications sake I refer to them as such. When the P41 suspender was made for a short time the buckles were flat and then they put curved ones on.
The USMC made good use of the M36 suspender fromt he army, there is plentiful documentation of them being used from Guadalcannal to Okinawa.
Mess Ware and Canteens
Here are some examples of the types of mess ware and canteens used. The USMC used WW1 mess kits and canteens extensivly in WW2. They also used the WW2 mess kits and canteens as well.
Ammo Pouches and Bandoliers
Here we have several types of pouches used by the USMC. The USMC also used Army pouches as seen by the WW1 army .45 ammo pouches on the right. The USMC also used Army Carbine pouches and not just the USMC made ones pictured.
Here are three types of banodliers used by the USMC. Early on and on a limited use the USMC used the WW1 army grenade vest for a number of things. WW1 BAR bandoliers were also used extensivly as well as the Springfield (pictured) and Garand ammo bandoliers.
Here we have three different versions of WW1 WW2 Depot Modified BAR belts made specifically by the USMC depot becuase of a lack of WW2 M37 BAR belts. Each one shows a different combonation of pouch flats and hardware. There also is a WW1 M1910 ammo belt pictured that was used extensuvly by the USMC as well as a 43 dated M1923 USMC made ammo belt above that.
First Aid Pouches
Here we have several types of first aid pouches used by the USMC. Top left is the WW1 P12 USMC first aid pouch, bottom left is the WW1 M1910, top center is the late M42 first aid pouch and center bottom is an early M42 first aid pouch and at the end is the Army Jungle first aid pouch.
Here we see a WW1 carslie tin, sulfie pack and needle tin as would have been issued WW1 surplus.
Here is the very common WW2 carlise tin and latter cardboard bandage box, these two were issued in the greatest numbers.
Here is the Army Jungle first aid kit with some of its original contents specific to this kit. These were used from late 43-45 along with all the other first aid kits.
Shovels and Knifes
From the left we have a 42 dated BOYT made leather machete sheath, a M1910 Bayonet scabbard (repro) and Two M1910 shovels with USMC shovel covers ( the one of the far right is a reproduction as well as the US one too) We also have a Navy Mk2 Ka-BAR ( these did make there way onto the battle field) and also the trench knife (repro) The shovels are repainted originals.
You can see the difference betweent the repro (right) and the original (Left)
Here is a USMC wire cutter pouch.
Uniforms and Bits
This is a mid war made P-41 jacket, the buttons are the harder to find steel/ Zinc made buttons. It also has a deep sage green typical of mid war Jackets.
This is a late war jacket, the buttons are copper ( most widely used throught the war) and it is a light sage green ( though heavly worn) it also has its bottom pockets missing, something found on many jackets as were commonly taken off sometimes.
Here is a repro P-42 uniform, inroduced in 43 it was not the greatest of success and lead to the development of the P-44 uniform.
Even though the P-44 never saw service in WW2 I still wanted to include it. Neat example as the Marine put on lower pockets after getting it issued to him.
The M41 was issued to the USMC in 44 and saw use from Iwo Ima to Okinawa. This is a reproduction.
Helmets and Headware
Each helmet is an original WW2 front seam fixed bale helmet. The Cammo cover was not issued unitil 43 but was used extensivly.
WW2 EGA on WW2 Army cap, this was common practice as the USMC was givin army caps, this example was givin to me by a Vet from the 4th Marine Radiers along with his tie.
I dont need to go into this but each one was used in one version or another during WW2 by the USMC.
Early version Type 99 Carbine rifle
Bags and Pack Board
The USMC used the M3A1 gs mask bag when they got them in 44 as a GP bag for everything. They also very early on contracted a few army pattern M36 musset bags, this is a very beaten example of one of the few that were contracted.
The Yukon Pack board as it came to be known was used by the military in WW2 before the latter plywood one we all know came to be. This is a great 43 dated example in mint condition. When the USMC used pack boards then they would have used this one early on becuase this was what was available.
Next installment will fill in the holes I have here, but its a great start for anyone wanting to see actuall USMC equipment and learn a bit about it.
Post by troyluginbill on Mar 15, 2009 2:37:10 GMT -5
to add a few more pieces that can be used to detail and round out your kit.
USMC Mussette bag. In addition to the M36 the USMC used their own design. It was unique in that the strap could be buttoned to the bottom (note lift the dot) to form shoulder straps. Commonality of this is debated. Some claim it was used more than the US M36 others less. I cannot tell the difference in pics, nor have I seen any contract lots with numbers produced.
2 pocket grenade pouch. Not common, but seen among certain units.
3 most common styles of knives other than the bayonet. Top is USN mk 1, middle is good ole M3, and bottom is the USN Mk 2 which will ultimately be adopted as the KABAR.
2nd pattern canteen cover. Note the lift the dot snaps instead of sturdy snaps. USMC canteens hung lower than US canteens, and did not have the stitching up the front center. Why-cause they're marines gol darnit!
1st pattern canteen cover. Sturdy snaps instead of lift the dots. Otherwise pretty much identical.
Dispatch case. Used mainly by officers. Pretty much identical to the US, only in khaki instead of drab. Why?-cause they're marines gol dagnabbit!
Waist life belt. Pretty much every marine went ashore with one of these. Also dropped it when immediately ashore. But if you are doing a landing craft impression and don't have one on your gunny is going to have a cowbell.
Also not pictured is the M7 rubberized gas mask bag. Not common by a long shot and only seen on and after Iwo Jima, it was highly prized because it was waterproof. Where they came from no one knows-the USMC did not contract for them, so it can only be assumed they kypped USN supplies.
Post by troyluginbill on Mar 25, 2009 21:09:26 GMT -5
megabutter the pack system is very complicated. There are three variations, the knapsack only, the marching pack and campaign pack. The knapsack only is the easiest. The best way to wear the packs is to use the straps already attached to them. The M36s don't go with any of the USMC gear.
Post by TommyGunner on Apr 29, 2009 1:40:04 GMT -5
More pics soon to come. With the Spring semester drawing to a close I recently bought a few new items to add to the collection which include an early contract USMC made musset bag and another 42 depot made Upper pack with riveted straps. By May 20th I hope to have full pictures of kits posted up as well.
jungle first aid, not the little carlisle pouch. i accidentally put 'Marine' in there instead of jungle, thanks for catching that. yes, it was actually one of the few things actually designed for the Marines, partly because we really stress, even back then buddy aid, and the carlisle bandage just wasn't enough. it then started to be issued to some of the army units that were in the pacific, and i think the 6th Ranger Bn used them also, not sure though. My in-laws had an eldrely black gentleman who used to live next door and he was in New Guniea with an army outfit, can't remember which one, and he had many pics, and he had one, wore it in the front if I remember correctly.
Gunner, as in USMC Warrant Officer, prior enlisted, an Officer with common sense!
Post by troyluginbill on Feb 13, 2010 13:15:14 GMT -5
The jungle first aid kit wasnt so much designed for the marines as based upon marine experiences with guadalcanal. The one used by the USMC and army in the PTO is the second model. The first was a simple roll with extra pieces they found they needed in the jungle. It was not easily accessible to others or the soldier carrying it so they changed it to what we know as the jungle first aid kit. I like that it was so successful that it was used up through the 80s. Very few designs of equipment last that long.
good intel. yeah, actually i think the issued it untill MOLLE came out, I've still got mine that I was issued. The green nylon with the plastic box. I lauged the first time I saw some army dude with his 'first aid' kit, "that little bitty thing....whatcha gonna do with that, watch me bleed to death?" lol
Gunner, as in USMC Warrant Officer, prior enlisted, an Officer with common sense!
Post by troyluginbill on Apr 12, 2010 21:30:41 GMT -5
nope, OD is post war. I cant remember off hand when the USMC went to OD (sometime before vietnam-all their gear is OD there.) I hate to say that the reenactor gang will give you hell about it, but I wouldnt worry too much if you are just putting together a basic kit, they are a fine cheap way to start. If you want a khaki one you better get it soon though, the pacific is driving up prices.
OD starts being used on packs late '40s early '50s , one of my top packs is a mix of OD and Khaki and it's dated 1951 i have a bottom pack that is all OD and it's dated 1952 , so Korea is when OD starts being used.
ME NE FREGO. Guns don't kill people , husbands who come home early do. I am here to chew bubble gum and kick ass , and I am all out of bubble gum
Not quite true. As an example, if you look on pages 134 and 135 of "Grunt Gear" you will see an M1941 pack in OD marked 1945 and a Jungle Pack which was only produced in OD or Camo starting in 1942. There are a few other items from Carbine and Reising pouches, grenade pouches and jungle first aid kits that were produced in OD. I have the later dated 1944 in my collection of gear. There is also a famose picture of a Marine on Tarawa ,1943 "G. Newcomb" who appears with an OD pack. Although the picture is B&W it is clear that it is not khaki but the darker OD as compared to his HBT's and other gear. See below and you judge:
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