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P41, M1941 M1 Garand belt, M1941 suspenders

Discussion in 'Uniforms, Personal Gear (Kit) and Accessories' started by Vonschrader, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. Vonschrader

    Vonschrader Member

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    Got some new stuff today! I purchased a USMC P41 Jacket, M1941 suspenders(which I now believe are Vietnam era), and an M1941 M1 Garand ammo belt.

    P41:

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    The jacket does appear to be missing the two bottom pockets. I have no idea why they would be gone, but they are. The P41 also has what seems to be a serial number or possibly a laundry number. One of the cuff buttons has sustained damage. It also appears there were EGA pins on the collar at one point.

    Belt, suspenders, and first aid kit:

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    It is hard to tell what company made the belt. I can only make out 'Co.' and '1942', making this belt a 1942 produced belt. I believe it is a R.M. Co produced belt. The belt also appears to have a serial number of 'K2987'.The first aid kit still has the original dressing, and it happens to be in an original paper case.
     
  2. RRA227

    RRA227 Member

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    Nice stuff. The suspenders look 'Nam era. What is the DSA code? Rich A. in Pa.
     
  3. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    My guess is that the pockets were removed when the Marine Corps transitioned to the "santeen" utility uniform and began tucking the blouse into the trousers. Cutting the pockets off a P41/43 HBT Bluse would have been a sign of "saltiness". The holes in the collar are most likely from rank insignia; which also made it's appearence in the late 1950's, I think 1955/56.
     
  4. Vonschrader

    Vonschrader Member

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    It is hard to tell. The only part of the stamps that are legible is the "US" part of the stamps.

    I wasn't aware of the blousing, or rank pins. Thanks for the info!
     
  5. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    If you watch the movie: "The DI" with Jack Webb you see quite a few wearing HBTs tucked in
     
  6. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Watch "Battlecry" or any of the other movies made using Marines in the mid-50's, Marines wore the HBT utility jacket/blouse tucked in. I have 5 or 6 that were originally my dad's and they are an assorted lot. They were all issued during the transition period. Some were produced with no pockets on the skirt (they weren't cut off), some with one grenade pocket and some with two, like the WWII version.
     
  7. Vonschrader

    Vonschrader Member

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    It looks like the jacket I bought has stitching leftover where the jacket's lower pockets were. It's more obvious on the wearers left-hand side pocket. This makes it a WWII jacket, correct? It does have bronze color buttons and khaki stitching.
     
  8. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Not necessarily, the same jacket was issued up through the late 1950's in several configurations. I know my uncle was issued the type with the two skirt grenade pockets during the Korean War in 1950. The Marine Corps didn't throw a lot of stuff away so you really can't tell by when it was issued either. I was just a kid, but I remember them still issuing the cross strap canteen covers in the '67-68 time frame.
     
  9. Vonschrader

    Vonschrader Member

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    I understand the Marine Corps re-issued a lot of equipment. From my knowledge, WWII USMC helmet covers were still being used in the 'Nam era. Anyway, back to the P41. The khaki stitching and square chest pocket was the original WWII style. When P41's were produced in Korea, it was rounded chest pocket and OD stitching. I could be wrong though...
     
  10. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    The Marine Corps had another uniform between the WWII/Korea style HBT's and the introduction of the sateen uniform. I don't know the nomenclature, but it was HBT material and a different cut.

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    Note the HBT material and the covered pockets.

    Just found it on Google, this is the P-56 pattern (picture taken in 1962), there was a P-58 pattern that was the same cut as this uniform, but made out of the sateen cotton material and finally the army style sateens. I still saw Marines wearing this uniform at Camp Pendleton in 1968.
    Most pictures you see of Marines in Korea in 1950 have them wearing the P-41 pattern blouse, the P-44 trousers and the skirt of the jacket is tucked in. So tucking it in (and removing the lower pockets) probably pre-dates the transition period.
     
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  11. Vonschrader

    Vonschrader Member

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    I believe the unofficial term is P47, due to the fact the jackets were being produced in 1947.
     
  12. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    This is where things get confusing. The jackets I have that were issued in the late 1950's have the more square pockets. Was the "U" shaped pocket the official spec or a manufacturing variance? I've seen a number of collectors that have fairly good anecdotal evidence that that particular pocket style appeared earlier than the Korean War era. You do have the examples of the WWII uniform with mis-matched color pockets, which should be expected since it was wartime and it was a combat/utility uniform. When your industry is supporting a global war, you can't afford to waste material. The photos I have of my uncle Charlie in Korea have him wearing the square pocketed type, some with the skirt tucked in, some worn outside. He's wearing the trousers with the thigh pockets P-44(M). (Modification, rear/butt pocket removed)
    You see some pictures from Korea with the Marines wearing the P-44 type utility jacket. I know that the uniform wasn't well liked by the troops. Especially, the trousers with the butt pocket. It was however produced/issued from 1944-1955. That uniform was actually designed by David Shoup after Tarawa because so many troops had lost all their equipment during that landing. IIRC, it was first fielded at Saipan and wasn't received well. In the later war battles you see some of the P-44/M-44 type but the P-41 type is still more prevalent.
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    I checked a uniform reference put out by the Marine Corps Museum that the P-41 style HBT was issued from 1942 to 1955. The only "official" variation was the P-41 (M-1955) modification two lower patch pockets removed. The P-41 (M-1955) was produced/issued from 1955-1968. It can be further dated by the 1936 (two-riband) Marine Corps Emblem stenciled on the pocket or the 1954 (one-riband) insignia.
    The official specification calls for "one pounded patch pocket on the left breast.." so that could apply to either of the pocket types as the more square type has rounded corners.
    In the end because most did not have manufacturer's stamps and dates, there is no way to say for sure when it was made. It is a nice piece though and all I can say is enjoy it.
     
  13. Vonschrader

    Vonschrader Member

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    It is about impossible to tell what kind of jacket your uncle was wearing in photos, because P41's were re-issued from WWII to Korea. I also heard that some WWII produced jackets had the U shaped breast pocket. There was also two row or one row stitching on the pocket. There were many differences between manufacturers. I imagine it comes down to stitching color on the jacket. In WWII early war, it was khaki stitching. Companies started to run out of khaki color fabric in 1943 and manufacturers had to change colors of all sorts of equipment and clothes. Take this belt for example.

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    From 1945 onwards, most cotton items were made with OD fabric and stitching. I believe that is how to identify a Korean era jacket. But I'm not 100% sure.

    I still think there is a P47 jacket. When the P44 and P42 uniforms were created, they weren't as great as people thought it was, so in 1947, P41's were manufactured. Apparently, they were slimmer than original WWII P41's.
     
  14. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    That was part of my point, issued uniforms were often a mix of old production and new production. Also, was the uniform he was wearing part of his initial issue or a later issue to replace worn out uniforms? There are several of the pictures and all appear to be the same uniform type, but one is a good close up and it is the one I was referring to. There is no doubt in my mind it is a P-41, what I do not know is if it was from existing WWII stocks or of new manufacture. I do know how the Marine Corps introduces "new" uniform types and that is at the Recruit Depots in the initial issue. Serving Marines normally get the new uniforms when their old uniforms become unserviceable and are replaced. The exception would be when there is an additional issue for tactical/operational requirements. Normally, when a uniform is being superseded it is allowed for wear until a specified date when it is no longer authorized for wear.

    We agree on this and if this is the case it is not a reliable feature for identifying it's production date.


    Again we agree.

    That is an example of war time shortages. I know two of the jackets that I have of my dad's have the lighter colored stitching and they were issued in '55-'56 so I seriously doubt they were, WWII, wartime production.

    This is generally true, but not in all cases.

    "I believe the unofficial term is P47.." You made the following statement earlier. If it was not an official change it was a manufacturing variance. Again, I would like to make clear that I am NOT certain there wasn't a P-47, just that I have seen no documentation that there was such an animal.
     

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