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Author Topic: USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock  (Read 6347 times)

Offline Tug1970

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USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock
« on: February 01, 2016, 06:28:08 PM »
USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock


Hi,

I'd like to share with you my 3rd type USMC Paramarine Step-in Smock.  After collecting British Airborne for so long and having the good fortune of owning two British Step-in smocks I thought it would be very interesting to add a Paramarine Step-in smock to the collection.

I have become quite interested in WWII USMC items of clothing and equipment, in particular the P42 camouflage synonymous with the P.T.O. (Pacific Theater of Operations).

3rd type USMC Paramarine Step-in Smock



This 3rd type jump smock is in extremely good condition and has become an extremely rare garment.  The Paramarines were a small and fairly short lived unit, many Paramarines went on to fight with regular marine units with great distinction during the Pacific campaign.  This garment is in excellent lightly used condition, all press studs are present, both large pads are present to the rear of the arms.  The colour of the camouflage is excellent and it appears to have only been washed a few times and still retains a little of the stiffness from the factory starch.
These smocks were unmarked and the original side zip closures are manufactured by Talon. The front is a simple press stud closure, all press studs are intact and have much of their blackened finish still remaining. To the back of each of the press studs are the manufacturer United Cars stampings.



The Paramarines (also known as Marine paratroopers) was a short-lived specialized combat unit of the United States Marine Corps, trained to be dropped from planes by parachute. Marine parachute training which began in New Jersey in October 1940 ended with the parachute units being disbanded at Camp Pendleton, California in February, 1944. Paratroopers received a significantly increased salary after completing training, so there was no shortage of volunteers, although all were required to be unmarried. Standards of fitness were high, and 40% failed the training course.



Below is a USMC 1st type Step-in smock, quite similar in design to the early German paratrooper's smock.  The 1st type has an exposed full frontal zipper, black stenciled EGA and "USMC" on left chest, two pockets - one with two snap buttons and the other with three.  Large padded elbows, two large lower zipper tan canvas pockets, snap button parachutist knife pocket on lower left side and a large 3-snap button on back of the smock.



The first cohort of Marines paratroopers trained at NAS Lakehurst in New Jersey in October 1940, eventually becoming the 1st Marine Parachute Battalion. They were followed by a second group in December 1940, forming the 2nd Marine Parachute Battalion. A third class trained at Camp Kearny in San Diego, California in early 1941, eventually forming the 3rd Marine Parachute Battalion. After the United States entered World War II, the training program was stepped up, and a special training camp and parachute training school was opened temporarily at Camp Elliott in San Diego in May 1942, next to Camp Kearny, moving to purpose-built accommodation nearby at Camp Gillespie in September 1942. A second training camp and parachute training school opened at Hadnot Point on the New River in North Carolina in June 1942, but closed in July 1943.





The 1st Parachute Battalion was attached to the 1st Marine Division for the invasion of Guadalcanal. On 7 August 1942 the unit conducted an amphibious assault on the small island of Gavutu and later seized the neighbouring island of Tanambogo with other Marine units. The battalion later moved to Guadalcanal fighting alongside the 1st Marine Raiders in the Tasimboko raid and the Battle of Edson's Ridge. The high casualties suffered by the Marine paratroopers led the battalion to be moved to Camp Kiser in Tontouta, New Caledonia in September. The 2nd Parachute Battalion performed a diversionary raid on Choiseul Island in October 1943 and later joined the 1st and 3rd Parachute Battalion on Bougainville.



The three parachute battalions with approximately 3,000 members, had become the 1st Marine Parachute Regiment, of the I Marine Amphibious Corps. Four parachute operations were planned but never executed.



Capturing Villa airfield on Kolombangara as part of Operation Cartwheel to support the New Georgia campaign in July 1943

Capturing the Kahili and Kara airfields on Bougainville in September 1943

Capturing Kavieng in New Britain in April 1944

Capturing a Japanese seaplane base at Rekata Bay, Santa Isabel Island but the Japanese evacuated the base in September 1943

However, the need for and cost of a parachute corps in the Marines was questioned, as were other specialized elite units, such as the Marine Raiders. The Marine Corps also lacked the transport aircraft required for a massed parachute drop. On 30 December 1943, Marine Commandant Thomas Holcomb ordered the 1st Marine Parachute Regiment to be disbanded, and along with the Marine Raider units, it officially ceased to exist on 29 February 1944.

Apart from a small group including Peter Julien Ortiz who were parachuted into France as part of an Office of Strategic Services team to support the French Resistance, the Paramarines never dropped by parachute into combat, but were utilized during beach raids in the Pacific campaign, including at Guadalcanal. Paramarines at San Diego were transferred to the 5th Marine Division which landed on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945. Former Paramarines, Cpl. Harlon H. Block and Pfc. Ira H. Hayes, assisted in the raising of the American flag on Mount Suribachi on 23 February 1945, depicted in Joe Rosenthal's iconic photograph. A third former Paramarine, Sgt. Henry O. "Hank" Hansen, had participated in the first American flag-raising earlier that day. 4 of the 82 Marine Medal of Honor recipients in World War II, were former Paramarines who were awarded the medal for their heroic actions on Iwo Jima.

Paramarine Headdress

Strictly speaking there is no such thing as a 'USMC Paramarine Jump Helmet', it is a combination of a regular M1 helmet and an US Navy flight helmet.  The helmet is a basic M1, not an M1C neither an M2. 





USMC Navy flight helmet model NAF 1092, made of goatskin and lined with chamois leather.  It was worn under the M1 helmet or on its own while training.  In combat situations only the M1 was used, probably because the Paramarines never made an actual combat jump.  Navy Flight helmets can be found quite easily but the ones issued to the Marine Corps were marked 'USMC' on the back, they're harder to find and tend to fetch the higher prices.





NAF 1092 'SLOTE & KLEIN' manufactured leather flying helmet showing the USMC contract number 36278.





Just for pure interest sake below you can see the British Step-in smock alongside the USMC Paramarine Step-in smock.







Ira Hayes (January 12, 1923 – January 24, 1955), was a USMC Paramarine and was a participant in the famous WWII flag raising on Mount Suribachi Iwo Jima on February 25th 1945.  Ira was a Pima Native American and a United States Marine corporal who was one of the six flag raisers immortalized in the iconic photograph of the flag raising on Iwo Jima during World War II.  This was the second flag raising on the summit of Mount Suribachi.



Hayes was an enrolled member of the Gila River Pima Indian Reservation located in the Pinal and Maricopa counties in Arizona. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on August 26, 1942, and after recruit training, volunteered to become a Paramarine. He fought in the Bougainville and Iwo Jima campaigns in the Pacific Theatre of Operations.



On February 23, 1945, he helped to raise an American flag over Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, an event photographed by Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press. Hayes and the other five flag-raisers became national heroes as a result of Rosenthal’s flag raising photograph. In 1946, he was instrumental in revealing the true identity of one of the Marines in the flag raising photograph who was killed in action on Iwo Jima.





He was never comfortable with his new-found fame, however, and after his service in the Marine Corps, he descended into alcoholism. He died of exposure to cold and alcohol poisoning after a night of drinking on January 23–24, 1955. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on February 2, 1955.

Raising the First Flag on Iwo Jima.



Left to right: 1st Lt. Harold Schrier (crouched behind radioman's legs), Pfc. Raymond Jacobs (radioman reassigned from F Company), Sgt. Henry "Hank" Hansen (cloth cap, securing flag pipe with left hand), Platoon Sgt. Ernest "Boots" Thomas (seated), Pvt. Phil Ward (helmeted, securing flag pipe with both hands), PhM2c John Bradley, USN (helmeted, securing the flag pipe with right hand, standing above Ward), Pfc. James Michels (holding M1 Carbine), and Cpl. Charles W. Lindberg (standing above Michels).

They surface from time to time but its difficult to find them with the elbow pads, I think these are actually mad from the poncho material.  You'll often see these smocks cut down and made into jackets, like the British and German Fallschirmjager Step-in smocks they really weren't practical and therefore either adapted or abandoned, the later being said for the British and American smocks.......I've also seen these smocks with the crotch ripped out which would obviously serve better in the field.







Interestingly the USMC Paramarine is also the subject of a 'Camel' cigarette advert.



Thanks for looking in, I hope this thread was of some interest.

Brgds,
Tug

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Spike Milligan

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Re: USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 11:32:54 PM »
An excellent thread...thanks Tug. Fine examples of the smocks...about as good as it's possible to get!
"He who dares, wins!"

Offline Helmhunter

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Re: USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2016, 02:36:29 AM »
Hi Tug,

Not my collecting area but a very interesting thread.

Phil.

Offline Tug1970

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Re: USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2016, 03:45:38 AM »
An excellent thread...thanks Tug. Fine examples of the smocks...about as good as it's possible to get!
Thanks, yes interesting things alright.  I do like the step-in smock design but completely impractical in the field, you often find them ripped open at the crotch for this very reason.

Tug
Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

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Offline Rakkasan187

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Re: USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2016, 06:30:50 AM »
Oh my...

"The Hits just keep on coming"....

Incredible...

Smitty
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Offline David

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Re: USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2016, 10:19:34 PM »
A great read Tug. Very interesting ;)
"Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your ****, playing cricket is not" Keith Ross Miller R.A.A.F., AM MBE

Offline Skyline Drive

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Re: USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2016, 10:36:58 PM »
WOW! I had missed this thread until now. But what a collection, top notch objects in "as new" condition! Truly amazing!

Offline U.S.M.C.

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Re: USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2016, 10:42:27 PM »
great thread
in the beginning of change, the patriot is a scarce, brave, hated and scorned man. when his cause succeeds, the timid will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.

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Offline Phill Lockett

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Re: USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2017, 09:59:32 AM »
This is such an excellent thread,extremely informative and well documented ,I will use it as a reference point for USMC Paramarines.

You are seeing some rare smocks with superb detail.

Mods if you can pin this thread.

Much appreciated Tug

Phill
Regards

Phill

Offline Kohima

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Re: USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2017, 12:55:36 PM »
Great stuff !

K
On the edge of a tennis court far, far from home, the Sgt. shouted: Son, pass me a grenade !  The Battle of Kohima. Naga Hills, 1944.

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Offline Tug1970

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Re: USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 03:41:46 PM »
This is such an excellent thread,extremely informative and well documented ,I will use it as a reference point for USMC Paramarines.

You are seeing some rare smocks with superb detail.

Mods if you can pin this thread.

Much appreciated Tug

Phill

Thanks Phil, glad you liked the thread.

Tug  ;)
Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

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Offline Rakkasan187

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Re: USMC Paramarine 3rd type Step-in Smock
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2018, 08:12:55 AM »
Tug,

Thank you again for such informative topics. The items you have posted are incredible..

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year..

All the Best

Smitty
"Pain is only weakness leaving the body"

"What you do in Life, echos in Eternity"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr (Smitty)
USA (ret) 1984-2005

EPFD 1997-2008

ASMIC Member
 
187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team Association Member (RAKKASANS)

VFW Member

 

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