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Author Topic: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.  (Read 3865 times)

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« on: August 30, 2015, 02:05:20 AM »
American troops began arriving in Australia as early as December  ’41 whilst Pearl Harbor was still smouldering. They were there both to help bolster the Australian defences against the threat of invasion by Japan from the north and to prepare for what would become Gen. MacArthur’s “island-hopping” campaign. In fact, the US presence in Australia lasted for four years so GIs became a familiar sight in the towns and cities of Australia.
America’s rapid deployment to Australia led to some initial equipment shortages as US industry was only just beginning to get itself onto a war-footing. Thus, various items were procured locally to ease the supply problems.

One such item was the so-called “battle jacket” seen here. Australia, being a British dominion, followed British military practices and its troops wore the standard battledress uniform. Thus, the “battle jacket” evolved from this and, together with similar procurements in the UK, sowed the seeds for what would become the famous “Ike” jacket...as well as the USMC’s “Vandegrift jacket”

Australia was a major wool-producer so it follows that the battle jacket was of all-wool construction, being a rather coarse but soft OD wool serge (“khaki” in Aussie / British parlance) As such, there are a few moth nips here and there but thankfully they don't detract too much! The jacket was unlined and differed from the battledress blouse by virtue of its notched collar and lack of a waist-belt. The “V 188” on the label indicates it was made in the state of Victoria by contractor 188 in the year of 1944.

Surviving examples of such jackets are quite scarce. I acquired this example almost ten years ago. It had retained its 5th AF SSI and USAAF collar brass but the various other insignia had been removed. However, the residual shadows and pin marks...plus a little educated guesswork born of years of experience...enabled me to replace them with WW2 originals from my well-stocked spares’ box!  So whilst it might not be 100% “original”, it’s close enough and I’m quite happy with it!

Fast-forward:  Last week I was browsing on a Facebook  WW2 collectors’ page when what did I see?! A pair of Australian made-for-US OD pants bearing the same label as the jacket! Lightning doesn’t strike twice so I PM’d the seller straight away and did the deal (The seller was no other than AMF member Ben Major aka BenM)
There’s  a couple of years between them...’42 >’44...but no matter. How often do you get the chance to put together a complete WW2 Aussie-made-for-US uniform!?

The USAAF OD overseas cap came from my existing collection. The Sterling marked, pin-backed 5th AF crest is a WW2 original. Finally, completing the set is a copy of the “Pocket Guide to Australia” which was issued to all GIs shipping out to the land down under. Thanks for looking
« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 02:26:30 AM by Tom E. Gunn »
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Offline Tom E. Gunn

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« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 02:28:23 AM by Tom E. Gunn »
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Offline littlebuddy

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Re: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2015, 02:48:26 AM »
"Fair dinkum cobber !!!"  :D
2018 and STILL WANTED! a pair of RAF 1940 Patt boots and RAF life vest
Always looking for quality condition USAAF stationary,ephemera,equipment and clothing.
Starting to look for the harder to find items e.g. survival kits and items also woukd like to add a complete "Gibson Girl " set up
We are here for the collectors, not for profit. (PERIOD!)

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Re: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2015, 02:51:31 AM »
"Fair dinkum cobber !!!"  :D

G'day Carl...thanks mate!  :D
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Offline littlebuddy

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Re: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2015, 02:53:00 AM »
Not something regularly  encountered here in the UK ??
2018 and STILL WANTED! a pair of RAF 1940 Patt boots and RAF life vest
Always looking for quality condition USAAF stationary,ephemera,equipment and clothing.
Starting to look for the harder to find items e.g. survival kits and items also woukd like to add a complete "Gibson Girl " set up
We are here for the collectors, not for profit. (PERIOD!)

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Re: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2015, 03:38:33 AM »
Not something regularly  encountered here in the UK ??

Indeed not...quite scarce anywhere really. Shame it didn't / doesn't have some Aussie-made insignia...Angus & Coote etc!   ;)
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Offline littlebuddy

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Re: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2015, 03:41:52 AM »
Not something regularly  encountered here in the UK ??

Indeed not...quite scarce anywhere really. Shame it didn't / doesn't have some Aussie-made insignia...Angus & Coote etc!   ;)

Want want want !!  there is just no pleasing some people !!  ;D
2018 and STILL WANTED! a pair of RAF 1940 Patt boots and RAF life vest
Always looking for quality condition USAAF stationary,ephemera,equipment and clothing.
Starting to look for the harder to find items e.g. survival kits and items also woukd like to add a complete "Gibson Girl " set up
We are here for the collectors, not for profit. (PERIOD!)

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Re: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2015, 04:05:18 AM »
Not something regularly  encountered here in the UK ??

Indeed not...quite scarce anywhere really. Shame it didn't / doesn't have some Aussie-made insignia...Angus & Coote etc!   ;)

Want want want !!  there is just no pleasing some people !!  ;D


Hah! Look who's talking!!!   ;D
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Offline littlebuddy

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Re: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2015, 04:32:43 AM »
Lil ol me ???  ;D
2018 and STILL WANTED! a pair of RAF 1940 Patt boots and RAF life vest
Always looking for quality condition USAAF stationary,ephemera,equipment and clothing.
Starting to look for the harder to find items e.g. survival kits and items also woukd like to add a complete "Gibson Girl " set up
We are here for the collectors, not for profit. (PERIOD!)

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Re: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2016, 11:15:21 PM »
Reviving this thread as we now have some Aussies aboard!   ;) 
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Offline ScottG

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Re: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2016, 11:20:27 PM »
  That's a great looking uniform Ian! One of my 32nd Division Officer uniforms is Aussie made! Scott
Always looking for 32nd Division items and 13th Armored Division items. Please keep me in mind if you have any.

Offline David

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Re: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2016, 11:56:43 PM »
I was aware of Australian manufactured US uniforms but I didn't know much more about them than that. Great information in your thread.
It's frustrating that even after all these years, other than the state responsible, the various manufacturing codes have never been 'cracked' in the most part.

Nice work to finish this lovely looking set Tom and with the extras ;)
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Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Re: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2016, 12:02:58 AM »
Thanks fellers!  ;)
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Offline Rakkasan187

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Re: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2016, 07:08:06 AM »
I think I have a few Aussie made US officer shirts.. Will have to check and see if I had not sold them...

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Offline aussie digger

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Re: WW2 Australian made-for-US EM's uniform.
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2016, 09:23:54 PM »
Very nice! Love the 5th AF stuff and being Aussie made is a real bonus. Only Australian made insignia I have seen on EMs beside unit patch, wings and overseas stripes is I have one of these in the collection with Australian made corporal stripes of off white felt on green felt. There was also an officers version of these costs in dark green.

Jason

 

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