World War II U.S. Army Infantry - Basic Uniforms, Equipment, and Weapons
This section lists the minimum required uniforms, equipment and weapons for a proper WWII U.S. Army European Theater infantry impression.
The lists below are divided into time periods which roughly correspond to the time at which the items listed could be expected to be in use by front-line combat troops.
These time periods are:
- Early-war: November 1942 through May 1944 (pre- D-Day)
- Mid-war: June 1944 through August-September 1944
- Late-war: August-September 1944 through December 1944 (Battle of the Bulge)
- Very Late-war: December 1944 through May 1945 (VE Day)
The lists below are further divided into the following sections:
Each item will also fit in to one of the following categories: Required, Optional, or Allowed . Items marked Allowed are allowed only with the specific permission of the commander or authenticity officer.
All members are required to have the items listed as Required. All members must acquire a complete early-war or mid-war set of uniform, clothing and equipment. You must have the basic Early War uniform and equipment when you show up for your first event. Even though the 3rd Armored Division did not go into action until after D-Day, these items are the type most often issued and used through the end of the war. The majority of late-war and very late-war items will be listed as Optional, or Allowed. Please note that items will not be allowed unless the scenario is for a date after those items would have been issued. (Example: M-1943 field jackets will not be allowed for a D-Day scenario.)
EARLY WAR (November 1942 through May 1944) (NOTE: All items in this section are Required.)
Helmet, Steel, M-1 complete, with liner
Cap, Wool Knit, M-1941 ("Jeep" cap) -or-
Cap, Garrison, OD ("Overseas" cap) -or-
Cap, Herringbone Twill, M-1941 (short-bill)
Leggings, Canvas, M-1938, Dismounted, OD
Shoes, Service, Reverse Upper, Composition Sole ("Rough-out" boots) (Preferred) - or-
Shoes, Service, Composition Sole
Shirt, Wool Flannel, OD -and -
Trousers, Wool, Serge, OD, Light shade ("Mustard" color) -or-
Jacket, Herringbone Twill - M-1941 pattern or M-1942 pattern -and-
Trousers, Herringbone Twill - M-1941 pattern or M-1942 pattern
Belt, Trousers, Waist, Web, with Buckle, Open-Faced, Black, M-1937
Undershirt, Cotton, OD (T-shirt type) -or-
Undershirt, Sleeveless, OD (Tank-top style)
Necklace, Identification Tag, with Extension and two each Tag, Identification ("Dog tags")
Jacket, Field, OD, M-1941
- EQUIPMENT (NOTE: All equipment should be in the early war khaki color. No dark green items allowed except as later-war Optional equipment.
Belt, Cartridge, caliber .30, Dismounted, M-1923 or M-1910
Haversack, M-1928 or M-1910
Canteen, M-1942 or M-1910 with Cup, M-1942 or M-1910, and Cover, Canteen, Dismounted M-1910
Can, Meat, M-1926, M-1932, or M-1942 ("Mess kit") with Knife, Fork and Spoon, M-1926
Pouch, First Aid Packet, M-1942, M-1924, or M-1910
Tool, Entrenching, with cover, M-1910 ("T-Handle") -or-
Tool, Entrenching, Pick-Mattock, with cover, M-1910 (one per 12-man squad)
U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M-1
Bayonet, M-1 with scabbard, M-1942
Suspenders, Belt, M-1936
Bag, Canvas, Field, OD, M-1936
(The above two items are in lieu of the Haversack, M-1928 or M-1910)
Bag, Carrying, Gas Mask, Light Weight
Browning Automatic Rifle, M1918A2
Belt, Magazine for B.A.R.
(The above two items are in lieu of the Rifle, M1 and Belt, Cartridge, caliber .30, Dismounted, M-1923 or M-1910)
Overshoes, Arctic, All Rubber
MID-WAR (June 1944 through August-September 1944) (NOTE: All items in this section are Optional.)
- HEADGEAR: Same as Early-war (listed above.)
- FOOTWEAR: Same as Early-war (listed above.)
- UNIFORMS: Same as Early-war (listed above.)
Cover, Canteen, M-1910 in dark green instead of khaki
Tool, Entrenching, Pick-Mattock, M-1910 with dark green (OD #7) cover instead of khaki
Tool, Entrenching, Folding, M-1943 with cover
Trench Knife, M-3
LATE WAR (August-September 1944 through December 1944) (NOTE: All items in theis section are Optional.)
- HEADGEAR: Same as Early-war (listed above.)
Boots, Combat, M-1943
Shoepac, Low, High, or 12-inch.
Trousers, Field, Wool, OD, M-1943
Trousers, Field, Cotton, OD, M-1943
Jacket, Field, OD, M-1943
Belt, Cartridge, Caliber .30, Dismounted, M-1923 - Medium-dark Green (OD #7)
Pouch, First-Aid Packet, M-1942 - Medium-dark Green
Cover, Canteen, M-1910 - Medium-dark Green
Suspenders, Belt, M-1936 - Medium-dark green
-WEAPONS: Same as Early-war and Mid-war (listed above.)
VERY LATE WAR (December 1944 through May 1945) (NOTE: All items in this section are Optional.)
Cap, Herringbone Twill, M-1944 or M-1945 ("Long bill.")
- FOOTWEAR: Same as Early-war, Mid-war, or Late-war (listed above.)
Jacket, Herringbone Twill, M-1944
Trousers, Herringbone Twill, M-1944
Overcoat, Wool, Melton, OD, Roll Collar, 32 oz.
Suspenders, Belt, M-1945
Pack, Combat, M-1944 or M-1945
- WEAPONS: Same as Early-war, Mid-war, or Late-war (listed above.)
You MUST have a proper haircut. 1940s style haircuts are generally tapered at the sides and back, with the hair combed back from the forehead. We do not demand that you get an authentic 1940s haircut, but we do insist that it be short and tapered on the sides and back. Modern military haircuts, while not quite proper for the 1940s, are acceptable. Spiked, dyed, or unnaturally cut or colored hair is NOT allowed. Mustaches are discouraged, but allowed. Mustaches must be neatly trimmed, and may not extend past the corners of the mouth. Beards, goatees and "soul patches" are NOT allowed. If we are in a field environment with limited washing facilities, the commander MAY allow personnel to stop shaving during that period. You may stop shaving only with specific permission from the commander.
Those individuals who wear corrective lenses must have 1940s period correct eyeglasses, or may wear contact lenses. The standard GI issue eyeglasses were a round frame, slightly flattened on top, in a matt steel construction (these are the same glasses that the character Radar O'Reilly wore in the movie and TV series M.A.S.H.) Civilian-style frames are discouraged but allowed. If they are not the standard GI frames, your frames must be approved by the commander or authenticity officer prior to use in this unit. Proper, period correct eyeglasses are a MUST for the members of this unit. An otherwise perfect impression is immediately ruined with improper, modern eyeglasses. Although not as "fun" or "glamorous" as many of the items of equipment, uniforms, or weapons, proper eyeglasses are REQUIRED, and should not be left until last.
PERSONAL ITEMS AND MISCELLANEOUS EQUIPMENT:
HEADGEAR: (Click HERE to go to the Helmet photo page. Click HERE to go to the Headgear photo page.)
Helmet, Steel, M-1, Complete (with liner): The complete M1 helmet consists of a steel shell and a fiber liner. The shell is often called the "pot," or "steel pot," painted in a matt greenish olive drab. The shell has a rectangular wire loop on each side called a "bail." The bails may be hinged, or welded directly to the shell. Affixed to the bails, is a chinstrap made of khaki or greenish-khaki webbing with metal catches on the ends to attach the strap under the chin. A fiber liner fits inside the shell, and contains the adjustable suspension system which consists of webbing, again in a khaki or greenish-khaki color, and a web and leather sweatband. Attached to the inside of the liner, is another chin strap, this one made of flexible brown leather. This chin strap was normally worn over the front rim of the helmet.
A net was often worn on the outside of the helmet to allow insertion of materials for camouflage, and also to help break up the shine and outline of the helmet. The U.S. Army did not have an officially issued helmet net until the M-1944 helmet net. This net was not generally available in Europe until December 1944 or January 1945. Prior to that, nets used included the standard British Army net, or any piece of netting that a soldier might "acquire" elsewhere. If you use a net, it can be the British Army net, or just about any type of period correct netting. Modern, machine-woven, nylon shrimp-net is unacceptable.
NCO (Corporal and above) helmets feature a white painted horizontal bar, one-inch wide, and about one inch up from the rim, on the back of the helmet. Officer helmets feature a white vertical bar of the same dimensions on the back of the helmet.
Cap, Wool Knit, M-1941: Commonly called the "Jeep cap." It is also often referred to as the "Radar O'Reilly hat" after the character in the movie and television show "M.A.S.H." but this is obviously not a period-correct nickname. Designed to be worn under the helmet, this cap was almost universally liked by the troops, and almost universally disliked by generals! The troops liked it because it offered some warmth, and a little extra padding when wearing the helmet. It was disliked by many officers because of its "non-military" appearance.
Cap, Garrison, OD - This is the "overseas cap." This cap was worn with the dress uniform, as well as several other uniform combinations. It was seldom worn in the field, and had little practical use as any form of protection from the elements. This hat was produced in an earlier-war version with rounded corners, or the later square cornered style. The square cornered caps were often pushed down in the middle so that the square corners pushed up at the front and back, pointing almost straight up in the then-current style. Both styles of cap can be found with colored branch-of-service piping or without any piping (see photo page for examples.) This unit will accept caps with light-blue infantry piping, or no piping. The armored troops favored the rounded-corner version, but either type is acceptable.
Cap, Herringbone Twill, M-1941: Often called the "short-bill HBT cap." HBT stands for Herringbone twill, a description of the type of material used to make these hats. This was a standard-issue fatigue cap, and since it offered no warmth or real protection from the elements, was usually worn more often in garrison than in the field.
Cap, Herringbone Twill, M-1944 or M-1945: The "long-bill HBT cap." This cap is virtually identical to the cap described above, except the bill was longer.
Cap, Fatigue - The "Daisy Mae" hat. Made of HBT material, it featured a round floppy brim. This hat found some use as a "jungle hat" in the Pacific, but was generally considered a stateside hat, and was almost never found in combat units in the ETO.
FOOTWEAR: (Click HERE to go to the Footwear photo page.)
Leggings, Canvas, M1938, Dismounted, OD: These are the standard canvas leggings issued to all U.S. Army personnel in WWII. They can be found in many shades from dark green, through khaki, to an almost yellow or white color. Avoid the dark green leggings. There exists some doubt that they were issued in WWII, and they are not authorized for this unit.. Further, WAC (Women's Army Corps) and Boy Scout leggings can be found in dark green and are defiitely not authorized. The typical leggings feature 8 hooks and 17 eyelets on each legging. Sizes were 1R, 2R, 3R, and 4R, with 4R Being the largest. Size 4R leggings are next to impossible to find. There are also leggings available in sizes 1L through 3L, the "L" standing for long, but the "L" sizes are rather rare, too. Be careful not to get Navy/Marine Corps leggings, or WWI or Spanish-American War leggings as none of these are authorized. Most of these other leggings have fewer eyelets, and are of different colors. Also, the Navy/USMC leggings were available in sizes 1R through 8R, so any size above 4R (in reality 3R) should be a dead giveaway that they are not Army leggings. The leggings are worn with the hooks, eyelets, and laces on the outside of the leg.
Shoes, Service, Reverse Upper, Composition Sole: Also known as "rough-out boots" because these boots are made with the rough side of the leather to the outside. These boots are ankle-high in a natural leather color with no toe cap, and have a rubber heel and sole. When properly treated with "dubbing," they can be quite water-repellant. These are the standard field footwear for U.S. Army soldiers in WWII.
Shoes, Service, Composition Sole: These are a russet-brown, ankle-high boot featuring a toe-cap, rubber heel, and rubber "tap" or half-sole. They resemble the paratrooper boots, but with the upper extending just above the ankle. These were worn with the dress uniform, and sometimes, the field uniform.
Boots, Combat, M-1943: These are the well-known "double buckle" or "buckle boots." They are essentially the "rough out" boots with a smooth leather sleeve with two buckle-and-strap closures, sewn to the top. They were not generally available for issue until at least August or September of 1944 so are suitable for late of very-late war scenarios only.
Overshoes, Arctic: This overshoe is also known as the four-buckle cloth top type. It featured a black rubber lower portion and a black cloth upper, and was held closed by 4 spring-loaded tongue and slot fasteners.
Overshoes, Arctic, All-Rubber: This overshoe is virtually identical to the one listed above except that it was all rubber.
Shoe Pac, Low, High, or 12-inch: The shoe-pac was an attempt to provide warm, waterproof footwear to soldiers in the field. They consisted of an insulated rubber lower, and an insulated leather upper. The Low Shoe pac had a leather top 10 inches high, the High Shoe Pac had a leather top 16 inches high, and the 12-inch Shoe Pac is self-explanatory.
Socks, Wool, Cushion Sole: The WWII cushion sole socks were a 50/50 wool/cotton blend that featured an additional wool cushion on the heel, toe, and sole. The modern military cushion sole socks are almost identical and acceptable for use.
UNIFORMS: (Click HERE to go to the Uniforms photo page.)
Shirt, Wool Flannel, OD: This is the standard issue wool shirt in the "mustard" color OD, also called "special shade." It is a long-sleeved wool shirt with two flapped patch pockets. The 3rd Armored Division patch should be sewn on the left sleeve, 1/2 inch down from the seam, and centered.
Trousers, Wool, Serge, OD: These are the early issue trousers in the "mustard" or "special shade." They are plain wool trousers with four slash pockets, two at the side in front, and two on the back, as well as a slash type watch pocket at the right front. They can be found with a button fly, or sometimes, a zipper fly. They are worn with the web belt described below. These trousers were also issued later in the war in a dark brown color and designated the M-1943 wool trousers. The M-1943 versions are acceptable only for later war scenarios.
Jacket, Herringbone Twill, M-1941 or M-1942: The early pattern HBT jacket featured two small, flapped, pleated pockets on the chest, a button front, and a two-button waist band with buttoned adjustment tabs. The buttons are metal buttons, riveted onto the shirt, that feature 13 stars and are blackened. When worn, it vaguely resembled the later "Ike" jacket. It faded very quickly, and took on an almost white shade. The M1941 HBT jacket was replaced by the M-1942 pattern HBT jacket. It featured two large, gusseted pockets with buttoned flaps. The waist band was eliminated. This shirt featured the same 13-star buttons, and also faded quickly, but not quite as fast. This shirt featured a buttoned "gas flap" at the neck, but this was often removed or left unbuttoned. The M-1944 HBT jacket is almost identical to the M-1942, but the pockets were modified with a single "expanding box" pleat in the center of the pocket. The HBT Jacket was originally designed to be worn over the wool shirt, but was often worn alone in warm weather.
Trousers, Herringbone Twill, M-1941 or M-1942: The M-1941 trousers were of the same HBT material as the jacket, and were cut similarly to the wool trousers described above, having the same four slash pockets and a watch pocket. It also featured buttoned adjustment tabs and a button fly. The M-1942 trousers eliminated the slash pockets, and instead it featured two large cargo pockets, one on each side, high on the hips and slightly forward. The M-1944 pattern HBT trousers were almost identical to the M-1942 pattern except the pockets were modified with a single "expanding box" pleat down the center. The HBT trousers were designed to be worn over the wool trousers, but were often worn alone in warm weather.
Belt, Trousers, Waist, Web, with Buckle, Open Face, Black - M-1937 - This is the standard issue belt and buckle for use with all the trousers mentioned above. It consists of a khaki or greenish-khaki web belt with a black metal tip on one end. The belt is fastened with a black metal open-faced buckle that is very similar to the modern U.S. Army buckle.
Undershirt, Cotton, OD and Undershirt, Sleeveless, OD: These are the standard undergarments issued in WWII. The first is a pale olive green T-shirt. The second is a tank-top style undershirt. Originals are difficult to find. Good alternatives are a modern US Marine Corps green t-shirt, well faded, or Dutch army t-shirts and tank tops. The modern US Army t-shirts are not acceptable since they are too brown.
Jacket, Field, OD, M-1941: Sometimes called the "Parsons jacket." This is the standard light OD (or khaki) jacket that was used throughout the war. It featured a tightly-woven cotton shell, and a wool lining. It had two slash-type "hand-warmer" pockets. The front closure featured a zipper, with a storm flap buttoned over the top of the zipper. It came down to just below waist level. In practice, this jacket was too lightweight, and tended to fray easily at the back of the neck and at the cuffs.
Jacket, Combat, Winter: This is the "tanker's jacket" which was highly coveted. The jacket featured a knit wool collar, cuffs and waistband, a heavy khaki/OD cotton outer shell, and a heavy wool blanket lining. Early models had two flapped patch pockets on the lower chest, with the most common second model having a pair of "hand-warmer" style slash pockets.
Trousers, Combat, Winter: This is the companion to the tanker's jacket mentioned above. It featured the same shell and lining, and was made in the style of bib-overalls. It has short sippers on the outside of each leg to facilitate putting on or removing the trousers with the boots on. Highly favored by vehicle crewmen and infantrymen in static positions, these trousers were impractical for infantry on the move.
Coat, Mackinaw, OD: This coat was originally designed for drivers, and other soldiers who performed their duties while stationary. It featured a cotton duck outer shell, with a wool blanket lining. It is double breasted and held closed with two rows of three buttons each, and a cloth waist belt with metal or plastic buckle. It was longer than the M-1941, coming to mid-thigh on most wearers. On the so-called 1st pattern, the wool lining extended out onto the rounded shawl collar. The "2nd pattern" was identical except the wool lining did not extend onto the collar. The "3rd pattern" eliminated the belt, and the rounded collar became a notched collar.
Overcoat, Wool, Melton, OD, Roll Collar, 32 oz.: This is the "horse blanket" overcoat. It was originally issued to all troops, and was a brown, heavy wool, double-breasted overcoat that came down to mid-calf. This overcoat proved impractical for field wear, and issue was slowed or stopped until the winter of 1944 when cold-weather clothing demand outstripped supplies, and the overcoat began to be issued again as a stopgap measure. Early war overcoats feature brass buttons, with the later-war versions having plastic buttons.
Jacket, Combat, M-1943: This jacket was made of dark OD green cotton sateen. It was longer than the M-1941, coming down to about mid-thigh. It has two gusseted flapped pockets on the chest, and two horizontal, flapped slash pockets at the waist. The pockets all had button closures, as did the front of the jacket. The buttons on the jacket front were covered by an integral flap to prevent snagging the buttons while maneuvering. This jacket was well received by the troops, and with the addition of a zipper, and snaps instead of buttons, became the M-1951 field jacket. Minor modifications such as rounding the collar and adding some velcro produced the M-1965 pattern field jacket. Although similar in appearance, M-1951 and M-1965 field jackets are not authorized for use in WWII reenactments.
Trousers, Field, M-1943: The M-1943 field trousers are made of the same dark OD green cotton sateen as the M-1943 field jacket. They were designed to be worn over the wool trousers or pile liners, and featured belt loops and suspender buttons. They had the same slash pockets and watch pocket as the wool trousers.
EQUIPMENT: (Click HERE to go to the Equipment photo page index)
Belt, Cartridge, Caliber .30, Dismounted, M-1923 or M-1910: This is the standard, 10-pocket cartridge belt for the M1 Garand, M-1903-series Springfield, and M-1917 Enfield rifles. This belt should be in the early-war khaki colors, except for late-war scenarios when the medium-dark green is allowed. The M-1923 is preferred over the M-190, but either is allowed since the differences are minimal.
Belt, Pistol or Revolver, M-1936: This is commonly called the pistol belt, and it was most often worn by individuals who were not issued the M-1 Garand. It should be in the early war khaki, with the darker green for later war scenarios only.
Haversack, M-1928 or M-1910: This is the style of infantry pack used in WWII and WWI. During stateside training and prior to WWII, the haversack was often worn with the "pack carrier" which was a triangular-shaped piece that attached to the bottom of the haversack for carrying the shelter half. This piece, sometimes called the "diaper" was rarely used in combat. The haversack featured built-in suspenders that were attached to the cartridge or pistol belt. The haversack remained in use until the end of the war. The differences between the M-1910 and M-1928 are minimal and either is allowed for use.
Bag, Canvas, Field, OD,M-1936 and Strap, Carrying, OD, Bag, Canvas, Field: This is the "musette bag." It was used to carry the items normally carried in the haversack. it was designed for soldiers whose duties made the haversack impractical. It could be attached to the M-1936 suspenders and worn like a backpack, or used with the carrying strap and carried over one shoulder. This bag was very popular. It was produced in various shades of khaki until late in the war , when it was available in a darker green.
Suspenders, Belt, M-1936: These were designed for use with the "musette" bag by soldiers whose duties prevented them from using the haversack listed above, such as officers, paratroopers, drivers, headquarters personnel, etc. They should be in the early war khaki. A later variant was made with certain modifications in dark green and called the M-1945 suspenders.
Pack, Combat, M-1944 and M-1945: This was an entirely new load-carrying system that came into use late in the war. The pack featured a detachable cargo pack, and all are made in the later war green. These items are acceptable for use in late-war scenarios only.
Canteen, M-1942 or M-1910 with Cup, M-1942 or M-1910, and Cover, Dismounted, M-1910: The M-1910 canteen and cup were made of aluminum, the canteen having an aluminum cap, and the cup featuring a rolled rim. The M-1942 canteen and cup were made of stainless steel. The canteen had a black plastic cap, and the cup's rim was straight, not rolled. The cover should be in the early war khaki, with the darker green acceptable for later war scenarios.
Can, Meat, M-1926, M-1932, or M-1942 with Knife, Fork, and Spoon, M-1926: This is the GI "mess kit." Early versions were made of steel, galvanized steel, or aluminum. The M-1942 version was made of stainless steel. The M-1926 utensils were virtually identical to earlier versions, but they were stamped out of stainless steel, and featured a slot, or cut-out in the handles to allow them to be slipped over the mess kit handle for cleaning. The wartime knives had a thicker plastic, bakelite or aluminum handle. Newer versions are straight stamped stainless steel.
Pouch, First Aid Packet, M-1942, M-1924 or M-1910: The first aid pouch is a small canvas pouch just big enough to accommodate the metal-encased first aid packet. The M-1942 version is preferred. The M-1910 version was made out of a slightly smaller, and featured two covered snaps instead of the single "Lift-the-Dot" snap of the M-1942. Early war khaki is required with the darker green for later war scenarios only.
Tool, Entrenching, M-1910 with cover: This is the "t-handled" shovel, worn on the back of the haversack. These are expensive and hard to find, but reproductions have recently become available. The cover should be khaki.
Tool, Entrenching, Pick-Mattock, with cover, M-1910: This is a small pick with detachable handle carried in place of the t-handled shovel. It was carried by one man per squad. The cover should be in early-war khaki except for later war scenarios when the darker green is acceptable.
Tool, Entrenching, Folding, M-1943, with cover: The folding entrenching tool (or "e-tool") was a copy of a German design. It came ashore in limited quantities on D-Day. The cover should be khaki except for later war scenarios when the darker green is allowed.
Bag, Carrying, Gas Mask, Light Weight: The light weight gas mask bag was a medium sized bag with three "Lift-the-Dot" snaps, and a shoulder strap. It is known to have come ashore a few days after D-Day, and is most often found in the medium-dark green normally associated with later war gear, although some khaki versions are known to exist. This item was often discarded, or the gas mask was discarded and the bag used to carry grenades, ammunition, or personal items.
Pouch, Compass: The compass pouch was similar in appearance to the M-1910 first aid pouch, but was smaller, and shaped differently. It was made out of a tightly-woven canvas, most often in a darker green color. This was normally used only by squad leaders and above.
WEAPONS: (Click HERE to go to the Weapons photo page)
U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M-1: The famous M-1 "Garand." This rifle is mandatory equipment for all members. Leather sling is preferred, with the web sling in the light greenish khaki acceptable.
Bayonet, M-1 with Scabbard, M-1942: This is the standard bayonet for the M-1 rifle. It features a 10-inch spear-point blade with a fuller ("blood groove") running about 3/4 of its length. It is carried in the standard M-1942 scabbard which was made of fiberglass with metal fittings. The so-called "cut-down" (M-1905E1) bayonets are also approved for use. They were made by cutting 6 inches off of the older M-1905 bayonets, and can be found with a spear-point tip or a "bowie" style tip. They fit the same M-1942 scabbard.
OPTIONAL AND ALLOWED ITEMS AND ITEMS NOT ALLOWED:
There were many items of uniform, equipment, and weaponry that were used in World War II, but many were not general issue, that is, they were intended for specific soldiers performing specific functions and may or may not have been available to the average infantryman. Further, many items that were available, were not practical for use by the average infantryman. This section attempts to cover many of these items:
HEADGEAR: (Click HERE to go to the Headgear photo page)
Helmet, Combat, Winter - The so-called "tanker's helmet." This cap was designed to be worn under the armored vehicle crewman's helmet for cold-weather protection. It was found that the rear flap usually just funneled rainwater down the back of the wearer's neck. It was valued for it's warmth, but was generally not often found in infantry units.
"Daisy Mae" hat - This hat was generally used as a fatigue duty cap stateside. It found some favor in the Pacific, but was rarely if ever used in combat areas in the ETO (European Theater of Operations.)
FOOTWEAR: (Click HERE to go to the Footwear photo page)
Boots, Jumper, Parachute - The "jump boots" were highly coveted by most soldiers. Their issue was limited to parAtroops. Any non-paratrooper wearing jump boots was considered vain, a "PX Commando," or a thief. These boots are NOT ALLOWED in this unit.
UNIFORMS: (Click HERE to go to the Uniforms photo page)
Coat, Mackinaw, OD - The mackinaw was originally designed for drivers, and other soldiers who might be exposed to cold weather while remaining stationary. It was favored for stationary positions, but restricts movement. It is allowed for drivers, radio operators, etc., but is highly discouraged for infantrymen.
Overcoat, Wool, Melton, OD, Roll Collar, 32 oz. - This is the "horse blanket" overcoat. It was dropped from general issue, but reinstated in the winter of 1944 when the demand for cold weather clothing outstripped supply. It is allowed for use, but only for December 1944 and later scenarios.
Suit, Work, One-Piece, Herringbone Twill, OD - These are the standard mechanic's style coveralls. These were worn by vehicle crews, mechanics and the like. They were rarely used by infantrymen. They were not designed to fight in, and their one-piece construction requires removal of all equipment and outer clothing to attend to bodily needs. Not a good idea in a combat zone. This unit allows the coveralls for vehicle crews only.
Drawers, Wool; Drawers, Winter; and Undershirt, Wool; and Undershirt; Winter: These are long underwear. The Drawers and Undershirt, Winter were white in color and made of 75% wool, 25% cotton. The Drawers and Undershirt, Wool were 50% cotton and 50% wool in olive drab. Although an item of general issue, they are listed as optional since most members will not find them necessary at most reenactments and they are not a required item.
Sweater, Highneck; Sweater, V-Neck; and Sweater, Sleeveless: Sweaters were a very popular item with the troops. They were typically made of the same "mustard" color wool as the "jeep cap." Later war sweaters were of a darker brown, and indeed the modern 5 button sweter is very close to the late-war sweaters except for the buttons. Soldiers also often used sweaters knitted at home by family members or Red Cross volunteers.
WEAPONS: (Click HERE to go to the Weapons photo page)
Pistol, .45 caliber, M1911 or M1911A1 - The "45-auto" was originally issued to officers, headquarters personnel, vehicle crews, machinegunners, mortar crewmen, etc.. The average infantryman was not issued a pistol. The M1911 and M1911A1 are Allowed in this unit only with specific permission from the commander or authenticity officer.
Carbine, Caliber .30 M1 - The carbine was intended to replace the pistol issued to officers, drivers, radio operators, etc. Initial issue was to those types of soldiers. Many soldiers coveted the carbine because of its small size, light weight and portability. After using it in combat, many soldiers discarded the carbine in favor of the M1 "Garand" because the carbine's small cartridge was ineffective in too many situations. The carbine cartridge is little more than a high-powered pistol cartridge, and lacked the so-called "stopping power" of the .30-'06 round fired by the Garand. If you use the carbine, you should also have an M-3 trench knife in lieu of a bayonet. The carbine is Allowed on a case-by-case basis in this unit. You MUST have SPECIFIC approval of the commander or authenticity officer before you are allowed to utilize a carbine. You must also blank-adapt the carbine which requires drilling and tapping the barrel, ruining any collector value it might have. We feel that since the standard issue weapon of the WWII infantryman was the M1 Garand, that should be our standard weapon, too.
Submachinegun, .45 caliber, M1928, M1928A1, M1, or M1A1 "Thompson" - The Thompson was also intended for limited issue to certain soldiers, usually NCOs, officers, or special troops such as paratroopers. It was favored for its firepower, and the "stopping power" of the .45 caliber round. Many soldiers preferred the Thompson over the M1 Garand because of its full-auto capability. The Thompson is listed as an Allowed weapon for our unit. You MUST have SPECIFIC approval of the commander or authenticity officer before you are allowed to utilize a Thompson. In reality, this may not be much of an issue. A legally registered, full-auto Thompson will cost in excess of $5,000 (as of May 2001). Semi-auto versions with the blank-adapted short barrel (mandatory - long barrels not allowed) must also be legally registered, and with the price of the barrel and registration added in, will cost in excess of $1,200. This is beyond the reach of the average beginning reenactor.
Submachinegun, .45 caliber, M3 and M3A1 - The so-called "Grease Gun." The M3 falls into the same category as the Thompson, for most of the same reasons.
Machinegun, caliber .30, M1919A4 - This is a crew-served weapon, and real, full auto versions are expensive and somewhat difficult to find. Again, it must be legally registered and blank-adapted. Propane or "gas guns" are discouraged, and supplying a belt-fed machine gun requires a lot of ammunition, and therefore a lot of money. .30-'06 blanks are currently at least 25 cents per round and you will probably need well over 500 rounds for one weekend. This weapon is Allowed in this unit.
Machinegun, caliber .50, M2 - The famous "fifty cal." All information pertaining to the M1919A4 listed above is pertinent to the M2 with one notable exception - .50 caliber blanks are currently at least $1.00 per round.
Launcher, Rocket, Antitank, M1, M1A1 or M9A1 - The "bazooka." This weapon is Allowed in this unit. It falls into the Allowed category because you must also have a personal weapon such as M1 Garand, or M1 carbine.
The M3 trench knife is listed above. Other "issue" knives such as the M1918 trench knife, V-42 Stiletto, and the British-issued Fairbairn-Sykes Commando dagger are discouraged for use by members of the unit, but might be Allowed only by specific permission from the commander or authenticity officer. K-Bars, USAF pilot survival knives, and other modern military knives are NOT allowed. A limited number of period correct "private purchase" civilian knives are Allowed with specific permission from the commander or authenticity officer. These decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, and civilian knives will be limited to approximately 10% of the unit.
"CAPTURED" WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT:
The GI was a voracious souvenir hunter. Among the favorite souvenirs were German pistols (almost invariably called "Lugers" regardless of their actual type), and binoculars. Members are allowed the use of "captured" pistols and binoculars if they are actual types the Germans used. Pistols are limited to one per man lest members festoon themselves with pistols like pirates or Civil War cavalry reenactors.