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Photo of Soldiers and Identification

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GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Photo of Soldiers and Identification
Posted by GAF on Saturday, June 19, 2021 5:52 PM

I thought I would ask here, since some are pretty knowledgable concerning units and equipment type.  Someone posted this on a family photo site, and I was trying to find out something about these men.

There are some unusual things about these men.

1. They all see to have their mess kits hanging from their belts.

2. Some appear to have paratrooper style chin straps.

3. Some appear to have leggings.

4. It appears that they don't have WWII paratrooper uniforms, but perhaps jumpsuits?

5. Several have what appears to be white tape name tags or branch of service.

I haven't seen any units insignia, so any guess as to who they are (Rangers, pathfinders, etc.) will be appreciated.

Thanks!

Gary

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, June 19, 2021 10:57 PM

Well... no unit insignia of any sort to be seen. A few guys have the white name tape on their shirts over the chest pockets. No airborne chin straps, a few guys are wearing their standard chin strap between their chin and lower lip, that's something of a look From that era. Most have shoes and standard leggings, but one, front row seated second from left has just the shoes, no jump boots. All look to be wearing the two piece HBT fatigues and most also have a gas mask bag and some have their mess kit. 
So unless they are from a glider unit, they're not airborne- definitely not qualified paratroopers. They're not Rangers, as Rangers used to cut down their leggings to a shorter height. Is there any info,as to where and when the photo was taken?

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Saturday, June 19, 2021 11:00 PM

Raiders?

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, June 19, 2021 11:05 PM

keavdog

Raiders?

 

No. The Marine Utility shirt had a single chest pocket with the EGA emblem stencil. Any names are stenciled on the back across the shoulder blades. No white name tapes.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Saturday, June 19, 2021 11:43 PM

Stick,

No info.  It was found among some family photos (not mine).  Interesting thing about the chinstraps.  I draw your attention to the inverted star on the building behind them.

Gary

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, June 20, 2021 12:11 AM

I saw the star on the background. It really does not say anything without some context for the star. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, June 20, 2021 12:24 AM

As far as the chin strap wear style goes, it's something of a parade ground type look. Here's some GIs in Germany in the early 60's. See how a few have their helmet chin straps worn in the same manner.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Sunday, June 20, 2021 12:56 PM

It may be me, but I don't see a star in the photo.

I was thinking... it is possible that those guys were wearing whatever helmets and gear they happened to be issued, supply was notorius for having a collection of things that were left over freom someone or somewhere and you just made do.  We had the same thing with our equipment, some variations, and in some cases we didn't have certain things and ended up buying them from the locals.  Some ended up with equipment lweft over from WWII or Korea.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, June 20, 2021 3:22 PM

ikar01
It may be me, but I don't see a star in the photo.

 

The star is just the the right of the head of the rear last row soldier in the photo. As for anything else, who knows. It's not one of the formal posed photos such as those taken with a unit guidon. It's more like an impromptu group photo.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, June 20, 2021 3:42 PM

The star might be on a flag on the wall. The location seems to be a dirty building,  but one interesting thing is that the photo doesn't seem impromptu; no weapons in sight.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Boston
Posted by mach71 on Sunday, June 20, 2021 5:15 PM

I am no expert on that era, 

 

But the complete lack of any rank/unit/anything seems very odd. 

Is is an early entry/training photo? Before and unit/name/rank patches were issued?

 

Mark

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Sunday, June 20, 2021 9:39 PM

Mark,

Sounds reasonable.  Strange they have no canteen, only their mess tins.  Maybe they were cooks?  Wink

Gary

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, June 20, 2021 10:23 PM

The gas mask cases and mess kits are the odd thing. The earliest parts of basic are done without weapons. Basic drill and ceremony marching, and other such things. 
The soldiers without leggings look a tad bit older/more experienced and theoretically could be training cadre. Just a SWAG but maybe it's before gas house training. 
But the mess kits worn in that manner are truly an oddity. The old Haversack had a pouch specifically for the mess kit. When the Musette Bag and Field Packs came along, the mess kit was usually carried in those.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Monday, June 21, 2021 7:21 AM

Could this photo be something done on a movie set?  That could explain some of the strangeness.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
Posted by ajlafleche on Monday, June 21, 2021 8:50 AM

The guy second from the left in thje back row looks like he's a black man. If so, this puts the photo 1948 or later since units were not integrated before then. 

 

Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, June 21, 2021 9:55 AM

I looked hard at him, and because the left half of the print is darker, he almost looks like a statue. Seems to be a popular guy to lean on.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, June 21, 2021 10:46 AM

ajlafleche

The guy second from the left in thje back row looks like he's a black man. If so, this puts the photo 1948 or later since units were not integrated before then. 

 

 

Maybe, but then again he could be of Italian or Latin descent as well. The leggings & shoes, as opposed to combat boots, put the photo as 1945 or earlier. The M1 steel pots came along in 1942, so that narrows it down to 1942-1945. But with millions serving in the US Army during that time span, that really isn't overly helpful.

No weapons to be seen, no cartridge belts or field packs, or other typical combat arms troops equipment such as suspenders, bayonets, entrenching tools, etc. . Only helmets, leggings, pistol belts, mess kits, and gas mask carriers. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Boston
Posted by mach71 on Monday, June 21, 2021 11:08 AM

Thats one reason I wonder if its a training photo. The military never throws anything away. For training they would dip into whatever old stock they had in storage so that the new stuff could go to fighting units.

 

When I was processed into the Air Force during UPT in 1983, my flight boots were from 1963. During survival school were were issued K ration manufactured in the mid-late '40s. The meat can was removed as it had LONG since expired. The None meat food was "inspected" by a flight surgeon and deemed "edible". 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, June 21, 2021 12:55 PM

mach71
Thats one reason I wonder if its a training photo. The military never throws anything away. For training they would dip into whatever old stock they had in storage so that the new stuff could go to fighting units.

They don't throw old stuff away, but they do sell it. But yes, certain combat units get the newest stuff first. Others don't exchange their old for new until much later on, even after the new equipment has been introduced into training units. But yes, I agree that it is a photo taken in a basic or advanced training type situation. And most likely from a support unit rather than a combat arms unit. The lack of even magazine pouches for a pistol or carbine on the few visible pistol belts indicates that these guys have nothing to do with individual weapons aside from mandatory time at the range.

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Monday, June 21, 2021 4:46 PM

Just an update on the photo.  They are Army Air Force taken in early 1943.  The person in question joined up at Fort McClellan, Alabama.  Where he took his basic training is unknown.

Gary

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, June 21, 2021 6:17 PM

GAF
Just an update on the photo.  They are Army Air Force taken in early 1943.  The person in question joined up at Fort McClellan, Alabama. 

That explains the lack of field and combat gear.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, June 21, 2021 6:30 PM

Page 4 of this link has the location of all USAAF basic training bases.

 

https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Portals/10/AFEHRI/documents/EnlistedHistory/wsimon.pdf

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Monday, June 21, 2021 8:51 PM

That reinforces the idea that this was taken during training, as the above document states they were issued gas masks and some days were required to have them close by as they might be sprayed with tear gas almost anywhere.

Gary

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, June 21, 2021 11:31 PM

My F-in - Law went in at Sheppard Field.I have his book.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 7:54 AM

Interesting about the Miami area.  Isn't it odd that there would be a golf course there too?  I''m sure all teh personnel there would have access to the golf course, nit just officers.

What type of gas mask did they have back then? During Vietnam every person in our squadron including the admin section, had a gas mask in a large heavy canvas equipment bag along with our falck vest and helmet and whatever else we snuck into it.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 11:39 AM

 

ikar01
What type of gas mask did they have back then?

 

By the look of the carrier bag, it's either the M2 or early M3 type of mask.

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May 2021
Posted by Ken B. on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 2:05 PM

stikpusher
certain combat units get the newest stuff first.

According to Bill Mauldin in Up Front, it was actually the rear-echelon (clerks, cooks, etc.) that got the newest stuff first. Combat units made do. Stephen Ambrose made the same point in Band of Brothers

Pick a card, any card ...

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 2:26 PM

Ken B.

 

 
stikpusher
certain combat units get the newest stuff first.

 

According to Bill Mauldin in Up Front, it was actually the rear-echelon (clerks, cooks, etc.) that got the newest stuff first. Combat units made do. Stephen Ambrose made the same point in Band of Brothers

 

Yes, the REMFs often shortstop new equipmeant that's gonna be issued before the line dogs get it. But when items like the M1943 uniforms or combat boots came out for issue en masse, they went to units like the 82nd & 101st Airborne, or 1st Special Service Force, rather than long serving line units such as the 1st, 3rd, or 9th Infantry Divisions. The Big Red One occasionally received specialized gear like the assault vests issued for D-Day, but aside from getting the M1943 field jacket, they still wore most of the same gear and uniform items in May 1945 that they wore into North Africa in November 1942. Of course it is much easier to re equip a unit off the line in England than it is to do for a unit driving forward non stop across Europe in constant contact with the enemy.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 2:54 PM

GAF

Just an update on the photo.  They are Army Air Force taken in early 1943.  The person in question joined up at Fort McClellan, Alabama.  Where he took his basic training is unknown.

Gary

My then next door neighbor trained at the chem warfare school at McClellan in the mid-60s. IIRC

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 4:41 PM

I forget that there was a McClellan AFB and Fort McClellan Army Base on opposite ends of the country... Confused

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

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