U.S.S. MASSACHUSETTS  BB-59 - WWII BATTLESHIP LIVING HISTORY GROUP
Preserving the History of the WWII Battleship Sailor - Keep the Memory Alive - USN / USMC

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WWII USN UNIFORMS

           U.S. Navy Uniforms of WWII
The uniforms pictured and described below are only a brief description of the uniforms that USN sailors wore during WWII (1941-1945). A more detailed uniform study is available online or by purchasing Jeff Warner's books, WWII Sailors Uniforms of WWII or:
              Enlisted Uniform Guide:
http://www.26yd.com/USSMLHG_Uniforms1.html

       Seabag Check Sheet: http://26yd.com/USSMASSSeabagsheet.PDF

HATS:

US Navy hats issued to each sailor. The standard white "Dixie Cup" (center) and the blue "Donald Duck" (left). The Dixie cup was worn during the day and night with ALL uniforms. The Donald Duck was ONLY worn with the dress blues. The Gray M1 helmet was worn from late 1942 throughout the war and depending on assignment could have been a number of different colors.

SHOES:

There were two types of shoes worn by US Sailors in WWII. The black oxfords (left) are the standard. They are to be leather, not the patent leather ones. The roughouts (right) were also issued but rarely, mostly for amphibious units.


ENLISTED UNIFORMS:

U.S. Navy Uniforms varied, depending on the duty. The Dress Blues (above left) were worn for ceremonies, special occasions and liberty. These uniforms, early on, were worn with the "Donald Duck" hats (Flat hat). Later it became the custom just to wear the "Dixie Cup". The work uniform (Above Right) was the most popular uniform, not only for its comfort but for its practicality. Denim pants, chambray shirt (long sleeve or short sleeve), and the Dixie Cup. 

The Undress Blues (Pictured Above) is the exact same uniform as the Dress Blues, but without the piping and stars on the back sail (Flap). These were worn for everyday use, most above deck duties and less formal affairs.

The Dress Whites (Above), In October of 1940 the blue collar and cuffs were deleted from the dress whites as there were continuing problems with the blue dye running. This change left the sailor with dress and undress blues and undress whites (Below) which would fill the function of dress as well.

Due to the demand and comfort of these uniforms they never stopped being used. Sailors liked to wear them on liberty because they were extremely sharp looking! The "Dixie Cup" was the only cap used with this uniform. Below is a typical Seabag Inspection.


Below is a standard layout of the Sailors Seabag.


Photo of the Seabag Layout:


Hey Sailor! Whats in your Seabag!  " Seabag handouts"

Seabag Adobe .pdf :                                                        Seabag, word .doc :
USSMLHGsailorsgear.pdf                                               USSMLHGsailorsgear.doc

          This is only a brief overview of the WWII
                             U.S. Navy Uniform.
 
                    "Personal Research is a must"


We have found that along with checking your local thrift store, flea market, Army Navy Surplus store or your local yard sale, Ebay has a good list of uniforms and accessories to search:

                           http://www.ebay.com/dsc/Uniforms-/4729/i.html?LH_TitleDesc=1&_nkw=%22Navy%22&_catref=1&_sop=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m1538

                            If you can't find Originals in your size, then may we recomend:  

                                                  Juan Gonzalez from WWII Impressions :
                                    http://www.wwiiimpressions.com/usn.html
            

             For some of your USN clothing needs, please check in with our good friend Vinny at: 
                        
RED BANK SURPLUS
                      
http://redbanksurplus.net/
                             Call 732.530.5655
                           
Clothing suppliers of the USSMLHG !

OPTIONALS:
Numerous articles of clothing were and can be used to enhance an impression.
 
Personal research is a must as the uniforms did change styles during the past 65 years.  Peacoats, "Blue" Dixie Cups",  leggings,  helmets are just some of the different articles one can use to enhance their impression. 

As for a weapon, Navy sailors were training on the Springfiled 1903 rifle, but they were not issued one, each ship had an Arms Locker and assigned small arms as needed.  A Rifle is not a required part of your kit in this unit, it is optional

Gray Uniforms Authorized for Enlisted Men at Sea (1943)

In order to provide protective coloration, slate gray working uniforms will be issued to all enlisted men serving at sea. The new uniform will not be ready for several months, and when available may be authorized for wear by enlisted personnel below the rating of CPO. The present undress whites still will be worn for dress and liberty.

Design and fabric of the new uniform, including hat, will be the same as the white uniform now worn. Only the color will be changed. Dungarees also will continue to be worn for work at sea and ashore but the new uniform is expected to ease the wear to which dungarees are subjected aboard ship.

Slate grays have previously been authorized for commissioned officers and chief petty officers (Information Bulletin, September 1943, page 73) for wear both afloat and ashore.

Source: "Gray Uniforms Authorized for Enlisted Men at Sea." All Hands. 319 (October 1943): 67.
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Grays OK for Sea; CPO Blues Changed

Navy personnel on board ship actually at sea may continue to wear gray uniforms until 15 Oct 1949. In stating this, Alnav 61-48 (NDB, 30 Sept 1948) grants the same extension to Naval Reserve personnel for drills and normal periods of training duty not extended. The gray uniform will be worn in general conformance with regulations governing khaki uniforms.

Other rulings regarding uniforms are given in Alnav 63-48 (NDB, 30 Sept 1948):

Half stripes on officers' blue uniforms are no longer authorized.

Dark gray uniform for Navy Nurse Corps is abolished.

Old-style CPOs' blue coat and overcoat are abolished.

The old-style chief petty officers' overcoat can be changed to agree with new regulations by adding a half belt in back and putting new-style buttons on the coat. To alter the blue uniform coat to conform in general to regulations, the two center buttonholes would have to be rewoven and a new buttonhole cut between the upper and lower ones. The three buttonholes then existing must be large enough to accommodate the larger officer-style buttons.

Alnav 63 authorizes senior officer present to permit wearing of khaki working uniform with coat as a liberty uniform on foreign stations by ship-based and advance base personnel when suitable dry cleaning facilities are not available.

Source: "Grays OK for Sea; CPO Blues Changed." All Hands. 381 (Nov 1948): 47.






Below Impression: Early WWII US Navy Sailor, M1917A1 Helmet, Springfield 1903 Rifle, M1928 Cartridge Belt, Khaki Leggings & Standard Sailors Denim work uniform.

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