WWII GI Attire Part 2  Vers 1

Field Gear

The M1928 Haversack

The haversack was first developed in WWI and the WWII version is very similar to the earlier model. The haversack was used to carry the shelter half, blanket, rations, long bayonet, raincoat, and personnel items. The addition of the carrier at the bottom of the haversack extended the capacity. Haversacks were carried by armored infantrymen and were usually attached to the sides of the halftrack.


The M1910 T-Handle Shovel or Entrenching Tool

The T-handle shovel was developed in WWI and can be used in all early-late war impressions. It attaches to the haversack under the meatcan pouch with a canvas carrier. T-handles were not a robust design and took a considerable beating with hard use.



The M1943 Folding Entrenching Tool (optional)

This shovel, developed in mid-war, shows an improved design and ruggedness. It can be used as a shovel or folded and locked to become a mattock or pick. It can be carried on the belt or on the haversack under the meatcan pouch.



The M1928 Meatcan (Mess kit) and Utensils


  This is the standard eating equipment for the infantryman. The meatcan consists of two sections, the top section fitting on top of the long handled pan when food is being served. The knife, fork and spoon could also be hung from the handle for sterilization of the whole set in hot boiling water. The utensils fit inside the meatcan, and the handle locks down on the top section. The meatcan is carried in a pouch on the haversack. The frontline GI never went anywhere without the meatcan, as it was never known when hot chow would be available.



The M1910 Canteen Set

 The canteen set consists of the carrier, the bottle, and the cup. Carriers can be khaki or OD in color (khaki is preferred). The bottle screw caps can be plastic (late) or aluminum (early). The cups are either rolled edge (early) or flared edge (late). Canteens are carried on the cartridge belt. Canteens with reinforced belt hangers are recommended as wear and tear on the hangers is considerable. Flared rim cups do not transfer heat to the lips as does the rolled rim type.



The M1910 or M1923 Dismounted Cartridge Belt


 The 10 pocket cartridge belt carried the infantryman's ammunition (80 rounds for the M1) as well as the canteen, short bayonet, first aid kit, and possibly, sidearm. It was supported by the M1936 field suspenders. Both model belts are acceptable. The WWI belt features bronze fittings for attaching the belt at the waist, while the WWII version uses cast fittings.


The First Aid Pouch

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

This small web pouch carried the Carlisle bandage.



The M1938 Leggings

 LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 Leggings (not "spats") are used for early and late war impressions. They are worn with either the roughout or russet service shoes, and can be worn over double buckle boots for early war impressions. Leggings blouse the wool pants and protect the service shoes from accumulating dirt and stones. Color ranges from khaki (preferred) to dark OD.


The M1936 Field Suspenders

 These are the standard suspenders for the WWII impression. M36 suspenders are khaki in color. Later models are OD. In late '44-'45 the shoulder straps were widened and padded for more comfort.


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The Rough-out Service Shoe

Service shoes in the soft toe brogan style were the standard issue for the WWII GI. These customarily would show the rough side of the hide on the exterior to alleviate scuffing and the need for polishing.


The Russet Service Shoe

Russet service shoes were normally worn by enlisted personnel with the Class A uniform. The leather could be polished to a shine owing to the smooth side of the leather on the shoe exterior and the use of a cap toe. Russet shoes could also be worn in the field.


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The Rifleman’s Attire

 The three photos above demonstrate combat uniform authenticity for the enlisted soldier.  The mannequin is dressed in the OD undershirt, wool shirt, khaki belt and M37 pants.  The cartridge belt, first aid pouches, canteen, and .45 calibur semi-automatic sidearm are supported by the M36 combat suspenders.






Here is a re-enactor’s description of what a GI has:



Uniform & Personal Equipment:



·      Jacket, M1941, Field OD* 

·      Jacket, Combat, Winter (tanker)*

·      Jacket, M1943, Field OD*

·      Shirt, Wool, OD, (mustard shade)*

·      Undershirt, Cotton, Summer sleeveless OD

·      Trousers, Wool, OD, (mustard shade)

·      Belt, Khaki, open face buckle

·      Trousers, Combat 1943, OD

·      Jacket, HBT, OD #7

·      Trousers, HBT, OD #7

·      Sweater, Wool, Highneck (mustard shade) 

·      Gloves, Wool, OD, leather palm 

*Denotes 2nd ID Patch on left sleeve




·      Cap, Overseas, Wool, (mustard shade) with Infantry (blue) piping 

·      Cap, Field, HBT, OD w/short brim 

·      Cap, Wool, Knit, M1941(jeep cap)

·      Helmet, Steel, M1 fix or swivel bail

·      Liner, M1, w/leather chinstrap

·      Helmet net (optional but desirable) 

·      Hat, Field, HBT (Daisy Mae)




·      Boots, Low Quarter, roughout

·      Boots, Low Quarter, Cap Toe 

·      Leggings, M1938, Dismounted OD#3

·      Boots, Combat, Double Buckle

·      Socks, Wool, OD, Cushion soles




·      Belt, Cartridge, M1923 (for M1 rifle)

·      Suspenders, Field, M1936

·      Haversack, M1928 w/meat can pouch

·      Bag, Field, M1936 (Mussette)

·      Bag, M5, Gas Mask, Waterproof

·      Canteen, M1910 w/ Cup and Cover

·      Mess Kit, w/ fork, knife & spoon

·      Carlisle Pouch, M1910 w/bandage

·      Tool, Entrenching, T-Handle or

·      Tool, Entrenching, M1943 w/carrier

·      Knife, M3 w/M6 or M8 scabbard

·      Bayonet 10” or 14”” w/scabbard




·      US Rifle, Cal .30 M1 Garand

·      US Rifle, Cal .30 M1903 Springfield

·      US Rifle, Cal 30 M1903A3 Springfield

·      US Carbine, Cal .30 M1

·      M1928 or M1A1, Cal .45 Thompson

·      M3 or M3A1, Cal .45 (Grease Gun)

·      US Rifle M1918A2 Cal .30 BAR

·      US M1919A4 Cal .30 Machine Gun

·      US Pistol Cal .45 M1911 or A1 +

·      US Revolver M1917 or Victory +

+ (worn mostly by Officers & NCOs)




·      Shelter Half, Button hole Pup Tent w/ poles, ropes & wooden pegs

·      Wood & Canvas Cot

·      Wool Blanket, (mustard shade)

·      Weapons Cleaning Kit


Click here for WWII GI Weapons


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