WWII GI Attire Part 1  vers 1

This is a pictorial of US WWII GI attire.  I got this from a Re-enactors website years ago as personal reference, and now don't recall who they were.  If anybody can identify this outline, let me know.  The list at the bottom of Part 2 was taken from  2nd Armored Re-enactors website. 





The M1 Helmet

The M1 helmet was adopted in 1941 and represented a helmet system which no other army had. The system consisted of an outer shell made of manganese steel, and an adjustable inner liner.  The WWII helmet has the rim edging seam in front or rear and has either welded (fixed) chinstrap loops (bales) or hinged (swivel) loops. Early helmets featured a stainless steel rim edging which shows shiny as paint could not adhere to it. The liner is plastic with either khaki or OD webbing.


Jeep Cap

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

The jeep cap was designed to be worn under the M1 helmet in order to make the helmet fit snugly. GI's began to wear the cap as its own cover much to the consternation of the high command.  Avoid late olive green caps. The proper color is olive drab 7.



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The OD Wool Shirt

This is the standard shirt worn by enlisted personnel. It is wool and without epaulets (only officer's shirts had epaulets in WWII). It has two chest flap pockets. There are two styles, one with a pleat running down the front, and one without. Either is correct. Button color varies.



M1937 Wool Serge Pants

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

These are the standard pants worn by enlisted men (EM). They are often referred to as "mustard pants" because of the light brown color, although shades vary by manufacturer. They feature two slash pockets, a watch pocket and two back pockets. The EM trousers do not have flaps (officer's pants had a flap on the left back pocket).


The "M41" or Parsons Combat Jacket

The standard field jacket issued to enlisted and commissioned personnel during the early war. This jacket can be worn for any European campaign impression. It is light green in color, shows two slash pockets rarely with flaps, epaulets, and a zippered front closure.



The M1943 Jacket

This is the correct jacket for the mid-1944 to the end of the war impression. It is made from OD cotton poplin with a sateen exterior, and shows two flapped breast pockets and two flapped waist pockets. An inside drawstring adjusts the waist. This is a highly useful jacket.



The OD Undershirt

Undershirts were crew-necked and changed during mid-war from white to OD. A white crew neck shirt is permissible for early war impressions, and the OD tank top shirt is also permissible.




Web Belt w/Open Face Buckle

This is the belt worn by enlisted personnel. It differs from the officer's belt. The officer's buckle was a brass solid face with a friction lock..



The HBT Pants

HBT pants can be early type with slash pockets or late type with bellows side pockets. The side pockets are the most useful and are easier to find. All HBT's should feature the 13 star metal buttons rather than plastic buttons.


The HBT Jacket or Shirt

The HBT (herringbone twill) uniform was the fatigue uniform of the Army. The uniform could consist of the early type jacket, which was worn outside the pants and had adjusters at the waist, or the twin bellows pocket HBT shirt worn inside the pants. HBT's ran large for the size and were usually worn over the wool uniform.


The HBT Coveralls (Required for Tankers and Mechanics)

This is the one piece HBT coverall which could be worn over other clothing to protect it. The coverall features a series of 13 star metal buttons which close the garment down to the waist. There are tabs at the wrist and ankles, and a metal buckle belt to cinch the waist.



Wool Overcoat (Optional)

This is the standard winter overcoat. Early versions showed brass buttons in a double breasted configuration. Late war versions featured plastic buttons. The overcoat was not popular with GI's owing to its propensity to absorb moisture with corresponding weight, and its resemblance to the German greatcoat.




Raincoat or Poncho (Optional)

Original WWII raincoats are difficult to find, however reproductions are being made. The raincoat was made from a rubberized material and was not popular. GI's often preferred to wear the '43 field jacket as protection from the rain. WWII ponchos did not include a hood.


Unit Insignia

This is the triangle armored unit insignia. All WWII armored units used the same triangle with the difference being the division or battalion number. WWII patches are OD bordered and do not feature the "Hell on Wheels" tab attached to the triangle. This insignia would be worn on the left sleeve of the wool shirt and tunic or on the left chest of the HBT coverall.

Click here for WWII GI Attire Part 2

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