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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Barracks (Moderators: Delmonico, Pitspitr)  |  Topic: Sailor Uniforms 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Sailor Uniforms  (Read 1835 times)
S. Quentin Quale, Esq.
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« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2018, 10:09:28 am »

IIRC prior to the Vera Cruz operation each vessel was authorized to acquire two bottles of brown dye for the purpose of dying white uniforms of a landing force.  I don't have the specific regs in front of me but will search for them later.  As an aside, I wonder if officers were allowed to dye their whites?

I've found from the photos of Vera Cruz that I have that uniforms weren't very.  Lots of different variations on the theme.  There are officers in various forms of enlisted working uniforms.  I even have one of an officer from USS MICHIGAN wearing a 1902 Marine campaign hat, Marine Corps shirt, Army breeches, indeterminate shoes, riding a horse and from the context of the photo appearing to lead a mounted patrol!

This was a time of transition and there were a lot more sailors than Marines on the ground and they took more casualties as a result.  Each ship at this time had to furnish a shore party ranging from a short platoon from a destroyer to a short battalion from a battleship.  If Marines were available they were the preferred force as they were specifically trained in ground combat.  The shore parties were trained in basic infantry skills and there was a manual for it, initially written by three officers (two Navy, one Army) and promulgated in 1891 (and periodically revised thereafter).  The Marines at this time had their own manual, and it was not used as the Army and Navy senior officers wanted a common doctrine so that sailors and soldiers could be melded into common units if required.  By the 1930s the use of sailors in land combat would have been seen as either exigent or "last ditch" actions.

The depiction of the use of shore parties in "The Sand Pebbles" is pretty accurate from what I've read of the period from other sources.  But that was also the "swan song" of shore parties of that type.  The Marines, to keep themselves relevant, were far along in developing the amphibious doctrine that they would use in WWII.

SQQ

P.S.  I just returned from my 50th undergrad reunion and we had a dinner with a number of my NROTC classmates.  Since I was the only one who was doing any sort of historical work they were surprised at much of the above.  We collectively remembered that Vera Cruz was mention in our Naval History course but the mention was almost just a "passing comment."  The real extent was not discussed nor were the reasons for the operation.  Vera Cruz was also the first combat deployment of Naval Aviation, and the entire force from Pensacola was there.  In 2013 I approached the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola and asked if they had anything planed to recognize this event.  Their answer was "not just no, but HELL NO."  The only thing in the Museum I remember regarding the event is a couple of photos with little context.  You can file this whole event under the heading of "forgotten wars."  Sad
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Grenadier
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« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2018, 09:17:49 am »

Grenadier, you might want to watch the 1915 video I posted above.

Yes, they resemble Dixie Cup hats of the WW2 and later period but they are a different critter all together. I guess it depends on how correct you want it to be. I tend to suffer from having to have as close as possible reproduction. I sometimes let it be the better of me. If you like, I can send you some photos of a hat dated 1904, so you can see the differences.
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Drydock
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« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2018, 11:53:18 am »

Well, yes and no.  During my time running security at the Norfolk Naval base, they had a temporary display at the base museum, a collection of Dixie cups thru the ages.

No one is quite sure where or when the Dixie Cup originated, though it seems to point to the first ships of the ABCD steel fleet. The first mention in regulations is 1886. 

The originals from the 1880s were several pieces of pie shaped sail canvas, sewn to make a mini sou'wester, done by ships sailmakers.  Almost immediately they began adding stitching around the edges, for stiffening, and because the wearers liked to roll the edges up, to catch cinders.  Or pull the front down in a fedora pattern.  Sometime in the 1890s some began shortening the pie wedges and adding a narrow circular rim.  Over the years this would grow.

However, this was not a standardized pattern,  early regulations are rather vague, it varied from ship to ship, or sailmaker to sailmaker.  Ships captains might insist on a particular style, but navy wide it was all over the place.  By the beginning of WW1,  you could find patterns that are nearly identical to modern caps, and some that go right back to the 1880s originals.

The massive fleet expansion plan of 1916 would provide the impetus to finally, fully standardize the dixie cup, with the final pattern being fixed in the early 1920s.
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Grenadier
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« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2018, 04:20:29 am »

Here is an unissued Dixie Cup from 1904. While vaguely similar in overall appearance, construction is vastly different.



* AD5C6C3B-17B9-41F6-AF01-B3C310533829.jpeg (168.2 KB, 2048x1536 - viewed 36 times.)
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Drydock
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« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2018, 09:45:18 am »

That's great!  Never seen one quite like that before,  very much an extended sou'wester style.
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Grenadier
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« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2018, 03:20:32 am »

That's great!  Never seen one quite like that before,  very much an extended sou'wester style.

 A couple more pics



* 2AB4D225-6D87-4C5D-8EBB-EEA84B754340.jpeg (279.78 KB, 1600x1052 - viewed 38 times.)

* 70AD0A60-A108-4A54-BADC-51F6971DD581.jpeg (373.22 KB, 1600x1381 - viewed 38 times.)
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Drydock
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« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2018, 05:36:49 pm »

Y'know, I wonder, seems like I've seen a variation much like that, usually in the pacific, worn more like a Boonie cap.  A broader brim for tropical service?  Just a wonderful piece of naval history there. Grin
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pony express
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« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2018, 03:13:44 pm »

That's an interesting hat. There isn't any plates with pictures of the hat in the 1897 regulations I refernced in the earlier post.


The ones worn by 1914 look pretty much like the modern ones, though: picture from Vera Cruz, 1914.





* navyvera4.jpg (32.64 KB, 706x530 - viewed 43 times.)
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pony express
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« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2018, 09:19:08 pm »

Found this in the midst of Sir Charles' Boer War link. I wonder where they got their hats, or maybe they're custom made. Very similar to the one Grenadier showed.


* 35972492_1037378226428964_3971970735840165888_n.jpg (83.1 KB, 960x640 - viewed 43 times.)
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S. Quentin Quale, Esq.
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« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2018, 07:04:49 am »

The above photo could be of recent vintage.  One of the people looks like a person I've seen active on USS OLYMPIA, docked in Philly.

That ship has a VERY active group of men and women who portray the folks of the SAW era.  They might be a very good resource.

SQQ
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Pitspitr
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« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2018, 09:16:49 am »

Found this in the midst of Sir Charles' Boer War link. I wonder where they got their hats, or maybe they're custom made. Very similar to the one Grenadier showed.
I'm checking on it
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« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2018, 09:34:48 am »

The above photo could be of recent vintage.  One of the people looks like a person I've seen active on USS OLYMPIA, docked in Philly.
I believe it was taken this summer. And one of the guys looks like Adam Lid
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Jerry M. "Pitspitr" Davenport
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« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2018, 09:36:44 am »

I wonder where they got their hats, or maybe they're custom made.
Todd Rambow replied to my inquiry,  "We were getting them from San Francisco Hat company for a while, but I believe they discontinued them. "
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Jerry M. "Pitspitr" Davenport
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« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2018, 12:23:28 pm »

Ok, I heard back from them. They say it is this:

https://www.vermontcountrystore.com/campobello-hat/product/39318?fbclid=IwAR2ZWPOlIiqp5ChA4ApR5O6qMI8fI0wRSSuyLda--GX2eaYafwg4YuqW1og
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Jerry M. "Pitspitr" Davenport
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« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2018, 07:36:41 pm »

Yes, that whole series of photos was from an event last summer in New Jersey. Gen Pitspitr, since you have a connection, can you ask about the Spanish uniform source?

Reenacting gear from Vermont Country Store? Who'dathunkit?
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Pitspitr
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« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2018, 05:04:12 am »

I just got on the Ft. Mott facebook page you linked and started asking questions
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Jerry M. "Pitspitr" Davenport
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« Reply #41 on: October 23, 2018, 06:02:05 am »

Maybe one of these days, I'll actually sign up on facebook…...
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Pitspitr
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« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2018, 08:07:24 am »

How did you find the link with the pictures?
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Jerry M. "Pitspitr" Davenport
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« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2018, 06:09:12 pm »

I followed the link from Sir Charles' post in the Boer War Rifles thread, then just kept scrolling down.(Since Facebook didn't ask me to sign in)
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pony express
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« Reply #44 on: November 04, 2018, 11:01:46 pm »

Having reviewed the WPG crackerjacks, I can say they can work or be made  to work from the mid 1880's until the 1950's.  You can even cut most of the tar flap away to recreate the short lived 1913 working blouse. The hard part is finding the proper Donald Duck hat to go with the blues.  The Dixie cup first appeared in the 1880s, about the time of the ABCD ships, first units of the New Steel Navy.

I'm especially excited about the dress whites, that's a pattern that has not been seen for a LONG time.  I may need to get a set of those.

I was just over on WPG, and they do now offer the Donald Duck hat, but as to whether it's proper for our time period, I don't know. Check in the new arrivals section.
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