Home > Intelligence
What color is used for OD paint?
Their were basically 3 OD colors used on US vehicles during WWII. Realize when I say three colors I am referring to three Federal Matching System colors (there were surely variances in the shades and mixes dictated by the amount of thinning and flattener used). They are: FS 34087 Olive Drab - Commonly referred to as "lusterless OD, early khaki" (ultra-flat - no sheen) FS 33070 Olive Drab - Mid-War green (more green, less khaki, and not totally flat in finish) FS 319 Late war OD (is a strong shade more green than the earlier) The Walmart brand seems to match the later OD the closest as it is more green. Many equipment components were painted that late war FS 319 (radio cases, ammo cans, etc.)
As a medic what is the best way to weather my uniform/equipment?
Background Staining: 1.) The simplest and most effective way is tea. Simply take a bag or two and soak it in. The tea stain stays that way for a long time, and the smell doesn't. End result: A beige/off-white stain fairly evenly throughout the brassard. Darker stains are possible, but it is really hard to screw this one up. 2.) Coffee works as well. Just soak it in, let it sit for a bit, and pull it out. The stain is darker and can vary in coloration, but it is difficult to mess this one up as well. "Service Staining": 1.) Mud: Its cheap, its fast, its removable, its realistic. You can't get much better than this one for the "I just got back from the front lines" look. 2.) Worcestershire Sauce: Always a good substitute, it can compare with dried blood, especially when mixed with ketchup. Be careful though, we are here to educate the public, not traumatize them. If you use this, use slight spatters, not the "Surgical Medic" dousing.
Can I wear a helmet liner with my uniform?
As for the helmet liner use with the Class A, in period photos you'll note guys in garrison dress (Class A's with cartridge belt and leggings) wear the liner of the steel pot without the pot. The opening training scene in BoB at Toccoa shows all the Easy recruits wearing OD HBT coveralls, low service boots and helmet liners!
What color do I need to paint my helmet liner?
There are no set standards on helmet colors in WWII. Ask David Mann's Dad as he'll be the first to say they used whatever they could find - ie aircraft paint or vehicle paint. And depending on whether they thinned it with gasoline or turpentine or mineral spirits would determine the final color and finish. I think it's safe to say for 501st purposes of establishing a standard that the helmet liner is the same matte OD as you use on the shell.
Whar is the difference between all the scabbards used in the war?
The M-4 bayonet-knife for the M-1 carbine would have been carried in a M-8 scabbard. The carbine bayonets didn't appear until VERY late in the war. The M-8 scabbards came out in mid-1944. They were replaced by the M-8A1 scabbards in mid-1945. The difference is the M-8A1 has a longer canvas we hanger and belt-hooks were provided. Also, later issue M-8A1's have a metal tip protector affixed due to the fiberglass scabbards tendancy to break off at the tip. M-8 scabbards were common among airborne forces during the Market Garden operation and thrugh the end of the war. Some were used in Normandy but they were not as common as the leather M-6 scabbards. The M-8 is much easier to maintain than the M-6.
What is a ruptured duck?
When the GIs returned home most of them found that their old civilian clothes didn't fit, so they used their khakis and even sometimes their class As. Upon return to their home towns they were given preference in hiring... an advantage that a lot of "4-F"er's didn't have...so some of them were purchasing khakis and wearing them so as to get jobs. The answer came in the form of these patches to set apart those that served (honorably) and those that didn't.The "Ruptured Duck" is a patch that all servicemen were made to sew on their uniforms when they were seperated from service. As most of them wore their uniforms home, this let military authorities know that the man in the uniform was no longer in the military and therefore a civilian. The patch was sewn on while the serviceman was going through out processing.
How can a carbine be blank adapted?
The trick with the carbine is to counter-bore the barrel before tapping it. The counter-bore will recess the treads enough that a live round won’t touch the threaded area. Check with your local gunsmith. I had to learn the hard way not to use the snap blank adapter on the M1 carbine. It will most definitely give you fits. My adapter would come loose to the point that it would not seal properly and down right dangerous. At one point it was loose enough to be shoot out as projectle had I not spotted it in time.
What is a Class A Summer Uniform?
Lightweight, matching tan/khaki shirt,trousers, tie and jacket worn with the matching garrison cap or officer leather brimmed dress cap. Note: you almost never, if ever see WWII ETO para's wear this combination.
Are the M7 Shoulder Holsters incorrect to be worn by Airborne troops or is it okay to wear either the M3 or M7?
The M-7 holsters didn't become widley issued until late 1944. Wearing one for a Normandy impression may not be totally accurate as far as strict authenticity is concerned. However, a brown GI shoulder holster is a brown GI shoulder holster as far as most of us are concerned. Besides, the M-7 is more comfortable to wear.
If I wanted to purchase a Revolver, what kind should I get?
The US issue Smith&Wesson Victory Models had a 4 inch barrel and are chambered for .38 Special. The other Victory Models (5 inch barrel and/or chambered for .38 S&W) are Lend Lease guns made for our allies even though they are US Property marked. If you can find a 4 inch barreled .38 S&W, it will still work as a blank firing gun. The .38 S&W cartridge is shorter than the .38 Special but most blank maunfacturers carry blanks for both calibers. The .38 S&W was issued by the British Commonwealth forces and called the .38-200. The US military issued several Colt .38's of different types from the Late 1800's through to the Model of 1908. Also, .38 revolvers were issued to soldiers other than combat troops (Pilots and aircrews, MP's, CID, couriers, Marine Embassy Guards, Air Force Security Police, etc.) up until this day. The Victory Model S&W is virtually identical to the S&W Military and Police (pre-Model 10). Most were parkerized and they had a lanyard loop on the butt. The serial number starts with a "V" (for Victory). Some are marked "US PROPERTY" or "PROPERTY US NAVY". Also Smith&Wesson M1917 and Colt M-1917 .45ACP revolvers were issued in limited numbers as well. An issue M-1917 will be stamped "Model 1917 US Army" on the butt, have "United States Property" stamped under the barrel, and be chambered for .45 ACP. Paratroopers (really any WWII US soldier or Marine) tried to get thier hands on any type handgun that they could. Many carried civilian handguns obtained outside the supply system and captured enemy handguns were popular in the ETO (in the PTO, Japanese handguns were considered a liability rather than something useful).