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Post WW II Battle Dressings
Battle Dressings After World War II
Immediately after World War II, the individual soldier continued to be provided with a single Carlisle bandage as his primary first aid in case of injury. The dressing itself, and the pouch to carry it, evolved along with the Army and Marine Corps equipment changes. The name became "Dressing, First Aid, Field" commonly called a Field Dressing or Battle Dressing.
The M-1956 Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment included a cotton First Aid/Compass Case that replaced the M-1942 web First Aid Pouch that held a Carlisle dressing. On the back it has a single Alice keeper, and it is closed with a single snap. The M-1956 cotton case was replaced by the First Aid/Compass Case in the M-1967 Individual Load-Carrying Equipment, styled the same as the M-1956 with the same keeper and snap but made of nylon (NSN 8465-00-935-6814). This form was carried forward unchanged to become the LC-1 Alice pouch and was still being procured in 2005.
These cases held a single dressing package (or served as a military compass case) and were usually carried on the suspenders or equipment belt. During the same time period, some Marines and others were issued the Container, For Kit, Jungle, Medical, Individual, M-2 until it was superseded by Pouch, First Aid, Jungle type (NSN 6545-912-0625).
Table of "Dressing, First Aid, Field" Packaging
The table below gives at least some of the individual Field Dressings (or Battle Dressings) in use in the post-war period, including Vietnam and later. As the pouch for an individual dressing was replaced by the Individual First Aid Kit, the Field Dressing became one component of the kit, as well as a common component of the "First Aid Kit, General Purpose" or larger kits. All such medical supplies fall under Federal Supply Class (FSC) 6510 - Surgical Dressing Materials. Some NSNs were made in multiple packages with slightly different nomenclature. Stock numbers changed over time (if the item continued in use) -- early stock number format such as "2-011-755" became FSN 6510-201-1755 which became NSN 6510-00-201-1755.
Most packaging included the word "Sterile" and the directions, "Red color indicates back of dressing -- put other side next to wound." If a dressing was "camouflaged" it was olive drab in color. Dimensions are approximate.
The instructions provided in training were:
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