U.S. Field Combat Clothing & Uniforms: World War II
There were a great variety of combat field uniforms developed, issued and used by U.S. Army Infantry, Airborne, Armored and other arms and services in World War II. The Navy and Marine Corps had their own, additional standards and issues of clothing and uniforms. Additional clothing and uniforms were provided for specialized purposes.
Starting with the array of mounted and dismounted uniforms left over from the pre-war period, stardardization was needed to supply the huge manpower buildup of the pending global war. As the World War II progressed uniforms changed, driven by field experience and also by production requirements for efficiency and the need to preserve scarce materials.
United States Army Uniforms, 1941.
These pages of Olive-Drab.com will cover many of the variations issued and used during World War II, but by no means all. Keep in mind that as new items of clothing and equipment were developed, they only slowly made their way into general use. A year or more could separate the first use of an item by one unit and the receipt of the same item by another unit. Some units were still using pre-war equipment in 1945 while other units had the latest issue.
World War II Field Clothing and Uniforms: Directory
The photos used as examples on these pages are drawn from wartime publications and archive materials wherever possible, to show the clothing and uniforms in use. The few exceptions are current photos of items known to be genuine examples from the war and not reproductions or similar items from other time periods. The same standards apply to pictures of labels or markings.
World War II Field Clothing and Uniforms -- U.S. Army Ground Troops
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The pages of Olive-Drab.com that describe U.S. clothing and equipment from World War II have been developed with the guidance of the following list of publications. The two Historical Studies from the Quartermaster General are out of print but can sometimes be found as reprints or as originals from used booksellers or on eBay.
Clothing the Soldier of World War II, QMC Historical Studies, No. 16, by Erna Risch and Thomas A. Pitkin, Historical Section, Office of the Quartermaster General, September 1946
Quartermaster Equipment for Special Forces, QMC Historical Studies, No. 5, by Thomas A. Pitkin, Historical Section, Office of the Quartermaster General, February 1944