USMC WW II Combat / Field Uniforms
Like the Army, at the beginning of World War II the Marine Corps was using equipment that dated back to the WW I period with only a few improvements. The Service Uniforms were considered to be dual purpose for garrison and field duty, forest green wool in winter and khaki cotton in summer. Despite their shorcomings in battle, the first missions of World War II were fought in these uniforms. Only leggings were added to post duty clothing when going into combat.
Marines study parts of stripped weapon. Note fatigues (left), khaki (right), "boondocker" shoes (right), early WW II pith helmet with USMC EGA, garrison caps with USMC EGA.
Camp Lejeune, New River, NC May 1942.
Today in WW II: 20 Jan 1942 Wannsee Conference: In a Berlin suburb, Nazi leaders meet to plan the Final Solution, the extermination of all Jews in German occupied territories, Reinhard Heydrich in charge. More ↓
20 Jan 1945 Hungary signs armistice with Allies.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.
World War II Combat Uniforms & Clothing for the U.S. Marine Corps
In 1941, two piece sage green utility uniforms were issued to Marines for fatigue duty. These cotton herringbone twill (HBT) uniforms were designed for field work, but quickly became the battle dress uniform. By the time of the Guadalcanal invasion (August 1942) the HBT field uniform was in general use and continued, with modifications, through the war. The Service Uniform was reserved for garrison duty or leave and was not seen on the battlefield. In the photo, Marines in HBT fatigues wade ashore on Tinian, 24 July 1944.
At the same time as the HBT uniform was in use, a series of camouflage uniforms was developed and issued to Marines. Although often associated with the USMC, use of camouflage uniforms was sporadic, not universal, in World War II.
Click to link to the Olive-Drab page for more detail on some of the individual clothing types:
U.S. Marine Corps Eagle, Globe, and Anchor was stenciled on most Marine clothing and gear.
Marine in khaki uniform driving a USN jeep, pulling a glider at Parris Island, SC, May 1942. Detailed analysis of this photo by Robert V. Notman in Military Vehicles Magazine,
April 2005, came to the conclusion that this olive drab jeep with yellow markings is a Ford GPW from an early U.S. Army contract, with the markings repainted for U.S. Navy use.
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