Nylon Canteen Cover

In the 1960s, nylon fabric replaced cotton duck/canvas for the construction of most of the U.S. Soldier's individual equipment. For the canteen cover/carrier, the first use of nylon was as a design change of the cotton canvas M1956 Cover. After 1967, nylon tape was used to edge the M1956 cover, replacing the cotton fabric in use since the canteen cover model of 1910.

By 1967, the U.S. military one quart plastic canteen was issued with a new nylon cover, that attached to the utility belt, pack or other attachment point with ALICE clips.

Cover, Water Canteen, LC-2, 1-Quart. Photo: Government Liquidation.com
Cover, Water Canteen, LC-2, 1-Quart. Photo: Government Liquidation.com.

Today in WW II: 22 Sep 1943 Operation TOENAILS completed, with the occupation by US troops of all important islands in the New Georgia group, Central Solomons.  

Nylon Canteen Covers

The first all-nylon canteen cover specification came with the set of individual equipment called the M-1967 Modernized Load-Carrying Equipment (MLCE) or Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (LLCE). The MLCE consisted essentially of the same items of similar design as the M-1956 Load-Carrying Equipment (LCE), but substituted nylon for cotton, and aluminium and plastic for steel and brass hardware where possible.

The M-1967 canteen cover was made from OG-106 4-ounce nylon, with black snaps instead of the LTD fasteners closing the cover flaps. The inside was lined with acrylic pile. The nylon cover was sized to accommodate the plastic water canteen with the nested metal Canteen Cup. Two ALICE clips were affixed to the back with a webbing patch. The nylon canteen covers have a small flap pocket, with velcro closure, intended to hold a bottle of water purification tablets. An eyelet in the bottom of the cover provided drainage. The vertical stitching that was typical of the M-1910 cotton canteen carrier was replaced by horizontal stitching on the nylon covers, although some versions of the nylon cover have both vertical and horizontal stitching.

The nomenclature for the nylon canteen cover evolved, including at least these versions which were marked on the back of canteen covers during this time period:

  • Cover, Water Canteen
  • Cover, Water Canteen, Nylon
  • Cover, Water Canteen, Nylon, 1-Quart
  • Cover, Canteen, Nylon, 1-Quart
  • Cover, Water Canteen, Nylon, LC-1
  • Cover, Water Canteen, LC-2, 1-Quart

1968 contract Cover, Water Canteen, Nylon, 1-Quart.  Photo:  eBay seller alexeyenko
1968 contract Cover, Water Canteen, Nylon, 1-Quart
Photo: eBay seller alexeyenko.

The military specification was MIL-C-43742, going through a number of revisions from its base document dated 21 June 1971. In 1975 the LC-1 designation for the water canteen cover was changed to LC-2 due to some minor design changes (MIL-C-43742 Revision A, 7 Nov 1975).

The nylon canteen covers were assigned FSN 8465-860-0256, changed to the NSN system as NSN 8465-00-860-0256.

Although not originally issued for the purpose, canteen covers were sometimes used by the troops as general carriers for ammunition, grenades, rations or many other uses.

Canteen Carrier Markings

Most military canteens have markings on the canteen and on the cover. Through WWII, covers typically have "U.S." on the front in black plus year and manufacturer identification on the bottom, back, or under a flap. Marine Corps issue were marked with "USMC" or "U.S." By the 1950s, markings expanded and were more standardized, including nomenclature and stock number (eg, Covers, Canteen, Dismounted M1910 74-C-300) along with the manufacturer. Starting with the M1956 carrier, the full nomenclature, FSN, and other information (eg, Cover, Water, Canteen, M-1956 / FSN 8465-577-4926 / Contract No. / Date) were uniformly stenciled on the lower back, under the webbing patch. This practice was continued with the nylon canteen carriers, adding more extensive information such as contract number, NSN and more.

It was very common for soldiers to mark their name or service number on equipment, to stencil unit information, or other identification.

Cover, Water Canteen, Nylon.  1973 contract, FSN 8465-860-0256 or NSN 8465-00-860-0256
Cover, Water Canteen, Nylon
1973 contract
FSN 8465-860-0256

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