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THE AMERICAN FIELD GEAR, WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT OF WWII -

The field gear used by the armed forces during WWII saw several advancements in its design and functionality. At the start of the war the US armed forces were poorly prepared. Much of the equipment was WWI vintage, cumbersome to use and more fitting for a horse mounted army than a mechanized unit.

American inginuity at work produced new materials and designs. Items such as camouflaged backpacks and waterproofing were introduced. Newer and better radio equipment was also employed. Experimental plastic canteens and paratrooper gear were also developed.

This page is dedicated to the study of some of the field gear from the period. Information provided allows the user to identify WWII US gear and find out the value of the collectables. Helping to answer two fundamental questions: What do I have? and How much is it worth?

This information is brought to you courtesy of MilitaryItems.com , a provider of military antiques and collectibles for schools, museums and the public in general.





MILITARY COLLECTIBLE CATEGORIES


MILITARY COLLECTIBLE CATEGORIES


MILITARY COLLECTIBLE CATEGORIES

WWII US Ammunition, ammo boxes, pouches, belts and ammunition related gear

WWII US Military Hardware related combat equipment

WWII US military field gear, shovels, tables, compasses and general equipment

WWII US Homefront Items

WWII US Inert Weapons and explosives

WWII US Military Backpacks and Bags

WWII US Military Gas Masks and Gas Mask Bags

WWII US Military Medical Related Items

WWII US Military Books, Photos, Postcards and Paper Items

WWII US Military binoculars, sights, cameras and other optical devices.

WWII US Military boots, shoes and related footwear.

WWII US Military walkie talkies, radios, field phones and other comminucation equipment.




WWII US MILITARY BOOKS AND PAPERWORK

This section covers books published by the United States government and other organizations during World War Two. Other items covered includes Training manuals, unit histories, yearbooks and related publications.




US ARMY LEARN FRENCH TRAINING BOOK - This is a training manual for communicating with French people. paperback book issued to armed forces personnel during WWII.


US ARMY LEARN GERMAN TRAINING BOOK - This is a training manual for communicating with German people. paperback book issued to armed forces personnel during WWII.


US ARMY LEARN ITALIAN TRAINING BOOK - This is a training manual for communicating with Italian people. paperback book issued to armed forces personnel during WWII.


US ARMY AIR FORCE PILOT ORIENTATION BOOKLET - This is a booklet distributed to all pilot candidates during the initial training courses. Basic flight concepts are explained in the form of a comic book.




US ARMY OF OCCUPATION IN EUROPE INSTRUCTIONS - This foldout provided instructions to American occupation forces as to how to deal with the German population. This item was widely distributed.


WWII US NAVAL RECOGNITION BOOKLET - Training was one of the most important things for a soldier. This booklet is a classified set of drawings and information regarding military ships.


US ARMY AIR FORCE PHOTO ALBUM - Of brown leather construction with a large Army Air Force logo executed in gold at front center. Purchased at local stores of base PX's.


WWII US ARMY DIARY - Some of the American soldiers could purchase this diary at the PX of the base. It was a good way to record their experience in the military, collect phone numbers and addresses, etc.

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WWII US MILITARY BACKPACKS AND BAGS

This section discusses the backpacks employed by the US armed forces during World War Two. Most of the backpacks were poorly design. They were left over from the WWI era. Often times they were very small and did not hold enough items or they were very difficult to use. An exception is the mountain troops backpack. It introduced a main section with large cargo capacity. Three pockets sewn to the outside of this area. It also utilized a metal frame. This backpack was the inspiration to the ALICE pack to be used in the Vietnam war.




WWII US ARMY M1928 HAVERSACK - Of canvis construction. Khaki color. Multiple straps allow the pack to be closed. The system was not very useful as it was difficult for the soldiers to access items.


WWII US ARMY M-1936 MUSSETTE BAG - Khaki color. Of canvis construction. two flaps secure the main flap closed. A separate strip with two metal gromets allows equipment sucg as entrenching tools to be attached.


WWII US ARMY 1942 HAVERSACK - The Haversack was a backpack system leftover from WWI. Of canvis construction. A series of harnesses are connected to allow the soldier to carry it as a backpack.


WWII US ARMY M-1936 MUSSETTE BAG - Of canvis construction. The Mussette bag could be carried over the shoulder or be outfitted as a small backpack. A flap closes the main compartment. US marked on flap.




WWII US ARMY MOUNTAIN TROOPS BACKPACK - Of canvis construction. This was the first backpack to include a built-in metal frame that countoured to the body. Main compartment has three pockets attached to it.


WWII US ARMY JUNGLE OLIVE DRAB BACKPACK - This is the jungle backpack used by the Army and Marine Corps. of canvis construction with one large compartment. The flap secures contents in place. experimental model.


WWII USMC JUNGLE CAMOUFLAGED BACKPACK - This is the jungle backpack used by the US Marine Corps in the South Pacific. Of canvis construction with a camo pattern applied all throughout.


WWII US ARMY INVASION RUBBER PACK - keeping items dry during an amphibious invasion was a challenge. This rubberized multi-purpose bad was developed for this purpose. Black in color with carrying straps attached.

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US MILITARY AND CIVILIAN GAS MASKS

WWI saw a fair amount of use of gas during trench warfare. The results of gas attack were horrific. After seeing that, both Allied and Axis armed forces went into battle during WWII with a variety of gas masks. This section provides a view of the chemical protection equipment employed during World War Two. Information includes identification and a price guide for US equipment.




WWII US CIVILIAN GAS MASK - This is an example of the complete gas mask kit issued to civilians. The mask is of rubber body construction and has the filter attached to the front. Comes in a cardboard box.


WWII US CIVILIAN GAS MASK - This is another example of a gas mask issued to the civilian population. Of gray rubber construction. The mask was issued with a lightweight carrying bag. paper instructions are present.


WWII US ARMY GAS MASK FILTER - This is a canister containing the gas mask filter for the standard US Army gas mask. A key is attached to the top for ease of opening. Instructions are printed on the can.


WWII US NAVY GAS MASK - This is the standard gas mask issued to US navy personnel. very interesting design where the filter is attached to the mask via the use of two accordion hoses.




WWII US ARMY GAS MASK - This is another example of the standard US Army gas mask. No carrying bag is displayed here. The mask has a series of elastic straps which secure it to the soldier's head.


WWII US ARMY GAS MASK - This is the standard gas mask for the army. The mask itself is made of gray rubber. A hose attached the filter which is carryed in a canvis bag. The bag attaches to the soldier via straps.


WWII US CIVILIAN CHILD GAS MASK - Rubberized main body with clear plastic oversized lenses. Gray in color. A metal filter screws to the front of the mask. Instructions are written on the filter.


WWII US CS HAND GRANADE - Complete with the hard to find cardboard carrying case. The case opens in two at mid-point. They were thrown out after use. The granade has a metal body. Similar design to modern grenades.

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US MILITARY MEDICAL ITEMS

Medical military items are an interesting field of collecting. The field gear employed by US armed forces during World War Two were primarily manufactured of canvis. The following section discusses the various types of medical field equipment employed by US forces in World War Two. The present value of the medical collectibles is also discussed.




WWII US FIELD FIRST AID POUCH - Of canvis construction. Khaki color. This pouch was employed to carry the Carlisle First Aid pouch. The letters "US" are stamped with black ink.


WWII US ARMY FIRST AID JUNGLE KIT - This is the First Aid kit that was issued to soldiers in the South Pacific. Of canvis construction. Olive Drab color. The main flap has two metal snaps. The back has a wire hook.


WWII US ARMY PARATROOPER MEDICAL POUCH - This is an oversize canvis bag that was employed to air-drop medical supplies to troops. The main flap has three heavy duty straps with metal buckles. US marked with black ink.


WWII US SURGICAL FIELD KIT BAG - This is a canvis roll with canvis strips added for re-enforcement. Multiple openings are available and used to place medical instruments inside. Black ink is used to mark the front.




WWII PARATROOPER MEDICAL FIELD BAG - This is a large canvis bag with a flap that has three canvis straps with metal buckles which close the lid. Many medical supplies could be air dropped to troops.


WWII US ARMY COMBAT MEDIC BAG - of canvis construction. Rectangular shape. Extra flaps with metal gromets are attached to the sides. This is one of two bags carried by the medics.


WWII US ARMY JEEP FIRST AID KIT - This is a metal box with hinges on one side. Snaps are placed on the other side. Used to carry first aid supplies. The box attaches to the back of the seat of a jeep.


WWII US FIELD FIRST AID POUCH - This is the Olive drab version of the Carlisle pouch. Usually issued to troops in the south Pacific. Of canvis construction. A single metal snap is found in the front.



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INERT WEAPONS

The World War Two era saw a feverish revolution in the development of weapons. This section covers some of the items employed in the various theaters of operation by the armed forces of the United States. Many of these items were brought back by GI's and were de-activated to become war souvenirs. This section of the website provides the collector and enthusiast with information regarding the value of US WWII inert weapons.




WWII US INERT PINEAPPLE GRENADE - Known as the pineapple grenade due to its shape. This was the standard grenade of the American forces during WWII.


WWII US THOMPSON MACHINE GUN - This was the standard automatic weapon issued to US officers during WWII. .45 Caliber. The weapon came with different capacity magazines including a drum.


WWII US ARMY LAND MINE - Round shape mine with a four point grid on top. This is the type of mine that was carried on the side of the halftracks during WWII.


WWII US ARMY PRACTICE GRENADE - Of metal construction. Hollowed center. No moving parts. Same shape and weight as the real thing. Used to teach soldiers how to throw grenades.




WWII US LUGER CAST MODEL - Of metal construction. No moving parts. This is a replica of the 9mm Luger pistol. This item may have been manufactured as a toy or training device.


WWII US COLT .45 CAST MODEL - Of metal construction. No moving parts. This is a replica of the Colt .45 pistol. This item may have been manufactured as a toy or training device.


WWII US BAZOOKA ROUND - This is the explosive round for the standard bazooka used by the American troops during WWII. The bazooka was used in both theaters.


WWII US 100LB CEMENT PRACTICE BOMB - B-17's and other bombers employed cement bombs during their practice runs. Oval shape with two rebar hooks attached to the top.

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WWII US MILITARY OPTICAL EQUIPMENT

The optics employed during World War Two were greatly improved when compared to previous conflicts. In most cases all branches of the service shared the same optics. For example, armored troops employed the same type of goggles as did pilots. However, in other instances very specific optical tools were developed for specific purposes. B-17 crew had multi-lense goggles to better view tracers from .50 caliber machine guns.




WWII US AAF AIRCRAFT WING CAMARA - This camera was mounted on the wing of several aircraft and is responsible for some of the war footage that is available now. Heavy duty black body.


WWII US ARMY M1910A1 ARTILLERY SCOPE - This is a heavy duty scope which was used for artillery sighting. Complete with the wooden tripod. The optics are high quality. Some models had electric lights.


WWII US ARMY WINTER GOGGLES - This is a set of goggles that was given to Mountain troop personnel. Flexible body with dark black glass lenses. Elastic strap.


WWII US AAF B-18 FLIGHT GOGGLES - This is a set of general purpose goggles that was issued primarily to flight personnel. Rubberized black frames with plastic lenses whose colors could be changed.




1943 US NAVY MARK 28 BINOCULARS - Of black painted metal body. The lenses were of fair quality. Employed by US Navy personnel. Comes with a black plastic carrying case.


1943 US NAVY MARK 33 BINOCULARS - This set is made of black painted metal. Rough surface where hand makes contact. Deisgned for better grip. Manufactured by Universal Camera Corporation.


US ARMY AIR FORCE P-51 CAMARA - Heavy duty black metal construction with four posts to facilitate placement on the wing of a plane. Back compartment opens to house the film. Nicely marked.


WWII US ARMY 8X30 BINOCULARS - Manufactured in Rochester New York by the Crown Optical Corporation. Nicely marked. Lenses are of fair quality. Heavy duty body type.

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WWII US MILITARY FOOTWEAR

The United States armed forces largely employed the same type of footwear for the various theaters of operation. However, some exceptions can be found in cases such as USMC troops in the pacific, US Army mountain troops and US AAF bomber crews.




WWII US UNMOUNTED LEGGINGS - Of light canvis construction. Multiple eyelets and hooks are placed alongside the entire length of the legging. Bottom section has a strap to secure the boot.


WWII US ARMY PARATROOPER BOOTS - Of brown leather construction. Multiple metal eyelets are placed along the side of the length of the boot. Manufactured by BF Goorwrich.


WWII US ARMY DOUBLE BUCKLE BOOTS - The design of this pair of boots consists of a quarter size boot with an extra section of leather that has two straps and buckles. The idea was to provide extra support for the soldier.


WWII USMC FLESH OUT BOOTS - This was the standard shoe for the Marine Corps soldiers fighting in the South pacific. Quarter size boot with a semi-smooth sole. Outer body has rough texture.




WWII US ARMY QUARTER BOOTS - These are very similar to the full length boots except for their height. Of brown leather construction. Brown laces with metal tips. Size is stamped on the upper side.


WWII US ARMY COMBAT BOOTS - This is the standard WWII boot. Used by army and paratrooper personnel. Lace up style. Of brown leather construction. The soles show some wear.


WWII US AAF FLIGHT BOOT LINERS - These are light cotton booties that go over the regular boots or shoes. Of light black color. Retaining the origial tag. Army Air Force logo stamped on the side.


WWII US ARMY LEATHER MOUNTED LEGGINS - Of black leather construction. Used by cavalry troops. The shape of the legging comforms to the shape of the calf. Top and bottom straps.

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WWII US RADIO AND COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT

Adbvances in technology were prominantly reflected in the communications field. World War Two was a showcase for new technology in the field of communications. This section covers the equipment employed in the batlefield as well as the packs and bags with which the equipment was carried.




WWII US ARMY JEEP FIELD RADIO - communications in the field were crucial for victory. The US Jeep was at he forrefont of the battle field, therefore it had to have good radion equipment.


WWII US EE8B FIELD TELEPHONE - This was the most commonly used field phone during the war. It was housed in a canvis or leather case. The side had an opening for the phone crank. Complete with shoulder strap.


WWII US SHIP ANNOUNCING CONSOLE - large metal box with multiple switches in the front. A light indicated when the device is in use. A microphone is palced near the bottom section. gray in color.


WWII US B1000 FIELD BACKPACK RADIO - This iconic radio saw action in all theaters of operation during WWII. The transmitter and receiver were housed in separate compartments. A set of shoulder straps allowed the radio to be acrried.




WWII US RADIO CANVIS ANTENA BAG - Of canvis construction with reinforced leather applied to key stress areas. The bag is thin and has a series of small pockets where each piece of the antena fits securely.


WWII US RADIO ANTENA BACKPACK - Of canvis construction. One main compartment with a flap that has two straps to secure the lid shut. This bag carries sections of the mast for the large radio antenas.


WWII US FIELD CANVIS TELEGRAPH BAG - The telegraph was used extensively in WWII. This is a heavy duty canvis bag with leather reinforcements in the corners. One large shoulder strap was provided.


WWII US ARMY FIELD OPERATOR SWITCHBOARD - The switchboard allowed the EE6 telephones to act in conjucntion. This was a critical function when a beach head is established. Of heavy duty construction.

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