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  • Utility uniforms in Vietnam

    Can anybody prescribe what "type" of Utility shirts or/and Combat jackets these are, specifically and possibly where I could order some of the same?

    I've tried Vietnam Gear, but I'm uncertain if they're the exact uniforms pictured here:



    (Found on "Rafterman", third from the left, second from the right)

    Also, for those that have seen FMJ, what where the green utility shirts they wore on the "Hooker" gang bang scene? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8x968FQiqs (Pictured on PVT.Cowboy, wearing a green shirt) what are they called, they're not NORMAL sweat shirts, they're tailored to fit the body excessively.

    On another note, on Utility shirts and coats, after viewing numerous Vietnam War footage and interviews, many of the Commanders wore a white ribbon band around there arms with initials in "Black"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1vJq...eature=related (At approximately 2:26, there is a general walking behind the cameramen, with a ribbon on his left arm, what shirt-jacket is this and what does the ribbon signify)

    Apologies for the array of questions and You Tube digging.............
    Last edited by PFC.RAFTERMAN; 19 Apr 10, 23:18.

  • #2
    Try Surplus stores.

    I saw no uniforms that looked different than standard issue.

    The man in Saigon with white ban has on what looks to be jungle fatigues , but I don't know if Tet 68 that they were yet being issued.
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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    • #3
      In 66,67, we were wearing a combination of cotton stateside fatigues, which quickly rotted in the humid environment, or the new jungle fatigues that were cooler, lighter, and lasted longer. Both were the standard OD color.

      The correct term for the shirts is jacket. The loose fit ones in the photo were probably the new issue nylon. The high collar flack jacket, nylon core "Heat Stroke Coat," is also later issue.

      Helmet is standard issue with the camo liner, featuring black marker graffiti, and band, which was useful for holding small items such as a cleaning rod or other small items.

      Boots were the standard leather issue, that quickly fell apart when the metal fasteners and stitching rotted out from constant moisture. The Nylon jungle version with the metal sole plates came out mid tour. Boots were always hard to get and quickly wore out or fell apart due to the mud and constant dampness under combat conditions. That was also hard on the feet. I still have to fight toenail fungus that I picked up over there. It also causes crotch rash during hot weather but is controllable with Zeasorb.

      We had to dye our underwear green and or brown.

      Briefs were preferred over boxers as their tight fit kept out the leaches. Tucking in your pants leg into the socks also helped.

      Most times, the guys only wore the flack jacket. (See the 60 gunner in the photo.)

      I preferred to wear the jungle issue nylon jacket (shirt) because it's large pockets were useful for carrying C-rations and spare ammo. The web gear ammo pouch gave good protection for my Camera.

      Rank insignias quickly were changed to small black markings to make it more difficult for snipers to target Platoon and other command leaders. Otherwise, snipers would target what they consider to be the most dangerous person in the patrol. That order, scout dog and the handler, platoon leader, RTO operator or his radio, "Over and Under" M-16 M-79 combo weapon specialist, machine gunner, point man, any other target of opportunity.
      Last edited by SRV Ron; 20 Apr 10, 08:10.
      “Breaking News,”

      “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

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      • #4
        Regarding uniforms and gear what was mandatory that soldiers and Marines had to wear while in the field? I'm inquiring about it due to the climate.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by brownsfan View Post
          Regarding uniforms and gear what was mandatory that soldiers and Marines had to wear while in the field? I'm inquiring about it due to the climate.
          In our unit, the Flack Jackets were mandatory while on patrol. So was a helmet. A jacket (nylon or cotton shirt) and or undershirt was optional. As far as wearing either stateside or jungle fatigues, that was just a matter of preference and what you had issued to you. Most obvious, the jungle fatigues were more comfortable and held up better under the constant dampness from high humidity, monsoon rains, and constant sweating. The nylon jungle boots were preferable to the standard issue combat boot.

          I'm sure that regular infantry had to carry more supplies then mechanized infantry did as they were often conducting extended patrols that could last for several days between being resupplied.
          “Breaking News,”

          “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

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          • #6
            Rafterman, how much money ya got? There is a market filled to the rafters with every kind of material from the war in downtown Saigon, you want a flack jacket, a set of marine fatigues, boots, helicopter instruments, canteen, poncho liner, Ho Chi Minh sandals, helmet, gas mask, compass, bayonets (all from both sides) and on and on? But a ticket, come to Saigon and I will take you there. Give me a heads up...Sgnsteve
            "If we don't know history, then we are ready meat for carnivorous politicians and the intellectuals and journalists who supply the carving knives." Zell

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sgnsteve View Post
              Rafterman, how much money ya got? There is a market filled to the rafters with every kind of material from the war in downtown Saigon, you want a flack jacket, a set of marine fatigues, boots, helicopter instruments, canteen, poncho liner, Ho Chi Minh sandals, helmet, gas mask, compass, bayonets (all from both sides) and on and on? But a ticket, come to Saigon and I will take you there. Give me a heads up...Sgnsteve
              Are they real or knock offs?

              Because I know that if I buy a pair of HCM sandals, I want to know that they are the officially licensed version produced in a jungle factory in the central highlands, and not some cheap Chinese knock off that don't even use genuine Michelin tires

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Miss Saigon View Post
                Are they real or knock offs?
                Here is one example http://atthefront.com/

                Much of the reproduction stuff they sell is manufactured all over the world and appears to be well made and authentic looking. I inventoried over 600 items from them and other sources that were from a donation of a military collector, a doctor, who was drafted to serve in Iraq. The stuff was divided between German, British, American, Japanese, and some others. The inventory was done to come up with a donation value for tax purposes. It was the reason that I had the links to the site so that I could come up with sources for the prices of each item in order to keep the IRS happy with the appraised value for the tax writeoff. It filled a good sized binder which included item descriptions along with a thumbnail photo of every item in the collection. A lot of work tracking everything down that the doctor spent years in collecting. (Thank you Internet and search engines.)

                Much harder to obtain is original equipment. Unless found stored as surplus or kept by a collector, anything surviving is going to be in very poor condition.

                Do the web search. There are quite a few out there that buy and sell military reproduction and collectible equipment.
                Last edited by SRV Ron; 22 Apr 10, 17:03.
                “Breaking News,”

                “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Miss Saigon, the knock-offs are priced accordingly, anything authentic is getting more and more expensive. There are bargains if one knows what to look for. Some of the thousands of items bear the unmistakable attempt to lure the casual buyer but there are jems there that only seeing and touching can discern the authenticity (caveat emptor). A new NVA brain bucket goes for 2$ but an authentic early type is near 40$ now. You can buy sandals almost anywhere but the real sandals made out of everything from bike tires tire to truck tread are still there, since they are too small for western feet, just got to go to the right guy. You can buy a fairly complete set of every series MPC reasonably. The flack jackets and alice packs, helmets and canteens are largely real and the repos are easily identifiable, the soft goods like hammocks, poncho liners, and fatigues are all cottage industry made but very authentic looking and sized for the foreign market. Although there are still some real ones of those to be had. I have met buyers who are ebay and specialty store purveyors that make several trips yearly almost every time I go there, (it is the best place to buy hardware, tools and some moto parts which is my hobby, restoring old Honda Cubs). I bought alot of military items 10 years ago but now only look at unit patches and buy anything unusual and authentic for about a 1$ each. The place is known as the 'American' market and is located in district 1 on Yersin Street.
                  "If we don't know history, then we are ready meat for carnivorous politicians and the intellectuals and journalists who supply the carving knives." Zell

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SRV Ron View Post
                    Here is one example http://atthefront.com/
                    Very cool and interesting website, I never knew that the US Army tried to field a camouflage uniform in Europe, during WWII.

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                    • #11
                      "Tiger Stripes" were worn by some Sepcial Ops types but were never "official" for the USA military.
                      "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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                      • #12
                        Being at a fairly remote site in Viet Nam, we wore whatever we chose. I even wore civilian clothes once in awhile around camp while on duty and no one said anything about it. But during my brief time there in 1969, I had been issued the regular OD jungle fatigues made out of the rip-stop material. But I also sometimes wore Air Force camouflage jungle fatigues, as well as tiger stripes that my A-team obtained through the asset reallocation system – we scrounged them. The tiger stripes sucked because they faded so quickly. The tigers and AF stuff we only wore on operations.

                        Curiosity got the best of me, so I just went up in the attic to see what I still have. I do not have any of the regular jungle jackets, or blouse as some call them, but I still have four pair of the issue trousers. I guess I wore the jackets out after I got home because it was cool to wear them when I was in college 1970-1974. Maybe I even gave some of them away – I don’t remember. I still have two pair of regular issue stateside trousers and one blouse. I also have one complete set of the Air Force cammies, as well as my jungle boots. All of which appear to still be serviceable.

                        I have my original Class A uniform, which still fits me except the trousers are too short and the waist appears to have shrunk over the years. I have to suck my gut in to get that belt to fit, but I can manage. Maybe it shrunk too, but I cut off the excess when I was in the Army, so I can’t make it any longer. Perhaps my wife snuck up there and cut an inch or two off of my belt as some sort of practical joke. I still have my jump boots too, and they still look sharp. I have both of my berets as well, but they do show their age a bit. One has a couple of small bullet holes in it put there by a roommate of mine when we were goofing off at Fort Bragg before going to Viet Nam. The other beret I had in my cargo pocket the second time I got wounded, so the white part of the flash is blood stained a bit, but I kind of like it like that.
                        The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated ~ Mark Twain

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for all the replies guys! Its helped a bunch, just what where the Military Police and other Policing armed forces wear as an armband (White w/ "Black" initials) ?

                          Sgnsteve - I would take up the offer dude, but I've found the majority of what I was looking for on a site provided, maybe I'll reconsider that when the bucks hopefully start rolling in abit more often, ha!

                          Commanders like the late William. C. Westmoreland wore different fatigues than the other Generals, what where his exactly if anybody knows?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PFC.RAFTERMAN View Post
                            Commanders like the late William. C. Westmoreland wore different fatigues than the other Generals, what where his exactly if anybody knows?
                            Most likely, he was wearing the Stateside issue instead of the jungle nylon. The color and texture are noticeably different as seen in this photo.

                            Last edited by SRV Ron; 13 Jul 17, 05:51.
                            “Breaking News,”

                            “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When I processed in to A Co. I turned in all the jungle fatigues I was issued except for a set I stashed. On resupply in the jungle a pile of clean clothes was dumped and you searched thru to get a size to fit. I never had anything then with my name on it. Sometimes it had Americal patches some time 196th. Worked out nicely when in the rear and at the PX if you were getting chewed out by some remf officer for long hair or no polish on your boots. "Sir! Pvt."whatever" D Co."
                              A Co. 3/21inf 196th LIB

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