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Old Salts: Anybody Remember "Blanco"?

October 1 2002 at 12:59 PM
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Dick G  (Login Dick Gaines)
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from IP address 66.133.134.222

 
I worked for an old-time Marine SNCO back in '52--he was known to ocassionally send a boot out on a search for non-existent items. One day he instructed me to to find his old "ponyo" up at battalion supply and ask him for some "blanco" that he knew he had stashed away somewhere.

Uh oh!, I figured this was gonna be like another of his errands for a seabag-stretcher, etc.

As it turned out, I returned w/the blanco he wanted--as I recall, it was something like the old cakes/bars of laundry soap, but others (much later)remembered it as being in powder form. It was used back in the "Old Corps," apparently, to apply to 782 gear to render it a uniform, light khaki color for inspections, etc.

Semper Fidelis
Dick Gaines


    
This message has been edited by Dick Gaines from IP address 66.133.134.222 on Oct 1, 2002 2:19 PM


 
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K.L MC CULLOUGH
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68.97.165.72

BLANCO

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October 2 2002, 7:47 PM 

I SCRUBED MANY BELTS AND PACKS WITH THIS IN THE SUMMER OF 1940. IF YOU WANTED TO LOOK COOL YOU DID YOUR WEB BELT.BUT YOU CAUGHT HELL IF THE STUFF CAME OFF ON YOUR SHIRT WHILE SWEATING.
GUNG HO
MAC

 
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Dick G
(Login Dick Gaines)
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209.130.218.124

Thanx, Mac...couple questions

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October 2 2002, 9:12 PM 

did ya rub it on dry?
Or di it need to be used w/water?
And, was it in cake form or powder?

Gung Ho!
Dick

 
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K L MC CULLOUGH
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68.97.165.72

BLANCO

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October 3 2002, 10:50 PM 

I THOUGHT IT WAS IN A BAR. I DON'T BELIEVE IT WAS POWDER BUT, IT SEEMS THAT WE DID USE WATER AND SWCRUB BRUSH. THAT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME I JUST REMEMBER IT HAD TO BE PUT ON IN A UNIFORM WAY. WE COULD NOT JUST CAKE IT ON.
GUNG HO
MAC

 
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Les Groshong
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64.12.96.104

Blanco again

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October 2 2002, 10:19 PM 

Mac, I know the limitaions of my memory, but on the off chance that the use of Blanco was basically an East Coast practice, I have to ask if your experience with it was there?
I remember the faded belts, but always assumed that, like the khakis, there was not a good easy way of
getting the "salty" look.

 
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K L MC CULLOUGH
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68.97.165.72

BLANCO

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October 3 2002, 10:55 PM 

LES I WAS A WEST COAST MARINE. I DID THE BLANCO AT MCRD
ALSO AT CAMP ELLIOT 1940. AND WE DID EVERY THING THAT WAS LEGAL TO TRY NOT TO LOOK LIKE A BOOT.
GUNG HO
MAC

 
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Dick G
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209.130.219.91

Response fr J.B. Martin-Tarawa o/t Web Forum...

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October 4 2002, 9:20 PM 

http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?id=149620;article=2166


http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?id=149620;article=2166

My Marine Corps career began in June 1941. We used blanco on leggins. Since we were at MCRD San
Diego we thought the use of blanco was idiotic and probably to make life a little harder. I don't think we used it in boot camp, but probably in G-2-8. Not sure if we used it in Samoa. We too left states on January 6, 1942



    
This message has been edited by Dick Gaines from IP address 209.130.219.91 on Oct 4, 2002 9:27 PM


 
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Dick G
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66.133.134.72

Response...Dick Smith...

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October 5 2002, 11:36 AM 

Date: Sat, 05 Oct 2002 16:31:19 +0100
From: "Richard Smith" <r.c.smith@blueyonder.co.uk> | This is Spam | Add to Address Book
To: "Ukans WW1 list" <wwi-l@raven.cc.ku.edu>
Subject: Re: Re Blanco

on 5/10/02 2:55 pm, R.W.GAINES wrote: > I am still attempting to locate an > article/reference information on Blanco. It was > used by the USMC up to the early days of WW II. > Apparently, it came in either cake or powder > form, and was applied to 782/web gear to render a > clean, uniform khaki color.

'Blanco', as the name suggests,was originally a whitener like pipeclay. I used it on my cricket boots as late as the 60s. My father spoke often, and with passion, about the practice of blancoing webbing...
Regards Dick Smith r.c.smith@blueyonder.co.uk r.smith@free.fr www.aulton.demon.co.uk

 
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Dick G
(Login Dick Gaines)
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66.133.134.72

Response: Andrew Bamji...

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October 5 2002, 1:39 PM 

Date: Sat, 5 Oct 2002 17:48:54 +0100
From: "Andrew Bamji" <andrewbamji@lineone.net> | This is Spam | Add to Address Book
To: wwi-l@raven.cc.ku.edu
Subject: RE: Re Blanco

Blanco came in khaki, white (for the band) and RAF blue for the Air Section when I was at school. Andrew Andrew Bamji andrewbamji@lineone.net http://website.lineone.net/~andrewbamji/index.htm

 
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Dick Gaines
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209.130.219.98

Blanco mentioned in Osprey Book...

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October 5 2002, 7:23 PM 

The book, US Marine Corps In WW I 1917--1918, 1999, Osprey, page 38 mentions that...

"Web Gear And Equipment

Webbing was normally khaki coloured, but some of the early Marine webbing was olive green or "blancoed" green with a scrubbed-on preservative preparation."

Dick Gaines

 
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Dick G
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209.130.219.216

Response from down under...

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October 7 2002, 8:52 AM 

(from the WWI Discussion List)

Dick, I spent many (unhappy) hours applying khaki Blanco to my webbing, rifle sling and gaiters during WW2 as an army cadet in England; it was applied with water using a wet rag or brush from a cake.

It was not used as a powder. As far as I can tell its only function was appearance, it came off when the gaiters were wet or muddy and was certainly not waterproof! It also made a mess of you hands and any part of my uniform with which it came into contact when wet....
With regards,
Geoffrey Miller #1, Sydney, Australia. gmiller6@bigpond.net.au

 
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Dick G
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66.133.132.154

Another response WWI List...

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October 8 2002, 8:32 AM 

From: "Harold Pollins" <snillop@tesco.net> | This is Spam | Add to Address Book
To: wwi-l@raven.cc.ku.edu
Subject: .Re: Blanco

As I recall the tins of blanco were supplied by Pickering's. There was a Colonel Pickering in my regiment, The Queen's Royal (West Surrey) Regiment and it was said that he was part of the family.
It explained, it was thought, why the regiment was so keen on blancoing. It was said to explain the unofficial words to the regimental march past. This was 'Braganza', named after Catherine of Braganza, the wife of Charles II, in whose reign the regiment had been founded.
It was a jolly, tum-tee-tum tune, and the unofficial words were: 'Here they come, here they come, bull****ting bastards everyone...' At least it made a change from the nickname, based on the cap badge of a lamb and flag, which was 'sheep-shaggers.'
Harold Pollins
snillop@tesco.net

 
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Art Goetz
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64.26.100.15

Blanco & Ponyo

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October 8 2002, 5:22 PM 

Dick:

I thought you should know that the spelling of ponyo is actually pongyo, although pronounced as ponyo. It's a Chinese word for friend or buddy.

I was one of those who had used blanco in my early days in the Corps (1945-67). It worked quite well and would get your pack looking great for parades and inspections.

Art

 
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1952-72

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