WHAT DO THE POINTS ON THE USMC UTILITY COVER SIGNIFY?
Just my opinion, I have never seen anyone question the "points" on the Gung Ho Cap until the last few years. I suppose by "points" you boots are referring to the uppermost sewn-up portion of the headgear.
The old utility cap (called a Gung Ho Cap by my DIs) had no "points," the first ones (WW II) actually were pretty floppy and had a longer bill (visor).
About 1953, the Corps came out w/the new non-HBT dungarees, and shortly after, the cap w/the sewn top appeared.
<>About that time, there had been a company called Ken Nolan, Inc....based in San Clemente if I recall correctly. (Ken Nolan was said to have been a former Marine S/Sgt--whether retired/discharged, I don't know).
<>He had a number of items sold in the PX at that time at Pendleton. Most common was the Stripe-Rite Kit--a plastic two-piece box w/stencils cut into it from Pfc to M/Sgt. The sleeve of the dungaree jacket could be fixed within the two pieces and your stripes stenciled w/either a brush-n-ink, or a "stencil-pencil," an affair that looked like a cross between a tube for toothpaste w/ponted end, and a magic marker.
<>Marines had previously just drawn the stripes onto their dungarees freehand--but most of the jobs really looked like hell. Some of the Bn Supply shops had also made up some stripe stencils same way they had for the names, MSNs stenciled on the backs of dungaree jackets, trousers, mount out gear, etc. The Ken Nolan stencil kit put an end, almost, to the crappy looking chevrons on dungarees.
<>Nolan also had a device, gizmo, called the cover-block. A metal contraption about 5-6" wide, held together and adjustable by a screw and wingnut. A washed cap could be placed over the cover-block and allowed to dry and/or starched.
Next, there was for sale a plastic gizmachi to place behind your service ribbons and keep them straight.
In the meantime, the Corps had come out w/the metal collar chevrons, which was to terminate the stenciled chevrons altogether, eventually. We wore a metal chevron on the cap, too. That may have been a reason for the sewn-up top (and ) reinforcements sewn into the front to keep the cap front straight; thus the "ponts" as some of you refer to it.
Noteworthy, I think, is that old things die a slow death in the Corps. Everything new seems to have a long transition period--officially, and otherwise. The Battle Jacket, for instance--many of us still had them and wore them long after they were a thing of the past. I have seen photos of old salts still wearing campaign/service hats after their demise in 1943.
Same w/the old stenciled chevrons on dungarees. There was a time when we had to sew patches over the old stenciled chevrons, then wear the metal ones on our collars. And there were commands where you could not wear the old stenciled chevrons at all. And there were commands where we got away with wearing both.
Same w/wearing dungaree jackets outside trousers. This changed before I left boot camp in '52. But when I got to CJHP, most still wore them outside. Same w/blousing trousers over boots. I wore my old boondockers for a year or so at CJHP because we did not blouse trousers w/the old boondockers--only the new "Mickey Mouse" boots, as my DI called them.
It was a great old Corps!
First Marine Utility Uniform Issued in World War II The United States Marine Corps entered World War II wearing essentially the same summer field uniform that it had worn during the "Banana Wars." The Marines defending America's Pacific outposts on Guam, Wake Island, and in the Philippines in the late months of 1941 wore a summer field uniform consisting of a khaki cotton shirt and trousers, leggings, and a M1917A1 steel helmet. Plans to change this uniform had been underway for at least one year prior to the opening of hostilities.
As had the Army, the Marine Corps had used a loose-fitting blue denim fatigue uniform for work details and some field exercises since the 1920s. This fatigue uniform was either a one-piece coverall or a two-piece bib overall and jacket, both with "USMC" metal buttons. In June 1940, it was replaced by a green cotton coverall. This uniform and the summer field uniform were replaced by what would become known as the utility uniform. Approved for general issues on the Marine Corps' 166th birthday, 10 November 1941, this new uniform was made of sage-green (although "olive drab" was called for in the specifications) herring-bone twill cotton, then a popular material for civilian work clothing. The two-piece uniform consisted of a coat (often referred to as a "jacket" by Marines) and trousers. In 1943, a cap made of the same material would be issued.
The loose-fitting coat was closed down the front by four two-piece rivetted bronze-finished steel buttons, each bearing the words "U.S. MARINE CORPS" in relief. The cuffs were closed by similar buttons. Two large patch pockets were sewn on the front skirts of the jacket and a single patch pocket was stitched to the left breast. This pocket had the Marine Corps eagle, globe, and anchor insignia and the letters "USMC" stencilled on it in black ink. The trousers, worn with and without the khaki canvas leggings, had two slashed front pockets and two rear patch pockets.
The new uniform was issued to the flood of new recruits crowding the recruit depots in the early months of 1942 and was first worn in combat during the landings on Guadalcanal in August 1942. This uniform was subsequently worn by Marines of all arms from the Solomons Campaign to the end of the war. Originally, the buttons on the coat and the trousers were all copper-plated, but an emergency alternate specification was approved on 15 August 1942, eight days after the landing on Guadalcanal, which allowed for a variety of finishes on the buttons. Towards the end of the war, a new "modified" utility uniform which had been developed after Tarawa was also issued, in addition to a variety of camouflage uniforms. All of these utility uniforms, along with Army-designed M1 helmets and Marine Corps-designed cord and rubber-soled rough-side-out leather "boondocker" shoes, would be worn throughout the war in the Pacific, during the postwar years, and into the Korean War.--Kenneth L. Smith-Christmas
RESTORE THE REPUBLIC!
R.W. "D1ck" Gaines
GnySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952- (Plt #437PISC)-'72
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