Infantry Uniforms & Equipment
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

A word of caution about the uniforms and equipment you see on re-enactors: the items may be actual relics from WWIl, they may be similar postwar products, or they may be replicas. And replicas may not adhere to the same regulations that governed the production of the original items. So without asking a re-enactor about the origin and history of his gear, you shouldn't assume they are "real." Since I did not ask any of these fellows about the lineage of their equipment, take these photos as a guide, not the gospel.

Photographed with my son Ben at the military exposition at Ft. Snelling, Minnesota in 1998, this re-enactor wears the infantry uniform typical for the summer of 1944. Both his shirt and trousers are wool and considered "OD" but note the difference in colors.

He has the M1936 suspenders and M1923 cartridge belt, from which hangs two M1942 first aid pouches. The M1936 canvas leggings cover what appear to be non-regulation black boots. Under his left arm is a non-regulation bottled water!

The M1 helmet features the earlier open mesh netting. The leather chin strap is pulled over the helmet edge. The M1 Garand has a canvas sling, rather than leather.











Two rear views of uniforms. On the left, another GI is equipped with the M1928 haversack. Note the soldier with the canteen on his left hip and bayonet on his right. The soldier on the right has two pouches for M1 Carbine ammo clips. He’s just pulled a bottled water from an M1936 musette bag clipped to the rear of an M3 White Scout Car. Note the greener tones of the uniform on the left. Also, there is not the same variation between the right soldier's shirt and trousers as there is in the first photo on the page.

At a 2001 expo in Alexandria, Minnesota this fully equipped GI below demonstrates the .30 machine gun. With the exception of the boots, his uniform is the same as the previous soldier’s. Under his arm is the canvas gas mask bag issued after the Normandy invasion (GIs often discarded the mask and carried extra ammo or personal items in the bag). On his back is the M1928 field pack and meat pouch. This GI has the later folding shovel wedged into his pack, which replaced the “T” handled M1910 entrenching tool. The top of the bayonet scabbard clipped onto the pack and is retained by a tab at the bottom. One can clearly see how the canteen clips to the web belt.

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Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © 2002—2007 Timothy S. Streeter