Uniform Requirements -  "The Big Red One"

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The Big Red One
1/16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division

Uniforms for American Infantry impression, 1942 to 1945.


The primary goal of the WMHS and specifically our unit, is to study, understand, and to a small extent, relive history through the eyes of a World War Two Infantry soldier. We do this by collecting, wearing and carrying the uniforms, equipment, insignia, and weapons that theses soldiers used during this conflict.

The unit we are portraying is a WW2 line infantry platoon of the US army 1st ID, better known as the Big Red One. As part of our primary goal, both as a unit and as individuals, we strive to portray ACCURATELY, and AUTHENTICALLY of the World War 2 GI, or "dog face" soldier to the best of our ability. With this in mind, we want our overall impression to be as historically accurate and as authentic as possible. To do any less would not properly honor the brave men who fought and died wearing these uniforms.

Throughout this reference guide, there will be a series of notations giving approximate time periods for the use of some of the listed items, the reason for this is that some things were only used during the early part of the war, and there were a number of items that were not used issued until later in the war for various reasons. Once a time of reference of a particular battle has been chosen, we strive to modify out impression accordingly, so that the uniforms and equipment that we are using are correct for what would have been used at that specific battle of the time of the war. The time references for uniform and equipment impressions, for the purpose of the guide, are broken down into four separate time periods during the war, when some of the more significant uniform or equipment changes were most noticeable. They are as follows;

Early War
    From North Africa, November 1942 through Pre D-day, May, 1944.
Mid War
    From D-Day, June, 1944 through August-September, 1944.
Late War
    August-September, 1944 through the Battle of the Bulge December, 1944.
Very Late War
    Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January, 1945 to the end of the war, May, 1945.

Note: If an item was used only during a specific time period during the war, then that time period (as defined above) will be noted to the side of the item listing. If there is no specific time period listed to the side of any notations giving time references for the use of the item, then that item may be used as part of your impression for any time period throughout the war.


These are listing of the uniforms, equipment, and weapons for a US Infantry "basic combat impression". They have been broken down into the four time periods during the war and the actual descriptions of the items are listed elsewhere in this guide.

Note: When you see " Note: ", it implies extra information and suggestions on the topic that's addressed.
Note: The ** (double asterisk) signifies items that are mandatory.

Basic Combat Impression; Early war November, 1942 through May, 1944

**M-1 helmet, w/ liner w/ or w/o net, w/ or w/o 1st div insignia painted on front

M-1941 “jeep” cap or **OD wool overseas cap, w/ or w/o it Blue piping

or M-1941 short billed HBT hat (for spring summer North Africa and Sicily.)

**Wool shirt with 1st div. patch on left sleeve

or HBT jacket with 1st div patch on left sleeve (Spring-Summer North Africa and Sicily)

**Special shade wool trouser (mustard color)

or HBT trousers (Spring-Summer North Africa and Sicily)

OD trouser belt w/ black or green open frame buckle

**41 field jacket w/o 1st div patch on left sleeve or tanker jacket w/ 1st div patch on left sleeve

**Khaki cartridge belt (M-1 belt)

**Canteen w/ cup and khaki cover

**Khaki first aid pouch

**M-1928 haver sack (infantry pack)

M-1910 T-handled shovel w/ cover or M-1910 pick mattock w/ khaki cover

M-1905 bayonet w/ scabbard, 16 inch blade (North Africa) or M-1 bayonet w/ 10 inch blade (Sicily)

**M-1 rifle

**Khaki leggings

**Service shoes (capped toe garrison boots) or shoes, service, reverse uppers (rough outs)

Note: All web gear should be khaki color for early war impression. Entrenching tools are strongly encouraged.

Basic Combat Impression; Mid War From D-Day, June, 1944 through August-September, 1944.

**M-1 helmet, w/ liner w/ or w/o net, preferably w/ 1st div insignia painted on front

M-1941 “jeep” cap or **OD wool overseas cap, w/ or w/o it Blue piping or M-1941 short billed HBT hat

**Wool shirt with 1st div patch on left sleeve or HBT jacket with 1st div patch on left sleeve

**Special shade wool trouser or HBT trousers

OD trouser belt w/ black or green open frame buckle

**“41” field jacket w/o 1st div patch on left sleeve or tanker jacket w/ 1st div patch on left sleeve

**Khaki cartridge belt (M-1 belt)

**Canteen w/ cup and khaki cover

**Khaki first aid pouch

M-1928 hover sack (infantry pack)

M-1910 T-handled shovel w/ cover or M-1943 folding shovel w/ khaki or dark green cover

or M-1910 pick mattock w/ khaki cover

M-1 bayonet w/ 10” blade (Sicily)

**M-1 rifle

**Khaki leggings

**Garrison boots or “rough out” service shoes

Note: After D-Day, the GI sometimes began to “mix and match” their wool uniforms with HBTs (wearing HBT trousers with a wool shirt or an HBT shirt with wool trousers, etc.) in combat. M-1943 folding entrenching tool was issued to some of the troops for D-Day, so these may now be used. Also the new dark green web gear was just starting to be issued. The troops were still wearing predominately khaki web gear, but specific items such as a shovel cover or canteen cover could be dark green. Entrenching tools strongly encouraged.

Basic Combat Impression: Late War August-September, 1944 through December, 1944.

M-1 helmet, w/ liner w/ or w/o net

M1941 “jeep” cap or OD wool overseas cap, w/ or w/o it Blue piping or m1941 short billed HBT hat

Wool shirt with 1st div patch on left sleeve Or HBT jacket with 1st div patch on left sleeve

Special shade wool trouser or Brown wool trousers or HBT trousers or M1943 or cotton field trousers

OD trouser belt w/ black or green open frame buckle

“41” field jacket w/ 1st div patch on left sleeve or tanker jacket w/ 1st div patch on left sleeve or M-1943 field jacket w/ 1st div. Patch on the left sleeve.

Khaki or dark green cartridge belt

Canteen w/ cup and cover (khaki or dark green)

First aid pouch (khaki or dark green)

M-1928 hover sack (infantry pack) or M-1936 combat suspender w/ M-1936 musette bag

M-1910 T-handled shovel w/ cover or M-1943 folding shovel w/ khaki or dark green cover

or M-1910 pick mattock w/ khaki or dark green cover

M-1 bayonet w/ scabbard, 10” blade or M-3 trench knife w/ scabbard

M-1 rifle

Khaki leggings

Garrison boots or “rough out” w/ khaki leggings or M1943 “buckle boots”

Note: By this period of the war, the new M-1943 field uniforms and gear were being issued to the troops on the line in greater and greater numbers. The new M-1943 field jacket, the M-1943 cotton and wool (dark brown instead of mustard colored) field trousers and the new M-1943 combat (double buckle) boots were beginning to be issued and were being worn right alongside the old style uniforms. The dark green web gear was also becoming more common, as were the M-1943 folding shovels. Also many GI's were dropping the M-1928 haversacks (infantry packs) in favor of wearing the M-1936 combat suspenders with the M-1936 canvas field bag (musette bag). Entrenching tools strongly encouraged.

Basic Combat Impression: Very Late War December 44 or January 45 through May, 1945.

M-1 helmet, w/ liner w/ or w/o net can use M-1944 helmet net w/ elastic band

M-1941 “jeep” cap or OD wool overseas cap, w/ or w/o it Blue piping or M-1941 short billed HBT hat or M-1945 long billed HBT hat or M-1943 field hat w/ ear flaps

Wool shirt with 1st div patch on left sleeve or HBT jacket with 1st div patch on left sleeve

Special shade wool trouser or Brown wool trousers or HBT trousers or M1943 cotton field trousers

OD trouser belt w/ black or green open frame buckle

“41” field jacket w/ 1st div patch on left sleeve or tanker jacket w/ 1st div patch on left sleeve or M-1943 field jacket w/ 1st div. Patch on the left sleeve.

Khaki or dark green cartridge belt

Canteen w/ cup and cover (khaki or dark green)

First aid pouch (khaki or dark green)

M-1928 hover sack (infantry pack) or M-1936 combat suspender w/ M-1936 musette bag or M-1944, M-1945 dark green pack and suspenders

M-1910 T-handled shovel w/ cover or M-1943 folding shovel w/ khaki or dark green cover

or m-1910 pick mattock w/ khaki or dark green cover

M-1 bayonet w/ scabbard, 10” blade or M-3 trench knife w/ scabbard

M-1 rifle

Khaki leggings

Garrison boots or “rough out” w/ leggings or M1943 “buckle boots”

Note: During this period of the war, the M-1944 helmet nets with the green elastic band were beginning to be issued. The M-1943 cotton field trousers and the dark brown wool trousers were much more common. The M-1943 field jackets were now more common then the earlier pattern “41” field jackets. Dark green colored web gear was more common as well. The dark green M-1944 and M-1945 packs were being issued, and the M-1943 double buckle boots were much more common than the “rough outs” with leggings. Entrenching tools strongly encouraged.



**Helmet, steel M1 with liner

W/ or w/o helmet net, and w/ or w/o 1st Div insignia painted on the front. With sewn down chin straps (not attached to the helmet swivels with metal clips), preferably in khaki color for early war. Preferably with leather helmet liner chin strap across the front. The net can be just about any type of fish net (except for net that obviously looks nylon) from ½ inch to about 1 ½ inch mesh, with ½ inch being more common. NCO's (Corporal and above) should have white horizontal bar, one inch wide and our inches long painted across the back of the helmet, centered and about one inch up from the rim.

Note: The US Army did not an actual issue helmet net until they came out with the M-1944 Helmet net and these were not seen in Europe until about Dec of 1944 or Jan of 1945. Prior to that they used either British Army issue net of just plain fish net that they got from the docks while they were conducting amphibious warfare training. For early war impression you should NOT use the M-1944 helmet net (this is the small ¼ inch mesh O.D. Green helmet net with the elastic band that held it onto the helmet), as they were not issued until the Battle of the Bulge. These nets would be fine for Late War.

Cap, Wool, Knit, M-1941

A mustard colored O.D. knit cap or “beanie” with a bill, commonly called “jeep cap” or “Radar cap”. There are a number of reproductions but most of the are the wrong color or shape and should be avoided. They should be original or good reproduction in the mustard color, NOT dark green.


**Cap, Garrison, Wool, O.D.

This is the wool hat that folds flat and will fit in a pocket, with or without light blue “infantry” piping. Also called the “overseas cap”. The khaki tan cotton version of this hat was not normally worn in the ETO and so they are not correct for a field impression.

Note: 16th I.R. Unit crest can be worn on the left side of this hat.


Cap, Herringbone twill, Short bill, O.D., M-1941.

This is a short billed cap made of HBT material that resembles a “baseball cap” and looks very much like a USMC cap with gathers or tucks the crown.

Note: For an early war impression, it is not correct to wear the long billed version of this cap, as they were not issued until 1945.

Cap, Herringbone twill, Long bill, O.D., M-1945.         Very late war only

This is essentially the same hat as the short billed version listed above, but with a longer bill. These were not issued until 1945. This would only be correct for Late War battles.

**Shirt, Wool, Flannel, O.D.

This is the standard issue wool shirt in the “mustard” color O.D., also called “special shade”. Preferably with 1st Division patch sewn on the left shoulder.

**Trouser, Wool, O.D. (with M-1937 O.D. web waist belt & black open face buckle)

These are the early issue wool trousers in the “mustard” or “special shade”.

Trousers, Field, Wool, O.D., M-1943         Late war only

These are identical to the “mustard” color trousers, but they ware the darker brown O.D. Color. These were designed as a part of the M-1943 Field Uniform and match the “Ike” jackets.

Note: These darker brown wool trousers were not issued until about August or September or 1944. They are not correct for an early war impression but are fine for late war. Also the M-1951 medium green wool trousers with the side “take up tabs”, were not issued until the 1950s. The odd green color of the M-1951 wool trousers is very noticeable, so they are not correct and NOT allowed.

Trousers, Field, Cotton, O.D., M-1943         Late war only

These trousers are again identical in a cut to the wool trousers, but they are made out of a heavy cotton sateen material. These were also designed as a part of the M-1943 Field Uniform and match the M-1943 field jackets. They are made from the same type and color of cotton material as the M-1943 field jackets and are most commonly referred to as a the “M-1943 field trousers” by collectors. As with the wool field trousers, they were not issued until about August or September of 1944.

Jacket, Herringbone twill, O.D.

With 1st Div patch sewn on the left shoulder. There are three different types of HBT Jackets that are correct. (These “jackets” were actually designed to be worn as a shirt, it was common to see them worn over a wool shirt as a “jacket”).

The M-1941 Pattern is an “Ike” style jacket, cut to the waist with a waist band, cuff bands, and a small pleated pockets, Generally a lighter green color than the other styles and with black, green, or silver metal buttons with 13 stars embossed on them.

The **M-1942 Pattern is longer, a much darker green when issued (they fade quickly from laundering or exposure to the sun), has two very large, unpleated breast pockets. It uses the same style of metal “13 star” buttons in black or green (bare silver metal is common, as the paint wears off of the buttons), and brown or green plastic buttons on the later production jackets. These jackets were issued with an “anti-gas flap” that buttons closed on the inside, but many soldiers removed these flaps as they got in the way.

The M-1944 Pattern is nearly identical to the M-1942 pattern, but they have a single “expanding box pleat”, sewn in the center of the pocket, so the pocket can hold more.

Note: Korean war issue HBTs are different that the breast pockets are much smaller and unpleated. There are usually no buttons at the cuff, and often the buttons are plastic. These jackets are not usable unless they are modified with the larger style pockets.

Trousers, Herringbone twill, O.D. (with M-1937 green web belt & black open face buckle)

There are also three patterns of HBT trouser and in practice, they were worn with out concern as to whether they matched either the pattern or color of the shirt that they were being worn with. Wartime photos show that the newly issued, dark colored shirts were worn with extremely faded, light colored trousers, or vice versa.

M-1941 pattern HBT trousers had regular trouser style, side pockets, sewn inside the trousers and exterior patch pockets on the rear. These were the same lighter green of the M-1941 Pattern HBT jackets and used the same “13 star” metal buttons.

**M-1942 Pattern HBT trousers were of the same darker shade green as the M-1942 HBT jackets, and they were unique in that in order to save time in manufacturing, they had only two large unpleated pockets of the same size, style and construction as the jackets. These pockets were located on each side, below the hips. They had an “anti-gas flap” that buttoned inside of the fly and used the same “13 star” buttons as the jackets. The later production used plastic buttons and towards the end of the war they started making them out of regular “cotton sateen” instead of HBT material.

M-1944 Pattern HBT trouser, like the jackets are nearly identical to the M-1942 pattern with the exception of the pockets. These were the same as on the M-1944 jacket with the single “expanding box pleat” in the center of the pocket.

**Jacket, Field, O.D.

With 1st Div patch sewn on the left shoulder. This jacket is commonly called the “M-1941 Field Jacket” or “Parson's Jacket”. These jackets were made from a light yellowish green khaki colored (there is no good way to describe their color) cotton with a heavier, dark colored wool lining. They had two “slash” style pockets at the waist, falling just below the waist and has a combination zipper and button front. Must be original or good reproduction.


Jacket, Combat, Winter, O.D.

With 1st Div patch sewn on the left shoulder. This jacket is made of a light yellowish green khaki colored cotton with two “slash” pockets on the sides and a heavier wool lining. It also has a zippered front with knitted cuffs, waist band and collar. It is commonly called the “Tanker Jacket” or “Combat Jacket”. This jacket was originally designed as a winter jacket for armored vehicle crews as it was difficult for them to wear a heavy wool overcoat inside a tank. In practice however, these jackets became extremely popular with GI's, who would trade, barter, or other wise “requisition” these jackets however possible. There are a number of good reproductions of this jacket currently on market.

Jacket, Field, O.D. M-1943            Late war only

This is the jacket that was designed as a part of the M-1943 field uniform, as a replacement for the light weight “41” field jacket. It had four large front pockets and was made from a heavier, darker colored O.D. Green cotton sateen material. As with the rest of the M-1943 Field Uniform, they were not issued in any numbers until August or September if 1944, so they are not correct for early war.

Note: The M-1951 Field Jacket and the M-1965 Field Jacket are very similar in color and cut to the M-1943 jacket. The most notable difference is that the M-1943 has buttons down the front and on the pockets and cuffs. The M-1951 has a zipper and snaps down the front, snaps on the pockets and buttons on the cuffs. The M-1965 has a zipper and snap down the front, snaps on the pockets, Velcro on the cuffs, and a rounded collar with a zipper and hidden good. The M-1951 can be used if they are converted to look like an M-1943.



Coat, Mackinaw, O.D.

With 1st Div. Patch sewn on the left shoulder. The first pattern is light khaki colored O.D., with waist belt and “horse blanket” wool collar. Second pattern is the same only with a plain collar instead of wool. The third pattern did not come out until late in the war. Thirds pattern has plain collar, no waist belt, and is usually dark green in color instead of light khaki. The first and second patterns can be used for early war, however the dark green third pattern mackinaw can only be used for late war.


Overcoat, Wool Melton, O.D.

With 1st div. Patch sewn on left shoulder. This coat is commonly referred to as the “horse blanket overcoat”, due to the heavy, coarse wool used in its manufacturing. Prewar and early war coats have large brass eagle buttons. Wartime coats usually have O.D. Plastic eagle buttons. Both types are correct for early war. Some of these coats were also shortened in length for field use.

Raincoat, Rubberized Canvas, O.D., M-1938

This is the standard issue raincoat. It is knee length coat with five buttons down the front and two large interior pockets at the waist. In about 1942 as the Japanese captured much of the islands of the Pacific and with them the majority of rubber plantations, rubber became a scarce item and they started to make the coats from canvas impregnated with a synthetic resin, but made to the same basic pattern.

**Poncho, Waterproof, Rubberized, O.D., M-1943

The poncho was designed to replace both the raincoat and the shelter half for use in the field. They were maid from rubberized cotton material, and later, synthetic resin coated nylon or cotton. They had metal snaps at the ends so that two could be snapped together to form a “pup tent” and a third one could be snapped in for a waterproof floor.

Note: The main difference to identify a WW2 issue poncho from the 1960s and 70's issue ponchos are that the WW2 poncho does not have a hood (soldiers in the field wore helmets and did not need hoods) and it is generally of a much heavier material. The newer pattern ponchos are usable if you tuck in or remove the hood by approval of unit commander.



**Leggings, Canvas, M-1938 Dismounted, O.D.

These are the standard canvas leggings in light khaki O.D. The dark green leggings were not issued until later in the war so they would not be correct for early war use.

Shoes, Service.

These were made of “fully chromed”, vegetable tanned, russet leather. They had a toe cap similar to a paratrooper boot, but they were an ankle length boot designed to be worn with canvas leggings. They had a leather sole with a partial sole cap made of rubber and a rubber heel. These same boots were worn highly shined and with out leggings for the enlisted dress uniform.

Shoes, Service, Reverse Uppers, Composition soles.

These are the ankle length brown leather “rough outs” or “G.I. Boots”. They were also designed to be worn under the canvas leggings. These were the same basic style as the service shoes but they were made with the rough, flesh side of the leather to the outside with out the toe caps. When well packed with grease, they provided much better water proof protection. They also made use of a cheaper to manufacture “composition” sole made from rubber with string or cloth running through it. For all early war impressions you should wear the “rough outs” and leggings.

Note: It is extremely difficult to find a pair of original boots that are in good enough to wear or the right size, so most reenactors try to find a reasonable substitute. The best thing to look for is some sort of a plain toed brown work boot, preferably with a smooth black rubber sole, and if at all possible “rough out” leather. There reproductions available but they can run from $75 to $125. Keep in mind that the leggings cover the upper part of the boot, so try to find something where the toes and soles look good. If in doubt, ask your unit commander before buying.

Boot, Combat, M-1943         Late War Only

These boots were designed as a part of the M-1943 Field Uniform, as a replacement for the “rough outs” and leggings. They are essentially the exact same “rough out” boot but with a leather cuff added to the top with two straps and buckles to close the cuff. These are commonly referred to as “double buckle boots” or “buckle boots”. As with the rest of the M-1943 Field Uniform, these were not issued until about August or September of 1944, so they are only correct for a late war impression.

Over shoes, Arctic, M-1941.

These are standard issue overshoes or Galoshes. They have a rubber bottom and a four buckle cloth top. They were designed to be worn over top of the service shoes and leggings.

Shoepacs, M-1944.         Very late war only

These were made with a rubber bottom and a thick, waterproofed leather upper. They were designed to replace the M-1941 overshoes and the service shoes, for use in mud or snow. They were tested first in the Italian Theater and were not issued in Northern Europe (France, Belgium, Germany) until about the “Battle of the Bulge” or Ardennes Offensive. They are correct for Late War battles only.



**Belt, Cartridge, Cal. .30, Dismounted, M-1923.

This is the standard 10 pocket cartridge of ammo belt for the M-1 Garand and M-1903 Springfield rifles. For Early War impression should be khaki or light green. Dark green is NOT correct for early war impression but may be used for a Late War impression. If you are carrying an M-1 Garand or M-1903 Springfield, this is the belt you should have. The M-1917 WW1 issue a Springfield cartridge belt is also correct, as they were issued alongside the M-1923.

Bandoleer, Ammunition, .30 Cal.

This is the khaki cotton six-pocket bandoleer that the ammunition for the M-1 was issued in.
Recommended, but not necessary.


Belt, M-1936 Pistol.

This is the standard pistol belt or canteen belt. Soldiers that carried an M-1 Carbine, Tommy Gun, Pistol, Machine Gun, or Bazooka would wear this type of belt with the appropriate ammo pouches or accouterments, instead of the cartridge belt. Khaki colored belt is correct for Early War impression but dark green may be used for a Late War impression.

**Haversack, M-1910 or M-1928

This is the WW1 and WW2 style of Infantry pack. This is the correct type of pack for an early war impression. During State side training, the pack was used with the “pack carrier” (the triangle shaped piece that attached to the bottom for carrying the shelter half), however this piece was rarely used in combat. Prefer the M-1928.

Note: Main difference to look for is the rear hooks/straps. The M-1910 has a single central strap going straight down to the belt, while the M-1928 has a Y with 2 straps going down to the back.

Bag, Canvas, Field, O.D., M-1936 with Suspenders, Belt, M-1936.

The canvas field bag, commonly called the “musette bag” is the small pack that was worn quite often by Officers and Paratroops. It could be worn at the hip, suspended by a shoulder strap, or it could be worn on the back, attached to the M-1936 suspenders. The M-1936 Suspenders, were a set of suspenders designed to clip onto the pistol belt or cartridge belt in place of the Infantry pack. Originally designed for cavalry troops and vehicles drivers, they became very popular among all of the troops. By the end of the war, the M-1936 Suspenders with or without the musette bag had nearly replaced the M-1928 Haversack as the standard Infantry equipment. For Early War (through D-Day) everyone but Officers and senior NCOs should be wearing the M-1928 Haversack. However, by July or August of 1944 the M-1936 Suspenders had already become popular with Infantrymen.

Pack, Infantry, with Suspenders, M-1944 and M-1945.         Very late war only

These two types of packs were the new types that were not issued until the later part of the war. These packs were made of dark O.D. Green canvas and came with detachable suspenders. There are minor differences in the straps and suspension arrangement between the M-1944 and the M-1945, but it appears that they were issued at roughly the same time period.

Note: The earliest photos showing these packs in Europe are during the “Battle of the Bulge” Ardennes Offensive in December 1944 or January 1945. Therefore, they are not correct to use before that time period.

Bag, Gas mask, Light weight, New model.        From Mid War on

This is a small canvas bag that the new model gas masks were issued in, shortly after D-Day. The bag is included here, as the GIs had a habit of throwing the Gas mask away and keeping the bag as a small pack to carry things in. These bags can be found in khaki and green. Khaki is preferred.

**Canteen, with Cover and Cup, Dismounted, M-1910 or M-1942.

Standard issue canteen, canteen cup, and cover. For early war impression the cover should be khaki colored, NOT dark green. Dark green can be used for late war impression. Can be M-1910 or M-1942 model canteen. M-1910 model was made of aluminum with a welded seam vertically joining the two halves of the canteen together and an aluminum cap. The early M-1942 canteens were almost exactly like the M-1910 but with a black plastic cap. However, by 1943 aluminum was badly needed in aircraft industry so they began making the M-1942 canteens out of stainless with a horizontal welded soldered seam around the canteen, joining the upper and lower halves of the canteen together, and a black plastic cap. In1945, aluminum was no longer a critically needed material, so they started making the canteens out of both aluminum and stainless steel. The M-1910 canteen cup was also made of aluminum, and the M-1943 canteen cup was made out of stainless steel. All models were in use and issued prior to D-Day, so the only thing that would stand out as late war is the green canvas canteen cover.

Note: Minimum one! May want more then one... Water is always a problem out in the field.

**Pouch, First Aid Packet, M-1910, M-1924, or M-1942.

This is the standard first aid pouch for attachment to the pistol belt or cartridge belt. The M-1910 and the M-1924 are slightly smaller pouches with two blackened snaps, one at either end of the flap. The M-1942 is larger, and has a single “press the dot” closure in the center of the flap. Should be Khaki colored for early war, NOT dark green. Dark green may be used for late war impression.

Note: Not necessary, but preferred. Good place to carry your pocket knife if you don't have the Carlyle Bandage (First Aid packet inside the pouch).

Can, Meat, M-1932 or M-1942, with Knife, M-1926, Fork, M-1926, and Spoon, M-1926.

This is the “mess kit”, differences between the M-1932 and the M-1942, is the earlier M-1932 was made out of aluminum and the M-1942 is made out of stainless steel. Both are correct for early war, as is the WW1 style M-1910. The differences between the M-1926 eating utensils and the earlier M-1910 style, is the M-1910 style is solid at the back, where the M-1926 has the large hole at the handle end to slide on to the “mess kit” handle.

Tool, Entrenching, with Cover, M-1910

This is commonly called the “T-handled shovel”. These are hard to find and expensive.


Tool, Entrenching, Folding, with Cover, M-1943. From mid war on

This is the new model folding shovel. These were issued in limited numbers for the Normandy landings, and then increasingly larger numbers through the end of the war, so they are correct form D-Day until the end of the war. The early covers were khaki colored, so these are preferred. Dark green covers can be used for late war impressions.


Tool, Entrenching, Pick Mattock, with Cover, M-1910.

This is a small pick type entrenching tool with a detachable handle. At least one soldier in a 12 man squad would be issued one of these, and at least one man in every Machine-gun or Mortar team as well. The covers for the pick mattock were issued in khaki in the early part of the war and in dark green during the later part of the war.

Bayonet, M-1905, 16 inch, with leather or canvas scabbard, M-1910.        Early war only

This is the early pattern long bayonet used in WW1 and through the early part of WW2. These were either replaced by the shorter 10 inch bayonets or cut down to 10 inches by one of the arsenals by Mid War. By D-Day they were no longer used in front line services in the ETO.

Bayonet, M-1 Rifle, 10 inch, with fiberglass scabbard, M-1942.        From Mid War on

This is the standard war time issue bayonet for the M-1 or Springfield rifles. It is the shorter 10 inch blade version. The early 1906 pattern with the 16 inch blades had been cut down to the 10 inch blade length or phased out of front line service by the time of the Normandy landings and were rarely seen in Europe after that time frame.

Knife, Fighting, with scabbard, M-3

This knife was commonly called the “trench knife”. It had a smaller blade then the bayonet and a handle made from compressed leather discs or rings. It was issued at first in a brown leather scabbard but these were soon replaced by M-8 and M8A1 fiberglass scabbard. This knife was originally intended for issue to individuals that were not armed with an M-1 or Springfield rifle, and so would not normally be issued a bayonet. In practice, these knifes were extremely popular with the troops.

Note: The bayonet for the M-1 Carbine was eventually developed from this knife, but not until the end of the war. You may carry a 1940s looking civilian hunting knife in addition to or as a substitute for a bayonet, but absolutely no USMC K-bar knifes or USAF survival knifes. Also, I will allow for one and only one individual (preferably an “old vet”) in the unit at the time, to carry an M-1918 “knuckle duster” trench knife. I have found references that some were issued to the 1st Division in North Africa, but this same reference said that they were mostly traded or thrown away within a couple of months.



**Rifle, Semi-Automatic, .30 Caliber, M-1.**

This is the standard U.S. Infantry weapon of World War 2, it's official title is "United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1". Today it is commonly called the “Garand” after the man that invented it. It is an eight shot semi-automatic rifle that is easily converted to fire blanks with the use of a GI issue blank adapter. Early war they usually had a leather sling, but after D-Day they started to use a khaki colored web sling, eventually going to a dark green web sling by the end of the war.

Note: The shorter “Tanker Garand” is not correct as they were not issued in the ETO. Also, the usage of the name “Garand” is not accurate for 2 reasons; The common usage came about from collectors who referred to them as “Garand” instead of M-1. Also, the nomenclature says “U.S. Rifle, Cal. .30 M1”, the name of the armory, and the serial number with no mention of Garand. Thus a soldier would have no knowledge of the name "Garand".

Carbine, .30 Caliber, M-1.

The Carbine was normally issued to Officers senior NCOs, radiomen, runners, vehicle drivers, etc. Typically they were NOT issued to riflemen in rifle squads, but in combat this was often disregarded. I would prefer that most everyone carry an M-1, but Carbines are certainly allowed. Please keep in mind that blanks for the Carbines are more expensive and they are harder to blank adapt. The GI issue blank adapter is a big “bulb” shaped piece of metal that fits on the end of the muzzle. They do not work with the type of blanks that are available and they look really unauthentic, so they are NOT allowed for authenticity reasons. This gives you two options; You can blank adapt the weapon “Hollywood” style by thread the inside of the muzzle (not something that you would want to do to a nice collectors piece), or you can just operate the action by hand, essentially like a bolt action rifle.

Note: The WW2 style of M-1 Carbine is different then most that you currently find on the market. The biggest noticeable difference is the bayonet lug on the barrel. The WW2 M-1 Carbine did NOT have a bayonet lug. The bayonet lug was put on the selective fire M-2 Carbine that came out at the end of the war, but was not put on the standard M-1 until the Korean War. There are other minor differences, but the bayonet lug is very noticeable. For authenticity, if you use a Carbine it should not have a bayonet lug.

Sub-Machine gun, .45 Caliber, M-1, M-1A1, M-1928A1, M-3, or M-3A1.

These are different versions of the “Tommy gun” and the “Grease gun”. If you own one of these that is Legal, Licensed and Registered, then you are encouraged to use it.

Note: The club rules are very specific when it comes to Class 3 weapons. Only Legal, Licensed, and Registered automatic weapons are allowed at any WMHS activity. Violation of this policy is cause for immediate expulsion from the club and possible criminal prosecution.
With permission, semi-automatic models are allowed. There are reproduction semi-automatic Tommy guns available now. Depending on manufacturer they come either with 10 or 16 inch barrels. If it comes with a 16 inch barrel, you will have to change it into a registered SBR (Short Barrel Rifle).

Automatic Rifle, .30 Caliber, Browning, M-1918 or M-1918A2.

This is the Browning Automatic Rifle, or B.A.R. Photos of these in combat show that the bipod and carrying handle were usually removed. If you happen to own a legal, licensed, and registered B.A.R., we would like to see it at the our events.

Note: Semi-automatic models are allowed.

Machine gun, .30 Caliber, Air cooled, Browning, M-1919A4 or M-1919A6.

This is the .30 Caliber belt fed light machine gun that was used during the war. The A4 version was mounted on tripod and the A6 version had a bipod, carrying handle, and a shoulder stock. As above a legal, licensed, and registered .30 cal would be welcomed.

Note: With permission, semi-automatic models are allowed.

Pistol, .45 Caliber, M-1911 or M-1911A1.

The pistol is commonly called the “Colt .45 Automatic”. These were generally issued to Officers, senior NCOs, machine gunners, bazooka men, and mortar crews. Unit members with the rank of Sergeant or above currently authorized to carry them.

Rifle, .30 Caliber, M-1903, M-1903A3, or M-1903A4. (Substitute Standard)

The M-1903 Springfield is the early model of this famous bolt action rifle that was issued in WW1 and early WW2. The M1903-A3 Springfield is an updated, simplified version of the same basic rifle. The most notable differences are the sights and the stocks. The 03 has a “flip up” long range adjustable sight that is mounted on the receiver in front of the action. The stock is straight at the “wrist” and the upper hand mounted on the receiver in front of the action. The 03A3 has a simple “L” shaped “peep sight” to from a sort of hand grip and since the sight is no longer mounted in front of the action the upper hand guard is longer. The M-1903A4 is the scoped sniper version of the Springfield.

Note: The M-1903 and the M-1903A3 rifles were replaced by the M-1 rifle for most of all of the Army Divisions as they went into Europe. The Ranger Battalions used the Springfield in North Africa and I have seen photos of the 2nd Infantry Division going ashore at Normandy on D-Day +1 carrying Springfields. The 1st Division was rearmed with the M-1's prior to the North Africa campaign in late 1942 and continued to use the M-1 throughout the war. It is therefore not correct for us to use them, however I will allow their use on conditional and limited basis as a “substitute standard”. New Members may use a Springfield for a period not longer then one year from their first event. Prior to the end of this one year period, you will be expected to upgrade to an M-1 or Carbine.

Use of Captured, Foreign, or other Weapons that are not specifically listed

The use of any weapon not specifically listed above is not permitted, unless you first get it verified and authorized by the unit leader. The obvious reason for this is authenticity. In the past, people have asked if they can use weapons such as British Enfields or German Mausers for an American GI impression. The answer to the questions should be obvious. It is not authentic and not correct, therefore the answer is a “No”, and we are already stretching authenticity a bit in allowing the limited use of Springfield rifles.

Note: There is a notable exception to this rule in the area of pistols. All soldiers, and GI's in reticular have always enjoyed “liberating” or capturing and carrying enemy pistols. Any one that has a WW2 German pistol, such as, a P-38, Luger, Walther PPK, etc., is highly encouraged to carry it. If you have a type of pistol that would have been available to one of the Allied Nations such as a Browning Hi-Power, Smith & Wesson Victory Model .38, etc., you can carry these as long as you are not obvious about it.

(Carrying captured German pistols was universally accepted for combat troops; however, if a soldier had picked up an “unauthorized” pistol of a friendly nation he would have normally been cautious to keep his Sergeant or Lieutenant form seeing it, as they might take it away.)


Sweater, High neck, 5 Button, O.D.

WW2 style “mustard” color khaki. Not current issue dark brown O.D.

Note: I have an original dark brown O.D. 5 button sweater with a 1945 date manufacturer. The only difference between it and the current issue sweaters is the size and style of the buttons. The current issue sweaters can be modified to look like the late war issue sweaters by changing the buttons; however, they are Late War and can not be used for an Early War impression.

Sweater, V-neck, O.D.

WW2 style “mustard” color khaki. They made these in both the “mustard” and the dark brown O.D. As with the 5-button sweater, “mustard” color is correct for early war impression, the dark brown O.D. Can be used for a late war impression.

Sweater, Sleeveless, O.D.

Essentially this is a sweater vest. Same as the other sweaters, “mustard” for early war, dark brown O.D. can be used for a late war impression.

Scarf, Wool, O.D.

There were several different styles of wool scarves available to the GIs, in varying shades of “mustard”, brown O.D., or green O.D. Also some soldiers had these sent from home. Just about any O.D. wool scarf is allowed. You may also wear civilian pattern scarves if you would like, just remember if it is too colorful it may draw sniper fire!!!

Gloves, Wool with Leather Palm, O.D.

The WW2 issue gloves were made of an O.D. green wool with black or dark brown leather reinforcement on the palms and fingers. I have observed numerous photos of GIs wearing regular wool gloves or mittens without the leather reinforcing. Any type of O.D. green wool gloves or mittens are fine. A lot of photos show the gloves with the trigger fingers and thumbs cut out of them or with all the fingers cut out. You may also want to do this in order to operate your weapon without taking off your gloves.

**Undershirt, Cotton, O.D.

This is just the standard WW2 G.I. Issue T-shirt in a light green O.D. color.

Note: The current issue brown Army BDU T-shirts are discouraged, as they are not the correct color. A good substitute is to take the current issue USMC T-shirts, which are more of a dark O.D. green, and try bleaching or fading them to a light green.

Undershirt, Sleeveless, O.D.

This is essentially a “tank top” T-shirt. Also in the light green O.D.

Undershirt, 50/50 Wool-Cotton, Long sleeve, O.D.

This is the issue “long john” undershirt. They were made from half wool and half cotton. For service in the Continental United States they were issued in white, for service outside of the Continental U.S. (And specifically in a combat zone) they were supposed to be issued in O.D., but white was not uncommon.

Note: The only reason that I mention these types of undershirt here, is that they were sometimes worn as outer garments in a warmer weather. There will be no “underwear inspection” but if you want to do barracks type displays or you just want to go the extra mile to look correct, the right type of undershirt does make a difference.

**Necklace, Identification Tag with extension, and Tag, Identification, two each.

G.I. “Dog tags”. Correct WW2 tags have the small notches in the ends, but they are hard to find. Early war tags had the following; Line #1: last name, first name, middle initial. Line #2: serial number, usually seven or eight digits. Line #3: Name of next of kin (wife, mother, father, etc.) And at the end of the line capital “T” and the year for tetanus series (usual the year that you would have gone through basic training), T-41 or T-43, etc. Line #4: street address of next of kin, and at the end of this line, the letter of your blood group, “A”, “B”, “AB”, or “O” (in WW2 they put only the letter of the blood group, not whether it was positive or negative). Line #5: City and state of next of kin (no zip code), and at the end of the line a letter representing your religious preference. “H” for Hebrew, “C” for Catholic, or “P” for Protestant. The 1944 regulations called for the removal of the name and address of the next of kin (the enemy was using this information for intelligence and interrogation purposes), but all other information was the same. This new regulation was not universally adhered to, so either type of tag is correct.

Note: Direct link to a thorough explanation; http://home.att.net/~steinert/us_army_ww2_dog_tags.htm

**Blanket, Wool, O.D., M-1934.

This is nothing more than an O.D. Green “army blanket”. No reenactor would be complete without one.

Tent, Shelter half with poles and stakes.

This tent was commonly referred to as the “pup tent” or “dog tent”. The early war issue shelter halves were made of light yellowish green khaki colored canvas or cotton (similar in color to the “tanker jackets” or “M-41 field jackets”) with black metal buttons along the top and end. They are rectangular shaped, about 6' x 4' and they have a triangular piece sewn to one end. When the two halves are buttoned together, it forms a small tent that is open on one end. In 1945 they started making a slightly modified version that was a darker color of green and had the triangular pieces at both ends, so the tent was no longer open at the end. The early style poles for these tents were made of unpainted pine with two collapsible joints so that they fold into thirds for carrying in your pack. In 1943 they came out with a new type of pole that is actually three separate segments that fit together and are painted dark O.D. green. Either type is correct. The issue tent pegs were simple unpainted pine wood pegs that have been turned on a lathe to the proper shape.

Note: The 1950 through current issue shelter halves are made of a much heavier, much darker O.D. Green canvas. They also use heavy snaps to snap together instead of buttons. For display and any other public events that we use tents, you need to use only the correct WW2 tents. Typically when we use the tents at a field reenactment, we will allow you to use the later styles (the later tents are much better design), however, we would like to see everyone eventually get a good early WW2 shelter tent.

Bag, Sleeping, Wool, O.D.

The most common type of WW2 issue sleeping bags actually a “mummy bag”. They were made from the standard O.D. Green “army blanket”, with a zipper down the front. They were often issued with an O.D. green cotton cover that snapped over the wool bag. There was also a down filled “mummy bag” or “mountain bag” that was issued to mountain troops. As with the shelter halves, if we are doing a display or some other type of public event, only the correct WW2 style bag is allowed. However, during a field reenactment, most of us use one of the newer (and warmer) M-1949 down filled mountain sleeping bags.



Haircuts, Sideburns, Beards, Mustaches, Eyeglasses and Watches.

Haircuts: Haircuts should be proper 1940s Military style. They should be very short on the sides but they can be longer on the top. No sideburns.

Mustaches: Mustaches to be neat and well trimmed. No “handle bars”

Beards: NO BEARDS. The US Army did not allow beards; however, I recognize the fact that combat soldiers were often not able to shave in the field. For FIELD REENACTMENTS ONLY (this does not include parades, displays, or other events for the public), you are allowed up to five days of growth. This does not mean that if you already have a beard just trim it a little as beards are NOT ALLOWED. A trimmed beard is very noticeably different then four or five days growth with out shaving.

Eyeglasses: Eyeglasses must be wire rimmed, round or oval shaped lenses and of a 1940s period style. No plastic framed glasses (unless they are a correct and documentable 1940s style). No aviator style glasses or sun glasses (even if you find a pair of WW2 issue pilots sunglasses, they are still not allowed, because Infantry Privates would not have worn them).

Watches: Watches should be correct 1940s style IF WORN. Keep in mind that during WW2 they were only issued to senior NCOs, Officers, and Air Crews. Also keep in mind that watches were an expensive item and most Infantry Privates could not afford one. Therefore, if you cannot afford a correct 1940s style wrist watch, then just carry your watch in your pocket. Nothing looks worse the an otherwise correct impression being ruined by wearing a black plastic Casio watch.

Note: An important part of an individual impression is whether your hair, sideburns, length, facial hair, eyeglasses, and watch are correct for the uniform that you are wearing (WW2 GIs could have mustaches but not beards, British NCOs and Officers could have longer mustaches, and German soldiers could not have any facial hair at all). Several times through out this listing I have made reference to “impression”. In a nutshell, impression means overall appearance. The goal of any serious reenact is for their “impression” or overall appearance to look as real and as authentic as possible. To avoid any thing that would detract from or otherwise ruin their authentic appearance. On many occasions over the years, I have seen reenactors with totally authentic uniforms, equipment, and weapons, but they will be wearing totally unauthentic modern glasses or have a very unauthentic non-military beard that will absolutely blow their overall appearance or “impression”. I can easily say from experience, that it does not matter how correct or authentic everything else in your impression is, if you neglect to have the proper 1940s military style haircut or mustache (in WW2 the US Army did not allow soldiers to wear a well trimmed mustache), if you have a beard, or if you are wearing eyeglasses that are not correct 1940s style, then you have just wasted all of the time, effort, and money that you have spent on the rest of your impression. When you are putting your impression together, remember to look at the ENTIRE IMPRESSION, not just the individual parts that make up your impression.



The rank structure of a World War 2 Infantry Platoon. In the U.S. Army Table of Organization and Equipment, or T.O. & E., an Infantry Platoon consisted of 40 men and is essentially as follows;

Platoon Leader - 2nd or 1st Lieutenant

Assistant Platoon Leader – Staff Sergeant or Technical Sergeant

Radioman – Private, Private First Class, or Tech. 5th Grade (Tech. Corporal)

Platoon runner – Private or Private First Class

Three 12 man Squads, each consisting of;

Squad Leader – Sergeant

Assistant Squad Leader – Corporal

10 Squad Members – Privates or Private First Class

Our unit will use this structure as a basic guideline, however the unit will often times closely resemble the structure of an under strength, combat depleted platoon. The size of the squads will also vary from 6 to 12 men.



All new members of the unit, will normally start as a Private. When a unit member has participated in four battle reenactments and providing they have their basic uniform, equipment and a correct M-1 or M-1 Carbine (the 1903 Springfield Rifle is a “substitute standard”, so it is not included) they will be automatically promoted to Private First Class. Occasionally we make an exception to this rule, we will recognize previous reenacting experience in another organization, but the key factor is that the individual must have the correct weapon and their complete uniform, their complete uniform, and equipment before they are given rank above Private.


Corporals and Sergeants (also called “Buck Sergeant”) are junior Non-commissioned Officer ranks, or NCOs. Each squad will normally have a Squad Leader with the rank of Sergeant and an Assistant Squad Leader with the rank of Corporal. These tanks and positions shall be assigned by the unit leader, as needed..

Note: During “field” battle reenactments, ONLY your assigned rank should be worn. If the unit or unit members participate in a parade, display, or other public function, then you are not necessarily limited to a specific rank or impression (although your impression at public events should be within the limits of “good taste”, no “war heroes” or “General Patton”'s)


The unit leader will typically be either a Staff Sergeant (three stripes and one rocker) or a Technical Sergeant (three stripes and two rockers). The ranks of First Sergeant and Master Sergeant will not normally be used, as neither of these ranks is correct for a Platoon level. First Sergeant is Company level rank and Master Sergeant is a Battalion level rank. When the unit reaches between 20 and 40 members, an Officer in the tank either a Second or First Lieutenant may be appointed. It is up to the unit leader, whether he moves up to the rank of Lieutenant, or he assigns one of the other unit members to that rank. If someone other then the unit leader is assigned as the Lieutenant, then that person will have the “tactical” or field command of the unit during a reenactment, while the unit leader will retain “organizational” control of the unit. It is at the discretion of the unit leader as to what rank and role or rank he takes within the unit. The unit leader may not always be the actual field commander.

Note: The only other Officer ranks that will be allowed at a field reenactment are up to the discretion of the WMHS board. If an Officer rank is appointed by the board, it will generally be for the position of Overall Allied Commander.



Note from the webmaster:
This guide is the research of current and previous members of our unit. Since this is an awesome source of information for any G.I. reenactor that covers everything, and it is posted online for anyone to copy, this guide will be shared under the Creative Commons license (By attrib, sa), with allowance to adapt the work.

For now, reference to the Work should be our website (http://1stidunit.org/)

Thank you :)