WWII USMC 4th Marine Raider Battalion Australian Made Uniform

Marine raider uniform ww2

This WWII USMC Australian made uniform belonged to a member of the Marine 4th Raider Battalion and is part of a larger grouping that I own from this Marine.  During the early part of World War Two, American made dress uniforms were impossible to acquire for Marines stationed in Australia and New Zealand.  So these Australian made battle dress uniforms were obtained by the Marines.  They were usually worn like this, with only a shoulder patch and rank insignia.  Early in the war, Eagle, Globe, and Anchor (EGAs) collar insignia and ribbon bars are usually not seen in period pictures on these uniforms.  The small twill Raider patch like the one shown, were often seen on Raider dress uniforms during the War.

The Marine that owned this uniform was with the 4th Raider Battalion from 1942 until their disbandment in early 1944.  He was next transferred to the 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division and he fought with that unit on Guam and Iwo Jima.

The letters and documents I obtained with this grouping tell a really sad story regarding this particular Marine and his family.  He was wounded but survived while fighting on Guam, but his family was incorrectly notified that he was killed in action by the Marines.   His parents believed he had been killed for a month and a half until they started receiving letters from him that were dated after the date that had been reported to them that he was KIA.  There are several letters I have with him writing to his parents assuring them he was still alive.  It looks like somebody just notated his file incorrectly.

Unfortunately, his parents had to go through this again just a few months later.  They were notified in March 1945 that this brave Marine had been killed while fighting on Iwo Jima.  This time the information was correct, he had been KIA.   I can’t begin to imagine the pain his family endured going through this twice.



WW2 USMC P42 Marine Camouflage Pants

P42 USMC Camouflage Pants

These WWII USMC P42 camouflage pants are part of the P 42 camo uniform that was used by the Marines during World War Two.  The P42 uniform consisted of a camouflage shirt and pants made out of a herringbone twill fabric.  The uniform is reversible.  It has a green/jungle pattern camouflage on one side and a brown/beach colored camouflage on the other.  The P42 uniform was later replaced by another camouflage uniform, the P44 uniform.  Although the P44 uniform was made out of the same camouflage HBT material, the P44 was cut differently.

This particular pair of P42 pants are a nice original pair showing some period use and wear.

WW2 First Marine Division Australian Made Uniform Jacket with Theater Made Patch

1st Marine Division Australian Made Jacket Front

1st Marine Division Australian Made Jacket Front

This World War Two Australian made battle dress uniform jacket belonged to a member of the 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division who participated in the battles on Guadalcanal, New Britain, and Peleliu.  These Aussie made jackets were very popular with members of the First Marine Division early in the war, because they were not able to obtain US made dress uniforms.

This jacket also has a theater made First Marine Division patch sewn on the right arm.  Although the US Marines normally only wore divisional patches on the left arm during WW2, period photos of these Australian made jackets being worn by members of the First Marine Division, often show the divisional patch being worn instead on the right arm.  Also, many of the surviving Aussie made First Marine Division jackets that I have examined have the patch on the right arm.

I own several of these Australian made jackets in documented groups and only one has the First Marine Division patch on the left arm, the others all have the patch on the right arm.  Interestingly, all of these groups have other patched uniform items that are later issue and are US made.  On all of the other later issue uniform items in these groups, the First Marine Division patch is on the left arm.  Period photos also reflect this trend of the divisional patch migrating from the right arm to the more conventional left arm as the members of the First Marine Division transitioned from wearing the Australian made battle dress to the US made USMC uniform.

This particular uniform also exhibits two other common traits seen on these Aussie made uniforms when worn by members of the First Marine Division.  First, although theater made EGAs (Eagle, Globe, and Anchor insignia) existed, they were often worn without EGAs. Second, these theater made jackets normally also have theater made First Marine Division patches on them.

WWII USMC Paramarine Camouflage Uniform Shirt

WWII USMC Paramarine camouflage shirt front

WWII USMC Paramarine camouflage shirt front

These Marine camouflage uniform shirts were specifically designed for the Marine paratroopers, usually referred to as Paramarines today, during World War Two.  There were not many Paramarines during WWII, so these uniforms are relatively hard to find today.

This USMC Paramarine camouflage uniform shirt was added to my collection about a year ago.  I have had a few of these over the years, but every previous one I have had was in rough shape with numerous repairs and damage.  Also, most of the ones I have seen over the years have also been in very poor shape and many were also cut down to make then shorter.  This is the nicest one I have had the opportunity to purchase for a reasonable amount, although I have a friend who has one in even better shape.