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"correct" Slings


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#1 Gunner

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 11:13 PM

I'm getting conflicting reports about when OD slings replaced Khaki -- some say in '43, and others say not until after WWII. What's the collective wisdon of the board? Thanks.
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#2 The1930sRust

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 05:48 AM

I don't have a clue about this, but did find the following info on the http://www.atthefront.com website:

"Q: What is "khaki"?
A: "Khaki" refers to a color usually considered to be a shade of tan. It is a mix of gray, green, brown and white. Many people insist that all things GI and pure used during the 1940's were "khaki" in color and that the suggestion of the presence or existence of any other color or shade of their beloved khaki (specifically the ultra-evil "olive drab") during this period is akin to trying to peddle "reference deleted" t-shirts at a Southern Baptist convention. Much to our pleasure, historical facts prove these khaki-hounds need to go back to grade school, as well as the optometrist.

Q: When did they start using OD gear? My unit commander says that "khaki" is required.
A: We have seen examples of 1942-dated OD (#7) and half OD/khaki (what is referred to as "transitional") gear come through our shop. (Click here to see a scan of a 1943-dated legging, OD#7) There are those that argue that even though OD#7 started creeping into production by 1942, that it took too long for the stocks of it to reach England for issue to US troops, even those launched onto Normandy. Hogwash. Through careful examination of even black & white period photos, you can see GI's wearing gear that has noticable darker shades (often mixed in with khaki gear). A Normandy veteran even told us himself that they loved the "new" OD gear as it was the new, hip thing, and he had plenty of it on him when he jumped there. This is why cracking some books pays off. Most M43 folding shovel carriers were all OD, or at least "transitional". It is safe to say that by 1944, a lot of OD gear is completely correct."
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#3 gijive

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 07:54 AM

Gunner,

I agree that there is much debate among reenactors regarding Khaki vs. Olive Drab (OD #7 shade) web gear and the time frame that they appeared during WWII, however, I'm not sure this theory applies to the Kerr Thompson slings. Some references refer to the olive drab Kerr slings as post WWII manufacture. I think these usually have parkerized fittings.

The original Kerr slings with the 1914 Patent dates were usually a more tan shade and the later shortened Kerr slings made during WWII were usually a mustard yellow color. The exact shade varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and probably dye lots. I have seen some that are clearly yellow colored and some that are more of a yellowish green.

Frank's book does a pretty good job of covering this and who knows when the olive drab shade slings were actually made? I have some unissued Kerr slings that were repacked for long term storage by the U.S. Navy in 1954 and they are the mustard yellow colored slings with blued metal fittings.

I think the correct WWII slings would be the early tan shade or the mustard yellow shade. Just my opinion on the matter.
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