Uniforms distinguished the men and women in the service.  From stateside training to the time for mustering back to civilian life, uniforms were worn for different climates and purposes.  While "dress" uniforms with patches and insignia are still fairly common, everyday outwear such as jackets and boots were often worn out and discarded.  Below is a cross section representing the variety of combat and dress uniforms worn during WWII.

Dress Uniforms

The standard 4-pocket Class-A uniform jacket issued through the last year of WWII.  This uniform to a veteran from the China-Burma-India theater.  This veteran enlisted in 1942 and served as a radio operator/flight controller in the 10th Air Force in India, Burma, and China.

A dress uniform to a Warrant Officer of the 66th Infantry Division.  Warrant Officers were specialized soldiers that ranked above enlisted men, but below commissioned officers.  This unidentified uniform was found near Madison, Wisconsin and its ribbons show service in Europe during WWII.

Women's cropped army jacket with Army Service Forces patc hand sleeve bars indicating two years service overseas.

A non-combatant uniform, as indicated by the "US" patches on the shoulder and collar.  The veteran who wore this was first an enlisted soldier (as indicated by the campaign ribbons) and later was a lawyer for war crimes trials.  The three bars on the sleeve indicate a 18 months of overseas service.

A Tank Destroyer armored crewman's uniform.  This veteran served in the Pacific Theater, part of the very small Tank Destroyer force sent there.  The island and jungle warfare was ill-suited to tanks and tank destroyers that fought with distinction in Europe.

A very rare uniform to a veteran of the Merrill's Marauders.  Officially the 5307th Composite Unit, this commando group was tasked to raid far behind Japanese lines in the CBI theater of operations.  They engaged in jungle warfare from 1943-1944, taking heavy casualties to combat and disease but inflicting heavy losses against the Japanese.

Enlisted man's uniform to a veteran of the 29th Infantry Division.  Parts of the 29th were in the first wave ashore on Omaha Beach during D-Day.

Standard "Eisenhower" or "Ike" jacket, patched to a Signals enlisted man of the 69th Infantry Division.  The Ike jacket was standardized in 1944 and phased out in the late 1950s.

Standard wool trousers worn as part of the uniform, both in dress and field situations.  This pair is unworn and still has intact paper "cutter tags" stapled to it.

Field Uniforms

A M1941 field jacket.  This was the standard coat of the US armed forces until being replaced in late 1944 by the M1943 jacket.  The M41 had a zipper, buttons, and a thin wool interior.  It was prone to fading and fraying, and not known for its durability.

"Tanker" winter jacket favored by armored troops.  They were more insulated than standard field jackets and highly prized by those officers and men who could get them.  This one is shown with a slung shoulder holster.

M37 wool service uniform, the standard for WWII soldiers.

Khaki cotton summer uniform set

WWII wool overcoat, issued for cold protection.  First issued in 1939 with brass buttons, this model features post-1942 plastic buttons--a necessity in conserving brass for the war effort.  This example is from a Milwaukee veteran who served in the postwar Constabulary forces in Germany.

M43 field jacket and pants.  These were intended to be layered over uniforms for greater warmth.

Herringbone twill uniform set, as worn in combat or during work duties.  This was a lightweight cotton material that was preferred to wool uniforms, especially in the Pacific Theater.

Thermal undershirt worn by US troops in cold climates.


M1917 A1 "Kelly" helmet.  These were WWI helmet shells upgraded with new liners and chinstraps.  They were used through 1941 and worn at Midway, Pearl Harbor, and the Philippines.

The M1917A1 helmet was replaced in 1941-2 by the this M1 helmet.  This had a steel shell and removable liner.  This spectacular painted officer's helmet from a veteran of the 9th Infantry Division.  This veteran served in the ETO and later in the Korean War.  It was not uncommon for officers to add painted insignia to their helmets. 

Liners for the M1 helmet.  These were made of plastic and fit inside the steel helmet shell.

Painted helmet liner of a Military Policeman of the 5th Army.

Camouflage netting for the M1 helmet.

M1938 "Tanker" helmet as worn by armored troops in tanks.  Headphones would be snapped into the ears.  A pair of Resistalgoggles are pulled over the eyes to protect against dust.

"Daisy Mae" fatigue cap worn for work and in warm climates.

M1943 fatigue cap, also worn for worn and in warm climates when the helmet was not needed.

Officer's "Kelly" helmet from the prewar years.  It has the insignia of the 186th Infantry, of the Oregon National Guard.

Late-war M1 helmet.  This was an improvement on the earlier version by adding flexible chinstrap bales.

Helmet liner, identified to a veteran of the 10th Armored Division.

Cavalry, Officers, and Infantry garrison covers.  The colored piping denotes branch of service.

Very rare garrison cover with red, white, and blue piping, indicating service in the First Special Service Force.  This was a commando group that served in the Aleutians and in Europe.

An officer's dress cap.  This one was worn by an officer in the 5th Army who served in Italy.

Enlisted men's visor caps.  These were worn with the wool dress uniform.

Knit "Jeep" cap, often worn under the M1 helmet for warmth.

A carryover from World War I, the Campaign Hat is today often associated with drill instructors.  It saw limited service in the interwar period but was retained by some units, particularly cavalry.  This wartime example has orange Signal Corps cords.


Early service shoes with leggings.

A pair ofM1943 double-buckle boots, worn in WWII from 1944-1945.

Leggings, as worn with service shoes.  Pants were tucked in to the tops.  These were worn until the service shoes were replaced with the M1943 double-buckle boots in mid-1944.

Private-purchase officer shoes.  These were worn with dress uniforms.

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