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CCC/U. S. Army Uniform, Work

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whiskered
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    Posted: 11 May 2015 at 5:29pm

This is the complete uniform for work detail as issued to the U. S. Army beginning in 1919 when the brown working denim was changed to blue, then it was later issued to the CCC in the 1930s.  The CCC was supplied by the U. S. Army Quartermaster via their own contracts generated through the U. S. A. Quartermaster and, on some occasions, the CCC simply purchased U. S. Army clothing, thus the CCC could be outfitted in clothing that was fully or partly CCC, U. S. Army, or a combination of both.  It is also true that the U. S. Army made use of CCC stocks on some occasions since nothing was to be wasted and as long as the items met U. S. A. specs.  

This specific working uniform is comprised of both CCC and U. S. A.-contracted items that came to me via the family of WWII veteran who joined the Air Corps in early 1940, so it perfectly illustrates that cross pollination of CCC and U. S. A. items was employed in the U. S. A. and not just the CCC.  This specific uniform is all the more interesting and special in that not one item was ever worn; each piece was perfectly preserved in new condition in a steamer trunk just the way the veteran had left it so many years ago.  

Both the blue denim shirt and trousers were contracted by the CCC but they retain the U. S. Army zinc buttons, so only the contractor tags extant reveal that they are CCC by contract.  The trouser contract number W669-QM-ECW-243 is the giveaway here, as "ECW" is one of the contract prefixes used for the CCC (Emergency Conservation Worker), while W669-QM clearly reflects the parent organization:  War Dept. (W) Phila. Quartermaster Depot (669) U. S. Army Quartermaster (QM).  And the stock code 55-T-613-S indicates this is an article of clothing (class 55), that they are trousers (T) in this style (6) and size (13).  The denim shirt, actually known as a jacket, which you can derive from the letter "J" in the stock code 55-J-336, is also contracted by the CCC via the PQD (669) and this item reflects yet another contract prefix employed on CCC items - "E. C. F." - Emergency Conservation Force. 

However, the blue denim cap is a true U. S. Army item of issue, having only a 669 (PQD) contract number, while the work gloves are again contracted by the CCC and bear the ECF prefix on the contract number.  It's also noteworthy that the gloves were produced by J. A. Dubow of Chicago, IL, which had notoriety in making gloves at the time, including baseball mitts, and would go on to make A-2 jackets for the Air Corps.  

The footwear is absolutely remarkable in condition and in type.  These are the Type I Service Shoes, which have a totally different assembly style on the lowers that incorporates the counters in one continuous piece of leather vs. the later Type I Service Shoes most historians/collectors are familiar with, in addition to being fully lined in cotton twill and having a different shape to the soles.  The Type I Service Shoes were modified several times before they took on the form in revision F that ultimately gave way to the Type II Service Shoes with rubber sole taps worn throughout WWII.  The Type I shoes first went into production in 1939 as you see here in a finished leather for both dress and field use.  All footwear for the CCC and the U. S. Army was procured via the Boston QM Depot (155) as evidenced here, and the inspector's name is stamped on the inside "Keaney U. S. A."  

Lastly, the socks and underwear are again unworn and only the undershirt shows signs of being issued (but not worn), having the first initial of the soldier's last name and last four digits of his serial number stenciled next to the size 38 stamping in the upper back.  Prior to late 1943, the underwear for the    U. S. Army was white and the undershirts were always this sleeveless style (the USN and USMC had what we would call tee shirts), while socks for the U. S. A. and USMC were a federal spec. in this gray color seen here until late 1943.

The contract data listed for the undershirt reflects U. S. A. issue PQD (669) but the drawers are contracted specifically for the CCC and reflect yet another contract prefix used by the CCC; in this case it's "CIV" for Civilian after the W-669-QM contract.  The underwear is still new, white in color with no age yellowing or other stains, and matches the denim items and gloves in being from contracts all dated in the 1930s, with only the footwear coming from a 1940 contract.  

This is quite a time capsule of work clothing, procured from both CCC and U. S. A. QM stocks for a soldier/airman, but just as easily could have been for a CCC worker, the sum of which would be all but impossible to assemble if looking for items by the piece in this condition and in matching/corresponding sizes versus, for example, a put-together set where we see, say, size 38 trousers with a size small jacket and size 36 undershirt.  

This set is very much what would have been worn by the likes of Prewitt and Maggio in "From Here to Eternity."  I hope you find this interesting and enjoy!

























Edited by HPA REP - 11 May 2015 at 7:03pm
Charles DiSipio
History Preservation Associates
Cherry Hill, NJ USA
Ph: 856-489-8103
Fx: 856-489-8104
E: fragen@historypreservation.com
www.historypreservation.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Snake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2015 at 5:42pm

Came across this picture not too long ago on LOC. Young man wearing the denim shirt, trouser, and the service boots. You can barely see the top cap.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote attackwithstones Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2015 at 5:55pm
Thats an amazing collection.  Thanks for the information!
Sell me your Mister Freedom stuff. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote *lefty* Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2015 at 6:00pm
This is wonderful
Thanks for taking the time to post it here
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2015 at 6:23pm
Fantastic set! Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Duke Mantee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2015 at 4:21am
Superb Charles - thank you . . . and a big thumbs up for that pic too Snake.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote setterman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2015 at 5:46am
Always amazing to see brand new 75 year old items!  Thanks for sharing!  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rivet Head Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2015 at 6:45am
Great stuff HPA Rep! 
www.rivet-head.blogspot.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HPA REP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2015 at 4:40pm
Originally posted by Snake Snake wrote:


Came across this picture not too long ago on LOC. Young man wearing the denim shirt, trouser, and the service boots. You can barely see the top cap.

Great photo!  I've been studying it trying to figure out two things:  

1) It's definitely the U. S. Army/CCC denim work set and the era seems to be right out of the 1930s, so the time would be contemporary to the clothing, yet I wonder how he got the set.  He's in the city and not out in the woods, so while it does't rule out that he's in the CCC, it's certainly not what we're used to seeing.  And it's rather unlikely he got the set from service in the U. S. A., though not impossible.

2) The Denim set appears starchy new yet the color of it is far from dark.  I've looked at other B&W photos of new denim suits in brighter sunlight than seen here and they all appear darker.  It may well be indigo blue, but it seems too light in my mind and I'm wondering if this could be a surplus set from before 1919 in brown.  
Charles DiSipio
History Preservation Associates
Cherry Hill, NJ USA
Ph: 856-489-8103
Fx: 856-489-8104
E: fragen@historypreservation.com
www.historypreservation.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HPA REP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2015 at 4:42pm
Thank you all for your kind, appreciative words; I'm glad to know others care about this sort of thing some 80 years after it was made.  
Charles DiSipio
History Preservation Associates
Cherry Hill, NJ USA
Ph: 856-489-8103
Fx: 856-489-8104
E: fragen@historypreservation.com
www.historypreservation.com
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