Author Topic: Barefoot Marines - 1st Samoan Battalion USMCR  (Read 3354 times)

jpatrickstout

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Barefoot Marines - 1st Samoan Battalion USMCR
« on: November 24, 2015, 07:06:27 pm »
Uniform of the 1st Samoan Battalion, USMCR during WWII.  The history has been addressed in an article by John Stacey, April-June 2004 ASMIC Trading Post magazine, so I won't delve into that.  Barefoot, lava lava (khaki), sash, overseas cap, t-shirt, cartridge belt and M1903 were the usual attire described for these soldiers.  There are 2 patches of different sizes, the larger one on the lower right front of the lava lava (without or with rank).  The smaller one is on the cap.  This uniform grouping came together, but I could not find out how it came to be in the US.  It has 2 sashes.  The M1903 did not come with the grouping.  I acquired the gun separately and is one of the few M1903s identified as a USMC rifle, produced during WWI, overhauled by the USMC and part of the armory in San Diego.  So, it seemed appropriate to add it to the grouping photos.  I need to find a t-shirt and add a period cartridge belt.  regards, pat

jpatrickstout

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Re: Barefoot Marines - 1st Samoan Battalion USMCR
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2015, 07:11:11 pm »
 8) Here is the lava lava unfolded to give you an idea of the overall size as compared to the M1903...

Phill Lockett

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Re: Barefoot Marines - 1st Samoan Battalion USMCR
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2015, 05:56:19 pm »
Thanks for showing.

This is the first time I have seen any patch or uniform (cap and lava lava) used by the Samoan Battalion. I will read the asmic article but apart form that the only mention and picture was in Andrew Mollo 1980 uniforms of WWII book , a book that fired my imagination for US Army SSI , organization of WWII.

cheers

Phill

jpatrickstout

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Re: Barefoot Marines - 1st Samoan Battalion USMCR
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2015, 07:04:45 pm »
You bet, Phil.

The grouping had been a vets attic, really!, for many, many years, only to be recovered after his death.  So what ever history was there went with him.  The grouping has been looked at in the past by the Quantico guys.  They had the lava lava and cap, but no sash.  They coveted one of the sashes, but wanted it donated.  There is a name on the lava lava, but I have not delved into that research yet.  And I have not decided what I will do with it in the future. 

My dad, still kicking at 91, passed through the Samoa area on the way to the Gilbert and Marshall Islands and had the opportunity to see the battalion soldiers.  In fact, as my dad tells it, they stopped in Samoa to off load/load supplies and a Samoan dock worker fell at least 4 stories into the cargo hold.  Dad thought he was dead, but shortly thereafter, he shimmied back up the rope and continued his loading, LOL.  Pretty tough people!
regards,
pat

Phill Lockett

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Re: Barefoot Marines - 1st Samoan Battalion USMCR
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2015, 12:38:41 am »
Thanks Pat

And I wish your old man well , wonder if he was in NZ on R&R?

pHILL

jpatrickstout

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Re: Barefoot Marines - 1st Samoan Battalion USMCR
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2016, 11:58:15 pm »
Thanks Phill,

Just saw him last week.  If I recollect, he never did get to NZ/Australia.  He was trained as a radio operator for flight squadron assignment, but due to other events, he ended up being the 4th MAW HQ radioman in charge.  Left Majuro Atoll for Cherry Pt to re-outfit in Jan 1945.  While back home, he gave me his flight log from Cherry Pt time with the 9th MAW.

regards,
pat