Cadet/Castro Caps.

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Lonny, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Lonny

    Lonny One of the Regulars

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    I'm not exactly sure what else to call them.

    Cadet/Castro caps, I like them, but I can't find them in my gigantic size anywhere! Or at least in a decent style that doesn't look like some ugly production being sold at any counter-culture shop at the mall. Most sellers on ebay seem to have them for sale, but I don't know how great the quality is since some of them are directly from China or some other places around the world and cost about 6 bucks, but I've always thought "you get what you pay for" so I haven't really wanted to spring for this deal.
    They also don't seem to be very popular around here, which is understandable I don't think they fit in with the fedora lovers annonymous group but I'm just looking for a nice cap that isn't exactly a baseball cap.
    I always thought those greek fishermans caps seemed too...nautical for my tastes, and I've never been one for beanies.
    I've looked into reproduction German M43 caps and styles like it, and I really love those but I think I would like somewhat of a cross, and although its not exactly a cross, the cadet/castro style always stood out to me.

    Anywho, I have a big hat size but have no idea where to find a cap like this anywhere.

    Any help would be great.
    Thanks guys! :D
     
  2. hatflick1

    hatflick1 Practically Family

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    Personally, I don't care so much for the Cadet style. It is very popular with teens and pre-teens here in Los Angeles, especially girls.
    My suggestion would be to check out World War II Impressions website. It offers several US army field caps, repos of WWII fatigue caps. They capture the cadet style but are not quite as "trendy". I believe the company offers large sizes.
    German Wermacht caps are also available online if you Google" German Army reproductions, uniforms, or some such.
    Good luck!
     
  3. Mid-fogey

    Mid-fogey Practically Family

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    A true...

    …”Castro cap” would be the jump up style of hat worn by the US Army in the 1950s.

    The M1951 Field Cap, introduced with the M1951 Uniform, was a derivative of the M1943 Field Cap, part of the M1943 Uniform. The M1951 cap was worn in the Korean War, where it became known as the "patrol cap" by the US Army Rangers there. It was constructed of wind-resistant olive drab cotton poplin, and had a flannel wool panel that folded down to cover the ears and the back of the head. It was soft enough to be worn underneath an M-1 helmet. After the Korean War, the cap was replaced by the Ridgeway Cap, a stiffened version of the M1951. The hat became famous outside America by being worn by Fidel Castro. The patrol cap was replaced altogether, early in the Vietnam War, with a baseball-like "Cap, Field (Hot Weather)" and the boonie hat.

    A true, stiff, Ridgeway style Castro cap would look pretty odd for regular wear.
     
  4. Lonny

    Lonny One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the info guys, its been a nice read. :D
    I've given thought to it, I still want a cadet cap, but does anybody know of any place that offers them in a larger than usual size? I find it almost impossible at the moment to find one in my size.
    Any help would be greatly appreciate, damn my large head.

    I've also recently purchased a German army cap, it looks great, but I'm still getting used to hats that aren't wide brimmed fedoras, so I feel a bit uncomfy in it, but we'll see as time goes on. :D
     
  5. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo A-List Customer

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    Thank you so much, Mid-fogey, for that brief but informative history of the U.S. military cadet cap.

    I hope you are familiar with the original GI Joe "doll" made by Hasbro. I loved playing with that stuff as a kid and amassed a vast collection, which I'm now trying to sort out.

    In the 1960s, each U.S. Army toy soldier came with a cadet cap that sounds like the post-Korean War Ridgeway you describe, yet I'm almost sure all the original GI Joe gear was based on WW II equipment, like M1 rifles and carbines as opposed to the M-14.

    Since the toy hat's molded plastic, it is, of course, stiff, so that's not helpful in distinguishing it from the M1943 and M1951 caps. The GI Joe cap has a perfectly flat top, the sides of the crown go straight up and down like a cylinder, and the bill projects out from there at 90 degrees with no curve or tilt in it whatsoever. In other words, it looks just like the cap Castro wore back in days when he always appeared in green fatiques with his trusty M1911 .45 in the flap-over leather holster.

    So, based on what I've described, can you confirm which model hat it is that GI Joe came with?

    Lonny, now that Fidel's retired, I never see him wearing that cadet cap anymore. Perhaps, if you asked nicely, he'd give it to you!
     
  6. Lonny

    Lonny One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    I never had any GI joes, I could never find them at the stores, no idea why but cool military toys stopped being sold, which is a shame because theres only a few left and they aren't nearly as cool, I don't want a 2 inch tall cossack unit!

    But I digress...I wish Castro would give me that cap...ahh...maybe one day.
     
  7. Mid-fogey

    Mid-fogey Practically Family

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    That's...

    ...probably the 1950s style cap. I had that one myself -- and the jeep, trailer, and 90mm recoilless rifle. My dad was in the Army in the 50s, and it's the same cap.
     
  8. Mid-fogey

    Mid-fogey Practically Family

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    And that's...

    ...action figure by the way!!!
     
  9. hatflick1

    hatflick1 Practically Family

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  10. Absinthe_1900

    Absinthe_1900 One Too Many

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    Don't forget Beetle Bailey wore one too.
     
  11. Lonny

    Lonny One of the Regulars

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    Interesting, I always liked those soft caps.

    But as for these cadet caps, I'm not sure if I should get one off ebay when I'm not sure if it'll fit, after all one size usually never means one size fits all.
     
  12. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo A-List Customer

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    Exactly--I hated it when people referred to my GI Joes as "dolls!" Remember the ad campaign jingle, "GI Joe, GI Joe, fighting man from head to toe"?

    I, too had the Jeep, trailer, and recoilless rifle. Santa brought it. The set came with a spotlight on a stand, also. But for the steering wheel that broke (I glued it back together), it and all the rest of the gear is still in near-perfect condition, from a rubber scuba suit to the sharp plastic bayonets that came with each MI Garand.

    Since we were limited to only two items, I did not bring any GI Joe stuff to Antiques Roadshow when it came to my city a few years ago, but I did discuss my collection with one of the toy appraisers--the blonde dude with his hair in a ponytail who's also a 1960s-era expert.

    He was practically drooling when I told him I had the Russian soldier, which came with a wool uniform, trooper-style hat, tall black boots, official-issue machine gun, huge grenades, Order of Lenin medal, etc. For a very brief period, Hasbro offered this international series of action soldiers--Japanese, German, Filipino, British, Aussie, French Resistance were among them, and they all looked different--but the Rusky is the most desirable because kids just didn't want him. Like GI Joe himself, note that they were all WW II-era.

    Santa (i.e., Dad) simply figured that since the Soviets were the bad guys back then and GI Joe would need an enemy to fight, the Russian was the obvious choice. That's the reason I wound up with him.

    I never saw any of the other international series soldiers in stores, but my Russian came with a catalogue that showed what else was available, including a detailed list and drawings of the unique equipment each came with.

    However, years later when the bearded GI Joe came onto the scene with a largely non-military theme, some of that same gear reappeared: The pith hemet from the Japanese jungle fighter, the turned-up-on-the-side Slouch Hat originally on the Aussie, and a black watch cap from the French Resistance Fighter. Though I was a teen by then, I got this stuff anyway. Then I promptly went about finding those very hats for my own head.

    As you can see, GI Joe figured prominently in my early interest in head gear. Would it be fair to include all those toy hats in the grand total I own?

    Certainly there's a web site for those who collect old GI Joe stuff; does anyone know what it is?
     
  13. Wolfmanjack

    Wolfmanjack Practically Family

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    The M1951 field cap (soft style) was still being issued when I was in the infantry in the late '50s, but everyone tossed them and bought themselves a stiff Ridgeway hat in the PX.

    Just to clarify, here's Elvis in the soft style, the one he was issued, probably in Basic Training.
    [​IMG]

    ...and here he is later (in Germany) in the Ridgeway, which he probably got at the PX.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Lonny

    Lonny One of the Regulars

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    Thanks alot for the photos! I was having trouble finding the differences on google images because I wasn't exactly sure what to look for, but now I can see how a stiff cap would look really odd on an every day basis, but I love that soft cap's look...now to hunt it down in a tremendously large size...the hunt...begins! :rage:
     
  15. Woodfluter

    Woodfluter Practically Family

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    Something like this?
    [​IMG]

    "Volcom Scout". Yes, it's made in China, but decently made. Size 7-1/2 (none of that adjustable strap nonsense), black cotton twill. Bought in the archetypical mall in Utah when I fancied I needed a field cap (as opposed to a hat, which I had with me). It's hanging on a hook now for occasional use. I like that style too, plus it offers enough airspace above the noggin for warmer weather use.

    I don't usually buy stuff like this, but it proved to be far better than a ball cap.

    - Bill
     
  16. Lonny

    Lonny One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    That is exactly the style I want! :D
    Now to find it on the line!!! More hunting...oh boy! Haha.

    Or maybe I'll travel to Utah haha.
     
  17. J.B.

    J.B. Practically Family

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    ...And the current line of cadet offerings from Goorin Bros.
     
  18. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo A-List Customer

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    Southern USA
    One of the things I like about you, Bill, is your high regard of quality headgear of all sorts and an impressive ability to discern relationships among them, and the world at large, that few others perceive.

    I first became acquainted with you via my "Berets Anyone?" thread under my previous screen name here, NonEntity. There, you demonstrated a keen knowledge of traditional Scottish highlander caps, their similarity to berets, and posited the theory that there could have been some social exchange between the Basque and Scots that would account for that uncanny convergence of styles.

    Though I tend to think similarly and have amassed a collection of nearly 80 hats, it never ceases to amaze me when you pull yet another right-on-the-money chapeau out of your seemingly bottomless box of hats.

    Just how many hats do you have, my friend?!
     
  19. Lonny

    Lonny One of the Regulars

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    105
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
  20. Lonny

    Lonny One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
    So I found a decent military surplus cadet cap on ebay. 16 bucks plus shipping, not too bad I don't think! :D Can't wait for it to arrive.
     

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