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WWII Navy Pilot Reenactor

priestyboy

One of the Regulars
Messages
132
Location
Olympia, WA
Folks,

For one reason or another I see there is little to no abundance of reenacting supplies, uniforms, anything for USN/USMC. These services had plenty of shore duty billets, so it can't be because you need a ship to go with the impression.

Stuff like the khakis with the pointed pockets, reproduction dress uniforms, russet low quarters, USN style garrison caps...you have to buy from USAAF suppliers and modify or hope nobody knows any better. Some of the e-stores (WPG, WWII Impressions, Garcia Aviation) have a little bit but not near the compliment of equipment as for an AAF pilot.

There are plenty of aircraft as well. SBDs, Corsairs, Avengers, etc. that all show up at the airshows and Reading.

I'm frustrated but probably not alone. Can anyone offer any suggestions on a mecca of reenactor supplies for the WWII USN/USMC pilot?
 

BellyTank

I'll Lock Up
If you look at a lot of wartime photos- you do see USN/MC aviators wearing 'work' uniforms- dungarees and chambray shirts with cotton, M421-a flight jackets as well as leather. The khakis (USMC)are available form WW2Imp', as you have kind of mentioned- so too are the denims. Flight suits are available too.

If you're prepared to be a little creative...

I think the only item you mentioned that I haven't seen from a vendor is the dress uniforms.

Good Luck,

B
T
 

Maj.Nick Danger

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,469
Location
Behind the 8 ball,..
I notice a lot of navy and marine corps items on ebay, but I don't check them very closely as I am one of those army air force types. Seems to be a fair amount of dress uniforms there.
 

up196

A-List Customer
Messages
326
Welcome aboard . . .

USN Aviation OFFICERS wore the tan flight suits OR just the khaki shirt and pants while ENLISTED AVIATORS usually wore the chambray shirt/dungaree uniforms. There is a photo of an Avenger pilot in the cockpit of his plane wearing the shirt/pants combination. He's an Ensign named George H.W. Bush.

For a USN Aviator impression at the D-Day Museum in New Orleans, I wear a Khaki shirt and Bill's Khaki pants, rolled up over a pair of USMC boondockers, Garcia Aviation summer flying helmet, gloves and shoulder holster and WPG repro goggles. I wear observer wings (to fit in with my "background story", as I'm too old to represent a fighter pilot) and no rank insignia.

Early in the war, aviators wore the web pistol belt and holstered .45 auto; later war saw the shoulder holstered 4" Victory Model. As far as the Victory Model, I've found "US Navy" marked pieces to be quite expensive. Don't despair. I did some serial number research and took a chance on a moderately priced one marked "US Property GHD". A letter from S&W verified my hunch; it was shipped to the US Navy at Oakland, California on June 22, 1943.
 

priestyboy

One of the Regulars
Messages
132
Location
Olympia, WA
Thanks

Thanks everybody for your input!

Paddy posted an exhustive list of links to all sorts of re-enactor uniform sites
http://www.thefedoralounge.net/showthread.php?t=4395

This guy's awesome!

WPG and Warhorse Traders seem to have the best selections for Navy Officer.

And I must say, WPG has some quality stuff...thanks Jerry!

I've found it's just a little bit 'o this and a little bit 'o that from different sites here and there.

I'm glad I found Fedora Lounge.
 

priestyboy

One of the Regulars
Messages
132
Location
Olympia, WA
WPG

Never seen the B-3 in real life but my experience with WPG's quality is A++.

Jerry can seem a little crabby in some of his "availability" statements but he's always done me right. That's a whole lot more than I can say for some of the others.

I'm sure he'd make an easy exchange or refund if you didn't like it.

That's just my opinion.

Give him a try! Also, check Paddy's post at

http://www.thefedoralounge.net/showthread.php?t=4395

Here's a million links to tons of USAAF and RAF sites.
 

1930artdeco

Practically Family
Messages
671
Location
oakland
Don't forget you would also see Navy/MC aviators swapping with the USSAF on the islands or getting what they got from supply.

Mike
 

1961MJS

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,366
Location
Norman Oklahoma
Don't forget you would also see Navy/MC aviators swapping with the USSAF on the islands or getting what they got from supply.

Mike

Hi

My Dad went through the last year of the war wearing Marine t-shirts (white, USAAF wore brown), cut off Khaki's, and a Marine Pith Helmet with the Globe removed. Apparently Guadalcanal couldn't get the Pith Helmets and Dad liked white t-shirts better. Dad was a Master Sergeant in the 17th Weather Squadron.

Later
 

p51

One Too Many
Messages
1,116
Location
Well behind the front lines!
The bottom line is PTO anything isn't popular for re-enactors and I'm certain that it will never be (frankly, I think it's because nobody wants to be the Japanese and it leaves the German guys out in the cold). Accordingly, I can't see there ever being much in the way of USN stuff.
It drives me nuts because I put together a PTO war correspondent impression and badly want the USN officer's visor cap to put a repro USN correspondent insignia on it. Nobody makes an acceptable repro of it and my noggin is way too big for any originals.
 

rjb1

Practically Family
Messages
561
Location
Nashville
Agree with P51 about lack of interest in PTO reenacting. Maybe on certain parts of the West Coast you could get enough Japanese to make up any sort of unit, but here in the mid-USA I have seen exactly ONE Japanese (real Japanese) reenactor in over ten years in the game.
I've heard people make wishful-thinking comments about doing PTO, but it never really happens.
Aside from the ethnicity issue, since our terrain here looks exactly like Belgium and western Germany, and nothing whatsoever like Guadalcanal, it's logical that we would stick with ETO.
We do have one female reenactor who has a Navy nurse display, but that's one-of-a-kind.
 

Stearmen

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,202
This is about as close as you get! Back in the 80s and 90s, we had some WWII Navy airplanes, it was odd to see all the AAF Living History guys standing around the planes.
wings-over-houston_31_zpsad61cc14.jpg
 

kampkatz

Practically Family
Messages
715
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Agree with P51 about lack of interest in PTO reenacting. Maybe on certain parts of the West Coast you could get enough Japanese to make up any sort of unit, but here in the mid-USA I have seen exactly ONE Japanese (real Japanese) reenactor in over ten years in the game.
I've heard people make wishful-thinking comments about doing PTO, but it never really happens.
Aside from the ethnicity issue, since our terrain here looks exactly like Belgium and western Germany, and nothing whatsoever like Guadalcanal, it's logical that we would stick with ETO.
We do have one female reenactor who has a Navy nurse display, but that's one-of-a-kind.

Some 30 years ago we had a renactment of the Japanese Pearl Harbor attack at the former Millville,NJ AAF (P-47)training base. I was aero-space education officer for our CAP squadron at the time. All the 'Jap" pilots were Americans(like the photo Stearmen posted). Some of the cadets and senior members wondered how it felt for Americans to re-enact that "Day of Infamy." One of the pilots said since it was purely for historical education purposes he did not mind being one of the "bad guys."
 

rjb1

Practically Family
Messages
561
Location
Nashville
Once you get into reenacting there are no negative feelings about those who portray Germans. That would extend to Japanese (or Japanese-Americans), if there were any.
The one time that I saw a Japanese Army reenactor was at Ft. Knox for a Fourth of July event and he was the "hit" of the event.
Everyone (participants and spectators) wanted to have their picture taken with him.
 

kiwilrdg

A-List Customer
Messages
474
Location
Virginia
There is a unit that I have seen at couple of events that alternates between Japanese and Phillippine armys. Reenacting should be about education, not making a political statement.
 

THe Conductor

One of the Regulars
Messages
173
Location
Fortress San Francisco
Hate to bring up a dead thread, but was wondering since the Navy until semi-recently had been fairly traditional and slow to change in their uniforms, could more modern pieces be utilized as stand ins for vintage uniforms? I think mostly of officer uniforms such as Service Dress (albeit polyester) , peaked caps, and even dress whites. I have a large number of uniforms from my middy days that I'd like to be able to use, otherwise they'll end up getting donated or tossed in the back of the closet.

Enlisted uniforms in the form of cracker jacks and dungarees seem to be fairly well represented in the reproduction market.
 

1930artdeco

Practically Family
Messages
671
Location
oakland
The regular dress blues/whites I don't think changed much if at all other than the fabrics. But they pop up regularly in shops and on ebay-albeit they tend to be over priced on ebay.

Mike
 

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