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The United States Marine Corps (USMC) was issued a distinctive uniform in a colour refered to as "forest green". The tunic featured a standing collar, pleated patch pockets, pointed cuff stitching, and the Marine Corps' eagle and anchor buttons. Straight leg trousers were worn with the tunic, unlike the breeches of the U.S. Army.
The USMC wore the forest green uniform upon their arrival in the France in 1917. They would wear the uniform during the fierce fighting at Belleau Wood in June 1918. By the end of the war most Marines in France would be wearing the Army's olive drab uniform. They were issued the Army's uniform to keep supply issues simple, rather than supply the AEF with two different uniforms. Also there was a slight similarity of the USMC's forest green to the German Army's "feldgrau" ( field grey).
USMC P1917 Tunic
The first pattern tunic known as the P1912 only had two patch pockets on the chest. Many of these were worn by the first Marines who arrived in France with the AEF in 1917. Some tunics were modified with the addition of two lower waist pockets.
The P1917 was the tunic most commonly issued. The only major difference between the P1912 and P1917 tunics were the two lower bellows pockets at the waist. Later variations from 1918 through the 1920's had holes in the collar for the USMC's collar disks which began use in late 1918 .
This P1917 tunic with a contract date of 1918-1919 is a typical example of the USMC's forest green uniform. Note the distinctive pleated pockets and pointed stitching on the cuffs .
This photo shows the distinctive pointed stitching on the tunic's cuffs.
Detail of the USMC Eagle and Anchor Button.
The lining of this tunic is a light olive green in the body, a dark olive green in the right sleeve, and a khaki in the left sleeve. This tunic was once among the wardrobe of an old costume house in Los Angeles, CA which marked it as it's property along with the universal size 40 versus the USMC's 6-L size.
USMC Quartermaster Depot Stamp
Most tunics were stamped with the USMC's depot contract date and size. For example a typical marking would look like this-
U.S. Marine Corps
The markings are often found in the lining of the sleeves or body.
This tunic is marked inside on the liner in an ink which has faded to a light orange. The photo on the right in a blue tint has been enhanced to show the depot stamp.
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