Today in History: Iwo Jima

76 years ago today the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions began landing on Iwo Jima. Followed a few days later by the 3rd MarDiv on the opposite shore. Operation Detachment would go on to be a 35 day slog and have the highest casualty numbers for the USMC in WWII.

Iwo was one of the few times the marines were actually seen with “M41” field jackets. Another very common set up was the wool shirt under the P41 jacket. I went for a Marine officer set up. Weapons are an M1 Carbine and M1911A1 with associated marine pouches (note the lack of US on the .45 pouch) and the backpack is an Officer’s Musette. Similar to an M1936 but with an integrated shoulder strap(s). I’ll do a detailed post on it soon. The prone marine in the first picture has what looks like an M1936 Musette instead of the officers musette. It looks like the D-ring and snap hook on the side and I don’t see the flap/snap on the bottom to convert the should strap into backpack straps. There are very few photos of these musettes in use (I suspect because even though they have a larger interior volume the lack of attachment points for things like shelter halves and shovels limits there usability. Or they simply may not have been issued much) but I have one and wanted to show it off. Surprisingly T-handle shovels were still the pretty common this late in the war. I have not confirmed but if you want to represent the 5th MarDiv I would lean toward using an M1943 or folding shovel as they were the youngest of the three divisions present and would likely have more of the newer equipment.

Black members of a Marine division on Iwo Jima. Front row (left to right): Private First Class H. Ross, Jr.; Corporal F. Tanner; Corporal Ernest J. Scott. Back row (left to right): Private First Class V. Keitt; Private John W. Lee; Corporal P. Shepierd.

For a close up of the Officers field bag click HERE.

One thought on “Today in History: Iwo Jima

  1. Pingback: USMC Officer’s Field Pack – Geared Up

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