The Battle of Triangle Hill: Photo Analysis

This will be a bit short as there are few surviving photos from the battle and many of the ones I had in the previous post would have been somewhat redundant on what was highlighted. Interestingly that even in late 1952 there were still a fair amount of WWII pattern gear being worn.

Here we have the post war M1948 boots, which were very similar to the famous WWII paratrooper boots. The difference being that the WWII boots had a two piece sole (so there was a leather area in the arch) and a bevel on the heal. The M1948s had a single piece sole and regular square heel. The shirt worn by the wounded man is the post war pattern fatigue shirt. I’ve seen some different models in HBT and sateen but the spec usually says 1947 pattern. Both have the WWII style HBT pants though as identified by the large thigh pockets.

This photo has a good shot of the M1951/52 flak vests that were issued regiment wide to the 31st Infantry. As the vests were an ongoing development the nomenclature is a little murky. In my opinion I differentiate them personally as the M1951 having the simple smooth strap along the bottom and the M1952 or M52 and the version with the grommets along the bottom. Next we have the middle man wearing either a M1943 or M1950 field jacket as identified by the large buttons. The M1951 would have had a zipper and snaps. The difference between the 43 and 50 is that the 50 had a button in liner and the 43 did not. While it is hard to tell for sure it looks like all 3 of the men have what I assume to be burlap covering their helmets. likely made from sand bags. The right hand man also has a pair of M1949 gloves on. We also have a good comparison of the WWII pattern and post war pattern pants. The post war are essentially the same cut as the later OG-107s with the more fitted cut and patch pockets, the WWII era were loose and had the large bellowed hip pockets. Down at the bottom we have all 3 wearing the M1948 boots. Two things I don’t have highlighted are the post war pattern shirt worn by the man on the left. ID’d by the more numerous buttons. And whatever the milled man has on under his jacket. It could be a sweater but it looks like it might be a WWII era M1 flak vest (the type used by bomber crews) worn backwards. Which would be quite odd but the more I look at it the more I think that is what it is.
Here is more of the same equipment and uniforms from the other photos. But we do have an M3 medic bag hung from a packboard. The burlap helmet covers seem to be fairly popular as well.

So there you have it, Korea was a juxtaposition of the the old and new, even in the later years. Uniforms from the previous war but flak jackets that would be at home in the next.

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