US Army ammo pouches 1952 & 1966

I assume they are US Army. But how were they used? MP .38 Special belt ammo carriers? Anyone remembers?

If these are all the same kind of pouch (it is hard to tell from the angle of the photo and the back of the pouches) then they are actually made for a bandage. There was a web equivalent for normal combat duty. The leather pouches were generally used by Military Police only. There was a similar two-pocket magazine pouch for the M1911 and M1911A1 pistol magazines, as well as things like handcuff holders, baton holders, holster adaptors so that the standard G.I. .45 Pistol holster, with its hook attachements, could be worn below the belt, as it was originally designed to be work. If one wanted it up on a leather belt, the pistol holster also has a fairly nromal belt slot on its back, but that was not the usual way to wear it.

The brown ones went out in about the mid-1950s. Black became the color of uniform leather goods, including for military police. For special ceremonial purposes, all this equipment was also made in white. I think the Navy Shore Patrol often wore the white ones as well.

I have no idea if the Air Force ever used the first aid pouch for a .38 ammo carrier or not. I suppose they could have. Perhaps Lew Curtis would know.

The regulation color for leather belts and holsters and the like changed from brown to black in 1956, and many of hte older items were simply dyed the black color, sometimes only on the areas visible to others.

Actually, the transition from brown to black was somewhat incremental. I joined the Army in October 1956, and was issued black low-quarter shoes, but my boots were brown. The change happened with the shift to the Green Class A uniform. I was issued one of the older OD uniforms with Eisenhower Jacket and one of the new green uniforms. The OD uniform remained standard for formations, since everyone was not yet required to acquire a green uniform, for about my firest year and a half, and then it was optional for awhile longer, but the green uniform was required for formations. When I left Alaska in 1959, as I recall, even men whose uniforms had to be special ordered (we had a man 6’ 9" tall in our company) had their green uniforms and new recruits had been issued two green uniforms only for some time. I forget exactly when we were required to dye our boots black. It was such a mess though, that I simply purchased two pair of black ones, and sent my one remaining pair of brown boots home. I wore those for shooting and the like for years after I was out of athe regular Army.

I was never in any military and therefore my question would sound probably silly. I noticed my daughter buying some parts of Naval uniform now (and paying for her breakfast $3/day, which surprised me a lot). John Moss just mentioned doing this in the Army a long time ago. When did this “pay for your uniform” start? I was under an impression that once you join the military, they issue EVERYTHING for free. When I was at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on a tour in 1979, a military tour guide also tried to do some recruiting. He told us that if we joint US Air Force that very moment, we would be provided with EVERYTHING and that our things would be brought to Ohio from New York.

From the time I served, your 1st issue was free after that a meager clothing allowance was paid. But you were expected to maintain a full minimum ‘sea bag’. As an FMF Navy Corpsman I was required to have both Navy and Marine uniforms (except Marine Dress Blues).

I agree with Sportclay. I served from 1967-1971 in the Air Force. We were issued a full complement in Basic Training, but after that you were expected to buy your own at the Base Uniform Shop. The prices were low compared to off base purchase, but off base purchase usually included altering and the sewing on of rank and unit patches, etc. at no extra charge.

One thing that surprised me was when I got my orders to go to Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, I was required to pack a full complement of uniforms, including Winter Coat and other cold weather gear, none of which would be needed in Vietnam. When I complained to my First Sargent about this, it was pointed out that wherever I was based, I was subject to redeployment or TDY (Temporary Duty) to any place in the world at a moments notice and I MIGHT need that winter gear.

To provide continuity to Ron’s statement I also was U.S. A. F. 1962-66. We were issued a full set of clothing & after that had to buy it. However I never had to buy food.
My issue fatigues were a light blue-grey color but others in my basic training had been issued green fatigues, so the AF was changing fatigue colors at that time. Boots were black. Dress uniforms were blue.

The Army then was the same - that is, during the Cold War. You got the initial issue of clothing free. If you were sent some where that required special uniforms, you got those free, no matter how long you had been in the serivce. When I was at Ft. Lewis, awaiting shipment (yes, by ship - all my buddies went by air but I was held over for a ship movement because I was an NCO - only time I regretted having some rank), they issued us almost as much gear as our regular, initial issue. Parka, Pile Hat, Bunny Boots, two complete OG utility uniforms, special gloves, special socks, etc. The shocker was when we were told we had to get it all in out duffle bags. Even though the Army did not wear the summer Khaki uniform at all in Alaska (I don’t know why - summers were quite warm), we had to bring those and even our tropical uniform (short pants, tropical weight shirt, high tan socks. I never wore that uniform ever.

There were two levels of clothing allowance. After I think a year, you got a higher allowance. It was paid every month and the theory was you saved that portion of your pay until you need to buy some clothing item. U.S. uniforms were very high quality and lasted well, so most who were not careet soldiers didn’t have to buy much more than underwear and socks, which in the 50s, were pennies at the military clothing sales store (NOT the PX).

We never had to pay for meals.

I think everything is changed now. For one thing, soldiers make much higher pay in relation to the econcomy and dollar-worth than we did at that time, but they get better accomodations in barracks situations, don’t do much stuff like KP anymore, so I think they do have to pay for meals, although they are cheap. Of course, not sure. I have not been in the Army since 1965, and that was the Reserve.

I really enjoy you old guys reminiscing.

“Grandpa, Tell Me Bout The Good Old Days”

Well, Youngun Ray, Let me tell you what it was like when Mr Lincoln called us for duty…

In the U.S. Air Force in the 1960 and 70’s, food for the enlisted ranks was free, but officers had to pay for their meals. Also, meals were served 24 hours per day. You could get the evening meal any time up to midnight and breakfast was served midnight to 10AM. This was necessary because a lot of the maintenance was done at night so the “Birds” could fly all day and of course, some missions were also flown at night.

Thanks for clearing that up: in most areas, there are “differences” between O and E ranks, esp. Basic Allowance for Sustenance (BAS), uniform allowance, etc. I got $300 over a thirty year career for uniform allowance, which didn’t cover my original set of black and white “Mess Dress” uniforms–but that’s certainly not a complaint! If you are talking “unit issued equipment,” “individual equipment” etc. like a parka, Muckluks, etc. then those are issued to both rank types. It always seemed funny to me that Pilots, who make the most money, got flight suits issued for free, and then you couldn’t MAKE them wear any “blue” uniform, despite General McPeak trying to do so for a year or so.

Back to the .38 ammo, my pouch was black leather, but held six cartridges, horizontally, with the pouch flap/opening on the bottom so the rounds would “empty” out. We always reversed them, so we wouldn’t loose any rounds, and I never needed six more shots in a hurry ever in my career. I had a plan to “liberate” an M16 if I ever needed one, but of course that never happened. then we (USAF)went to 9mm and got magazine pouches.

Interesting thread…

USAF Aerospace Munitions Officer/EOD/Weapons Safety 1974-2004

Back to brown and black leather. I’ve had two GI .45 leather holsters which were black on the front side and brown on the back side. I always thought that was probably done by some individual with black leather dye. I ran into a guy at a gun show who told me that when the “Official” color was changed from brown to black, the orders were to dye only the front of the holsters so the black dye would not get on the uniform pants. Makes sense, but I don’t know if its true.

I don’t know if dying only one side was ever official, written policy, at least in the Army, but it DOES make sense as black is about as bad a color as there is for transferring dye to other cloth objects ages after the article has beed dyed.
That only seems to apply to re-dying. Objects original dyed black by the factory don’t seem to do it hardly at all. One reason why I never dyed my brown boots but instead purchased new black ones was because of dye transfer to the bottoms of the trouser legs. We never bloused our boots by regulation - that is, tucked into the top of the boot. Looked like crap. We always did them with a trouser bottom tucked under a rubber band, or one of the o.d. “blousing bands” that they sold at the PX. One of the advantages of peace-time army service.

My working uniform issue was in July of 1978. I seem to recall a token payment was to be taken out of our pay for the items. The dress uniforms were issued at a later date. I distinctly recall paying for the first, and subsequent, haircuts, too!

“That only seems to apply to re-dying.”

I wasn’t clear about that. I should have said the black dye was applied to those brown holsters already in service. I remember one of those two-tone holsters was marked as being from a manufacturer (I don’t remember which one) who made only a very few .45 holsters during WWII, and I sold it for over $100 to a holster collector. He didn’t seem to mind the black front.