UNIFORM & KIT ISSUED TO THE AIF DURING WW2
This pictorial library is devoted to the recording of "Uniform and Kit" issued to an Australian Soldier of any corps, during the Second World War. Consider it a virtual "Q" Store in Australian militaria. It is not exhaustive and will be added to over time. Any reader who wishes to contribute photographs and text will be recognised and credited with such information. I also invite collectors of other nation's militaria to forward content (please see our other countries listed on the drop down menu) - so that a comprehensive list of "Axis" and "Allies" uniform/kit is detailed.
U.S. Leggings Cotton Khaki Class 2
U.S. Manufactured Cotton (canvas) Leggings, stamped "Leggings Cotton Khaki Class 2" and used by both the United States Army and Marine Corps troops in nearly all theatres of war. This design was very effective in preventing foreign material (dust/dirt/sticks/rocks etc) from entering the boots of wearer. So much so, that they were favoured by Australian troops in the jungle campaigns and subsequently are included in this inventory. Many photographs exist of 16th Brigade & 25th Brigade diggers on the Kokoda Track and at the Beach Heads, wearing these type of leggings. In fact the British Pattern 37 gaiter (which was quite short) were deemed virtually useless in the tropical conditions and diggers procured these U.S. Leggings whenever they became available. They can be found in various shades of khaki, depending on the manufacturer of which there was a few. The leggings were secured by wrapping them around the lower leg, so that the trousers were tucked inside the legging and the lace portion was to the outside. The bottom of the legging entirely covered the mouth of the boots, to prevent dirt from entering the footwear. A strap passed underneath the archway of the foot and was secured by a buckle. The leggings were then 'laced up' using a cord which passed through the eyelets and posts. This photo courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection.
Pattern 37 Utility Yoke Straps (2 inch)
A pair of 2" Yoke Straps of Pattern 37 Web Equipment. A single strap of this type was required to join certain pouches together. Initially used to join together two magazine pouches for the Lewis Light Machine Gun; this type of yoke was also used to join the Pattern 37 Utility Pouches. The ink stamping indicates that these items were made by the Canadian company, "Z L & T" (Zephyr Loom & Textile Ltd) during 1942. The ink stamping of a Government acceptance make 'broad arrow' is also evident. As Australia did not possess the capability to manufacture Web Equipment until 1943, it was required to import vast quantities of this material from Canada to equip both the Second AIF and the AMF. Subsequently, much of the Pattern 37 Web Equipment displayed in this ledger is of Canadian manufacture. (Photo courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection).
Pattern 37 Binocular Case
This Pattern 37 Binocular Case of Canadian manufacture. (Zephyr Loom & Textile Limited or Z.L & T) was undoubtably issued to Australian troops during World War Two. The binocular case consists of a rigid shell, covered in khaki cotton webbing and secured by way of a single clip stud fastener. The binocular case is fitted with a single buckled fitted to both sides, so as to enable a standard Pattern 37 shoulder strap to be adhered. This then allows the binocular case to be carried as a seperate unit. Or alternatively, it may be secured to a set of pattern 37 webbing and be carried as a part of a kit. Much of this type of kit could still be found as surplus equipment in Australia during the period 2000 to 2010; but is slowly starting to 'dry up' in terms of availability.
Pattern 37 Binocular Case (Inside View)
Inside view of the Pattern 37 Binocular Case, showing the manufacture stamping Z.L & T Ltd. of the company "Zephyr Loom & Textiles Limited". The date of manufacture is shown, being 1943 and the government broad arrow inside a letter "C" to denote Canadian manufacture. Of note is the felt liner on the inside (at the bottom) of the carrier, so as to provide some cushioning and protection to the lenses of the binoculars, when in storage. Here the 1" shoulder strap (brace) can be seen, which allows the individual to carry and discard the item as a single unit.