Original U.S. Pre-WWII 1934 Dated & Named China Marine Ship Detachment Dress Blues Uniform Set - Gun Pointer 1st Class Corporal Korotash

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Detachments of Marines have served aboard American naval vessels since the beginning of the Continental Marine Corps in 1775. Marine Detachment or “MarDet” was a unit of 35 to 85 United States Marines aboard large warships including cruisers, battleships, and aircraft carriers. They were a regular component of a ship's company from the formation of the United States Marine Corps until the 1990s. Missions of the Marine Detachment evolved, and included protecting the ship's captain, security and defense of the ship, operating the brig, limited action ashore, securing nuclear weapons and ceremonial details.

Marines served aboard sailing ships as a small amphibious force able to capture and hold minor port facilities as required for protection of American interests. Marine sharpshooters were often stationed in the rigging during ship-to-ship combat to fire at officers and helmsman aboard enemy warships. Marines often operated naval artillery during general quarters when the distances of gunnery engagements exceeded the range of small arms, this uniform is a prime example of that.

The right sleeve patch indicates that this Marine, while serving aboard the Ship’s Detachment, trained on and was qualified for operating the larger deck guns on the vessel. The patch indicates that he was a “Gun Pointer 1st Class”. Between 1915 and 1929 and early WWII, the Marine Corps authorized the wearing of eight Navy distinguishing marks or specialty marks by qualified Marines, this example was one of them.

The uniform is complete, but does show its age. There appears to be an early repair done to the cuff style collar, with the stitching done by hand next to the left EGA device. All buttons and devices have a lovely darkened patina to them. The white belt is faded and stained, but still very white in appearance, with a tarnished brass buckle. The trousers feature a blood stripe which is correct for Marine NCOs and still retains a depot stamp and name on the inside waistline.

Quartermaster’s Depot
U.S. Marine Corps

Also stamped in black ink is the Corporal’s name, W. Korotash.

Corporal William Korotash served aboard the USS New Mexico and USS Nevada as part of the Marine Detachment from 1933-1935. It shows he registered for the draft in 1940 at the age of 27 and could very well have served during WWII. We have been unable to locate any more service information for Corporal Korotash, all we found was him appearing on ships rosters from 1933-1935.

This lovely uniform set comes ready for further research and display!

Collar to shoulder: 9.5”
Shoulder to sleeve: 25”
Shoulder to shoulder: 17”
Chest width: 17”
Waist width: 16”
Hip width: 17”
Front length: 30"
PANTS waist: 33"
PANTS inseam 33"

Lore of the Corps
Starting in boot camp, all Marines study the actions of those who have served before them. The history of the Marine Corps is a rich tapestry weaving together the contributions of all Marines. Over the past two centuries, certain aspects of the Corps’ history have taken on an almost legendary status. Below are examples of some of the stories, terms, and traditions that have come to be known as the “Lore of the Corps.”
The Blood Stripe

Marine Corps tradition maintains that the red stripe worn on the trousers of officers and noncommissioned officers, and commonly known as the “blood stripe,” commemorates those Marines killed storming the castle of Chapultepec in 1847. Although this belief is firmly embedded in the traditions of the Corps, it has no basis in fact. The use of stripes clearly predates the Mexican War.

In 1834, uniform regulations were changed to comply with President Andrew Jackson’s wishes that Marine uniforms return to the green and white worn during the Revolutionary War. The wearing of stripes on the trousers began in 1837, following the Army practice of wearing stripes the same color as uniform jacket facings. Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson ordered those stripes to be buff white. Two years later, when President Jackson left office, Colonel Henderson returned the uniform to dark blue coats faced red. In keeping with earlier regulations, stripes became dark blue edged in red. In 1849, the stripes were changed to a solid red. Ten years later uniform regulations prescribed a scarlet cord inserted into the outer seams for non-commissioned officers and musicians and a scarlet welt for officers. Finally, in 1904, the simple scarlet stripe seen today was adopted.

In 1776, the Naval Committee of the Second Continental Congress prescribed new uniform regulations. Marine uniforms were to consist of green coats with buff white facings, buff breeches and black gaiters. Also mandated was a leather stock to be worn by officers and enlisted men alike. This leather collar served to protect the neck against cutlass slashes and to hold the head erect in proper military bearing. Sailors serving aboard ship with Marines came to call them “leathernecks.”

Use of the leather stock was retained until after the Civil War when it was replaced by a strip of black glazed leather attached to the inside front of the dress uniform collar. The last vestiges of the leather stock can be seen in today’s modern dress uniform, which features a stiff cloth tab behind the front of the collar.

The term “leatherneck” transcended the actual use of the leather stock and became a common nickname for United States Marines. Other nicknames include “soldiers of the sea,” “devil dogs,” and the slightly pejorative “gyrene,” (a term which was applied to the British Royal Marines in 1894 and to the U.S. Marines by 1911), and “jarhead.”

The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor
The origins of the eagle, globe, and anchor insignia worn by Marines can be traced to those ornaments worn by early Continental Marines as well as to the British Royal Marines.

In 1776, Marines wore a device depicting a fouled anchor. Changes were made to that device in 1798, 1821, and 1824. An eagle was added in 1834. The current insignia dates to 1868 when Brigadier General Commandant Jacob Zeilin convened a board “to decide and report upon the various devices of cap ornaments of the Marine Corps.” A new insignia was recommended and approved by the Commandant. On 19 November 1868, the new insignia was accepted by the Secretary of the Navy.

The new emblem featured a globe showing the western hemisphere intersected by a fouled anchor and surmounted by an eagle. Atop the device, a ribbon was inscribed with the Latin motto “Semper Fidelis.” The globe signified the service of the United States Marines throughout the world. The anchor was indicative of the amphibious nature of the Marine Corps. The eagle, symbolizing a proud nation, was not the American bald eagle, but rather a crested eagle, a species found throughout the world.

On 22 June 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an Executive Order which approved the design of an official seal for the United States Marine Corps. Designed at the request of General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., Commandant of the Marine Corps, the seal replaced the crested eagle with the American bald eagle, its wings proudly displayed. With the approval of this seal by the President of the United States in 1955, the emblem centered on the seal was adopted as the official Marine Corps emblem.

The eagle, globe, and anchor insignia is a testament to the training of the individual Marine, to the history and traditions of the Marine Corps, and to the values upheld by the Corps. It represents “those intangible possessions that cannot be issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the traditions for generations of warriors past.” Said retired Sergeant Major David W. Sommers, “the emblem of the Corps is the common thread that binds all Marines together, officer and enlisted, past and present…The eagle, globe and anchor tells the world who we are, what we stand for, and what we are capable of, in a single glance.”

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