Original U.S. WWI Named US Marine Corps 9th Marine Regiment P1917 Forest Green Uniform Set - Corporal Hoke A. Smith
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a fantastic, untouched condition United States Marine Corps “Forest Green” P1917 uniform set. The uniform belonged to Corporal Hoke HA Smith, who served with the 126th and 154th Companies, 9th Marine Regiment. The uniform is offered in phenomenal condition for its age!
In the early 1900s, the Marine Corps added service uniforms for work and field use, replacing the “undress” uniform category used in the Civil War. The Marine Corps initially had both summer and winter service uniforms, but by the time the U.S. entered WWI, the Forest Green colored winter service uniform had become the standard field and combat uniform for both hot and cold climates.
When the Marines made it to France in 1917, they were still equipped with the Forest Green uniforms. The Marines saw fierce fighting while wearing this uniform, but there was an issue with it. The Forest Greens were similar in appearance to the enemy uniforms seen on the various fronts, and during many fog of war situations, Marines were mistaken for being the enemy due to their similar appearance. By the end of the war, most of the Marine Corps had ditched their greens for the more favorable US Army olive drab and khaki uniforms. It is actually really common to come across a named US Army uniform that was worn by a Marine, and some Army uniforms can be found with USMC insignia present on them.
The uniform itself is in wonderful condition with minimal moth nips present on both the tunic and the trousers. The tunic is named on the inside of the lining with HA SMITH, and after a quick search we believe this to be Hoke Smith, who is seen mustering with the 9th Marines in late 1918 and 1919. The 9th Marines were activated at Quantico, Virginia, on November 20, 1917. A month later, they deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and were attached to the 3rd Marine Brigade. That same month, they redeployed with the brigade to Galveston, Texas, in case of any German operation in the Caribbean or in Mexico. After World War I, the regiment was deactivated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 25, 1919.
The tunic features wonderful period applied Corporal, Service and Overseas chevrons, as well as a lovely worn WWI Victory Medal and Ribbon. The left and right shoulders had wonderful, period correct Corporal chevrons, still completely attached. The left sleeve is where this gets interesting. The Red Discharge Chevron is positioned directly underneath the Corporal chevron on the left shoulder, almost giving it the appearance of a Sergeant chevron. These stripes are seen in a wide variety of positions up and down the left sleeve, some are even seen being upside down. The regulation for the chevron was pointed upwards, centered on the sleeve and midway between the elbow and the shoulder. Due to the inability to effectively “spread the word” on this somewhat new regulation, the Marines knew that the chevron was supposed to be on the left sleeve, however, the position was unclear. Sewing on the discharge chevron was optional as long as the uniform was not worn after three months of the date the soldier was discharged. That’s why so many WWI service coats turn up without the red discharge chevron sewn onto the left sleeve. The lower left sleeve, just above the cuff, 3 overseas chevrons can be found. The included trousers are in matched condition and still has the original web belt present.
This is an incredible and rather rare uniform set, belonging to a member of the finest fighting force the world has ever seen! Comes more than ready for further research and display.
Collar to shoulder: 9.5"
Shoulder to sleeve: 25”
Shoulder to shoulder: 16.5”
Chest width: 19”
Waist width: 17"
Hip width: 20”
Front length: 31"
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