Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “uniforms”

U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf, 1990-1991: With the 1st Marine Division in Desert Shield and Desert Storm

U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf, 1990-1991: With the 1st Marine Division in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. LtCol Charles H. Cureton, USMCR. 1993. 154 pp.

(Paper: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/631292176)

(Text)

(Page Images)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What happened at the Kuwait International Airport during the war?
  • How did the 1st Marine Division interact with their British allies?
  • How many M220A4 TOW II Missile Launchers were available to the 1st Division during the Persian Gulf War?

Description:

From the foreward:

The material in this monograph is based on personal observation, unit command chronologies 1 August 1990 – 30 April 1991 (located in the Archives Section, Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington, D.C. Navy Yard), unit combat operations center journals, situation reports, and interviews.

This work is arranged chronologically, with most of the detail reserved for the actual four day war itself. Background material is provided, as is an index. Between the narrative section and the index are four appendices. The two likeliest to be important to writers of stories set in this period are Appendix B, Major Weapons Systems and Appendix D, Uniforms in the 1st Marine Division.

Allied Marines in the Korean War: Train Wreckers and Ghost Killers

Allied Marines in the Korean War: Train Wreckers and Ghost Killers. Mr. Leo J. Daugherty III. 2003. 64 pp.

Print – http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/55124531

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What did a Royal Marine uniform look like?
  • What did a Republic of Korea uniform look like?
  • What was it like to be covering the retreat of your allies?
  • How were Royal Marine Commandos outfitted during the Korean war?
  • What were some tactics used in commando raids during the Korean war?

Description:

This work focuses on the operations of the UK Royal Marines and the Republic of Korea (South) Marines during the Korean War. The PDF file is well bookmarked by section, something that appears to be rare in the case of digitized historical Marine files. The volume is well illustrated with photographs and some maps. A number of sidebars are in this volume, including Royal Marine Commando equipment and tactics.

World War II era WAVES (Naval History and Heritage Command)

World War II era WAVES (Naval History and Heritage Command) – https://web.archive.org/web/20141026031220/http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/prs-tpic/females/wave-ww2.htm

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What did the acronym WAVES stand for?
  • What duties did the WAVES perform?
  • What did a WAVES uniform look like?
  • What values did WAVES recruiting posters invoke?

Description:

Website featuring many annotated photos and posters of the US Navy women known as WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). Site is divided into the following areas:

  • Recruiting and Training
  • Quarters & Meals
  • Recreation, Leisure & Good Deeds
  • Ship and Aviation Orientation
  • Transportation
  • Occupations – Aviation Related
  • Artworks and posters of wartime WAVES “Recruiting Posters for Women from World War II – The WAVES”.
  • Additional information Women in the U.S. Navy.

Each area has a textual overview up to several paragraphs. This site will be useful in describing WAVES characters and keeping them in era-appropriate occupations.

US Army in World War II Pictorial Record (Center of Military History)

US Army in World War II Pictorial Record (Center of Military History) – http://www.history.army.mil/html/bookshelves/collect/ww2-pic.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What did a P-51 fighter look like?
  • What does antiaircraft tracer fire look like?
  • What did Japanese bucket brigades look like in World War II?
  • What could mail call in the Solomon Islands look like?
  • What did the USS Hornet look like while under attack from dive bombers?
  • Where can I find scenes of urban devastation like that of Osaka in World War II?

Description:

Although part of the larger set of US Army in World War II discussed elsewhere, the Pictorial Record volumes deserve their own entry for their usefulness to writers of stories set in this era. The three volumes in the series are:

  • The war against Japan
  • The war against Germany and Italy: Mediterranean and adjacent areas
  • The war against Germany: Europe and adjacent areas

The aim of these volumes is clearly stated in the foreword to “The war against Japan”:

The photographs have been especially selected to show important terrain features, types of equipment and weapons, living and weather conditions, military operations, and matters of human interest. These volumes will preserve and make accessible for future reference some of the best pictures of World War II. An appreciation not only of the terrain upon which actions were fought, but also of its influence on the capabilities and limitations of weapons in the hands of both our troops and those of the enemy, can be gained through a careful study of the pictures herein presented.

Each volume is divided into sections with a brief historical essay that precedes a group of pictures with commentary. An excellent index in the back of each volume makes it easy to find pictures of weapons, aircraft, ships, locations, allied troops, bomb craters, blasted neighborhoods and more. Finally each volume has a list of abbreviations that may be helpful in understanding other materials besides these photographs.

In addition to serving as aids to describing war scenes, people, weapons and vehicles, the pictures in these volumes are public domain. You can freely illustrate your own work with these photographs, though it would be good to provide a credit back to the pictorial volume and the Center of Military History.

The PDF format of this series does make it harder to use the photographs. You might try using screen clipping tools built into Windows and Macs. From an examination of the volumes it was unclear where one might go to request the originals of these photographs. If anyone has insight into this, please leave a comment or use the “Contact Kari” link at the top of the page.

Securing the Surrender: Marines in the Occupation of Japan

Securing the Surrender: Marines in the Occupation of Japan. Charles R. Smith. 1997. 44 pp.
(Paper: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/38745461)
(Online: https://archive.org/details/SecuringTheSurrender)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • Where can I find pictures of surrendering Japanese troops?
  • How were Marines housed during the early occupation?
  • What duties did Marines have during the occupation?

Description:

A well illustrated account without table of contents or index about the Marines role in the occupation of Japan. Sidebars show interesting stories such as the oldest Marine in the occupation. Work also shows a number of photographs.

Center of Military History Online Photograph Library

Center of Military History Online Photograph Library –  http://www.history.army.mil/html/artphoto/photographs.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What did a radio operator’s equipment look like in World War II?
  • Where can I find scenes associated with the Battle of the Bulge?
  • What did a Buffalo Soldier training camp look like?
  • What did Army Nurse uniforms look like in World War II?

Description:

This library has collections of photographs that encompass a number of eras. The collections that cover World War II are:

  • Battle of the Bulge Images
  • Buffalo Soldiers on the Eve of World War II
  • Images from World War II: The Early Years
  • African Americans in the U.S. Army – Early World War II
  • Images from World War II: Preparing for Battle
  • Photographs of World War II Ireland
  • The Normandy Invasion: The Story in Pictures
  • Army Nurses: World War II & Korean War Images

The presentation of each photograph varies, but you can usually rely on a caption for each photograph. In some cases information about the collection from which this came from will be offered.

Women Marines in World War I

Women Marines in World War I. Capt Linda L. Hewitt, USMCR. 1974. 80 pp.
(Print – http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1448227)
(Online: https://archive.org/details/WomenMarinesInWorldWarI)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • When were women first accepted into the Marine Corps?
  • How did their pay compare with men?
  • What duties did women Marines perform and where were they stationed?

Description:

This 80 page work documents the recruitment, service and eventual disenrollment of hundreds of women who joined the Marine Corps in World War. They joined to free men to fight on the front lines. There are abundant quotes from the female privates and sergeants who served, along with photos and diagrams of uniforms. The back of the book has a bibliography, a partial roster of women in the Marine Corps and a couple of contemporary articles about women Marines.

United States Marines in the War with Spain

The United States Marines in the War with Spain. Bernard C. Nalty. 1959. 1961 reprint. 1967 rev. ed. 20 pp.

(Paper: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/607750876)
(Online)

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How could a US Marine be mistaken for a member of the Salvation Army?
  • What was the state of the US Marine Corps on the eve of the War with Spain?
  • What actions preceded Spain’s declaration of war against the US?
  • How did lack of coordination between the Army and Navy affect the attack on Cuba?

Description:

A short account of the War with Spain/Spanish American War from the view of the US Marines. Told in somewhat dramatic style, it is documented with 28 footnotes taken from American and Spanish sources. The reception of a Marine battalion in New Hampshire at the end of the book might inspire similar post-conflict party scenes in stories of various genres and eras.

The last several pages of the PDF file are out of order.

Army Nurse Corps in the War with Spain (Center of Military History)

The Army Nurse Corps in the War with Spain (Center of Military History) – http://www.history.army.mil/documents/spanam/WS-ANC.htm

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:
How were US Army Nurses attired during the War with Spain?
What did US Army hospital wards look like around 1898?
What did a operating room on a US hospital ship look like around 1898?

Description:

Set of photographs showing Army nurses around 1898 in camps, hospitals and hospital ships.

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