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J. ARNOLD, S. SINTON, illustrated by DARKO PAVLOVIC
US COMMANDERS OF WORLD WAR II. NAVY AND USMC

F: THE CARRIER WAR

F1: Admiral William "Bull" Halsey

Perhaps more than any other flag officer, Admiral Halsey is identified with the US Navy's efforts in the war against Japan. With his nickname "Bull," Halsey is typified as the "Old Salt" but one little-known fact about Halsey is that he is one of the few officers that obtained flag rank who had a tattoo sporting a large fouled anchor (rope wrapped around the anchor) on his right shoulder The more conventional portion of Halsey's uniform consists of the khaki shirt and trousers with the four stars of a full admiral on his shirt collar. The admiral, being a member of the aviation branch of the navy, wears brown shoes rather than the black of the surface navy. The cap is one of the many eccentric forms of headgear sported by flag officers, contrary to regulations.

F2: Admiral John Sidney McCain

Admiral McCain was also a member of the aviation branch of the US Navy so he, too, wears the brown shoes of that service. Admiral McCain, in a service known for the odd headdress of its commanders, wears a hat that is in a class of its own. Although the hat was a khaki service dress hat, McCain has removed the dress band that gives the cap its stiffness and pulled the cover back to such an extent that it has lost all of its original shape.

F3: Commander John Thatch

Commander Thatch is dressed in the khaki shirt and aviation green trousers, with a green overseas cap. The rest of his uniform is completed with the addition of a USN-style brown leather flight jacket with a fur collar. Originally, these collars were of a dark brown shade but repeated exposure to salt air had the effect of bleaching the fur to an almost russet shade. Often, the flight jacket would be adorned with the insignia of the owner's squadron painted on the breast of the coat.

F4: The Naval Aviator's wings

All of the figures portrayed on this plate were members of the fraternity of Naval Aviators and. as such, were entitled to wear the wings of a Naval Aviator on their uniforms. These wings could be either an embroidered style or the more common removable metal wings.

G: "ISLAND HOPPING"

G1: General Holland "Howling Mad" Smith

General Smith, being a front line combat general, wears the USMC combat uniform of a one-piece herringbone twill (HBT) pattern jump suit. Along with the HBTs, the general wears the M-1 pattern steel helmet and liner with a helmet net. Smith carries the M-1 carbine and light OD M1910 pistol web gear (see Men-at-Arms 205: US Army Combat Equipments 1910-1988).

G2: Admiral Kelly Turner

Admiral Turner wears the khaki work uniform with the addition of a non-regulation khaki windbreaker and the khaki overseas cap with USN crest and the twin stars of his rear admiral's rank insignia affixed to it.

General Holland Smith (left) and Admiral Turner are shown during an amphibious invasion. Amphibious landings were always vulnerable to enemy air attack. To Turner's right, a handwritten notice reads, "Every Man a Lookout." Below it are airplane silhouettes to help identify friend from foe. (National Archives)

G3: Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis "Chesty" Puller

Lieutenant-Colonel Puller wears the full dress blue uniform of a marine officer, consisting of blue tunic, medium blue trousers with a scarlet stripe, and a service dress cap with a white cover. On Colonel Puller's medal bar is the award of the Navy Cross, with three gold stars signifying the fact that "Chesty" had won the cross four times for bravery.

G4: The Navy Cross

The award of the Navy Cross was enacted in 1919 in order to reward both US and foreign personnel for either bravery or service. The actual award consists of a bronze cross, suspended from a blue ribbon with a ¼-inch stripe. Several crosses awarded during 1941-42 had a dark gunmetal finish, earning them the nickname "Black Widows" due to the number awarded posthumously.

G5: Insignia of the 2d Marine Division

The patch of the 2d Marine Division was approved for wear in 1943 and consists of a red spearhead, yellow torch, and white constellation of the Southern Cross. The division participated in the Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa invasions.

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