US Navy Corpsman

Marine down! Corpsman up!!!

“Out of every 100 men of the United States Navy and Marine Corps who were wounded in World War II, 97 recovered. That is a record not equaled anywhere, any time”. Quote from “The Hospital Corps United States Navy. A Commendation by the Secretary of the Navy” released after the end of World War 2.

During World War 2 the USMC did not have its own medical personnel. Instead they relied on the Navy for this. You got to have the greatest respect for those guys, not only had they the dangerous job of rushing out to treat wounded Marines they also had to do their bit of fighting as the Japanese did not ratify the Geneva convention. Medics and litter bearers where legitimate targets to them. This is the reason why as the war progressed most corpsmen where armed, at first with M1911 pistols later with M1 Carbines. For the same reason red cross armbands and helmet markings where almost never worn.

In combat Navy corpsmen usually wore exactly the same uniforms and equipment as the Marines they were attached to. Since no red crosses or other markings were used you could only differentiate them from regular marines by their special medic gear. You can get really creative with a Corpsman impression, a lot of interesting combinations of uniforms and equipment can be used. Partly depending on the units the corpsmen were attached to and partly depending on the preferences of the individual corpsman. Almost everything is possible, you can even see BAR belts being used instead of medical pouches for example.

Here are some pictures of what a Corpsman might have carried during the later stages of WW2.

Full Corpsman harness with two Navy 14-450 medical pouches:

In the field it was common not to carry the full set but just one 14-450 pouch attached to a sling.

On the photos you can see Navy 14-450 medical pouches with harness, P41 Utility jacket, Pistol belt, M1 carbine pouch, Jungle First aid kit, first aid kit, Bolo knife, Navy MKII knife. The medical pouches and harness are great reproductions from ATF, everything else in original. If i had not forgotten to take a picture of the back you would see two canteens as well…

More variations as well as early war setups will follow.

~ by m1pencil on September 19, 2010.

6 Responses to “US Navy Corpsman”

  1. Very nice article and pictures again.
    Always a pleasure to read you blog.
    Ever thought of making an Army-Blog too?

  2. At the moment USMC/IJA only. Maybe Army and other WW2 stuff as well in the future, just need to find more time!!!

  3. Very nice display! Awesome original items!

  4. Where did you get the torso to display this? I’ve been looking on eBay for a similar one but have had no luck. Will you be posting more corpsman stuff later on? Great stuff! Love your page 👍

    • Hi, I bought some years ago on eBay. Try searching for “dress form”.

      I have more stuff planned 😉 quite busy currently so it will take some time.

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