Wailuna, why didn't you list the other branches? The AF had already swtched over from the Army style. By the way, if your ww2 Army uniforms were still in good shape the AF let you wear them with the new stripes as late as as the '50s. Talk about your weird!
Originally posted by 22115841:...Wailuna, why didn't you list the other branches? ...if your ww2 Army uniforms were still in good shape the AF let you wear them with the new stripes as late as as the '50s....Talk about your weird!
Good idea, 2211...etc. Can Do!
This comparative enlisted rank chart is from The Officer's Guide (17th ed., March 1951). Until July 1952, USAF personnel could choose to wear Army pattern uniforms in lieu of the new USAF Blues and enlisted personnel could wear either the new USAF chevrons or the corresponding Army Chevrons in use when the Air Force separated from the Army in 1947. Note, however, that the USAF did not adopt the Army enlisted rank structure launched in 1948 (i.e., the two-inch wide blue and gold chevrons), rather it retained the obsolete Army chevrons (i.e., OD stripes on dark blue backgrounds) and Army rank titles then in effect.
You want "weird"? Try this: Three BINGO Buddies on post at the NCO Club lobby. This picture shows how this "system" worked in practice ca. 1950:
Note: The sergeant seated on the left is a USAF Technical Sergeant, not an Army Sergeant First Class.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Wailuna,
Been awhile since I last posted here. I noticed a couple of interesting things about the picture. They are all wearing unit patches and hash marks. The hash marks were dropped about the same time I was supposed to get my first one. The unit patches went out,maybe, before I joined in '54. They still wear them on flight suits, tho. Never figured that one out. Those guys are still wearing Army collar emblems and, my favorite, the Ike jacket. By the time I joined in '54 the 1st 3 graders were a/3c;a/2c;a/1c. Still, hats off to you, Wailuna, for being so knowledgable about a lot of different subjects. Keep up the good work!
You have a good eye for detail, 2211. Upon reflection, I would agree to dating the BINGO scene to the winter of 1948 - 1949 rather than ca. 1950. The new USAF chevrons and "pierced" disc collar brass were authorized in August 1948 (as was the Military Air Transport Service shoulder patch the S/Sgt. in the center is wearing). Judging from the mix of stripes and collar brass in this picture, the USAF's transitional uniform obviously was a work in progress. "Hash Marks" and "Hershey Bars" were redesigned to match USAF colors and retained on the new Blues until they were dumped in 1957. In 1950, shoulder patches on Air Force Blues were restricted to overseas wartime service only. Shoulder patches on the Blues were also eliminated entirely about 1957. The latest confirmed sighting of this practice that I have seen shows a couple of Airmen watching the Bob Hope Christmas Show at Keflavik, Iceland, in 1955. Both were ex-soldiers: the A/2c on the left wearing a 1st Cavalry Division patch and a CIB and the other A/2c wearing the Army's WWII ETO/USFET patch.
Just to close the loop, here is the next generation of the comparative enlisted rank chart, taken from The Officer's Guide (19th ed., September 1952), which shows how the Air Force renamed the lower four grades, as well as how the Army had abandoned the 2-inch wide chevron in favor of the the former 3-1/4 inch OD on dark blue chevron of WWII usage. The new Airman rank titles were used officially from April 1952.
TIGER FLIGHT, a publication for former U.S.A.F. Air Police-Security Police-Security Forces, has published intersting history photos of transition period guard mounts in which some are wearing Army OD & others A.F. Blue.
I forgot about the 1st sgt I had in the late '50s who'd been a member of Darby's Rangers. He wore a patch right at the shoulder seam that simply stated "Darby's Rangers" in an arc. He was the last guy I ever saw wearing any kind of extra emblem. One of the nicest guys you'd ever meet.
We also, 340th Periodic Maint. sqdn, had one guy who supposedly was a survivor of the Bataan Death March, but I can't confirm that one.
Originally posted by 22115841:...We also...had one guy who supposedly was a survivor of the Bataan Death March, but I can't confirm that one.
Surprisingly (or not) many POW survivors did reenlist and continued to serve until retirement. If you can remember your man's name, you can look him up on The National Archives WWII POW data base (link here).
Wailuna, I'm not sure I ever did know his name. I just remember more than one person telling me he was a survivor. He'd be standing around or walking and all of a sudden he'd get a grimace on his face of what appeared to be pure pain. That's the main reason I believed the story.
can someone help me with info my birth father was in the Korean War He enlisted in 1952 or 1953 Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I have a picture of him but I don't understand anything about his uniform. Thanks Joni
Originally posted by USARMSGRET:...I know of no Army Rank that would match SP2...
Specialist 2nd Class (E5) ca. 1956 - 1959. The rank was retitled Specialist Five in 1959 and the chevron was slightly modified. This was the initiation of the current generation of the Army's long-running struggle to distinguish enlisted "specialists" from NCOs. The last remaining vestige of this particular scheme is the present day rank of Specialist (E4) which is the pay-grade equivalent of Corporal. I would post illustrations of the SP2 chevron but I am traveling and cannot access my archives.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Wailuna,
Originally posted by konkerby:...My fathers papers show a rank SP 2 (T) he was in the Army artillery. I always thought he was a Staff Seargent. He was in the army from 1953 to 1956. Can you tell me what that rank is?
Here is the enlisted rank chart for 1956 from The Officer's Guide (22nd ed., January 1956):
When you compare this chart with the rank charts posted above, you will see that the Army added four grades of “specialist” ranks (in 1955) and you will also see that the rank of staff sergeant did not exist in the Army in 1956. The Army eliminated the title of “staff sergeant” in 1948 but kept the former staff sergeant chevrons and retitled the rank “sergeant” (the Army restored staff sergeant rank in 1959 but that is beyond the scope of this answer to your questions). Evidently, your father was discharged in 1956 with the temporary rank of specialist 2nd class, or SP 2 (T). Are you getting this information from his discharge papers (or DD Form 214)?
On 1 July 1955, four grades of specialist were established: specialist three (E-4), specialist two (E-5), specialist one (E-6), and master specialist (E-7). In 1958 the DoD added two additional pay grades to give enlisted soldiers more opportunities to progress to a full career with additional opportunities for promotion.
SP3(T) is the modern rank of Specialist or what you would have known as a SP4 in 1979. The actual title would have been Specialist Third Class rather than what we know it as - Specialist pay grade Four. It's even listed that way on the chart above.