This is the sixth and final volume in the U. S. Navy Uniforms In World War II Series by Jeff Warner. This coffee table size book contains some heavy reading. Weighing in at four ounces shy of six pounds, it contains over 1000 photographs of uniforms, equipment and insignia from WWII. Most of the photographs arc in color and arc of exceptional quality.
Of particular interest to the submarine community arc the pictures of the Enlisted Submarine Qualification Mark (Dolphins) which when first authorized, was a cloth patch worn on the right sleeve of the jumper between the wrist and elbow. The metal qualification pin was not authorized for enlisted men until 1950.
Also of interest is the fact that sea ratings i.e. Torpcdoman and Boatswains Mate, were worn on the right sleeve while engineering and other ratings, Machinists Mate and Cooks/Bakers were worn on the left. Some of the more obscure insignia depicted arc Expert Lookout, Mailman (the original Postal Clerks) Scaman Watch, Scaman Guard , Firefighter and Shore Patrol.
One photo, in particular, stands out in my mind: a picture of a LT Samuel D. Trusty setting out flare cartridges for a training class on the Very pistol with a lighted cigarette hanging from his lip. In today’s world, this most likely would bring the immediate wrath of the safety police.
There is a wealth of very interesting information in this book. Way too much to list here. For instance, the Other Sea Services in the books title include the Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, Public Health Service, U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey and a very interesting chapter on the FIT A FIT A, an elite Samoan Island guard force organized by Capt. Benjamin Tilley, the first CO of the U .S Naval Station on Samoa.
This is a great book filled with fascinating facts and photos of the Navy during WWII. It will be a great benefit to Naval Historians and especially libraries and military museums as a valuable reference book.