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U.S. Army Uniforms of World War One - Overseas Caps

Introducing the Overseas Cap (Stars and Stripes, 1918)

The writer who toiled over the attached STARS and STRIPES article worked very hard to convince his Doughboy readership that the latest piece of U.S. Army headgear was "made on a scientific plan", terribly stylish and well-worth having around:

"It has neither brim nor visor...It is better made than the old cap. It fits more neatly, looks more chic, adapts itself far more genteelly to the average Doughboy braincase."

"To put it in a word, the new cap is natty. And the old cap was not even hatty."


The Introduction of the U.S Army Overseas Cap (New York Times, 1918)

A NEW YORK TIMES correspondent reported from Washington what the official line was as to why the U.S. Army had seen fit to toss out the campaign hat in preference to the European-style Overseas cap:

"When the Americans entered the trenches," said an official statement today, "it was found that the brim of their campaign hat interfered with sighting through the trench periscopes and that the high crown, in the case of tall men, could be seen above the parapets. The new cap is so low that it permits the men to move with the same freedom as when they are hatless."


Manufacturing the Overseas Cap (America's Munitions, 1919)

"The production of the overseas cap for the American Expeditionary Forces was likewise an extensive undertaking. When the requisition for overseas caps came from France, it was not possible to design one here because of a lack of knowledge as to what was required... As soon as [a] sample was received a meeting of cap makers was called in New York, and 100 manufacturers attended. One and all agreed to turn over their factories to the exclusive production of overseas caps until all requirements were met. It took these cap makers only two weeks to to turn out the first order. In all 4,972,000 caps were delivered."

The concluding paragraph contains more venomous comments as to what these American milliners thought of the lid.

From Amazon: America's Munitions, 1917-1918.


The W.W. I Overseas Cap Will Remain (Stars and Stripes, 1919)

A STARS & STRIPES clipping from 1919 announcing to both Army and Marines that the era of the overseas cap had arrived and was not going away anytime soon:

"The overseas cap, which has (not) protected its wearers from the rains of sunny France and the suns and snows and sleets all over the A.E.F., will be permitted to remain the official headgear of the returning troops after they get back to the States."


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