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Japanese Navy Winter Service Soft Caps
Old 05-22-2005, 10:42 AM   #1
Eric Doody
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Default Japanese Navy Winter Service Soft Caps

As a follow-up to an earlier discussion on this forum, and as a follow-up to the thread on Japanese Navy summer service soft caps, I offer the following scanned photograph of four (4) Japanese Navy winter service soft caps. The caps, from left to right, are:

- a Navy seaman's cotton winter service soft cap with white or tan colored hand-sewn anchor on black oval backing insignia; sewn-on chin strap; and hand-sewn-on wooden foul weather coat button with fouled anchor design (button was sewn above the hand-sewn/stitched anchor)

- another Navy seaman's cotton winter service soft cap with yellow machine woven anchor on black oval backing insignia and sewn-on chin strap

- a theater-made Navy petty officer's wool winter service soft cap with yellow (anchor) and black bevo insignia that originally came from a seaman's winter service dress "Donald Duck" cap tally; hand-sewn-on chin strap; and hand-sewn-on single white "petty officer's" stripe

- and finally, a Navy officer's wool winter service soft cap with yellow felt anchor and cherry blossom on black wool oval backing insignia; Navy officer visor hat gold colored brass retaining clips with anchor and cherry blossom motif; black leather chin strap; and double white "officer" stripes

The seaman and petty officer caps have white rectangular-shaped procurement office/name tags sewn on the inside of the caps while the officer's cap has only a white diamond-shaped name tag sewn on the inside of the cap. Each of the caps are equipped with side air vents and cap ties. The officer's cap is lined on the inside (with a white colored cotton lining) while the seaman and petty officer caps are not (lined).

These black colored seaman, petty officer, and officer winter service soft caps where used from the around the mid-to-late 1930's through about, or around, 1943, when the caps were phased-out and replaced by the green colored Type 3 (i.e., Model 1943) service soft caps which were used until the end of the war in 1945. (Some winter service soft caps were re-issued later in the war.)
Note: Variations of these caps exist. In general, earlier caps were equipped with yellow felt anchors (and cherry blossoms) on black oval backing insignia while later caps were typically equipped with black machine woven anchors (and cherry blossoms) on black oval backing insignia. (I also believe I have seen an officer's cap with yellow (anchor, cherry blossom, and wreath) and black bevo insignia.)
Following the war, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) used winter service soft caps similar to the ones shown here and still use similar caps today to the best of my knowledge. (The JMSDF caps that I have seen were not equipped with the World War II style sewn-in tags and had international "do not machine wash" labels on the inside of the caps. I do not know if these JMSDF caps will or will not "pass" the black light test.)

Reproduction seaman, petty officer, and officer winter service soft caps have been reproduced for years and are still being reproduced today. (I have not handled any of these reproduction caps and thus do not know how the reproduction winter service soft caps differ from the World War II or earlier winter service soft caps.)

Finally, I do not know if souvenir seaman, petty officer, and officer winter service soft caps were, or still are, available from places such as Yasukuni Shrine.

If anyone has any questions pertaining to this thread, or these caps, please let me know. Otherwise, I will work on the green colored Navy Type 3 (i.e., Model 3) service soft caps next followed by Navy Landing Force service soft caps.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg navywintercaps.jpg (57.5 KB, 275 views)

Last edited by Eric Doody; 05-22-2005 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 05-25-2005, 06:18 PM   #2
helmhunter
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Hi Eric,
I don't question to ask for the moment but I really appreciate seeing those caps.
I hope will neet you at the next SOS.
Best regards
Philippe
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Old 05-28-2005, 08:01 AM   #3
Eric Doody
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Philippe,

I am glad you enjoyed seeing the photos of the caps.

I also hope to be able to meet you at next year's SOS.

Eric


Quote:
Originally Posted by helmhunter
Hi Eric,
I don't question to ask for the moment but I really appreciate seeing those caps.
I hope will neet you at the next SOS.
Best regards
Philippe
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Old 05-28-2005, 09:26 AM   #4
blinky
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Eric

Do you know if they retained the anchor and mum insignia on the early JMSDF officer caps?

the other eric
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Old 05-28-2005, 09:48 AM   #5
Eric Doody
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Eric (a.k.a. Blinky),

I looked at what I believed was a JMSDF officer's summer service soft cap within the past year and for the life of me I can't remember what the cap had on it for insignia. I want to say that the cap had the anchor and cherry blossom, but don't hold me on that.

Eric
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Soft caps
Old 05-28-2005, 01:59 PM   #6
A.E. Hamilton
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Default Soft caps

My recollection is that stripes were added to the soft caps in about 1941 to designate petty officer or officer. I think this was done about the same time that that the Japanese Navy did away with the round ratings and went to the shield type rating. Several years ago I traded a pre war non-striped officers blue cap to Bob Rolfe (he is probably the most knowlegable of Japanese navy stuff in the U.S. and certainly has the best collection) and it of course had no issue label but rather a diamond shaped label and had an extremely fine felt anchor. It was certainly the nicest soft cap that I have ever owned.
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Old 05-28-2005, 02:27 PM   #7
Eric Doody
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A.E.

Welcome to the forum.

Yes, prior to mid-1942 (you can check with Bob on this date) stripes were added to the winter and summer service caps for petty officers and officers. Prior to that date, caps were not equipped with rank stripes.

I was hoping to edit my original postings so as to include this information, but hadn't gotten around to making the changes.

Thanks for your feedback and I look forward to additional posts from you now that you have found the Japanese Militaria Forum.

Eric

Last edited by Eric Doody; 05-28-2005 at 06:01 PM.
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soft caps
Old 05-28-2005, 06:48 PM   #8
A.E. Hamilton
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Default soft caps

I did find a picture of the early officers soft hat unfortunately it is a black and white photo. Obviously has a leather chin strap.
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Old 05-29-2005, 11:56 AM   #9
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Thanks Eric. I know the peaked cap insignia changed right away but it's almost impossible to find good 1950's photographs of the officers soft caps. I have an officers cap that came with a collection of materials from an early JMSDF officer and it appears almost identical to the war-time issue caps. The later JMSDF caps have kind of a "junky" feeling to them, more synthetics and lighter materials. When I get my camera back this afternoon I'll take a picture of mine and see what you think.


eric
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