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Short Pants - 6/13/2010 1:02:02 AM   
jomni


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The British and Australian fought wearing short pants.
The Japanese too.
But why not the Americans?


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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 1:21:42 AM   
tocaff


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They didn't want to scratch their legs.  

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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 1:32:21 AM   
JohnDillworth


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probably the only thing they weren't short of at the start of the war

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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 1:39:39 AM   
wdolson

 

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I think some it may have to do with cultural differences.  Americans were less formal in general than those other cultures.

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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 1:41:25 AM   
jomni


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Hehe.  So short pants are formal tropical wear. 

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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 2:08:31 AM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jomni

The British and Australian fought wearing short pants.
The Japanese too.
But why not the Americans?



I'm pretty certain that the USN had a short pants uniform, at least for officers. I think it used a pith helmet, and there was a local temperature rating that had to be exceeded to trigger its use. I could look if you're interested.

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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 2:51:49 AM   
jomni


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58
I'm pretty certain that the USN had a short pants uniform


You mean this one?


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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 4:43:52 AM   
m10bob


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Maybe somebody has already done a study of the affects of wearing short garb in razor grass, infested with fire ants, all kinds of poisonous vegetation.
In the environs of southeast Asia where I was "allowed to live" for a bit in the seventies, I wore long pants and long shirts, because of all the above, AND the sun.

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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 7:33:53 AM   
bradfordkay

 

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Long, loose cotton pants are preferable in hot, sunny climes. They help prevent sun poisoning - and are better at protecting you from all the nasties that live in the jungle. For one, kunai grass can cause nasty cuts which tend to turn septic in the south Pacific climate. 

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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 7:35:37 AM   
YankeeAirRat


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There was until recently an official USN uniform instruction that authorized at regional command word, a pair of shorts for the working white and general utilities uniform. As the working whites were being phased out along with the utilities so were they are being removed from the instructions. I will have to dig it up, but i had pictures of China station and Cavitie sailors standing shore patrol in working whites with shorts on in the summer time. These shorts were locally manufactured from taking the long pants and having the legs tailors to just above knees. Dungarees did not have a short pant option. So as more sailors joined the Navy during the war the option in general usage just phased itself out since most places didn't get warm enough to require or make it worthwhile to have as an option shorts. As for the US Army and US Marine Corps, well as far as I know and have been able to research; they have not had short pant option in their uniform instructions. Most of their uniforms had an ability to breath and work moderately well in warmer climates. So it wasn't something that occurred. Remember even with the territories of Guam, Philippines, and some of the other Micronesia islands; where the major US Army and US Marine bases where, again most of the time the temperatures and size of the bases did not make it a requirement to modify (or even local modify) the uniform instruction. The only exception was the US Marine Corps, some of the territorial units in America Soma had a Sarong as an option for the Samoan Natives, and only Samoan natives were authorized to wear a red sarong with a khaki top that had thier rank stitched on it.

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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 2:43:07 PM   
wdolson

 

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If you're a sailor and coming into frequent contact with hazardous vegetation, you're either shipwrecked or you've been transferred to the Marines.  

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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 3:59:56 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: m10bob

Maybe somebody has already done a study of the affects of wearing short garb in razor grass, infested with fire ants, all kinds of poisonous vegetation.
In the environs of southeast Asia where I was "allowed to live" for a bit in the seventies, I wore long pants and long shirts, because of all the above, AND the sun.


m10bob is indeed correct. Think about trekking. Some urban dwellers use short pants... the poor things (and legs)... they don't know the nature (brambles, thistles and other nasty plants for your naked legs) "Oh, is that a tree? Really?"

In the jungle it has to be even worse.

< Message edited by TulliusDetritus -- 6/13/2010 4:01:28 PM >


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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 6:43:26 PM   
joliverlay

 

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I think one of the reasons for full clothing on US ships was to minimize burns. The navy did some testing and found that cotton provided better protection than other materials or no cover from steam and heat. I think I read this in Dunnigan's book on the war in the pacific.

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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 9:54:10 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson

If you're a sailor and coming into frequent contact with hazardous vegetation, you're either shipwrecked or you've been transferred to the Marines.  


Seabees.

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RE: Short Pants - 6/13/2010 10:01:23 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: YankeeAirRat

I will have to dig it up, but i had pictures of China station and Cavitie sailors standing shore patrol in working whites with shorts on in the summer time. These shorts were locally manufactured from taking the long pants and having the legs tailors to just above knees. Dungarees did not have a short pant option. So as more sailors joined the Navy during the war the option in general usage just phased itself out since most places didn't get warm enough to require or make it worthwhile to have as an option shorts.


I have to disagree with this. From the official USN hisotry site:

"8. Expansion of Uniform Types; World War II

The global requirements of World War II increased the variety of uniforms available, as well as color proliferations. Shorts, with helmets and open necked shirts were adopted for use in the warm climates of the combat theater. The color of the primary working uniform was officially changed from khaki to slate gray in 1943. Gray was found to be a non-distinctive color better suited for camouflage at sea than khaki. Black lace replaced gold. However, this decision was not favorably received, and gold lace was permitted a few months later. But the officer corps was still not satisfied and ALNAV No. 406 reversed the decision of 1943 and reinstated khakis as the working uniform."

http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/uniform_history.htm#en8





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