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New Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniform

Article about: Is this the rarest WW2 camouflage uniform type to survive to present day? The story; In 1941 the standard combat uniform of the NZ Army in tropical zones was khaki cotton drill. At the begin

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    Default New Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniform

    Is this the rarest WW2 camouflage uniform type to survive to present day?

    The story; In 1941 the standard combat uniform of the NZ Army in tropical zones was khaki cotton drill. At the beginning of the Pacific war this was what troops took to training in Fiji and New Caledonia. It was quickly realized that Khaki drill was largely ineffective for camouflage in the tropical jungle environment. There the colours green and dark shadows dominate. Field commanders asked for a camouflaged uniform and this was addressed in 1942. In typical "necessity is the mother of invention" the NZ Army took what was the quickest and cheapest option. The standard khaki drill uniform was spray painted in three colours; dark green, light brown and lime green in a mottle irregular pattern which varied in style as it was hand sprayed.
    The result was reasonably effective and certainly an improvement over the khaki uniform. 3,200 camo bush shirts and 4,300 camo BD trousers were produced for NZ pacific troops. In addition the New Zealanders adopted a US made HBT soft cap and a NZ manufactured "boonie" hat. These were also spray camouflaged. At the end of the war, what was left over was sold by the NZ Army to deer stalkers and others and were worn out. This type of camo was never again used by the NZ Army. Few examples of these unique uniforms have survived, those that have are likely to be in New Zealand. But i'm hoping this post might bring some example to light. Perhaps a US GI took an souvenir home and it's origin is now forgotten.
    Perhaps Rene has an example in his pile? A might add that the Pattern 37 webbing was also painted to match the uniform.

    New Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniform
    Last edited by Anderson; 07-17-2018 at 02:13 PM. Reason: add text

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    A series of photos showing the field use of these uniforms follows.

    New Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniform

    New Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniform

    Officers training at Treasury Island, Solomons 1943

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    is this saying that 75,000 items of clothing were manually spray-painted?....three times?

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    No.Numerical error there cut off a zero. I've got some more interesting photos which if I can get into the right format I'll post.

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    Thanks for changing that...but now that leaves my post looking like I can't do the math! :-) ..I thought 32,000 and 43,000 looked a tad high....either way I'm glad I wasn't on that spray gun duty.

    One things for sure, these pieces will be rare by volume and absolutely unique by design....all hand-painted.......a faker's paradise!!

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    New Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniformNew Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniform

    New Zealand troops some in khaki others in NZ camo on Nissan island, Papua new guinea. Actually the guy second from left seems to be wearing US made HBT uniform that was issued to NZ Forces in Vella Lavalla.

    top photo shows a mortar crew engaging Japanese positions at Nissan Island. note use of the camo cap as well.
    Last edited by Anderson; 09-19-2018 at 02:09 AM.

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    New Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniformNew Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniform

    A NZ army patrol being inserted into Japanese held territory with assistance from US Marines. Note NZ soldier front, left has the New Zealand fighting knife in his belt.

    A group photo of NZ Army intelligence staff Nissan Island

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    Thanks for showing.

    In the late 90's ,a work college (CEO) mentioned that his father served in 3rd NZ Div and his camo uniform was on display at NZ Army Museum Waiouru.

    Certainly very rare.

    cheers

    Phill

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    New Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniformNew Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniform

    NZ troops board a US Destroyer from landing craft to be ferried to some attack target. Note the camo boonie hats and peak caps.

    A group of NZ soldiers at Nissan Island 1944.

    New Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniform

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    Closest I have is a Aust work jacket dyed for camouflage reasons, most likely done aboard ship en route to New Guinea
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture New Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniform   New Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniform  

    Regards
    René

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