Military History/WWI Uniform


John M. Gould wrote at 2013-12-02 04:01:35
It appears that he is a Chief Machinist (not to be confused with a machinist mate) in the US Navy.  The hat device is US Navy and the propeller device on the collar and sleeves indicated that he is a machinist.  He is a Chief Machinist rather than an "ordinary" machinist because he wears a broader stripe on his sleeve and an "ordinary" machinist would have a crossed anchor insignia on the hat without the eagle device of a commissioned officer.  Chief machinists were considered commissioned officer and were, thus, allowed to wear the commissioned officers cap device.  

Machinists were warrant officers in a special rank category between officers and enlisted men and they had specialized knowledge or skill in their area of expertise.  My guess is that your ancestor joined the Navy during WWI and was discharged shortly thereafter as the Navy downsized after the war.

John M. Gould wrote at 2014-11-22 18:24:20
The uniform appears to be that of a chief machinist in the US Navy (as indicated by the propeller insignia for machinist and the stripe for chief warrant officer).  He probably was commissioned in the US Navy during the first world war - possibly when whatever ship he was on was requisitioned for wartime service.

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william oneill


I can answer questions on uniforms and insignia. General military subjects, British military history & uniforms European armies and histories american militia/national guard all wars weapons, equipment


I currently work for the National Museum of the Marine Corps as a Collections Management Specialist 2006-Present My previous position was the Registrar of the Virginia War Museum. The primary duties at both places was the identification and research of uniforms, insignia, flags, weapons, equipment,and preservation techniques in consultation with conservators. I wrote didactic panels and labels describing the period particular uniforms and equipment were in use. I served as the expert resource for questions on general military subjects for both U.S. and international military operations for local news media. Consulted with History Channel on camouflage uniforms, assisted other museums in identifying military artifacts in their collections, and have written extensive articles in the Virginia War Museum's newsletter, the Correspondent and given lectures on a vary of military topics relating to the operations of United States forces from 1775-Present.

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