Military History/Mittens


QUESTION: My father served on a U.S. Navy fleet tug in World War 2, the U.S.S. Pawnee (ATF-74).  His crew was famous for rescuing the heavy cruiser, U.S.S. Houston, after several crippling torpedo hits by Japanese aircraft defending Formosa Island in October 1944.

While cleaning out his house, I found these leather mittens among his collection of memorabilia.  There is a ridge of heavy padding on the palm side where the fingers would curl.  U.S. BG-1 is stamped on the palm.

A photo of the mittens can be viewed here:

I thought they might be gunner gloves, as there were guns mounted on the Pawnee, or have something to do with boxing, as my dad did some boxing in the Navy.  Can you identify them, and their purpose?

ANSWER: Hello Timothy, your gloves could foul weather types, I don't think they're "boxing gloves" , I took a quick look at "military issue" types in WW2 and most were usually in a brown leather color and had much longer area of "lacing/tie up" areas in the palm ,yours just has an "expansion" like area with no laces, boxing gloves usually had tie up laces like shoes, also they were very heavily padded much more than yours and the 'thumb" area on almost all of them was much higher up the sides and thicker padded.

I am at present leaning towards some type of "cold weather" type of gloves , if he was a gunner they could have been worn during bad/cold weather at sea, or just regular use when using the gun.

Did you check the insides of each glove to see if there may be  "tag" or "stamped" area of 'type" issue they are ??????????

Sometime you have to check inside of gloves,shirts etc for them , it may be a very small one , but if there it should help in the ID of what they are .

if you can find anything tag wise let me know what is there and I'll see then what i can find on them .

Sorry at present I can't be of more help , first time I've seen gloves like these, also my specialty is really in the aviation emblem field , awaiting your next reply .
have a great thanksgiving !

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Thank you for your initial response.  I examined the inside of each mitten but there is no tag or other marking on the inside.  The only marking is the "U.S. BG-1" stamp on the palm.

If these are simply cold weather gloves, why do they have that ridge of heavy padding on the palm? When you put the gloves on and make a fist, that ridge feels like a piece of rope.


Hello again  Tim, what I was trying to convey was that I think they could be "Gunners gloves" but for use in cold weather as well , the padding in the palm to lessen the shock of the vibrations from the gun in use .

But I could be tcould be totally wrong and they could be just simple boxing gloves, I am still trying to find out on them .

They are an odd type if they're boxing gloves .

If I comeup with anything new I will be sure to inform you on it .

Would you possibly have any photos of him during his boxing times that may show gloves in use ?  

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Johnny Signor


WW2 USAAF/USN/USMC flying unit emblem identification,Official and Unofficial types,some of thier aircraft used,WW2 era only please.


approximately 20+ years

self taught in the area of emblems of the military

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