The M1 helmet typified the US GI during World War Two, as did the pink and chocolate coloured uniforms the Officers wore. This section of the site details the various uniforms worn by WW2 GIs in Europe. From this page you can find the various uniforms used by US Forces in Europe, 1940-45.
Three types of Infantry uniform
Early War (not shown)
When the USA entered the war on December 8th 1941 GIs wore the M1939 serge OD service coat ( which was retained as the Class A jacket) and were equipped with the early ‘British type’ battle-bowler M1917A1 helmet. This early-war unifom wasn`t seen in Europe, as most US troops started arriving in 1942, long after it had been superceeded.
As the size of the US Army grew rapidly from a pre-war figure of around 175,000 men to around 1,400,000 by the summer of 1941 ( and then to over 850,000 by the war’s end), uniforms had to be quick to manufacture and hard wearing.
This led to the introduction of the Herringbone Twill (HBT) uniforms and the M41 Parsons jacket, while the M1937 wool trousers were retained for both combat and off-duty use.
The GI was issued the same webbing throughout the war, being the pre-war M1928 pack and M1936 pistol belt with attachments. Towards late 1944 this was gradually replaced with M1944 pattern webbing, although not all GIs recieved this.
(A page detailing the uniform and equipment for this look is in progress. Dec 12 2009.)
By the end of the war, a third uniform began to be seen. This was the M1943 pattern, first issued to the First Special Service Force (FSSF). This uniform however did not reach all front line units until the end of the war in Europe.