The OSS-101 Association is in the process of redesigning their website and planning our next national reunion, scheduled to be held in October around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We hope to unveil the new website, including veteran profiles, news and photos of our events and overseas humanitarian programs, and much more.
OSS Detachment 101 veterans and the relief programs they run in Burma were recently featured across the world in a story written by Associated Press reporter Denis L. Gray. Click here to see the copy that ran, among other places, on the front page of Yahoo! World News.
Until then, please feel free to browse our current site and be sure to stop at the Newsletters page to find the most up-to-date information about the veterans, the Association, and our programs. Thank you for your interest.
– The veterans of OSS-101
“With many members in the jungles for months, Detachment 101 was not long on spit and polish. The clothing was the thing, not the uniform regulation. Mixing of khaki and olive drab (OD) herringbone twill (HBT) was standard – not regulation but frequently done. Rank insignia was not worn in the field. All web gear was OD, but in a variety of hues.
The man at the left wears the normal campaign hat. White and OD T-shirts were worn. The automatic rifle (AR) cartridge belt has three large ammo pockets on each side. The large pockets of the HBT trousers are clearly seen. His jungle boots (canvas boots to the 101 ers) had rubber soles and calf-high uppers; they were tennis shoes gone to war. They dried rapidly and were well liked. He is armed with a Johnson AR, which was tried in the Detachment but never accepted; the AR of choice among the Detachment’s men was the Bren.
The next man wears the billed HBT cap. HBT jacket with large pockets, and khaki shorts. The M1943 two-buckle boots with rough russet leather are clearly recalled by 101ers. Leather boots were not popular in the jungle since they stayed wet and were hard on the feet. Carbines were found in both wooden and folding stock style. The pistol belt, with first aid pouch on the right and ammo pouch on the left, was worn with the carbine. Knives were carried since they were handy tools in the jungle. Americans carried a pistol in either a shoulder or side holster. Lieutenant Vince Curle received General Donovan 150 miles inside the Japanese line in just such a rig. Interestingly Detachment 101 was in places where woolen sweaters and field jackets were wanted and worn.
The third man wears the Gurhka hat with brim turned up. It was also worn brim flat with a variety of crown shapes. Pork pie, cowboy and cavalier hats and even beanies were worn, too. Khaki shirts and trousers together were not normal, given the supply situation. The leather holster used had no US flap markings. The “fat” toe cap signals the Corcoran jump boot. The wings and jump boots indicate a US trained and qualified jumper, an unusual fellow. The straight magazine Thompson replaced the earlier drum model. Flight gear and the one-piece HBT work suit were seen on the flying personnel.
The Kachin wears US gear, which was highly prized. Since they were much smaller than the Americans there were obvious size problems. Locally made sandals looked like flip flops and were also used by Americans while around camp or on “safe” marches. The Ranger’s dah had a wooden scabbard and handle and was ubiquitous.” Loy Conley, Ed Milligan