Nice Mackinaws

Via the California State Military Museums Program, the below amazing original color photos show an inspection of elements of the newly-formed California State Guard’s 5th Infantry Regiment by the commander of the 4th Infantry Regiment at the CSG’s Camp Ribidoux in Riverside, circa 1942-ish.

Notably, the State Guardsmen are issued Great War-era M1917 “American Enfield” bolt action rifles with 10-pocket belts and long M1917 pattern bayonets, both modified from original British designs. 

Another notable piece of gear is the Mackinaw-cloth plaid jackets, likely drawn from old “Tree Army” Civilian Conservation Corps stocks, an item ordered originally by the U.S. Army that would remain a standard issue for civilian DOD contract construction workers in Iceland and other cold climes during WWII. 

As noted by CSMMP the stocks may have been around when the CGS moved in:

Formerly a labor camp, Camp Ribidoux served as a regimental headquarters, training center, supply depot, and field hospital for the State Guard. Later during the war, the camp was transferred to the Army Service Command’s 9th Service Command for use as a prisoner of war camp.

Both the old CCC guys and the State Guardsmen would likely find it hilarious that hipsters now pay $1K for Japanese repros of the same coat.

Of interest, during my recent trip to the CMP Marksmanship Park last week, the Creedmoor shop had several surplus M1917 returns, via Anniston Army Depot, all with dark bores, likely recently sent back to the Army from closing VFWs. 

They are a much better buy than Japanese repro CCC Mackinaws, in my opinion.

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