Friday, July 30, 2010

1942 model 88B US Mountain Rucksack

After a number of weeks of trying to coordinate a meeting with a woman here in town who wanted to donate a rucksack of hers to my bike project-restoration, finally came together! I picked up the rucksack yesterday afternoon and was thrilled and surprised to see that it was not, in fact, a Vietnam era ALICE pack, but is actually a 1942 Mountain-Ski Troop rucksack! The top picture is an actual period photo showing how the gear is attached to the pack.

The date and maker tag in the main flap pocket.

The official US designation of the rucksack is: J.Q.D. 88B. The J.Q.D. stands for Jeffersonville Quartermaster Department and 88B is their model number. They were produced in 1941, 1942 and 1943. They were designed by and for the 10th Mountain Division of the US Army for use by the ski and mountain troops.
The pack is in very good shape and should clean up well. It will be used to carry the extra gear that the BGS bicycle can't carry. The era of the pack is even correct!
Here are a few shots of the new pack. You will notice a hook on one shoulder strap, a hanging clip on the waist frame, and a large grommet on the top leather near the neck. These were used to carry the rifle while skiing.

Here is how the riffle carrying rig was set up. The clip on the frame clipped into the bottom sling swivel on the rifle.
The woman who gave me this back pack traveled to Europe in the early 1960's and traded her luggage for this pack when she arrived. She said the man she got the pack from was a veteran returning from Vietnam. She used the pack as she traveled through Europe and then later as she traveled and lived in Israel. From my internet research on this model of pack, it seems that some of these packs were issued to US troops in the very early years of the Vietnam War. The packs were unissued old stock from WW2.

This pack has been a VERY treasured possession of hers for all of these years and I am very grateful that she has decided to give it a new life in my project. It has a great, new home!

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