Monday, March 28, 2016

US Model 1943 Entrenching Tool, M43 Shovel, Ames 1945, Post-War Re-Paint with 1953 Shovel Cover (Intrenching Tool)

Today we'll be continuing on with another folding shovel.  This shovel is another "version" of the Model 1943 Entrenching Tool. or better known as the "folding shovel".

This shovel is dated 1945 (WW2), and was made by the Ames Company.  The difference between this 1945 Ames shovel, and the 1945 Ames shovel in the previous post, has to do with the paint.

This shovel has two layers of paint visible.  The first color is the WW2 OD Green and the second shade of green is the 1950's OD Green.  This indicates that this shovel was re-issued after WW2, with an update and touch-up to the paint.  

Both the WW2 and Korean War shades of OD Green paint.
This shovel is a very good example of a 1950's "version" of the WW2 folding shovels.  In this paint scheme, the shovel most likely was issued for the Korean War (1950-1953).  Both the Model 1943 and Model 1951 folding shovels would have been issued during this time period.

This shovel is also paired with a post-war, canvas shovel cover.  This cover is dated 1953, and is correct for the later paint scheme on the shovel.  These 1950's styled covers would have been used with the Model 1943 shovels and the early issued Model 1951 shovels (a new style canvas shovel cover, that was specifically designed for the Model 1951 shovels was issued in 1956).
This cover is marked "Intrenching Tool, Combination" , which is the official nomenclature for the Model 1951 shovels. 

Let's take a closer look at the shovel and the shovel cover.  Here is the photo album.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

US Model 1943 Entrenching Tool, M43 Shovel, WW2, Ames 1945, Folding Shovel

Here is the third shovel in our series.   This shovel is a WW2 issue, folding shovel, also know as an entrenching tool.

In 1943, the US Military designed their version of the German Military folding shovel.  It was designated the Model 1943 Entrenching Tool and replaced the old style, Model 1910, T-Handle Shovel.  The Model 1943 shovels were made from 1943 until 1945.  They remained in service well into the 1970's (mostly with Reserve and National Guard units in the later years).  The Model 1943 was officially replaced with the Model 1951 Entrenching Tool (folding shovel) in 1951.

Shovel Models:  M-1951,  M-1943,  M-1910 (WW2)

The Model 1943 shovels were manufactured by several different companies during WW2.  The overwhelming majority of them were made by the Ames Company.

My shovel is dated 1945 and was manufactured by Ames.  The Model 1943 shovels are always marked on the face of the blade with "US", the manufacturer, and date.  If they are not marked in this manner, they are probably a post-war reproduction, and definitely not US issue.

The 1945 dated shovels are by far the most common years encountered.  1943 dated shovels are the rarest.

These folding shovels can be locked into any of three positions: Open, Hoe (90 degrees), or Closed.  The shovel positions are locked into place with a threaded nut tightener.

The shovels were issued with a canvas cover that could be mounted on the pack or carried on the web belt.

Here are a couple of photos from WW2, showing how these Model 1943 shovels were carried by the soldiers in the field.

M-43 shovel being carried on the belt.

You can see the M-43 shovel on the pack of the center soldier.
Now let's take a look at the photo album of this shovel.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

US Model 1910, T-Handle Shovel dated 1943, C.H. & I Co. Inc., WW2 Shovel Entrenching Tool

Here is the next shovel in our series.  

This shovel is a very nice example of one of the WW2 produced, Model 1910, T-Handle shovels.

When the US entered WW2, the first troops were issued the old WW1 surplus Model 1910 shovels.  After the last of the old shovels were issued, the US Military made another production run of the old style shovels, in 1942 and 1943.

The old WW1 surplus Model 1910 shovels were not dated and did not have the manufacturer stamped on them, they only had "US" stampings. They were also not painted.

Here is a link to my posting on one of the old WW1 versions in my collection:

All of the WW2 produced shovels are dated 1942 or 1943, and have the manufacturer stamped on them.  There were a number of different companies that made these shovels during the 2 years of the war that they were produced.  The WW2 versions were also painted green. (The reissued WW1 versions were often painted green in the field during the war, but are not dated).

My shovel was made by C.H. & I. Co. Inc., and is dated 1943.  I have not been able to find any information on this company. Research continues........

1943 was a "transition year" for US shovels.  The new folding shovels were first produced and issued in 1943, as the last of the T-Shovels were made.  You will find 1943 dated folding shovels and T-Handles.

The T-Handle shovels are always stamped "US" on the metal shank of the blade, and on the wood.  
There are also small wood filler-wedges driven in next to the wood handle were it enters the metal blade shank. 

The T-Handle shovels were issued with a khaki, canvas shovel cover that could be worn attached to the belt or on the back of the pack.  Here are two photos of marines during the island fighting in WW2, that show both ways that the shovel was carried.

The Marine on the right is wearing his shovel on the belt.

The Marine on the right has his shovel attached to the pack.

With all that said, let's take a look at the photo album of this WW2 shovel:

In this photo you can see the wood wedge in the handle-to-metal gap.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Model 1951 US Folding Shovel - Entrenching Tool, Ames 1966, M-51 Intrenching Tool

Here is the first in a series of three postings where I'll be showing the latest three shovels that I've added to the collection.

My Yard Sale Treasures: M-51, M-43, and M-1910 shovels.
Over the weekend we visited our annual "community yard sale", at our local fairgrounds, and really hit pay dirt.  Among other various treasures, I picked up three "new" entrenching tools:  A 1945 T-Handle Shovel, 1945 Folding Shovel, and a 1966 Folding Shovel. 

The first of the three that we'll be taking a closer look at is the Model 1951 folding shovel.

The Model 1951 Entrenching Tool (folding shovel), has quite an interesting history, and is one of the more uncommon of the US shovels.

In 1943, the US military adopted their version of the German Folding Shovel, better know as the Model 1943 Entrenching Tool. 

In 1945, just before WW2 ended, the US Military began working on the design for a new version of the folding shovel that incorporated a folding pick along with the shovel blade. The Ames company made several prototypes for the military, but the folding shovel-pick version was never put into full production due to the end of the war.

In 1951, the US Military resumed work on designing a new folding shovel with pick.  In 1951 the new shovel was officially adopted as the Model 1951 Entrenching Tool, and in 1952, the first of the new Model 1951's were produced.

The Model 1951 Entrenching Tools were produced until about 1968.  They saw service in the Korean War, and in the early years of the Vietnam War.  In 1967, they were replaced with the new, all metal,  Model 1967, "Tri-Fold" shovels.
Even after the Tri-Fold shovels became the official US shovel, the old Model 1951's continued in service until they were completely replaced, often as late as the 1980's in some units.

The Model 1951 shovel is a very interesting shovel, and of all the US shovels, was produced in the fewest numbers.  Today they are some of the more sought after US shovels by US collectors, and some of the hardest to find.  In fact, this shovel I picked up, is the only Model 1951 that I have run across in the field, while "treasure hunting"!
The Model 1951 is a heavy shovel.  The heaviest and largest of all of the US entrenching tools.  The handles are longer and thicker, the blade is larger, and the entire pick-folding assembly adds considerable weight to total unit.  In fact, a new style of shovel carrier had to be designed to carry the Model 1951's.

The Model 1951's were too large to fit completely into the old canvas covers.  When carried in the old WW2 style covers, the flap could not be fastened.  To correct this problem, the Model 1956 Shovel Cover was created.  This shovel cover was slightly larger and incorporated a bayonet mounting tab and strap on the outside to carry the M8A1 Bayonet Scabbard (for the old M6 and M7 bayonets).  These covers used ALICE Clips on the back to attach to the web belt.  Luckily I just happened to have one of these old Model 1956 covers waiting for a shovel to fill it!

The shovel blade on the Model 1951 was reshaped into a more traditional, rounded blade, that incorporated two holes in each upper corner.

I am not certain what these holes were for exactly, however I have heard them referred to as "drain holes".  It is just speculation, but possibly they could be used as an alternate carrying method by hanging them through one of the holes on a hook.  It is interesting to note that quite a few other countries produced entrenching tool shovels with the holes in the blade as well: Sweden and China to name a couple.  In Sweden they carried the shovel on a belt hook, clipped through the blade hole.  My research continues for the "official" reason the holes were punched in the US Model 1951 blades.

The wooden handle was made thicker, with flatter sides, making it more oval than round.  A hole was drilled through the end as well.  None of the earlier US shovels had this feature and as far as I know, no lanyards were ever issued with them.  This is another design mystery with these shovels!

My particular shovel is dated 1966, and is stamped Ames, for the manufacturer.  Ames was the largest producer of US Military shovels during this time period. 

I think I've said enough about these unique shovels, so lets take a closer look.  Here is the photo album of the shovel and the canvas carrier.