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Parris Island: 1942

Parris Island: 1942

May 1942. "When a husky leatherneck throws his weight on a line, things come his way. A member of a Marine barrage balloon unit in training at Parris Island, South Carolina, helps to ground one of the big bags that the Corps has added to its kit of fighting tools." View full size. 5x7 safety negative by Alfred Palmer.


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Handsome Rakes

Rockin' Thanks Dave!


Look another candidate for the Hot Guys gallery (you know, the Pretty Girls get a gallery I think it's only fair the guys get one. The crew team should go in as well).

[We already have such a gallery. And this boy is now in it. - Dave]

RE: Vaccination Scar

Interesting - Everyone in our unit had to get the smallpox vaccination in Kuwait while awaiting the green light for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. My scar is about half the size of the one in the picture.

Dog Tag

It looks like two tags together on a rayon cord. I've read the rayon cord was a common way to wear the dog tag. The shape of the tags are similar to a Navy dog tag I have from WW II.

Not a Rosary, but a Chaplet

This very well could be a chaplet, which is a set of Roman Catholic prayer beads, *like* a Rosary, but for other personalized prayer meditations.
This sure as heck looks like a Seven Dolors Chaplet -- a Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows, in honor of Our Lady’s Sorrows.(The Seven Sorrows is a series of meditations on the sufferings of Mary as the Mother of Jesus.)

pictures of RC prayer beads (modern)

and it looks almost *exactly* like this one!!

I would guess that this guy has the center dangling part of the beads draped down his back so it doesn't get in the way of his work.

A chaplet worn like this would not be disrespectful, it would be worn 24-7 as a spiritual protection, and/or as a sign of special devotion or dedication to the Virgin Mary.

[Thank you! - Dave]

Vaccination Scar

Lots of us old geezers have them, right in the same spot too. It's pretty much a mark of anyone born before, say, 1965 or whenever smallpox was wiped out. I can vaguely remember getting mine sometime around 1963; there was a big push to get everyone immunized.

Re: Not A Rosary

Sid: An Anglican rosary is made up of twenty-eight beads divided into four groups of seven called weeks. Perhaps this is an Anglican rosary? I don't know what it is.

Religious medal

Might they be medals of St. Christopher or another saint? There appear to be embossed or raised objects on the flat bits. The shape and size seem about right. It's interesting, he is muscular but some of today's marines could pick him up with one arm! Hope he got through it 0K!

Not a rosary

Rosaries always have a series of 10 beads, than a single bead, then 10 more, which is repeated (almost always) a total of 5 times. It's possible to have 15 sets of 10+1 beads rather than 5, but very unusual (it would be really long), and in any event, they are ALWAYS sets of 10 (called "decades") + a single. The Marine's chain is in sets of 7.

Q.E.D.: This string of beads is not a rosary.

I'll also add that it is considered highly improper to wear one around your neck like this. That doesn't stop people from doing it nowadays in the post-Madonna era, but it would be *really* frowned upon for Catholics in the 1940s. In those years, it's not too likely a non-Catholic would adopt any Catholic articles as a "fashion statement" either.


It's the same as the two tags seen here on the Marines at Camp LeJeune. Detail of the left one below.

Re: Necklace

Maybe it IS a dogtag with the rawhide cord threaded through two opposing holes.

[I think you're right. See above for the flipside. - Dave]


My first thought was that it looks like some kind of specialized tool (P-38 Can Openeresque?), but since the rawhide cord is so short, it wouldn't easily lift over his head if he needed it. Hope someone knows what it is????

[Below, a close-up. - Dave]

Parris Island Marine

Looks like he is wearing a rosary around his neck. Not sure of the object on a rawhide cord. If it's a dogtag, it's unusual.

My uncle trained at Parris Island in early 1942. Went from there to the South Pacific and the invasion of Guadalcanal.

Vaccination scar

Is that a vaccination scar on his upper arm?

[That's what it looks like. Smallpox maybe. - Dave]



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