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DATING vietnam gear & uniforms

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BerichtGeplaatst: 17-04-2012 12:50:45    Onderwerp: DATING vietnam gear & uniforms Reageren met citaat

How to Date Items

Nearly all items can be dated with the information on the stamped or sewn-on label. A typical label will include the official name of the item, a contract number, the name of the manufacturer, used materials and maintenance instructions (sizes were often on another label). The key is in the contractnumber. Below is an example (part) of a typical lable:

Coat, Man's Cotton Wind Resistant Rip Stop
Poplin OG 107 Class I
DSA 100-69-C-1162 100% cotton
Richard Wynn Enterprises Inc.

Pre-1960 made items were usally clearly dated with a month/day/tear stamp. From 1961 till 1976 DSA (Defense Supply Agency) and sometimes DA was used. In 1976 this was changed to DLA (Defence Logistics Agency). All original Vietnam-used kit has a contract number prefix of DSA (and in some cases FSN or DA), as DLA material is per definition of post Vietnam-conflict manufacture. The FSN number was introduced in 1959 and replaced with NSN in the mid 1970's. It is just a government stocknumer and is not relevant for dating items, except that are pre-mid 1970's. This number usually appears together with a DSA number.

Early DSA codes did not have the fiscal year in them, and sometimes additonal date markings can be found on the item although these were simplyfied to a month/year combination around 1961. This was done until around 1965, when the date stamp was dropped. Items made in the fiscal year 1965-1966 are not dated (but do have an early type DSA number), and in 1967 the fiscal year was included in the DSA number: the '100' following the prefix is a NATO-country code for the United States, and the next 2 numbers indicate the year of production. The 'C' and the rest of the number indicate the type of item and size and are not relevant for dating an item. The 3th pattern Class I Tropical Combat Jacket of the label above is made in 1969.

Some items are dated with the Julian system. This was used only in the 1960's and is composed of 4 numbers; the first number (0-9) indicates the year, followed by 3 numbers (1-365) indicating the day within that year. Example: 7123. This item was made on the 123th day of the year 1967.

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