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Highslide JS
Mt. Rainier, Washington 1942
Highslide JS
Camp Hale, Colorado 1943
Highslide JS
Riva Ridge, Italy 1945
Seen on the Web



This case illustrates a common mistake that appears on web again and again. The cap was described as "the cap issued to the 10th Mountain Division and First Special Services Force during WWII for ski and mountain work"

This is a 1937 pattern "Winter Cap". The buckled chin strap causes this cap to be confused with the ski cap, but when seen side by side with an actual ski cap, the differences are obvious.

The Winter Cap was a general issue cold weather cap intended for use in Alaska and other northern climates. Even though it was a limited standard item by 1943, it was used widely in very cold areas though out the war. The mountain troops, however, did not use the winter cap because they used the ski cap.

The Winter Cap dates back to before World War I. Between 1909 and 1939 the cap evolved though a number of versions that were all similar but varied slightly in minor details. This example is one of the later versions. In the late 1930s, the QMC produced a civilian version of Winter Cap for the CCC. The CCC version can be easily identified by their bright blue-green color and the letters "CIV" in the contract number.

For comparison, here is a 1941 ski cap. The ski cap is not as heavy as the Winter Cap, the ear flaps do not meet in the center as they do on the Winter Cap, and the ski cap crown is shaped more like a baseball cap's crown. Also, the ski cap's chin strap is attached with rivets rather than being sewn on as it is on the Winter Cap. The ski cap was designed and adopted in May 1941 so no ski cap will ever be dated prior to that date.
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