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Deadeye Glossary

WWII Army Jargon

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Click on any red letter to go to words beginning with that letter.
         
         
A–bomb   Atom bomb, atomic bomb - an explosive device based on nuclear fission, splitting of the atom, producing massive destruction  
         

Able

  ... Baker... Charlie... the phonetic alphabet used to distinguish letters spoken over radio, and other transmissions. (Click to see the whole phonetic alphabet used during WWII)  
         
ammo   short for ammunition    
         
aperture   a small slot opening from where a weapon protruds  
         
army   a group of corps, HQ Company and more supporting troops (see chart below)  
         
artillary  

Large caliber mounted cannons, usually cal.105 or cal.155, also known as Ordinance

 
         
ASTP   Army Specialized Training Program  
         
attention   command to stand in a formal position, body erect, head and eyes staight ahead and arms to the side.  
         
         
BAR   Browning Automatic Rifle  
         
barracks   a military or army dormitory - a place to sleep  
         
barrage   a heavy, long lasting attack of continuous fire to protect advancing troops or stop hostile attacks  
         
battalion   Three rifle companies plus HQ company totaling 871 men   (see chart below)  
         
battery acid   Slang - fake lemonade made of powder and warm water  
         
bayonet   a blade that can be attached to the end of a rifle: used for stabbing  
     
 
bazooka   a small rocket weapon used by infantry  
       
beachhead   the gained footing on enemy shores by an army  
       
bivouac   temporary encampment with little or no shelter    
         
brevet   a temporary promotion of a military officer without an increase in pay  
         
brown jobs  

a slang reference to the olive drab uniforms

   
         
buck   Lowest grade of a military rank. i.e. buck private or buck sargeant.  
         
bugle call   a short recognizable tune used in the military that announces a scheduled or non-scheduled event on larger military installations, played on a bugle    
         
bunker   an underground shelter, especially one built for troops, with a fortified gun position above ground  
         
butt can   a hanging can used for extinguishing cigarettes  
         
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
         
C-Rations   Food in cans that WWII troops carried;six for a day. The C was for "combat" The meal was known officially as Field Ration, Type C
crations
C-Rations
 
       
C-2 or C-3   paste explosive in satchel charge.  
       
cadence   the beat used to keep a unit marching in precision: may be kept by a drum beat, or drill chant  
     
 
cadre   the staff of skilled military who train and/or assume control of new recruits.  
         
carbine   small rifle    
         
casualty   any person who is lost by having been declared dead, duty status - whereabouts unknown, missing, ill, or wounded  
         
chaplain   a member of the clergy who gives spiritual support to troops  
         
chicken s***   Slang - strict adherence to rules by a superior officer. Also known as BS  
         
chow any food    
         
civies   clothes civilians wear    
     
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CO   Commanding Officer  
       
Cosmoline   a greasy substance applied to guns and other equipment to keep them from rusting, a very smelly waterproofing
     
company   three rifle platoons plus weapon platoon totaling 193 men (see chart below)
     
corps   a group of divisions (see chart below)
     
creed   the strong belief that guides one's life
         
crud   fungal infection of the skin also called jungle rot    
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
         
D-day   landing day   H-hour: landing hour  
         
Dear John   a letter from a wife or girl-friend from home telling the serviceman that she no longer loves him and has dropped him for someone at home.  
         
deadeye   a sharpshooter, marksman, crack-shot    
         
defilade   a military position protected from fire    
         
debark   to get off a vehicle, most often a ship    
         
depot   a storage place    
         
division   a major ground combat unit of WWII totaling 14,253 men (see chart below)  
         
dogfight   the activity of fighter planes engaged in combat  
         
dog robber   Slang - personal orderly for an officer  
     
 
dogtags   a soldier's identification tags  
         
Dogface   ( Dog Face or Dog-Face) an Army Infantryman WWII    
         
dose   the acquisition of a venereal disease    
         
dry run   to practice without weapons    
   
 
Duck   + Nickname for a DUKW -a 2 ½ ton amphibious truck  
       
duffel bag   a large cylindrical bag made of heavy water resistant cloth (with a drawstring closure at the top often used in the Army.  
         
DUKW   an amphibious truck nick-named "Duck" Made by General Motors.

D= First year of manufacture, 1942
U = Utility vehicle (amphibious)
K = All wheel drive
W = Rear tandem axle

 
         
A B C D E, FG H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
         
embark   to go on board a ship, or to be put on a ship    
         
enfilade  

A vulnerable or exposed forward position of troops to receive enemy fire

 
         
fart sack   Slang - a canvas cot or sleeping bag
 
       
fatigues   army uniforms with metal buttons and bulgy side pockets - worn in combat or work assignments  
     
       
field strip   1.the way a cigarette is broken down into bits  2.how a weapon is torn down and cleaned.  
     
       
flagship   the ship where the commander is running the operations  
       
flank   the right or left of a command in line, also a type of attack from the side.  
       
flyboy   any pilot  
         
force march   a fast long hike with packs and weapons with little rest  
     
 
foxhole   a small dugout with a pit for individual shelter against enemy fire  
     
furlough   an official leave of absence from duty  
     
Foxhole
 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
         
garrison   the post, or position where troops are stationed
 
       
garrison belt   a webbed belt with sliding amunition pockets - worn byArmy soldiers as part of their uniforms  
       
Garrison cap   A soft military cap without a visor. usually with colored piping that identifies
the group. i.e. infantry, artillery

Garrison Cap in HBT Olive Drab

 
     
 
Ghostriders   the HHC 191st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion deployed in Kuwait wearing the Double Diamond Patch  
       
GI   Government Issue - anything making reference to a government item. All troops were GIs.    
     
 
G.I. Joe   any American service man. Ernie Pyle is credited with coining this term.  
       
gopher match   book matches- When you light one and it goes out, you GO-FER another  
       
grease gun   a lightly constructed fast shooting .45 cal weapon  
         
A B C D E F G H,I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
         
H-hour   landing hour etc. D-day: landing day

Herring-Bone Twill design

 

q
Honorable Discharge Certificate
 
       
Halazone tablets   bitter pills used to water to make it safe for drinking  
       
HBT Herring-Bone Twill - the pattern of the fabric of the WWII U.S. Army uniform, which were often called "HBTs."  
       
Hero of Hen Hill   Nickname given to Deadeye Medal of Honor recipient Clarence Byrle Craft.  
       
       
head   the toilet  
       
Higgins boat   Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel, or LCVP  
       
Honorable Discharge   official discharge from the armed forces with a commendable record - given as a release from the obligation to serve  
       
Infantry   Infantry are land based soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. From Wikipedia
 
   
    The Infantry is the oldest branch of the US Army  
     
Infantry Symbol (click)
 
IRTC   Infantry Replacement Training Center    
         
A B C D E F G H I J,K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
         
jeep   a small four wheeled vehicle used extensively in the US Army
 
       
kamikaze   a Japanese suicide bomber  
       
KIA   Killed In Action  
       
knee mortar   a very small mortar used by the Japanese    
         
KP   workers in the mess hall, chow hall - also "Kitchen Patrol," "Kitchen Police," -also "Kill Privates"    
         
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
         
L Day   Landing Day on Okinawa, also called Love Day    
         
latrine   the toilet: may be a hole in the ground, with little privacy  
     

lyster bag

Lyster Bag

 
Lyster bag   a large rubber bladder used for water storage to use for drinking, that is usually hung from a tree or a frame - Water tastes like rubber (also Lister)
     
LST   Landing Ship Tank
     
LVT   Landing Vehicle with Tracks
     
LCVP   Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel. Or Higgins boat
     
 
         
Maggie's Drawers   a red flag meaning that you have missed the target  
         
maneuvers   the placement of forces in a position of advantage over the enemy  
         
Medal of Honor   The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Generally, it is presented to its recipient by the President of the United States.
 
     
         
mess   the place where food is eaten, the troups who share a meal together, or the meal shared are all referred to as "mess."  
         
M1 Garand   the standard US Army rifle used by riflemen
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MIA   Missing In Action  
           
midnight req   an operation where objects are stolen.    
         
mortar   a small cannon 60mm, 81mm or 4.5 chemical. A smaller weapon than artillery, has a base plate, a tripod with adjusting rods and a tube. It is for closer range.
 
       
MOS   a military designation for a serviceman’s job specialty  
         
         
nambu   a fast air-cooled Japanese machine gun (numbu)    
         
NCO   Non-Commissioned Officer    
         
newsreel   a short film about recent events, During WWII, were often shown before a feature film; a major form of communicating about the events of the war and recruiting public support  
         
Nip   slang for Japanese person    
         
nomenclature   the names of the parts of any weapon    
         
   
Officer and a Gentleman a misnomer for a demanding officer who doesn't deserve respect.  
     

Olive Drab, the color of WWII Army uniforms' Called Shade 44, a mixture of gray, brown and green. Uniforms we often called "brown jobs."

Also an excellent site for all things military! See Great Links

 
olive drab the color of the standard army uniform
     
OP   Observation Post
     
Operation Iceberg   the military codename for the WWII Battle of Okinawa, Japan. Considered the bloodiest and most bitterly fought battle of the Pacific, it was also the last great battle in the Pacific.
       
orderly room office where company business is performed  
       
         
parry right   a defensive physical fighting technique used in rifle/bayonet combat (also parry left)  
         
piece  

rifle

 
       
pineapple   hand grenade  
       
piss pot   Slang - standard Army helmet  
       
pith helmet   protective hat - strong, lightweight, and comfortable Similar to a safari hat but made of pith (cork)  
         
platoon   three squads totaling 41 men (see chart below)
 
     
pogey bait   Slang - candy
     
PX   a store nearby where servicemen can buy supplies
 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q,R S T U V W X Y Z
         
quarters   the building or rooms where troops live
 
       
Queen of Battle   The Infantry - see this link  
QM   QuarterMaster = a place where supplies are stored
 
       
quonset hut   a structure used for housing in both world wars - made of curved corrugate steel sheets and shaped like a semi-circular  
     
 
 
raincoat parade   a "parade" of men in raincoats on the way to an examination, also known as a "short arm inspection."  
 
         
reconnaissance   exploration of an area, especially to gather information about the strength and positioning of enemy forces  
         
recruits   new soldiers who have recently enlisted    
         
regiment   three battalions and support troops total 3,113 men (see chart below)    
         
re-up   to reinlist in the army - to sign up for more service  
         
repple-depple   replacement depot - a spot were replacements assemble for assignment  
     
 
reveille   the bugle call for the start of the official duty day
       
req   short for requisition = an official triple page request in document form  
         
Riggers  

soldiers trained to provide support for troops with general supplies, food, petroleum, water and mortuary affairs supply deliveries by parachute.

The 421st Quartermaster Company are Riggers

 
         
RSC   one of 96th Division serving today - the Regional Support Command  
         
Ruptured Duck   nickname for the Honorable Service Lapel Button. It was awarded to United States military service members who were discharged under honorable conditions during World War II.
 
     
       
         
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
         
satchel charge   an explosive devise packed in a cloth satchel to blow open and/or close caves or apertures where enemy weapons are firing from  
     
 
salute   a precision ritual performed by members of the military when in uniform: a sign of respect for an officer's rank, a courteous exchange of greetings  
       
shave-tail   A brand new 2nd LT. Came from the days of mule skinners in the Army. A brand new untrained mule was a dangerous and unpredictable creature so they shaved the tail to identify it  
         
shelter half   ½ of a pup tent    
         
s**t on a shingle   dried beef gravy on toast for breakfast    
         
short arm inspection  

a parade of men in raincoats on the way to an examination, or a "rainbow parade"

 
         
shrapnel   metal shard from an explosion of an artillery shell, or hand grenade  
         
Shuri line   a significant battle line which was the path of the Deadeyes, made up of a series of successive ridges across a huge part of southern Okinawa.
 
       
SNAFU   military term defining chaos - ”Situation Normal: All Fouled Up”  
       
squad   the smallest ground unit of 12 men (See Chart Below)  
       
SOL   S*** Out of Luck    
     
 
soupee soupee soupee   the bugle call for mess  
         
spigot mortar   large mortar used by the Japanese Army    
         
     
 
Springfield.03   Bolt action standard WWI rifle  
       
       
stateside   usually a military term meaning in the United States    
         
stovepipe   a mortar    
         
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
         
Taps  
the bugle call for lights out, bedtime or death
 
       
“Tell that to the Army"   "Tell it to the Navy, and tell it to the Marines” - a subtle public reference about how our military forces would respond to a statement that is an absolute lie or an oversimplification  
         
tracers   every third or fifth bullet fired by a machine gun that leaves a fiery trace so that the trajectory will prove where bullets are going  
         
trip ticket   an signed authorization to use a vehicle from the motor pool  
         
troops   a body of soldiers, also refers to the count of soldiers with each soldier counting as one  
         
TS   Tough Stuff    
         
TS Card   a card taken to the chaplain who punches it whenever a person has been treated unfairly, in jest. Print you own TS card in Extras  
         
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U,V W X Y Z
         
v-mail   letters sent overseas that are photographed to save space  
         
W,X,Y,Z
         
WAC   Women's Army Corps - pronounced "Wacks"    
         
Weasel   The M29 Weasel was a tracked vehicle, built by Studebaker designed for operation in snow, and the the M29C Water Weasel was the amphibious version with buoyancy cells and twin rudders. This version was very useful in Okinawa during the times when even jeeps couldn't get around.
 
     
     
         
yardbird   troublemaker soldier, also called a "goldbrick"    
       
army organization
     
 

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