WW2 HBT Fatigue Uniform's guide

You will find on this page a complete article about the HBT Fatigue Uniforms, their origins, pictures of each model, their manufacturers, their QMC designations and so on.

The origins of the HBT uniform

The Herringbone Twill work suit, better known as "HBT fatigue uniform", is named after the type of weaving of its fabric (fish bone). It first appeared in the field in 1941, but has been in Quartemaster Corps (Q.M.C.) projects for much longer.

In fact, it was in 1938 that the QMC decided to replace the working outfits made of strong denim (Blue Denim), which was coarse and unpleasant to wear, with outfits made of herringbone twill fabric, which was more suitable. That year, the HBT coverall made its appearance.

In 1940 the Q.M.C. released a new version of the work suit. Still in Denim fabric, but with a much better fit and above all pleasant to wear. 

The evolutions of the HBT Fatigue Uniforms

In 1941, the new HBT canvas work clothes arrived. From then on, a succession of jackets and pants followed until the end of the war. That's why, U.S. Army soldiers wore different types of HBT uniforms.

A study of the QMC catalogs of this period and the observation of field clothing and their labels is sometimes confusing. Indeed, references, contracts and stock numbers evolve throughout this period and it is therefore very easy to get lost in them.

We can nevertheless group HBT outfits in the following way:

- The M1941 outfit (First pattern),
- The M1942 (Second pattern),
- The M1943 (Third pattern).

The 3 models of HBT jackets


The M1941 and M1942 outfits have a Light OD shade, the 1943 outfit is darker with its OD 7 shade. 

For each model there is a jacket and matching pants. The basic pattern is P.Q.D, NO. 45 for the jacket and P.Q.D, NO. 42 for the pants.

It is not rare to see on the period photos that the HBT outfits were often mixed. The soldiers had at their disposal what the stewardship allowed.

The HBT outfits M1942 and M1943 were declined in 3 versions:
- The standard version: the basic model,
- The special version: addition of an anti-gas flap and buttons on the back of the collar to allow the addition of the anti-gas hood,
- The protective version: same as the 'Special' with anti-gas impregnation.


The M1941 HBT outfit

The first WW2 HBT uniform is the M41. It is composed of the Herringbone Twill jacket (Spec No 45 of April 3, 1941) and the Herringbone Twill trousers. There is also a version of the jacket with a pattern modification (Spec No 45-A).

The M1941 jacket

Features :
Two chest pockets with cut corners, gussets and flaps also with cut corners. Waist adjustment with two straps placed on the sides. Buttons on sleeves. 2 Buttons close together at the bottom of the jacket at the waist. Color light OD.


Q.M.C Designations :
Jacket, Herringbone Twill
Stock No. 55-J-480
P.Q.D., No. 45

Jacket, Herringbone Twill
Stock No. 55-J-465
P.Q.D., No. 45

Jacket, Herringbone Twill
Stock No. 55-J-440
P.Q.D., No. 45-A


M1941 trousers

Characteristics :
Two side pockets, 2 back pockets and a gusset. Metal buttons. Light color OD.


Q.M.C Designation :
Holes, Herrinbone Twill
Stock No. 55-T-38020
Spec, No. 6-254
Other Stock No possible: 55-T-38001-78, 55-T-38108-10, 55-T-38050
Other possible P.Q.D.: P.Q.D., No. 42-A


Manufacturers :
Great Western Garment Co, Davenshire Inc, La Follette Shirt Co, Inc.


The M1942 HBT Uniform

It is composed of the military jacket Herringbone Twill (Spec No 45-B of November 2, 1942) and the Herringbone Twill Trousers (Spec No 42-A of October 30, 1942).

The US M1942 jacket

Features :
Two cargo type chest pockets. Buttons on sleeves. No more double buttons on the waistband. Light color OD. 


Q.M.C Designations  :
Jacket, Herringbone Twill
Stock No. 55-J-450
P.Q.D., No. 45-B
Other Stock No possible: 55-J-414, 55-J-494

Jacket, Herringbone Twill Special
Stock No. 55-J-532-30 55-J-542-30
P.Q.D., No. 45-B

Jacket, Herringbone Twill Special
Stock No. 55-J-????
P.Q.D, No. 45-C

Jackets, Herringbone Twill Protective
Stock No. 55-J-520-30
P.Q.D., No. 45-?
Other possible stock number : 55-J-530-30


The US M1942 trousers


The side pockets are gusseted cargo style and closed with buttoned flaps. Light color OD.


Q.M.C designation :
Housers, Herrinbone Twill
Stock No. 55-T-38015
P.Q.D, No. 42-?
Other stock number.: 55-T-38106-60

Holes, Special, Herrinbone Twill
Stock No. 55-T-43687
P.Q.D, No. 42-C

Holes, Special, Herrinbone Twill
Stock No. 55-T-43441 55-T-43747
P.Q.D, No. 42-C
Other possible stock number : 55-T-43310, 55-T-43469

Holes, Protective, Herrinbone Twill
Stock No. 55-T-40705
P.Q.D, No. 42-?
Other possible stock numbers : 55-T-40719, 55-T-40800, 55-T-40804


The M1943 HBT Fatigue Uniform

It is composed of the "Jacket, Herringbone twill, O.D. Shade 7" (Spec No 45-D of March 12, 1943) and the "Trousers, Herringbone Twill, O.D. Shade 7" (Spec No 42-C of March 10, 1943).

ww2 m1943 jacket 

The M1943 Jacket, Herringbone Twill O.D. Shade 7

Characteristics :
It is identical to the P.Q.D. specification, No. 45C. The only change is the use of an O.D. #7 shade, which is much darker than previous versions.


QMC Designation:
Jacket, Herringbone Twill O.D. Shade 7
Stock No. 55-J-508-55
P.Q.D, No. 45D

Jacket, Herringbone Twill O.D. Shade 7, Special Stock
No. 55-J-508-28
P.Q.D, No. 45D
Other possible stock No : 55-J-508-53, 55-J-508-55, 55-J-508-65

Jacket, Special H.B.T., O.D., Shade No. 7
Stock No. 55-J-508-55
Singer Leather Clothing Company
Cont. W-669-qm-27719
Dated April 9, 1943
Spec. P.Q.D. No. 45D
Phila. Q.M. Depot

Jacket, Herringbone Twill O.D. Shade 7, Protective
Stock No. 55-J-506-15
P.Q.D, No. 45D
Other possible stock No : 55-J-507-30


The US Army M43 Trousers

Trousers, Herringbone Twill O.D. Shade 7):
Same as 1942 model but in O.D. #7 color.


Q.M.C. Designation :

Trousers, Special, Herrinbone Twill, OD Shade 7
Stock No. 55-T-43747
P.Q.D, No. 42-C
Other possible stock number 55-T-43718

Trousers, Special Herringbone Twill O.D. NO. 7
Size 34x33
Stock No. 55-T-43720
J.M. Wood Mfg. Co.
Cont. W-41-187-qm-134
Dated Nov. 3, 1943
P.Q.D. No. 42C
Dated March 10, 1943
Ft. Worth Q.M. Depot
Other possible stock numbers 55-T-43616, 55-T-43835

Trousers, Protective, Herrinbone Twill, OD Shade 7
Stock No. 55-T-40813-31
P.Q.D, No. 42-?
Other possible stock number : 55-T-40827-33


Some HBT uniform variations

It should be noted that there are many variations on the patterns. These differences are related to the different manufacturers and to the modifications made throughout the conflict.

In particular, it is important to note the following variations :

The buttons :

Full button with 13 stars, Hollow button with 13 stars (on the circumference), Hollow button with floral pattern, Full button in plastic (end of war or UK manufacture).

hbt ww2 buttons 


The pockets :
Variation of the sizes of the pockets, gussets (lateral or median) on the M42 and M43.



Shades :
Even if the shades are referenced, there are obvious differences from one HBToutfit to another, ranging from very light to very dark OD green.




Some other facts about HBT Fatigue Uniforms :

. HBT jackets and pants fit larger than the size indicated on the labels. This is perfectly normal since they were intended to be worn over other clothing.

. Originally designed for chores, it was one of the major pieces of the GI's battle dress. Practical and comfortable to wear in warm climate as a replacement for the 'mustard' outfit, but also very popular in winter period as a complement to the woollen cloth outfit. It remains a bad memory for the soldiers who wore it in its version 'Impregnated against gas' because smelly and sticky even after several washes.


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