Anti-flash cream

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
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Peter H
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Anti-flash cream

Post by Peter H » 20 Sep 2004 11:06

Re attached photo of US Marines on Iwo Jima,from Leo Daugherty's Fighting Techniques of a US Marine 1941-45.The white painted faces of the Marine engineers is said to be anti-flash cream.Reference is also made to troops wearing it on Okinawa,as they landed,as a protection against burns.Does anyone know the purpose of this cream,discounting the obvious of limiting sun burn?
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bonzen
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Post by bonzen » 23 Sep 2004 02:48

I've seen pics of sailors wearing it on ships to protect against flash burns. Not sure if it's a hard Pancake type application or similar to zinc oxide

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 26 Oct 2006 04:57

I got this info from Harlan Glenn,author of United States Marine Corps Uniforms,insignia and Personal Items of World War II.

Harlan appears on Mail Call:

THAT is Anti Flash Cream worn by those in the first waves. You see it on engineers clearing mine fields on the beach on the first day-you see it worn by those Marines going in-first wave-this was ONLY done for the Iwo operation. And it is wider spread than you may think or have seen. I have spent a few years logging footage in the film footage archives and was surprized at how many Marines wore this anti flash cream. The Japanese had anchored underwater fuel barrells that they were going to set off as the Marines came in-for what ever reason they were not set off... One of the U.S. counter measures was to have those Marines going in on the first wave wear this anti flash cream to protect their faces from burns that might occur when and if these barrells exploded and sent gysers of flame shooting up from the floating barrells. This is fact and not some silly story that I made up for lack of something to do:) If you can find a copy of the 5th Amphibious Corps Enemy Situation Report-Iwo Jima (which I had an ORIGINAL copy of and offered to Eastwood's company Malpaso-at no chrage-to help them with their production of FLAGS-yet they chose NOT to take advantage of:) you'd see that this was one of the many surprizes that the Japanese had in store for the Marines on Iwo Jima-the entire report is about 2.5 inches thick and laden with all sorts of intel that was marked in big red letters across the front TOP SECRET! If you watch the one hour Iwo Jima show that Digital Ranch did a few years ago-the anti flash cream was covered and discussed-this was one of the few ALL color Iwo shows where you ONLY see footage of Iwo Jima and not the same old mixed up news reels of Tarawa and Saipan and Iwo and Peleliu-all supposedly Iwo-yet clearly NOT. From what I can tell from the raw arcival footage-both 4th and 5th MARDIV wore the anti flash cream-which was rubbed off and gone by the end of the first day of the landings on Iwo.


Peleliu was also the one and only time camo face paint was used in WW2:

Peleliu was THE only op where Marines wore the camo face paint-besides this well known and famous painting-there are a few photos that show Marines on White Beach wearing full camo face cream (paint). I have one of these photos in my book DUNGAREES AND FROGSKIN. Later in the 1960s the camo face paint became common place for outfits like Force Recon.


"Going In',Peleliu:

Image

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