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A seldom encountered image from one of the United States' former overseas possessions, this photograph depicts a member of the legendary Philippine Scouts and dates from sometime around 1920 – although a specific date is impossible to determine. The photo certainly dates from after 1915 since in that year the Scouts were first issued with the 1903 Springfield Rifle an example of which this soldier holds. Although falling outside the time frame usually allotted to photographs on this website its rarity and remarkable subject warrants its inclusion.

His web field equipment seems to be of the 1903 or 1907 pattern. His shirt looks to be of the pullover blue wool variety dating from the time of the Spanish American War. Probably the most curious parts of his gear are the black leather 1874 belt and rectangular US belt plate and the 1873 Colt Single Action Army pistol hanging from the belt in its open-top holster. These items date back to the Indian War era and at this late date must be one of the last times that this model .45 caliber Colt was issued or carried by any U.S. associated troops.

The Philippine Scouts achieved their greatest notoriety and fame for their gallant defense of the Philippine Islands during the Japanese invasion in 1941-42.

Mounted Photograph
7 7/8 Inches x 9 9/8 Inches
(20cm x 26cm)
Unknown Photographer
Philippine Islands
c. 1920

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