View Full Version : Question: Old Corps History; GySgt rank...

09-20-02, 11:46 AM
here's one I have thus far been able to run down as true or not.

A correspondent advised me that about WW I, college students completing a course in aviation were appointed to the rank of gunnery sergeant. The correspondent did provide me w/the Pics I requested of his old-issue (three chevrons w/crossed rifles & bursting bomb chevrons), but no reference on the former.

Never know who might come up w/info, so posting it here for your perusal.

"GySgt Rank
by richard tipton
richard tipton (no login)

Enjoyed your page on the history of the GySgt Rank insignia. I have been collecting for a number of years and always interested in the matter. I have two sets of unissued 1918 GySgt from the original owner(aviator). College students that completed a course of instruction in aviation were made GySgt's!! Isn't that something!!!! Real 90 day wonders!!! Question: You said the GySgt rank ceased to exist in 1946 and the 3up 2rocker was called a Tech Sgt. What was the 3up with 2STR called then? I thought that was a Tech Sgt. I was under the impression that all STR (rockers) were administrative rank and the rockers(curved) were field(troop) rank. I have the 3up 2 str in polished cotton which is Korean War vintage without Rifles,also 3 up 2 Str polished cotton which is also Korean War vintage. I am a bit confused. Thanks for the help Semper Fi Richard"

09-20-02, 12:02 PM
Ya might want to ask MrCobb. Cpl Cobb is a WW2 Vet and is part of the Leatherneck Family.
Semper Fi, Marine

09-20-02, 12:06 PM
this one is WW I (not WW II)--not likely any of those old soldiers left around--but there are a few--damn few--who are into USMC history, but not that many.



09-20-02, 12:15 PM
Try this Gunny http://www.expage.com/page/gysgt I Hope it helps.

Semper Fi, Marine

09-20-02, 12:18 PM
it's my page.



09-20-02, 12:22 PM

09-20-02, 12:24 PM
sorry Gunny..I think it is a outstanding link..What exactly are ya lookin for Marine. I will do some searches and help.

09-20-02, 12:36 PM
searches will do no good--the USMC just does not have this stuff!
That's how I came to beg, borrow and steal this stuff the last five years and got it onto the Net myself.

My post was only to inquire as to the possibility that somebody may have a specific reference to the book that Mr. Tipton was referring to (above) as to the appointment of aviation students to GySgt rank during WW I.

The Marine Corps, they claim, was required some years ago, to turn in all their old rank charts to the National Archives--dealing w/the NA is like...(never mind).

The Pics I have I got from reenactors, collectors, etc. They are people w/an interest in that sort of thing, and some have even paid fantastic sums to have replicas of uniforms,chevrons, etc. made up.

The 1937 rank chart on my webpage above came to me from a man who found the chart in his grand-dad's attic, an old China Marine. That same rank chart was also on the cover of an old Leatherneck magazine, in 1934.

09-20-02, 01:14 PM

09-20-02, 01:18 PM

09-20-02, 05:21 PM
Received the following response back to my request for a reference...

I have a book 'Marine Corps Aviation: The early Years 1912-1940 by Lt.Col. Edward C. Johnson, USMC and published by the History & Museums Division, HQMC 1977--Reprinted 1991. )on page 20 Paragraph 2 it states...

'During 1918, the authorized strength of Marine aviation was set at 1500 officers and 6000 men. To reach this number of personnel, Marine aviation, besides recruiting more officer pilots, began training enlisted aviators.

The first class of 25 candidates entered this program on 10 July 1918. These Marines, who had to meet special educational and physical qualifications, received the temporary rank of gunnery sergeant.

Candidates who successfully completed flying school received commissions as second lieutenants in the Marine Reserve Flying Corps.'

Ref: Major General Comandant, Annual Report
Also the following from...



During the war the Marine Corps selected and trained its own flyers and mechanics, and had its own aviation field and equipment. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Mass., enlisted Marines selected as promising flying material and given the rank of gunnery sergeant, took a 10 weeks' course in groundwork, and about 80 men a month were graduated.

After ground graduation they did their actual flying at the Marine flying field, Miami, Fla. This course embraced preliminary, acrobatic, and formation flying, bombing, gunnery, and reconnaissance work, including photographing. Upon qualifying they were commissioned as second lieutenants in the Marine Corps Reserve Flying Corps.

Marine flying candidates were all enlisted Marines, of superior physique, weighing from 135 to 165 pounds, and with at least two years' college or university study to their credit. The age limits were 19 to 39 years. Marine Corps mechanics, riggers, and armorers were trained at the Marine Corps section of the naval school for mechanics, Great Lakes Training Station, Chicago, Ill., the course covering eight weeks, and at a similar school in aviation mechanics at San Diego, Calif.

In December, 1917, 2 Marine officers and 10 enlisted men were sent to the Army balloon school at St., Louis, Mo., and later to Omaha, Nebr., for training."

09-20-02, 11:36 PM
Hey Gunny,
Here is a site one of our Members have. http://www.trenchdevils.com/ His name is "Pipedog"
Semper Fi, Marine