A Cut Above the Rest

Yesterday my wife and I checked out the Iwo Jima Marine Memorial for the first time.  It’s an incredibly cool place, with a beautiful view out over the Potomac into the capital.  While specifically modeled on the second flag raising over Mt. Suribachi, it is dedicated to all Marines who’ve served, with wars and battles they’ve fought in carved along the base.

The statute is absolutely massive, a full size adult could walk around between the legs.

The statute is absolutely massive, a full size adult could walk around between the legs.

It got me wondering:  I’ve seen soldiers, sailors, and Marines shaving in various WWII films or tv shows (Dirty Dozen, Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, etc), what were they actually using?

Turns out there isn’t a simple answer.  From what I’ve been able to find the military issued several different brands of razors, presumably as multiple sources were needed to meet demand.  The generally seemed to be of a plastic/bakelite double-edge design, such as this Gillette or the Federal Simplex.

Perhaps it’s fitting that there isn’t one source, just as the men and women who serve come from all over sometimes their equipment does too.  The military no longer issues razors that I’m aware of, but they continue to serve selflessly as they always have.

To those in uniform, past of present, thank you.

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