The M1 and M2 Jungle First Aid Kit – A Collectors Guide

Late 1942 saw America makes its first offensives against the Japanese in the jungles of the Pacific. Although tropical islands like the Philippines, Hawaii and Guam were American possessions, America still had very little modern experience in jungle warfare or with the necessities that came out of campaigning in a tropical environment. After the initial battle of Guadalcanal in 1942, the military discovered the need for a medical kit appropriate for the jungle, an enemy as dangerous as the Japanese.

Jungle First Aid Kit m1

M1 Jungle First Aid Kit with contents

The US Army Medical Department’s answer to this problem was designated the Individual Medical Jungle Kit M-1. The M-1 Jungle Kit was a roll up canvas bag secured by lace ties with fifteen numbered pockets. Designed to be carried in the soldier’s bag the M-1 kit was issued with the following contents:

Repellent, Insect, 1 oz 2 bottles

Athlete’s Foot solution (Frazer’s Solution), 1 oz 1 bottle

Tablet, Water Purification, Individual (Halazone), 1 bottle

Quinine Sulfate 2 vials – *Note: If someone has Quinine Sulfate Vial from the Davis Emergency Equipment Company for sale, please contact the webmaster

Acetylsalicylic Acid (Aspirin) 2 Vials

Foot Powder, 2 oz 1 can

Iodine, 2 cc 2 vials

Plaster, Adhesive, Adhesive, 1-Inch by 5 Yards 1 box

Sulfadiazine, 8 Tablets (wound Tablets) 1 packet

Dressing, First-Aid, Small, White 1

Sodium Chloride and Dextrose Tablets (Salt Tablets) 1 box

M1 Jungle First Aid Kit

Quinine and Aspirin vials

m1 Jungle First Aid Kit

Frazers solution for Athletes foot and insect repellent

The Salt Tablets were soon removed from the M-1 Jungle Kit and an expanded kit with items including morphine, scissors and a thermometer was issued to OSS members in the China-Burma-India theater. The Individual Medical Jungle Kit M-1 proved to be fragile, heavy and impractical under combat conditions and was soon replaced with the Individual Medical Jungle Kit M-2.

m1 Jungle First Aid Kit

Iodine Vials with wooden containers

m1 jungle first aid kit

Foot powder and Halazone tablets

M1 Jungle First Aid Kit

Salt Tablets, Band Aids and Wound Tablets

The M-2 Jungle Kit was a dark green pouch closed by two button snaps and a wire hangar designed to fit into the grommets on the web or ammo belt. The kit also had two eyelets on the bottom to allow for an extra item to be hung on the kit itself. Early versions of the pouch had four male button snaps on the inside so the pouch could be secured in a more relaxed or tighter fit. Though production began in 1943 the pouch does not seem to appear in combat use until 1944 when it became commonly seen hanging from the belts of Army GI’s and Marines.

m2 Jungle First Aid Kit

M2 Jungle First Aid Kit with contents

The Individual Medical Jungle Kit M-2 was issued with the following contents:

Container, for Kit, Jungle, Medical, Individual, M-2 1

Frazer’s Solution for Athlete’s Foot, 1 oz 1 bottle

Iodine, 2 cc 1 vial

Repellent, Insect, 2 oz 1 bottle

Sulfadiazine, 8 Tablets (Would Tablets) 1 packet or box

Tablet, Water Purification, Individual, (Halazone) 100 1 bottle

Bandage, Gauze, Adhesive, White, 1-Inch by 3-Inch, 16 3 Bandages

Packet, First-Aid, Field Brown Dressing 1 box

Atabrine, 1 vial

m2-Jungle First Aid Kit

2 styles of Wound Tablets found in the M2 Jungle First Aid Kit

jungle first aid kit iwo jima 5th marine division

Men of the 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division on Iwo Jima wearing the M2 Jungle kits on their web belts.

Today, the M-1 Jungle Kit is a rare item usually only found as the roll with no contents. Known makers of the canvas rolls are Davis Emergency Equipment and Mine Safety Appliance Co. The M-2 Jungle kit was made by a variety of makers and can still be found in good quantity with or without contents. Most M-2 Jungle kits on eBay or in the collector’s market have mixed and matched parts not originally issued in World War Two Jungle First Aid Kits. Although some soldiers or units modified the contents based on their circumstances, the standard issue items are those listed above. Completing an M-2 kit, though requiring some time and patience, is a rewarding and very achievable goal for the collector of the Pacific War.

For Further Reading Check Out:

United States Marine Corps Uniforms, Insignia and Personal Items of World War II

GI Collector’s Guide: Army Service Forces Catalog, U.S. Army European Theater of Operations

For Related Articles See:

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