Title: Epaulet Set of LT Bruce D. Skidmore
Accession #: NHHC 2004-32-2
Medium: Fabric, Metal, Leather,
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command
One epaulettes set with case. The set includes two shoulder epaulettes, a bicorn hat, sword belt, and a storage case. The case is faux leather with a leather handle, brass clasps and locks. "BDS/USN" is stenciled on the top with green and blue. The epaulettes are goldwork with gold fabric and buttons. One gold bar indicating the rank of Ensign is attached to one of the epaulettes, the bar for the other epaulet was found detached in the case. The sword belt is fabric with 5 yellow stripes sewn to the leather with straps to attach to uniform and hook for sword. The buckle on the belt has a wreath of laurel with an eagle holding a fouled anchor on the interior. The bicorn hat is beaver fur with goldwork at the front and back. A gold ribbon adorns the left side with a Navy button. The interior is white silk with a brown leather band. The makers mark is a shield with "The Mark of Merit/Government Standard" above and below. The size tag on the hat reads "7 1/4".
All components of this set would have been worn as part of Full Dress Blue, Dress Blue, and Evening Full Dress. Worn in conjunction with the Evening-Dress Coat, these accoutrements could be worn at state occasions, ceremonies, solemnities, and was the Navy equivalent of white-tie dress. The epaulettes and bicorn or cocked hat were authorized for wear until the 1947 Navy uniform regulations excluded them from the prescribed uniform articles. This set belonged to LT Bruce D. Skidmore who was a gunnery spotter on the USS Houston.