Feb 25th, 2010 | Categories: Wants & Desires, WWII | by Michael Williams

You’re looking at a pair of non-issue U.S. Army Ranger pants that feature one of the first ever military issue camouflage patterns. This pattern is commonly referred to as HBT (Herringbone Twill) CAMO, and was most widely issued at the request of General Douglas MacArthur to Marines in the Pacific theater of WWII, sometime after the Battle of Tarawa. The two-sided motif (lighter color camo for spring and darker for fall) also briefly saw action in the European theater, but was scrapped because of its similarity to a German camouflage.

Because these particular pants are non-issue, they will set you back a pretty penny ($750 to be exact), but there are lots of similar reproductions and used stuff on eBay you can pick up instead.

HBT CAMO on a soldier near Normandy France c. 1944.

The pattern can also be seen in the upcoming HBO mini-series The Pacific — which looks equal parts amazing and terrifying.

FURTHER READING: Life archive color photos from the Pacific Theater in WWII Part I and Part II.

Comments: 14


  1. Najee D.
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 5:45 AM

    It’s crazy how I thought i was one of the only few who actually liked this particular pattern. Repros for me, however.

  2. George
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 7:46 AM

    This is great. The camo pattern is great. Wouldn’t mind a slim fitting one like the 8 pocket cargo pants in this pattern.

    In the meantime I should just be contented with the olive 8 pocket cargo pants and the woodland camo zipped bag that just arrived today. The olive colour look better then the pictures. They are great products and contrary to the naysayers, worth the price. Thought I won’t hold back in releasing some positive vibes as a satisfied customer. Too much negativity already.

  3. Tintin
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 9:32 AM

    That’s a beauty of a pattern. It looks like the Fallschirmjäger (German Paratrooper) pattern. I just love saying Fallschirmjäger.

  4. eric
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 10:20 AM

    The pants pictured are WWII US Army Ranger pants. The USMC versions are of a different pattern and have metal donut buttons marked USMC. All of them very cool combat camo pants none the less. Cheers!

  5. Michael Williams
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 10:25 AM

    Thanks for the correction Eric. I updated to reflect your comments.

  6. Jacks
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 10:34 AM


    Pics of the bag? Brand? Purchased from?

  7. Michael Williams
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 10:38 AM

    George is talking about this: http://shop.acontinuouslean.com/collections/acl-co/products/waxed-canvas-bag-set in camo

  8. Brett
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 11:41 AM

    I like the khaki background of the pattern. It makes me think of the duality of the mullet…business up front party in back…let me know if i need to expand on that.

    I’ve spent a lot of time in Surplus stores and have never seen these. I was probably too busy looking for captain’s hats.

    Thanks for the illumination.

  9. david hill
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 12:40 PM

    V Nice, but not ranger pants… issued to a few units of US army for D day+ but as you say withdrawn to avoid confusion with german army units. There is also a very nice shirt to go with pants and an even a rare British made version with war dept label called sniper suit…

  10. doug
    on Feb 26th, 2010
    @ 8:11 PM

    Those US camo uniforms disappeared very quickly in Normandy after D-Day. Apparently they looked too much like the camo the Germans were wearing. I’ve been collecting US WW2 uniforms and gear for many years-anything camo like this has always been rare and expensive. When ‘The Pacific’ gets started, the demand for WW2 USMC stuff should really escalate.

  11. Alexej
    on Feb 28th, 2010
    @ 9:36 AM

    I really dont like cargo pants, and military cargo pants are even worse. They seem to practical to me. Why would one need so many pockets if not on a battlefield or while hunting? Those pants remind me of men that stop looking after their outward appearence after becoming fathers.
    But I can understand that the craftmanship is admirable and interesting. I would like to have some vintage khakis. But please, no carmouflage.

    Greets from Germany.

  12. Satan
    on Mar 7th, 2010
    @ 3:24 AM

    Thats beautiful! Over the last couple of seasons Supreme has made cargo pants, hoodies, thermal sweat shirts and hats wit a using a custom camo patternt very similar to this.

  13. alicia
    on Mar 15th, 2010
    @ 7:44 PM

    the herringbone pattern is really interesting. The fabric is good quaility. herringbone on Camo.. who would have thought.

  14. alicia
    on Mar 15th, 2010
    @ 7:47 PM

    herringbone is very interesting on the Camo and looks like it was quality fabric. Who would have thought camo on herringbone!