One of the most beautiful and in-demand pieces of vintage clothing, and one with a much debated origin. There are many stories of these being experimental pieces, tested in Okinawa for the Marines, or made in-country by local Vietnamese tailors. There is a famous picture of a veteran wearing one at a protest, suggesting military usage. But I'm afraid I have to agree with Kammoman on this one, these were almost certainly a private purchase piece. Based on labels, which are the same as those used on issued M65s, these were made by John Ownbrey, a Tennessee based military clothing supplier, using surplus Mitchell fabric left over when the Marines stopped using it for shelter halves and helmet covers. The use of aluminium zippers, and the famous photo of course, show these were made in the last few years of the 60s, likely 1969 before the M65 switched to brass zippers in the early 70s.
The absolute best thing about these is the patina. The printing on the heavy shelter half canvas was never designed for the rigours of wearing and washing, so as with the shelter half shirts, these have a beautiful fading through the camo pattern that is absolutely unique. These have the pleasure of being the only garment ever factory made from shelter fabric and that creates a piece with a unique combination of design and beauty.
In wonderful vintage condition. The fading of the print aside, this is in great shape. There is no damage or issues of note. The main zipper and collar zipper both work well. The OD green sateen hood is present - sorry I forgot to photo it but I can supply these if needed. All the buttons for the lining etc are present, and the lining is in great shape. The velcro on the cuffs and collar all works perfectly. A beautiful example of a much desired piece, in my opinion made better with the amazing fades.
- Tagged a size small
- Fits a modern medium
- Pit to pit 22"
- Shoulder to shoulder 19.5"
- Shoulder to cuff 23.5"
- Collar to hem 28.5"