One of the most iconic pieces of WW2 clothing, famous as much for it's long march across Europe as it is for a certain taxi driver! What many people might not know, is that the name Tanker was only really applied post war, these were officially known as Jacket Winter, Combat. This is an example of the second pattern, and it was one of the most well liked and widely used jackets of the war. Issued to tank crews certainly, but these were worn by everyone from the navy shore parties through to USAAF fighter pilots. And it's obvious to see why, these are a beautifully crafted piece with a great fit, and perfect for providing warmth in winter.
There were so popular, they would go on to serve in Korea, and this is a rare example of such a piece. The USMC 7th Tank Battalion was on the tip of MacArthur's drive to the Yalu, and was near that very river when the Chinese poured over the border. The owner, Richard Sands Alena, of Fairfield Connecticut was born April 1 1926, he would enlist in the Marines August 2 1943, and serve in the pacific with Aircraft Engineering Squadron 44, and then the 2nd Marine Air Wing as a truck driver. He would be discharged in 1946, but appears to have reenlisted, then ranked as a Corporal in 1950. Assigned to the 7th Tank Battalion, he would serve during the worst phases of the Korean War, including at the famous Battle of Chosin Reservoir - it's likely this jacket was actually worn during the battle. He would serve with the Marines well into the late 50s, and passed in 2003.
The group comes not only with the jacket, but an amazing duffle bag, painted with a M-26 Pershing on both sides, as well as a set of tanker goggles and a deadstock lens.
This is in good, solid and perfectly wearable condition. The original Conmar zip works perfectly - I've just swapped in a new pull that matched the original rails. The waistband is perfect, and the cuffs have just been replaced for a matching new pair. The shell is absolutely solid, as is the liner. There are a few marks, notably the stain to the chest which I've not tried to clean.
- No tag, but fits a modern large - the measurements below make it appear bigger. I'm a 40" chest and this looks great on me.
- Pit to pit 25"
- Shoulder to shoulder 20"
- Shoulder to cuff 24"
- Collar to hem 22.5"