What can I say about this jacket, quite possibly the most iconic, and certainly one of the most sought after items of clothing from WW2. Designed in 1941 by the then Captain William P. Yarborough, Test Officer for the newly formed parachute divisions. The new jacket featured four pockets, each slanted to allow easy access when wearing all of the required parachute gear, and each pocket with both bellows and a second set of studs to allow for plenty of carrying space. The 8oz cotton twill would be very light, so light infact that following experience of use in North Africa and Italy, prior to the jump on D-Day, regiment riggers reinforced many with grey canvas around areas of wear. These jackets were only produced for a year or so between 1942-43, and would quickly be replaced by the m1943 field jacket, so examples are rare, and with the popularity of airborne/special forces collecting, one of the hardest pieces to find!
This particular jacket is of the early variety and features threaded eyelets in the armpits. Later varieties would come with metal eyelets. The main zipper is the classic Talon zip, and both of the knife pocket zips are also Talon. Rather incredibly, this is a very rare larger 42L size, with the stamp still visible inside the collar. The tag in the pocket is present, though heavily washed out.
This is in good, but used condition. The jacket itself is in very good shape, very strong fabric with a really rich khaki colour. There are a few rust spots here and there, a couple of tiny spots of wear around the shoulders, and the top left pocket has been restitched at the corners. My suspicion is that this was stored badly for a number of years. This had lead to corrosion around some of the metal parts. I've spend a long time very carefully restoring the studs to good working order and to prevent further damage, though the backing material had worn through in some spots so I would suggest that if you plan to use this you handle the poppers with delicacy.
- Tagged a size 4
- Fits like a modern large
- Pit to pit 22"
- Shoulder to shoulder 19.5"
- Shoulder to cuff 25"
- Collar to hem 32"