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.
This particular example actually comes with a lot of history. The name inside belongs to Francis Grevemberg, a rather well known native of New Orleans, Louisiana, whose service & life was the subject of a history thesis and multiple newspaper articles and is very well documented.
During his 28 months of combat in the European theatre of operation, he made 5 D-day landings and participated in 9 combat campaigns. He went overseas as a Captain commanding an anti-aircraft artillery battery in the 1st Infantry Division. He received a combat promotion from General George S. Patton to the rank of Major in Tunisia, North Africa, and 5 months later at 29 years old, during the Anzio Beachhead Campaign, received another combat promotion to the rank of Lt. Colonel from General Omar N. Bradley.
To take the introduction for the thesis...
"Francis C. Grevemberg hailed from an old Louisiana family and was a distinguished World War II soldier from New Orleans.
He volunteered for the Louisiana National Guard in 1932 and began his military career in the midst of the Great Depression. In the reorganization of the U.S. military leading up to World War II, the War Department transferred Grevemberg‟s cavalry regiment into a coastal artillery battalion with antiaircraft capability, a new type of unit for a new type of air war. During World War II Grevemberg participated in five amphibious landings during Allied actions in the North Africa, Italy and Southern France campaigns. Before the war he rose from private to lieutenant; during the war, given his extensive battlefield experience, he advanced spectacularly from Captain and company commander to Lieutenant Colonel. He became a respected expert in the new field of antiaircraft artillery, engaging the German Luftwaffe in numerous battles in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and France. During the landings in Italy and Southern France he advanced to planning capacities in the headquarters units. His spectacular military career from a young man with little education joining the Louisiana National Guard to a highly decorated antiaircraft artillery office is a shining example of what Stephen E. Ambrose has called “the citizen soldier.”
He is a well known Louisiana figure from the post World War II era. In 1952, Grevemberg was appointed by newly elected Governor Robert Kennon as the head of the Louisiana State Police. He took the office as new superintendent on May 13, 1952 in Baton Rouge, the Capital City of Louisiana. Grevemberg was famous for his strict enforcement of Louisiana state laws, especially those dealing with gambling, narcotics trafficking, prostitution, and vice.
In 1955, Grevemberg left his position as Commandant of the State Police and ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic Party candidate for the Office of Governor of Louisiana for the first time. Five years latter, Grevemberg switched parties and ran a second time for the Governor‟s office as a Republican candidate which he lost again"
This is in excellent shape. The original Talon zip works perfectly. The cuffs and collar have a few moth nips that have been previously stitched up, but otherwise it's a really excellent example.
- No tag, but fits a modern medium/large
- Pit to pit 25"
- Shoulder to shoulder 20"
- Shoulder to cuff 24"
- Collar to hem 24"