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US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka
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US Navy 1950s Operation Deep Freeze "Catapult Smock' Parka

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One of, if not the rarest jackets that I've had the great pleasure to offer via The Major's Tailor. This beautiful 1950s garment was used by the US Navy during Operation Deep Freeze in antarctica before the formation of USARP in 1959. Whilst I've had these parkas before, this example is especially rare in that the outer shell is made from an issued US Navy 'catapult smock'. These brightly colour bryd cloth smocks were issued on N140 contract numbers, putting the manufacturing date into the early 1950s. The smocks themselves range in colours including green, red, black, and blue, and whilst there isn't a 'catapult smock' name on the label, this range of colours suggest an intended use on carrier flight decks, I however have only ever seem them in use in the Antarctic. The example has been modified for use in extreme cold weather with the addition of a Talon zipper, an M-51 parka liner, a detachable winter hood and finally a piece of heavy canvas as a zipper guard near the face. These modified rigger smocks are seen in Deep Freeze photos well into the 1960s, and most that survive today are made using high-vis panels and custom made nylon shells.

Needless to say, the combination of the smock, and the modification make this piece exceedingly rare, worthy of the finest collections & archives, and I believe this is the exact garment featured on page 168 of Lightning Magazine's Military Jacket book. 

Condition

This is well used but solid condition. The talon zipper works like a charm, the fur is in lovely shape, and overall the shell is great. There is some light marking and fading throughout, with a stain on the upper left shoulder. There is a small repair to one cuff, and two small holes to the back.

Size

  • No tag, but fits a modern large
  • Pit to pit 28" - the liner is a little smaller
  • Shoulder to shoulder 27"
  • Shoulder to cuff 19"
  • Collar to hem 31" approx