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US Navy Early-Mid War Kapok Life Vest
US Navy Early-Mid War Kapok Life Vest
US Navy Early-Mid War Kapok Life Vest
US Navy Early-Mid War Kapok Life Vest
US Navy Early-Mid War Kapok Life Vest
US Navy Early-Mid War Kapok Life Vest
US Navy Early-Mid War Kapok Life Vest
US Navy Early-Mid War Kapok Life Vest
US Navy Early-Mid War Kapok Life Vest
US Navy Early-Mid War Kapok Life Vest
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US Navy Early-Mid War Kapok Life Vest

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A true barn find of a surprisingly rare item! I've seen many images over the years of sailors in their blue deck jackets, and often they're also wearing a life vest. This pattern of vest was in service through the bulk of the early-mid war years, instantly recognisable by the kapok pad in the collar. These days, these are actually incredibly hard to find, much harder than your standard blue deck jacket! Given they must have been produced in significant numbers, they must have been either destroyed after the war, or worn to death. 

These are simple garments, a heavy canvas shell, with four kapok pads, one in the collar, another behind the back, and two on either side of the chest. Kapok is a a plant based material that's incredibly bouyant and it's sealed inside vinyl/rubber pouches. It's completed with round the belly strap and a couple of ties to the front.

Condition

This one is salty but solid - as i said, it was a barn find, and took a bit of cleaning to get it into a sellable state (it smelled pretty damn awful before I cleaned it!). There are a few tears, one to the front pocket, and to the back of the collar, plus a couple of the front ties have been removed - this could all be repaired if the new owner choses to do so. 

Size

  • Not really a wearable piece, but fits my 40" chest
  • Pit to pit 24"
  • Top to bottom 22"