A beautiful and very rare treat for this week's frogskin theme. The Paramarines were a short-lived specialised USMC unit that were equipped and trained as airborne troops, parachuting into enemy positions and behind enemy lines. Founded in 1940, this elite unit would receive specialised training and equipment, through unfortunately they were unable to execute on their promise as the Marine Corp didn't have the transport aircraft to perform aerial drops. The unit was disbanded in December 1943, and the marines would go on to join other marine units.
This is an example of the type 3 jump smock from around 1943. This originally would have been a step-in garment, very similar to the German Fallschirmjäger jump smocks, and the British Jackets Parachutist. There would also have been large pads applied to both elbows. This example, along with many others, has been cutdown, creating a short blouson style jacket, not too dissimilar to a Barbour Spey. Many of these garments would be supplied by America to the French serving in Vietnam from 1946-54. There are many photos of these in use with French paratroopers, who would make the modification, turning the step-in smocks into jackets.
The jacket retained the large pockets to the chest, and partial pockets to the thighs, but certainly retains the large pockets to the rear, with stud openings on either hip, and zip openings on the beach side. These are incredibly rare in any condition.
Beyond the above modification, that jacket is in solid shape. There is a little wear to the shoulders - no doubt this has been used with a heavy rucksack/parachute. There is one small 1/8" knick on the out fabric of the rear left shoulder - the fabric is double lined so this shouldn't be an issue. There is a little red/brown staining - maybe an effort to 'tone-down' the camo, but its very faint.
- No tag, fits a modern medium - though is a short body
- Pit to pit 23"
- Shoulder to shoulder 20"
- Shoulder to cuff 22"
- Collar to hem 24"