last updated -14th March , 2010 - New B-10 Flying Jacket..... Link here...
WW2 U.S Army, Uniforms.
Certain alterations and corrections have been made since these photos were taken,
I will try and get some new photos soon...
Just to make things easy, I have added these bookmark links to this page, so as to jump to each section.
Garrison Caps. Officers Service Caps (Crushers).
M44 "IKE" Field Jacket. A2 Flying Jackets. B-10 Flying Jacket.
Officers Tunic OD. Officers Rangoon Shirt.
Officers Trousers, Pinks and Dark OD.
M44 Field Trousers. M37 Wool Trousers.
I am trying to put together several different types of normal day and evening uniforms. I don't suppose you would be walking around in combats while off duty in the town, going for a beer. These uniforms are here to represent a Corporal in the 82nd Airborne, 320th Field Artillery, and maybe a pilot or glider pilot, Flight Officer or Captain in the 9th USAAF. Nothing is ever finished, always changing something.
Top- for enlisted men, showing red piping for artillery, the red (artillery) and blue (infantry) glider/Para combined patch, used in war time. Also pined on is the 320th Field Artillery DI. The glider always flies forward, so a different patch for enlisted and Officers.
Bottom is officers cap, dark OD colour, with the officers combined infantry /Artillery /para /glider patch, with Flight Officers pips/bar on the other side.
Airborne soldiers and officers , seemed to preferred garrison caps to Peaked service caps. These are the later pattern garrison caps designed on the private purchase caps or PX caps, as they looked better, the earlier standard issue ones had pleated tops. These are not Airborne caps, no such thing, just the private purchase pattern, available to everybody, especially late war years when this style of cap became standard issue over the early pleated top cap.
Officer's Service Cap - Tan Summer.
This is a genuine Officers Summer visor cap. I don't think that is was ever issued as the leather strap and peak are in perfect condition. There is a small moth hole at the back, bit small price to pay. Right size, just a little tight, but will try and get it stretched a little. It has a lovely crushed look, being made out of the very light cotton type material. No stiffening grommet, and the stiffener behind the cap badge has been bent over so the hat actually collapses.
Officers Service Caps - OD.
This is my new cap. arrived April 2009, Ordered it from Eastmans ages ago, but well worth the wait. It is proper crusher, as can be seen, beautifully made inside and out, following the design of the Bancroft Flighter. Very light weight, the peak is very pliable leather. And the cloth top is of light weight 100% Wool Gabardine fabric. Original cap badge replaces the awful stay bright one they all come with. click on any of the 3 pics above, take you to the Eastmans web site.
This is one of those USA repo ones from Soldier of Fortune. I needed one in a hurry, not bad quality really for the price. They are all stiff when you get them, so I have cut out all the inside padding and lining, and cut the top of the reinforcing behind the badge, so it is now a bit floppy. It is usually stored under a pile of clothes to give it a bit more of a crushed, used look. SOLD now, since I got the Eastmans......
M-44 Ike Jackets......
Jackets, Field, Wool, OD Stock No. 55-J-384-785
Albert Turner & Co. dated Dec 23 1944.
Original Ike jacket, it is a 44S, but has been tailored down to a 42R.
Not much Officer's bling on this, it is for day use, not evening.
The reason there is an AIRBORNE above the 9th AAF patch, is that pilots and glider pilots trained very closely with the 82nd and 101st Airborne troops, prior to D-Day, and, unofficially, the addition was made. until the official troop carrier patch was issued.
REPRODUCTION, At The Front.
This Ike jacket is an "At The Front" repo 42R. original patches and insignia include the 82nd AB patch and red para oval. The US and Artillery collar insignia and CIB, the 320th Field Artillery DI's and the Marksman cross and bars, Rifle, Coastal Artillery and Field Artillery.
A-2 Leather Flying Jacket - Summer
Found myself this Old Cooper A2 flight jacket. It looks a bit shiny as I have just rubbed leather soap all over it to keep it nice and subtle. There were holes already in it from being badged up, so who knows from when. I badged it up as 9th USAAF for the link to Welford Park US Airbase where 320GFA were stationed. Rank is as flight officer (blue pips) It is a not a warm jacket, and just fits me. This one is quite old, and well worn in, look at the collar.
This is my other Cooper A2, a newer one, and bigger 44R, I use this for normal every day use. The A2 is not a warm jacket by any means, and relatively expensive to make. That is why the USAAF deemed it too luxurious for combat pilots to have an unlined leather jacket, and started to issue the B-10 Jacket in Mid 1943. Pilots did mention that these B-10s were more comfortable and warmer than the A2. Pilots privately bought their own A2s,but kept them for best anyway. I would very much doubt that a lowly pilot would spend nearly £500 on an A2 !? Go figure with today's prices.
This is an ACME Thunderer whistle. Which was usually attached to the A2 jacket on the left side throat latch.
Capt Fred Christensen. Whistle can be seen. >>
B-10 Flying Jacket
This was the warm, Alpaca lined jacket that came into service early 1944, to replace the A2, as the standard flying jacket. It is light green in colour, with a dark brown fur collar. The collar could also be light brown or even white in rare cases. USAAF logo, colour stencil on left shoulder, this was common, but not always the case. Original jackets are rare, as they are so warm, they were worn to destruction, but repos are about, depending on price!!!
1/Lt Manford Cory (left) in a B-10 with scarf made from camouflage parachute fabric, and Maj Harry Downing (right) in a B-15. Silk scarves were a necessity for any pilot, due to the constant head turning, searching the sky for enemy fighters. Without the scarves, the neck would become red raw with chafing on army shirt collars.
I have bought a Pike Brothers B-10 Jacket. Very nice it is too, with a lovely faded USAAF stencil on the left shoulder. I have been wearing it most of the colder times of the year, and in the jeep, and was really warm, well worth it.
Officers Tunic - OD
I have got 2 Dutch army Tunics with the same colour batch number, to convert to one "near to" US officers tunic. Considering that a Dutch jackets costs me £15 and £10, and a repo US one is £135 min. And then you might have £60 - £80 worth of insignia and badges on. The conversion entails cutting the cuffs straight and circling with brown braid. Straightening the bottom pockets from the scalloped ones, and repairing the damaged collar. The collar is going to be left, as it would take a lot of work. Also needs a belt, which is where the 2nd jacket comes in for the material. There are 4 buttons on the front US tunic, the bottom one is a flat plastic one so it won't show through the belt. So, only 3 big brass eagle buttons are needed, and 6 small. The sleeves might need shortening, but that is another story.
Actual US '40s Officers Tunic>>
I bought this at Beltring, War and Peace show 2007. I looked all week for an original Officers Tunic, all too small , too big, short sleeves etc. Popped into Warhorse trading tent, and this was the only one that fitted. She had to lengthen the sleeves, but is about right now. Badged up as early glider pilot.
This is the finished Dutch army tunic, which has been altered. Bottom pocket flaps are now straight, sleeve's are now straight with some officer braid . A tailor made belt and brass buckle. Belt is sewn onto tunic not free. A full set of old brass U.S buttons, (which are in line). and a new collar from the spare tunic. Then all the patches and insignia. Of which I will explain below. Some of which may appear on the new tunic and Ike jacket.
Left shoulder - 82nd Airborne rough edge patch. Captain's bars with 320 Field Artillery DI (Divisional insignia), shown here. Also the French Fourragere (green cotten enlisted) and Belgium Fourragere (red silk officers). I don't normally wear these, just for show to make up the set.
Right Shoulder - 1st Allied Airborne (for Market-Garden Jump). Captain's bars with 320 Field Artillery DI. Also the Dutch orange Lanyard.
Collar - Brass U.S with crossed 320 cannons
Left Side - Para Qualification wings on a plain red oval for undesignated artillery unit, with Glider Qualification wings to side. This is correct for Para artillery... Medal bar is nothing too grand, "Army good conduct (yellow one), Euro/Africa/Middle East (brown/ green), American Defence (red one)". Then Combat infantry award (30 days in combat).
Left sleeve - 3 horizontal bars signifying 18 months overseas (6 months each), one diagonal stripe, 3 years army service.
Right Side - Presidential Distinguished Unit citation awarded for the efforts in Normandy and other theatres. A warded to the whole unit for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy (little blue square)
Close up of the Fourrageres.
< France - green with red stripe
< Belgium - red with green dots
< Dutch - orange lanyard
Note I am not attempting to wear combat medals like Purple heart, Bronze and silver stars, those are for the men and women who earned them. This is only for the photo, they are not worn in public.
My brother , Philip, in a similar Dutch converted jacket. Note officers garrison cap, same colour as jacket, as it should be. Airborne preferred garrison caps to crusher caps. They are also much lighter than crusher caps and can be folded away in a pocket once indoors.
Never wear your cap indoors, unless on active duty, and never stuff it under your epaulettes,
It is a big no no !!!!!!! Very Hollywood and very British....
The medal ribbon bar and the medals they represent
American Defence (red one)
Euro/Africa/Middle East (brown/ green),
Army good conduct (yellow one),
I have managed to save up my hard earned money, and have both these now. These are the Rangoon shirt and tie sets from Eastman Leathercraft in the UK. The left one is not choc brown, it is in fact the correct very dark green, that looks choc from a distance. Silky lined collar and shoulders, so no red raw neck in the morning. The one on the right, is the dark tan shirt with dark tie. They are very comfortable to wear, and the price is not bad as you get the tie in with the shirt, and delivery.
They can be found here http://www.eastmanleather.com/
Officers Trousers. Eastman's Officer's Pinks. Super in every detail. Quite heavy pinky grey material, so hangs realy smartly. Silk lined round the top, fits great. They are a 1940's copy, so a 1940's style, i.e, high up in the waist, they are no hippsters !
These are the Eastman's Pings again, looking more grey, but proper colour is as in the above photo, they are next to a pair of quite rare OD Dark Officers Trousers, same shade as the officers tunic.. The dark ones look shorter, but they are only shorter in the height, they don't come as far up the body as the Eastman's one.
M-44 Field Trousers..
Original, un-issued field trousers. These are the late war years issue, a much darker brown OD33 to match the newly issued M-44 Ike Jacket. These were worn by Officers and Enlisted men.
M-37 Wool Trousers.
The pair on the left are from Epic Militaria,
the pair on the right are original,
I think the label says April 2, 1942 or 3.
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