Before we get started, modified jackets are military jackets that have been "changed" by their former owner by adding the lower front pockets to the upper arms. Sometimes the former owner will use other jackets or pants to add the pockets to the upper arms. These modifiecations were done so the user could have easier access to their pockets. Many times, SF soldiers would have their lower pockets covered by equipment or gear. This proved difficult for them to have access what was in the pockets, so they moved them to the upper amrs. Upper arm proved to be easier access. This was not a regulation change, so most of the people who had modified jackets were SF types who had MUCH leeway in regards to uniforms. The removal of the lower pockets was not absolute as will be illustrated in this thread. Sometimes, there were just extra pockets added to the jacket.
How I started collecting modified jackets is fairly simple. My father, my son, and I were in a surplus shop in Winchester, Kentucky called Stuff's. We had heard of this place, and had even looked for it many times with no luck. One day we found it! What an interesting store. The prices were usually very high, but sometimes bargains were to be found. The first time I was there, I was going through a uniform bin and found several jackets that had the pockets sewn on the sleeves. I had no idea what they were, but knew something was different about these here. Unfortunately, I only had $15 on me. They were asking $5 a piece for the jackets (Small sizes). My dad was tapped out, so I could only afford to buy 3 jackets that day. I bought the 2 jungle jackets and the modified 6-color desert. I wanted so bad to get the others, but finances wouldn't allow me to do so. Two weeks later, when I got paid again, I went down to Stuff's and bought the other 4. This is what started me on my quest to find these jackets.
What I am going to show you is what to look for while surplus hunting. I certainly am no expert on these jackets and I want people to feel free to ask questions and to make comments. I am here to learn and share with others what I know. Thanks!
The first set I'm going to post is a USMC modifed ERDL set. Thanks to Corpan (Merci) for identifying this jacket as being post-Vietnam because of the USMC stamp on the chest. This one is the earliest modified set in my collection. This uniform belonged to a gentleman named T E Talley. His name can be seen on the thigh pocket on the pants. This uniform has been used harshly. It is faded, repaired, arms shortened, blood stained, and even has duct tape holding the seat together!
Edited by nkomo, 24 June 2008 - 02:41 PM.