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The Ike Story


Sabrejet

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Along with the M-1 helmet, the ubiquitous "Ike jacket" is arguably the other most familiar symbol of the WW2 G.I. The following selection of Ikes from my own collection endeavors to trace the evolution of the Ike from its genesis as the "ETO jacket" thru to its final incarnation in the 50s...and beyond. The jackets are arranged chronologically with back/front views and label details which I hope will be of use to collectors. Whilst I don't claim that the selection is absolutely definitive, I think I've pretty much got all of the major variants covered. (If you're reading this "live", please bear with me as there are lots of pics to upload and captions to add!) As always, feel free to add items from your own collections to extend the thread.

 

The inspiration...the standard British battledress blouse.

 

 

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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1st pattern EM's ETO jacket. A fusion of the British battledress and US OD Field Jacket.

 

post-8022-1302347433.jpg post-8022-1302347453.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Made in Wales...my part of the UK. Note the USAAF property mark.

 

post-8022-1302347516.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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2nd Pattern EM's ETO Jacket. A simplified version of the previous jacket, frequently issued to USAAF personnel and famously worn by US Army Rangers and members of the 29th Infantry Division.

 

 

post-8022-1302347697.jpg post-8022-1302347714.jpg post-8022-1302347726.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Officer's ETO jacket. These were made of dark OD elastique and were similar in design to the 1st pattern ETO jacket. They were manufactured in relatively small numbers. This Troop Carrier pilot's jacket has largely British-made insignia.

 

 

post-8022-1302348053.jpgpost-8022-1302348071.jpgpost-8022-1302348085.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Enlisted Men were quick to jump on the bandwagon and many 4-pocket service coats were re-tailored Ike style. Details differ from one to another but the look was essentially the same. This example is typical. There is no label as it was lost when the lower half of the original jacket was removed.

 

post-8022-1302348371.jpg post-8022-1302348394.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Officers too had their 4-pocket blouses re-tailored. There are detail differences from one to another. This example clearly shows the influence of the basic battledress style.

 

post-8022-1302348540.jpg post-8022-1302348556.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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US troops stationed overseas procured uniforms via reverse lend-lease. This 5th AF example is Australian-made. Again, the Ike family resemblance is clearly evident.

 

post-8022-1302348795.jpg post-8022-1302348809.jpg

post-8022-1302348824.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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This is the first of the standardised US made M-1944 "Ikes"...in this instance, the officers' version which was made of finer fabric and had a rayon lining.

 

 

post-8022-1302349025.jpg post-8022-1302349042.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

donation2010.gif

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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And the EMs equivalent (note the contract date!) This EMs example was worn by an MP officer in occupation duty. The insignia is directly embroidered.

 

post-8022-1302349300.jpg post-8022-1302349317.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

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post-8022-1302349435.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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The USAAF got in on the act too! Here we have a B-14. Technically a flight jacket but really too smart for its intended purpose. Arguably the sharpest of all the Ikes!

 

post-8022-1302349803.jpg post-8022-1302349692.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

donation2010.gif

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post-8022-1302349896.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Officers, of course, had their own version...the B-13. Same design, officer-quality fabric. This example was privately tailored.

 

post-8022-1302350003.jpg post-8022-1302350023.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

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post-8022-1302350088.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Into the post-war era. This example is '46 dated...pretty much as per the '44 version.

 

post-8022-1302350179.jpg post-8022-1302350195.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

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post-8022-1302350255.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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When the USAF became independent of the army in '47, a new Ike was introduced in Shade 84 / Air Force blue. The design was very similar to the WW2 Army version except that the side adjuster buckles were replaced by buttons/tabs.

 

post-8022-1302350443.jpg post-8022-1302350460.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

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post-8022-1302350520.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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As the new decade dawned the M-1950 pattern Ike was introduced. It was slightly more streamlined than the WW2 version and had plain cuffs and rayon lining.

 

 

post-8022-1302350736.jpgpost-8022-1302350752.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

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post-8022-1302350814.jpg

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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And finally...this is a "modern" USAF example. There's no label so I'm guessing 60s / 70s going by the fabric?

 

 

post-8022-1302350939.jpg post-8022-1302350956.jpg

post-8022-1302350972.jpg

 

Th-th-that's all folks! Thanks for looking.

 

Sabrejet :thumbsup:

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Ooops...missed this one out! It's the label from the officers' ETO jacket.

 

post-8022-1302351652.jpg

 

Sabrejet

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

donation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

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