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WWII Era US Army Rain Coat

US Victory Museum

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US Victory Museum

Recently, a friend of mine was visiting a garage sale and telephoned
me to say that he had found an old Army duster that I might be interested

HELLo-yeah! I'd love nothing more than to drive around a mobile pair
of 40mm Boffors machine cannons; nevertheless, I was reasonably certain
that the duster he had in mind wasn't the same Duster that sprang to my
mind. Nope, no tracked vehicle for Mikey.

He described it along the lines as being similar to the Filson
Tin-Cloth Dusters for range work (Cowboy, not Target). For a ten-buck,
I told him to buy it and I'd reemburse him when he came over.

It turned out to be a pattern 1938 Army rain coat dated Feb. 1941.

It is rubber impregnated cloth, which is still very much supple.
In looking at photos on the internet, this early pattern has a flap
on the reverse side, which was eliminated in subsequent revisions, as
most of the images found by searching google images for WWII army rain coat
showed the latter type.

A previous owner stenciled his initial and the last four digits of his
army serial number, R-6151.



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Nice find. Getting these in a nice supple condition isn't so easy. I'll have to dig my two out for comparison. Everyone had one but these are often overlooked in people's collections.



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  • 1 month later...

The main thing those so-called rain coats did not do was keep out the rain.

They were mainly used as a body cover while marching to the Medics , as a group & in formation, for either a physical exam or "shots" before going overseas or renewing out of date innoculations. As I remember it, the only other things worn while in them was our combat boots & helmet liner. Any of the ones I was issued never repelled the rain.


Marty R

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Forgot to include the main purpose of my above post....


The stencilled "R-6151" is not his Army Serial Number (ASN)...


It is his is LUNDRY NUMBER,,


It is printed, by the GI, on every bit of his issued clothing, for identicication, where ever he may be stationed throughout his enlistment... At least it was throughout WWll & into the 50's or whenever they started using the SS # as a serial #.


It consists of the 1st initial of his last name followed by the last 4 numbers of his 8 digit serial number.


Mine was R-****


Martyt R

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Thanks Marty,

A few years ago one of my friend's re-enactor groups put on a skit at a 30th division re-union. they all dressed in helmets boots raincoats and nothing else. They all marched out during the banquet in this get up and turned with their back to the audience and "presented Arms" for the guest of honor who was a Medic during the war. They called the skit "short arm" and said the men in the audience, all WWII vets, nearly roared with laughter while their wives hadn't a clue.

Tom Bowers

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