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USMC Officer Winter Service Coat Restoration Project

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For a while I was thinking about to create topic illustrating the process of uniform restoration. There is lot of great topics in uniform section already posted, but usually they picture final phase of restoration. I try to describe and illustrate the restoration project from beginning with pictures of all damages, repairs etc. I was inspired by Zepher11 great topic focused on 1941 Dodge vehicle restoration. So here we go, as the restoration process is not yet finished I will be adding the photos as time allows. Any comments and recommendations are welcomed. I hope this topic can inspire other collectors try to start their own restorations.

 

I recently bought 1950s dated USMC Officer Winter Service Coat with some damages, missing all rank and marksmanship insignia, ribbons, belt buckle etc. I am waiting for his service records, but in meantime I was able to acquire his service photos in this particular uniform, which will serve as base for final restoration.

 

Upon arrival, I cleaned the coat with vacuum cleaner with special adapter for cleaning of clothing, including the pockets. Then I checked the coat for any damages and missing parts and did the list to make sure, nothing will be forgotten. After all repairs are done, the uniform will be ironed, insignia added and I will post more information about marine to whom the coat belonged.

 

Damages and missing accessories

 

01. Button holes, front - worn and damaged reinforcing stitching

02. Left sleeve, lining - unstitched internal lining, about 10 inches

03. Right sleeve, lining - unstitched internal lining, about 5 inches

04. Left sleeve, bottom edge - unstitched internal lining

05. Right sleeve, bottom edge - unstitched internal lining

06. Coat, left bottom edge - unstitched internal lining

07. Coat, right bottom edge - unstitched internal lining

08. Button, right shoulder board - replacement for civilian button

09. Right upper pocket, button hole - worn and damaged reinforcing stitching

10. Right sleeve - moth hole

11. Right bottom pocket, button hole - worn and damaged reinforcing stitching

12. Waist belt, securing snap fastener - loose stitching

13. Buttons, bronze - loose stitching, wrong position

14. Waist belt - missing belt buckle

15. Rank insignia - missing

16. Collar BOS insignia - missing

17. Ribbons and marksmanship badges - missing

 

post-31-0-99103400-1469561056.jpgpost-31-0-27005000-1469561070.jpg

 

Bellow I will post “prior” and “after” photos illustration the restoration process. Best regards JAROSLAV

 

 


Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

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1. Button holes, front - worn and damaged reinforcing stitching.

 

Common damage you can find on worn coats. The repair was done by hand stitching. I recommend do remove all loose and damaged threads prior repair. For repair I used thicker thread of matching color.

post-31-0-65007000-1469561639.jpg

 

 


Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

donation2008.gif

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02. Left sleeve, lining - unstitched internal lining, about 10 inches

The repair was done by hand stitching. For repair I used thread of matching color.

 

post-31-0-84562400-1469561805.jpg

 


Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

donation2008.gif

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03. Right sleeve, lining - unstitched internal lining, about 5 inches

 

The repair was done by hand stitching. For repair I used thread of matching color.

 

post-31-0-80291800-1469562057.jpg


Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

donation2008.gif

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04. Left sleeve, bottom edge - unstitched internal lining

05. Right sleeve, bottom edge - unstitched internal lining

 

The repair was done by hand stitching. I recommend to form the sleeve shape by inserting the duct tape roll, which helps to prevent creasing of lining during stitching.

 

post-31-0-17126200-1469562436.jpg


Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

donation2008.gif

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06. Coat, left bottom edge - unstitched internal lining

07. Coat, right bottom edge - unstitched internal lining

 

The repair was done by hand stitching. For repair I used thread of matching color.

 

post-31-0-95515000-1469563666.jpg


Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

donation2008.gif

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wow..a lot of work but the repairs look great.


I collect items from The Battle of Iwo Jima (1945).

Top Iwo Jima Items I'm Looking For:

1) IDed 5th MarDiv Corpsman Jumper or Forest Green Coat.

2) IDed Coast Guard Navy Jumper

3) IDed CB's Sea Bee's Navy Jumper

4) IDed 147th Infantry Regiment Army Service Coat

5) IDed 32nd ID Army Service Coat (Occupation Kyushu with 5th MarDiv).

I am always looking for named and dated WWII USMC Forest Green wool alpha jackets/coats from the 5th Marine Division or other units who participated in the battle.

My Blog "Marines In Forest Green" http://marinesinfore...n.blogspot.com/

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wow..a lot of work but the repairs look great.

it takes time, but it improves final result quite a lot.


Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

donation2008.gif

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08. Button, right shoulder board - replacement for civilian button

 

I removed all loose and damaged threads with old civilian button and added correct period USMC officer button.

 

post-31-0-55869900-1469634911.jpg


Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

donation2008.gif

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09. Right upper pocket, button hole - worn and damaged reinforcing stitching

 

The repair was done by hand stitching. I removed all loose and damaged threads prior repair. For repair I used thread of matching color.

 

post-31-0-29724700-1469635045.jpg


Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

donation2008.gif

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10. Right sleeve - moth hole

 

To repair the moth hole, I used original wool gabardine fabric from coat. I cut the fabric to match the hole shape with little excess. Than I applied special adhesive to the cut fabric edges and glued it in hole place. You have to prevent excess of adhesive to stain the fabric around the repaired place and match the direction of fabric weaving pattern with original fabric.

 

post-31-0-08385200-1469651734.jpg


Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

donation2008.gif

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11. Right bottom pocket, button hole - worn and damaged reinforcing stitching

 

The repair was done by hand stitching. I removed all loose and damaged threads around the hole edge. If possible keep original thick internal thread, it helps to form plastic edge around the hole. For repair I used thread of matching color.

 

post-31-0-66401000-1469651856.jpg


Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

donation2008.gif

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12. Waist belt, securing snap fastener - loose stitching

 

I removed loose and damaged threads and resewn the fastener in proper position.

 

post-31-0-23376500-1469652180.jpg


Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

donation2008.gif

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update to the restoration: I was able to gather all period insignia and fully restore the uniform to the original condition based on actual photograph dated 1956.
The uniform belonged to "I o n M. B e t h e l" (Major General, USMC) Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps (1957), served: 1918-1919 and 1925-1958
Awards: MC Good Conduct Medal, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal (China), World War I Victory Medal, Yangtze Service Medal (China), China Service Medal; American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal w/3 Bronze Stars, American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal.
List of newly added accessories:
- 1940s era collar insignia / EGA
- 1950s era ribbons a ribbon bars "Viking Kwikset" type. Notice: ribbon bar in last row is reversed, the precedence of ribbons is not correct, but the uniform is restored based on actual photograph).
- 1950s era rank insignia, silver stars marked at bottom with USMC approval number
- 1950s era belt buckle, marked with USMC approval number
- modern replacement distinguished marksman and pistol shot badges
Photos of restored uniform:

post-31-0-72726900-1479245720_thumb.jpgpost-31-0-76715600-1479245728_thumb.jpg

 

I hope you enjoy this topic. JAROSLAV


Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

donation2008.gif

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1956 dated photograph used as base for uniform restoration
post-31-0-30445500-1479246000_thumb.jpg
Major General "I o n M. B e t h e l", former Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps, retired from active duty in the Corps on 1 July 1958, after 33 years of commissioned service.
The general was born 8 July 1900 at Mason, Texas, and enlisted in the Marine Corps 1 November 1918. Discharged 9 April 1919, he attended Junior College at John Tarleton, completed his studies there in 1923, and was graduated from Texas A and M in 1925. He re-entered the Marine Corps 1 July 1925, when he was commissioned a second lieutenant.
In his first year-and-a-half in the Corps, General B e t h e l was stationed consecutively at Quantico, Virginia; the Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard; and the Marine Corps Base, San Diego, California. He also shot on the Marine Corps Rifle Team of 1926. He left San Diego in February 1927, for duty in China with the 4th Marine Regiment.
Returning to the United States in August 1929, the general was stationed at the Navy Yard, Puget Sound, Washington, until November 1930. From there he competed on the 1930 Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Team. He joined the Marine Detachment of the battleship USS Nevada in December 1930, and in October 1932, was again ordered to the Puget Sound Navy Yard. This time he commanded several CCC companies while assigned to that post. In February 1935, he was ordered to Quantico, from which post he competed again on the Rifle and Pistol Team. He was ordered to the Mare Island (California) Navy Yard in September 1935, and in December of that year he began a second tour of duty in China with the 4th Marines.
In August 1937, General B e t h e l returned from China to enter the Textile Engineering Course at Lowell Textile Institute, Lowell, Massachusetts. He completed the course in June 1939, and for the next three years was officer in charge of the laboratory and assistant procurement officer at the Marine Corps Supply Depot, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In July 1942, he was assigned again to the Marine Corps Base at San Diego, where he became supply officer of the 3d Marine Division. He sailed with the division for the Pacific theater in February 1943.

 

During World War II, the general served in the logistics phase of the major Pacific campaigns, winning the Letter of Commendation for excellent services during the Peleliu operation. He also participated in the Southern Solomons and Bougainville campaigns. Remaining with the 3d Division until March 1944, the general assisted in the preparations for the Peleliu invasion from April to November 1944. With the invasion he became supply officer of the Island Command, Peleliu.
General B e t h e l returned to the United States in July 1945, and was in charge of the procurement section at the Philadelphia supply depot until June 1950, when he was named Head of the Procurement Section, Supply Department, at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington. He became Commanding General of the Marine Corps Clothing Depot (formerly the Depot of Supplies), Philadelphia, 1 October 1952, when his promotion to brigadier general became effective, and served in that capacity until June 1955. He became Commanding General, Marine Corps Supply Depot, Albany, Georgia, the following month. He was promoted to major general and assumed duty as Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps in January 1957.

 

General B e t h e l holds the Distinguished Marksman and Distinguished Pistol Medals.

Mr. Jaroslav Jochman
3/6 Marines, King Co., Re-Enacted, 1943-1945;
USMC & USN REENACTORS ASSOCIATION
MARINE CORPS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION MEMBER

donation2008.gif

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Great job!! Thanks for taking the time to share.

 

Brian


donation2012.gifdonation2014.gif

donation2017.gif

 

 

 


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Your passion for these pieces of history, really shows through. Thanks for taking the time to restore this amazing uniform, and thanks for sharing the details.

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