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horsa

Vietnam Advisor Purples Jacket

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Am going through some stuff I've picked up over the years and trying to find out more from the experts here.

 

This was a good find I made many years ago. I didn't know what it was at the time, only that the fabric had a silky feel to it and the garment had sheen. On the basis of the silk content and the fact that it was odd I bought it.

 

After some searching somebody put me in contact with a former advisor who had written a book called Angels in Red Hats. He ID'd the jacket as a Vietnamese Airborne pattern worn by advisors. Not long after I received his reply a collector, who was of Vietnamese ancestry and must have had ties to the ARVN Airborne Division, wrote me wanting to buy the jacket. He included a picture of some other variations, but all had a purple color to them.

 

I'm curious about a few things. Why are they called bulletproofs? Why are there two slits about the waist(about three inches)? And is the fabric a silk blend?

 

My picture does not capture it, but the jacket has a shininess to it I've not seen in other jackets. There is also a stamping similar to those on tigerstripes, but with many more letters...it's faded and I can't really read it. Unfortunately the picture does not show how strong the purple is and it mutes the colors...it's a pretty exotic camo up close.

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Hi H

You have a real nice jacket there .

Look inside the jacket and look near the collar .

You will find a manufactures stamp along with the size and year .

This might be around 1963- or 64 .

The pattern itself is a direct copy of the British Windproof WW2 camouflage pattern .

This was indrouced to Vietnam by the French during the First Indo-china War .

The French used British surplus camouflage in great numbers as well as Amercian camouflage clothing items .

This windproof camouflage was highly thought off by the men and when existing stocks of surplus uniforms were exuasted the Viets remade the pattern sometime in the early 1960s .

The print on your shirt is the first pattern .

This is a close copy of the British original print .

A second print also exists that is more simple and cuts out some of the background colors .

The cut of your shirt is a copy of the US herring bone fatigue shirt as used by the French .

As to the names of this pattern , we could be here all day .

Here are some of them ...

Purples .

Pinks .

Sausage skins .

Windproofs.

Bulletproofs .

To me it is Windproof just as it was on the British label that you find on a mint piece

 

 

As to the reason why Bulletproofs ,

False bravdo on the part of the troops .

Like good war paint in Battle a good set of cammos makes you feel un-defeatable and is good for morale , in a time when Camouflage uniforms were generaly frowned upon by those upstairs if you know what I mean .

 

I hope this helps

owen


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Hi H

You have a real nice jacket there .

Look inside the jacket and look near the collar .

You will find a manufactures stamp along with the size and year .

This might be around 1963- or 64 .

The pattern itself is a direct copy of the British Windproof WW2 camouflage pattern .

This was indrouced to Vietnam by the French during the First Indo-china War .

The French used British surplus camouflage in great numbers as well as Amercian camouflage clothing items .

This windproof camouflage was highly thought off by the men and when existing stocks of surplus uniforms were exuasted the Viets remade the pattern sometime in the early 1960s .

The print on your shirt is the first pattern .

This is a close copy of the British original print .

A second print also exists that is more simple and cuts out some of the background colors .

The cut of your shirt is a copy of the US herring bone fatigue shirt as used by the French .

As to the names of this pattern , we could be here all day .

Here are some of them ...

Purples .

Pinks .

Sausage skins .

Windproofs.

Bulletproofs .

To me it is Windproof just as it was on the British label that you find on a mint piece

As to the reason why Bulletproofs ,

False bravdo on the part of the troops .

Like good war paint in Battle a good set of cammos makes you feel un-defeatable and is good for morale , in a time when Camouflage uniforms were generaly frowned upon by those upstairs if you know what I mean .

 

I hope this helps

owen

 

Owen,

It does help. Thank you for writing such an indepth response. At the risk of going to the well one time too many...what is the fabric? It almost appears to be silk or a silk blend. I don't think it's a rayon or something like that. And by the way, you were spot on about the stamp...looks like a 63. Thank you again.

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Just like Owen says.

Good soldier humor led the name to be changed from "Windproofs" to "Bulletproofs". thumbsup.gif


Written contributor to French Militaria Magazine, UK World War II Re-enactors Magazine &The Karkee Web Research Team.

Remembering the service of:
9095 Pte Alfred Fredrick NEWLAND, 7th Field Ambulance, 2 Division, AIF. WIA 16/11/16 France.
436 Private Albert McCANN, B Company 8th Battalion AIF. Enlisted 26/8/14. Killed in Action 17/6/15 Gallipoli.
VX24056 Gunner George Edward McCANN, 2/3 Composite Anti Aircraft Regiment. Enlisted 7/6/40. Discharged 3/8/44. Served in Australia and New Guinea.



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Try shooting your pictures outside, preferably in direct sun light. That will bring out a lot more of the color. And so what if the neighbors see you... they have no idea of what they are looking at.


Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Additional info. to share with you on this piece, I'm not going to agree with the other member who

stated that there are two version's of this pattern, because there wasn't... to the best of my knowledge.

 

The original camouflage scheme was developed in ww2, by the British, for the sole purpose of a windproof garment.

It is very similar camouflage as found on their jump jackets of ww2.

I believe that the pattern itself also resembles the Canadian and British camouflage anti-gas helmet

covers from ww1.....at least the color's are very similar.

 

Now....for the use of the windproof's in the first Indochina war, with the French.

The pattern on these was near identical to what the South Vietnamese came out with later on, which is what you have.....

They were smocks, as opposed to just a shirt.

The smocks had four pockets, a hood, and drawstring closures.

The French called the British windproof's "SAUSAGE SKINS".

 

Now, for the South Vietnamese copies.

Yours is in the South Vietnamese cut, there is another cut of this....but not another pattern, as mistaken by

an earlier member.

 

It is in the Advisor cut, configured similar to the early 1st pattern jungle jacket.....where as, the South Vietnamese cut like you have....is more so similar to the cut of an hbt shirt, of which the French were also using in Indochina.

The South Vietnamese used commonly, these nicknames for this pattern......"PINKS" AND "BULLETPROOF'S" or "BULLETPROOF PATTERN".

 

Here is the advisor's cut:

 

post-4647-1231819573.jpg

 

Feel free to compare this to yours, and you will see the difference.

Both pieces are South Vietnamese made, your's being more or less designed for South

Vietnamese Airborne troops, even though early photographs of U.S advisors are seen wearing your example.

For the Advisor cut, these were mainly manufactured for use by U.S advisors obviously, as you can tell from the name of the cut....

 

I hope this helps you out even more so......cheers,

Duffy

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The photo I attached last, is one taken at Dien Bien Phu, prior to the French massacre.

If you look at the guy on the far left, he is wearing the British ww2 windproof smock.

Duffy


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Hi Horsa

Thanks for the reply to my post .

On the subject of the material I have always thought the first pattern windproof pattern was printed on top quality poplin with either a silk or rayon blend as a slight mix in the frabic .

The second pattern was printed on a cheaper fabric for sure .It uses different colous and is a more simple print .

 

Mr Duffy

Simple facts are simple facts and you yourself have shown a 2nd generation of the windproof Vietnamese pattern as used in the US 1st model jungle jacket cut .

Horsas shirt shows the first strike of the pattern .

This shirt was also cut with the revised 2nd pattern as worn by me on the cover of Military Classics Illustrated magazine spring 2002 edition .

Simply put it breaks down like this ...

British Windproof pattern 1942

1st Vietnamese copy 1962 windproof pattern

2nd Revised Vietnamese copy 1964 windproof pattern

What makes the Viet patterns different ?

The First pattern takes a small segment of the British pattern and faithfully copies it .

The revised or second pattern cuts out background colors such as the patches behind the geens and browns and follows the same basic pattern forms .

This is obvously for ease of manufacturing - production time .

The background fabric is of a slightly less high quality than before .

The second model fabric also has less of the rich luster seen on the first model fabric

Price must have been a factor here .

Garment cuts

1st fabric .

2 pocket shirt with gas flap .

4 pocket trousers with knee reenforcement

Custom items .

I have seen any thing from reversable boonie hats to Ridway caps to flight suits

2nd fabric

2 pocket shirt with gas flap .

4 pocket trousers with knee reenforcment

4 pocket 1st jungle jacket

6 pocket jungle trousers , no first aid pocket .

Multipanel boonie hats , most common

Various custom items .

On a final note here.......

I have over the years handled over 20 items in this pattern and my conclusion based on this is to find a a 1st print shirt and a 2nd print shirt and simply match the pattern up on from the back panel .

When this is done the differences are clear .

2 distinct patterns 1 and 2 ,

We all learn something new every day and This forum is great for this .

What you are doubting is an old question that collectors have toyed with for years .

My old friend John O Connor asked me the same question about 9 years ago and I set him straight on it also so that is just the way it is .

all the best

owen

ps

I know a lot of you have some great Windproofs out there so lets post them and we can see the differerces and enjoy this multi Nation pattern .

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Here is a shot of the front and back of the 2nd set .

By calling this uniform Advisor is wrong as it was an ARVN issue item .

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Here is the same set worm in the open with natural sunlight .

The colors are quite dull compaired to the bright 1st print of the fabric .

The 2nd print of the fabric is indeed a different beast than the first but still nice .

Enjoy Boys

owen

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Here is the British Windproof smock I have in my collection .

It is good to see the form of the pattern and is just like to one in the Black and white photograph .

owen

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Issued with the matching trousers , it was a favourite with the troops .

No wonder it had a long life .

o

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Here is the rear of the smock .

The windproof pattern was itself very large and random .

The Viets chose only a small segment and copied that .

Note the pink color , hence the pinks nickname .

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Lets not forget that the French introduced Windproof to Indochina .

Here is a copy of a Japanese cap in the windproof pattern .

As worn by Airborne forces with pride .

owen

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When mint the British pattern is very complex with lots of small detals the the Vietnamese copied with its first strike of the pattern .

These detals are lost through repeated washings and sun exposure .

The 2nd Viet pattern almost is a copy of a nice used garment to the eye

Thats it for me .

I will post the matching trousers to Horsas shirt for refence tomorrow .

In the mean time here is a parting shot of a small piece of windproof camouflage

all the best

owen

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More to this subject, I have scanned an article concerning this particular camouflage pattern

 

ARVNPara01.jpg

 

The rest of the article can be seen here

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Dear God...that was published 21 years ago!

 

When you say "1988" it doesn't seem that distant.

 

Thanks for taking the time to post and scan the article, interesting to see that at the time the article was written they appear to have thought the company/battalion patch was worn on the pocket......

 

 

Patrick (wondering where 20 years has gone).


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Nice one .

As shown on the cover the 2nd pattern shirt .

This is the duller and more simple print of the pattern as worn by me above .

I know Kevin and Peter for many years and can remember the set shown on the MI magazine many many moons ago .

Back in the day no one knew much but things fall into place with time .

Great article

owen


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That set pictured used to be own by Pete, he had a shop at Kensington Market, downstairs it was called "American........", can't remember the other word. I used to buy tigers from him when in London. Ken. Mark. was a cool place.

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S

I used to hang out there on Saturdays !!!!

After going down Islington Military market it was down to Ken market .

I also forget the name but what good stuff there was .......

o


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Hello all,

 

Here s apics of what I have, just guess what pattern is it.

 

I have to say that Owen is right about the feel of the material, the 2nd pattern is a little crude poplin in comparison with the 1st one.

 

He is probably right about the pattern vs uniform cut.

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Just to add to the pattern/cut debate, i too would follow Owen in his descriptions of the camo variations of this classic scheme.

 

There are clear differences to the pattern(s).

 

 

 

 

Patrick.


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Other items from my Pics Bank grabbed on Ebay longtme ago. the LLDB set pics are from Lee jackson Website

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I think this one is the 1st pattern cut, like the one you have HORSA

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Back, the 1st one is totally different than the 2nd pattern

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