warguy Posted October 23, 2021 Share #1 Posted October 23, 2021 Well it is a blustery miserable Fall day, so I thought I would take the opportunity to post some information on the cold weather coats used by the Marine Corps in China in the 1930's and the First Marine Provisional Brigade in Iceland. Both coats are similar, but made by different makers with different color shearling utilized on the collars. Let's start with the coat used by the Marines in China. This article of clothing seems to be very rare in todays market, and in fact, I have not seen a photograph of this coat depicted in any of my reference books, nor on the internet. There is a lot of photograph evidence of this coats use. The coat used in China is recognizable by its tan canvas shell with very particular leather reinforcements around the two square flapped hip pockets. The coat is double breasted with a row of four large dark brown buttons up the front. These buttons can be fastened utilizing leather loops sewn to the front edge of the coat. The jacket is lined throughout the breast with cream colored shearling forming a large mackinaw style rolled collar. The sleeves are lined with a grey linen and there is a OD green wool cuff, much like that on flight jackets hidden within the canvas cuff. In photographs, the coat worn in China is most often seen buttoned to the neck, whereas for some reason, I see more photos in Iceland where the lower three buttons of the coat are fastened leaving the neck open. I suppose this has more to do with temperature outside at time the photo was taken than it does any specific orders. One thing I have noted is that the China coat always has the cream colored shearling collar. In the book, U.S. Marine Uniforms 1912-1940 by Jim Moran, page 136, he states the following on these coats: "As an alternative to the overcoat and much in demand but lacking in number on Iceland was the canvas and sheepskin ,lined winter coat. There were two styles of civilian Mackinaw jackets used in Iceland: 1-Off white sheepskin collar from Sears Roebuck. 2-dark sheepskin collar from Montgomery Ward." So I can only assume that the off white sheepskin collar coats worn by the China Marines were supplied by Sears and Roebuck. Here is a photo from my personal collection showing this coat worn by a horse Marine in China. There are lots of other photographs similar, and I refer the reader to the wonderful works Equipping the Corps, Volume 1" by Alec Tulkoff and China Horse Marine by E, Richard Bonham. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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