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M43, MQ1, M50 & M51 Field Jackets & Trousers


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My favorite thrift store yielded this beauty today: a mint condition M-1943 field jacket, Pattern B, dated May 30, 1945. It is size 44R, which is very much a large size: I (sadly) weigh over 200 pounds and am about 5-11 and this fits me, which is very unsual for a vintage field jacket.

 

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The war in Europe was over by May, 1945 so I assume that field jacket was made for the war in the Pacific which was expected to drag on for another couple years. Must have been a surplus of those when the war ended abruptly in Aug, 1945. I guess some gyrene has had that in his closet since 1945 by the looks of it.

Greg Robinson "marine-kabar"

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I've had this jacket for a while and still don't understand why it was made. Made in 1948 and basically the same item as the WW2 M1943 but it has liner buttons sewn on the inside despite the fact that a button in liner was not adopted until the Spring of 1951. So the only "liner" available at the time was the wool field jacket AKA the "Ike" jacket or the Pile Field Jacket. Good chance the M1943 field jacket was worn inside the M1948 parka during the early winters in Korea.

 

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Greg Robinson "marine-kabar"

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's an early production M1943 based on the olive green exterior, light OD ("khaki") inner lining, and green buttons. Sometime later it was converted to an M1950 with the addition of liner buttons and inkstamped "M-L" for medium/long. But it has no markings other than some size numbers under the "M-L" which look like "40". But no spec labels, nomenclature or contract markings, etc. So got no idea who made this jacket.

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Greg Robinson "marine-kabar"

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The first pattern B was November, 1943 followed by the next update for pattern B of August, 1944. I think they sneaked pattern A in after late September / October, 1943 but I've not come acrross one as of yet. It seems that the Nov, 1943 to Aug, 1944 patt b mainly had a browner od, khaki if you like, lining and green buttons, some have brown though, supply and demand, and the post Aug, 1944 had green lining and brown buttons. Yours may be a Nov, 43 / Aug, 44.

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Here's the spec tag of another WW2 M1943 I own. Basically looks the same as the other one shown above but has the thicker brown buttons and the instruction label at the collar. And the spec tag in the pocket.

 

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Greg Robinson "marine-kabar"

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Here's something i've wondered. On the spec tag it shows pattern B dated Feb 19, 1944. With there being so many different B patt dates on the jackets do you think the pattern B dated Feb, 1944 could be when the maker won the contract or when qmd reviewed the spec?

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In my opinion this is another case where the spec tag makes no sense. The contract date is the PO date of April 1944. And notice the specification # is 370-D so it's not a "B" pattern but a "D" pattern jacket. Why they list what appears to be a revision date of Feb '44 for a pattern "B" has me confused.

 

Here's another odd one, an M1943 MQ-1 field jacket with a contract date in 1948 but a pattern date of Aug 1944. But the jacket is clearly made to a post war pattern so why is this listed on the spec tag? Also, the specification number is all wrong for a 1944 jacket.

 

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This is an outline of the changes to specifications for the M43 Field Jacket. This document was copied from an early issue of the English language edition of the French magazine MILITARIA MAGAZINE.

 

 

The M-43 Field Jacket variations

 

(PQD = Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot)

 

1. Specification PDQ 1 370 (May 29 1943)

 

-The collar can be buttoned in an upwards position by a piece of cloth under the collar, it can be buttoned in two positions, depending on what type of clothing is worn underneath.

-13 sizes are available, three lengths are available, Short, Regular and Long.

-Makers tag is in the right breast pocket, printed on cheese cloth.

-Size tag is sewn in the collar.

-There is a loop sewn in the collar to suspend the jacket when not worn.

-The bottom of the sleeves are closed like the wool shirt.

 

2. Specification PDQ 370-A (June 30 1943)

 

-The piece of cloth under the collar is placed lower.

-The bottom of the sleeves is hemmed by just one row of stitching.

-13 sizes available, 2 lengths , Regular and Long.

-Two lengths of cloth are sewn in at both extremities of the lower pockets to support the weight sometimes carried in them. One of these pieces of cloth goes all the way up to the collar.

 

 

3. Specification PQD 370-B (July 9 1943)

 

-The bottom of the sleeves are more simplified.

-The patch for closing the collar is replaced by a trapezoid patch sewn behind the left side of the collar and held in place by buttons.

-The second button for the collar is no longer there.

-The size is now printed below the collar.

-Makers tag is in the right lower pocket.

 

4. Specification PQD 397 (September 15 1943)

 

-Looks like the M-1943-A

Its made of poplin, and lined by flannel to use up the existing stocks for the Field Jacket lining (M-1941) Its made in small amounts until spring 1944.

 

5. Specification PQD 370-C ((October 11 1943)

 

-Thicker buttons.

-Suppression of the 2nd button of the patch for the upstanding collar when its not being used.

-The loop for suspending the jacket is now actually sewn in a loop. This was not so before.

-18 sizes available, three lengths, Short, Regular and Long.

 

6. Specification PQD 370-D (February 23 1944)

 

-‘How to use’ tag added below the collar, rectangular, in cheese cloth or on fabric.

 

7. Specification PQD 370-E (February 13 1945)

 

-18 sizes, three lengths, Short, Regular and Long.

-The size tag is sewn in with the collar and the size is marked in red, blue or black.

-‘How to use’ tag now has a small drawing added. Some makers print this tag on the lining by a transfer that is ironed on.

-The breast pockets are made larger, supposedly to be able to carry K rations.

 

8. After 1945

 

-Internal buttons added for fitting a liner.

-The color changes to a brighter color.

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These are two experimental versions of the M43 Field Jacket. I'm not sure of the exact date of manufacture but guess that it was 1942 or very early 1943. There are several features of these two jackets that did not show up until much later in the production jackets. Also there are features here that are not included in any of the production jackets.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is an unusual field jacket, not because it has an invasion flag and 82nd A/B SSI, but because of the wool liner. It has a liner made from an army blanket. I have had this jacket for probably 20 years. I wonder if it was worn in Holland for the Market Garden drop and then when the weather got cold later in the year, the wearer had either a rigger or a Dutch housefrau make the liner.

 

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This photo shows the liner made from an army blanket. It is fairly well-made, which is why I think it was made by either a rigger attached to the unit or a Dutch housefrau who the wearer may have befriended. Note the mismatched buttons.

 

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That is the second M43 I've seen with the blanket liner. The other had a normal M1934 blanket as the liner. Seems sensible as the 43 liner wasn't avalliable at MG and it is to hot anyway unless the weather is very cold.

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Well, there are some M1943 field jackets made with brown wool lining: Specification PQD 397, but these are lined with the leftovers form the Parson's M41 jackets. This jacket is a mystery to me.

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This is the second wool blanket lined M1943 field jacket that I have seen in collectors' hands. I also know a WWII veteran who still has his Holland worn M1943 which has a similar blanket lining, so that makes three of them. I like the touch and have no issues at all with the jacket. The 48 star flag is an oddity to me as it looks like it is made of silk rather than gauze, oilcloth or even cotton that I have observed on known originals before. I'd say that your flag is silk due to the "shattered" appearance that it exhibits, the result of age and rough wear.

Member Bob Hritz once told me that he bought a number of similar flags from a former supply sergeant. I have never had any reason to doubt Bob's story as he has always been honest to a fault in our other dealings. I even went so far as to purchase an example from him to add to my collection. While there are a number of photos of 48 star flags sewn to jackets during the Market-Garden campaign, the frequency in which they are observed decreases dramatically as the campaign wore on. I would assume that the colorful flag was too tempting a target for the herrenvolk defending the Dutch bridges. Thanks for sharing the jacket.

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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