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US Victory Museum

SPARS (Semper Paratus ~ Always Ready) Lt (jg)

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SPARS - from the motto 'Semper Paratus' (Always Prepared!)

 

I currently own two enlisted SPARS uniforms; however, until recently, one of the more

uncommon uniforms had always escaped my grasp. Just over 10,000 women served in the

Coast Guard as SPARS, of them a much smaller number were commissioned as officers;

therefore, when I had the opportunity to acquire this uniform, I jumped at it.

 

The color of the sleeve braid gave me a moment of unease. The usual SPARS braid color

is a softer paler blue. This was not a deal killer, since I have also seen WAVES officer's

uniforms with darker color braid; but since SPARS uniforms are rare, this was something

I was going to inspect thoroughly.

 

Both the blouse and skirt are properly tagged to the US Coast Guard Clothing Division.

For a very brief period of time, SPARS received their uniforms from WAVES procurement;

however, once their own clothing division was established, this practice ended.

 

 

This uniform is ranked to a Lt. Junior Grade.

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Contrary to what many believe, the WAVES blouse is not the same as the SPARS blouse.

Many of the people trying to pass off humped up uniforms don't realize this, but

unfortunately many of the people buying their crap don't know this either. SPARS

uniforms have sewn grommets on the collar through which their insignia's screw back

post pass through; WAVES uniforms do not.

 

The quality of the SPARS collar insignia during WWII is far superior to more modern

stamped ones. I believe this reflects the experience and skill of the early tool and

die maker who made the early dies. This shows in the crisp edges of the small letters

in Semper Paratus. In the modern pins, one can barely read these letters.

 

This particular blouse bears two large ribbons; the first is the easily recognized WWII

victory ribbon; the second I had to look up on the I-net - it's a pistol marksmanship

award. This is awarded for qualification at the higher levels of sharpshooter and expert.

 

The gilt buttons, worn by officers, had an eagle that faced left. (to the left of

the person wearing the uniform). Thus these are correct WWII era SPARS officer's buttons.

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donation2009.gif

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The stitching on all labels and the braid was compared to ALL the stitching

on every inch of this blouse. The braid, as well as the labels was sewn

only through the outside material and not the inner lining. This is good.

Anyone trying to attach labels to a WAVES blouse would have to have opened

each sleeve lining, the pocket linings, and sewn grommets on each side of the

collar in order to attempt a reasonable fraud. The stitching everywhere

was uniform and professional. All materials passed the black light test.

 

This label is sewn onto one of the two inside pockets. The blouse has no

exterior pockets; however, it does have a pair of faux breast pocket flaps.

Inside the right inner pocket, a second coast guard clothing label for

owner information can be found.

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donation2009.gif

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The only damage that I can see on the uniform is that the sleeve shields' bullion

has almost tarnished completely.

 

The downside to this excellent conditioned uniform is that the woman to whom this

belonged was very small; I couldn't fit this uniform over the mannequins that I

chopped to fit my Spanish-American War uniforms, and those make the WWI uniforms

look big!

 

For almost an instant I was beginning to suspect that this was small sized unused

surplus since it is unnamed; however, careful observation indicates that this uniform

was professionally tailored to fit an individual. (Darts sewn in the back)

 

 

Following WWII, all SPARS were decommissioned and discharged. When women were again

admitted into the coast guard (1949), their dress uniforms, like those of the WAVES

officers' used gold sleeve braid, and the eagles on their buttons faced to the right.

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Once again, Great Uniform! I am missing that one from my collection.

Terry


You are his witness now, without a witness, they just disappear!

Quote from the movie TAKING CHANCE 2009

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Very great uniform and info!

I didn't know that waves and spars uniforms aren't the same!

During the war , what are missions of the spars?

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wow!

thanks to show us this perfect uniform! Thanks too for info, it's very instructive :thumbsup:

 

Thierry


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"We,departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sand of time"

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