Canadian Para smock question

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Canadian Para smock question

Kevin James
Kevin James

July 5th, 2009, 4:55 pm #1

Hello, I`ve just picked up one of the Canadian DPM style Para smocks and I was wondering if these are made of more than one type of fabric and how it would normally be tagged? The one I purchased seems only to have the remnant of a small white tag at the neck. It doesn`t look like anything else was removed, could it be correct? Thanks
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Dave Hiorth
Dave Hiorth

July 5th, 2009, 8:38 pm #2

To the best of my knowledge they were only made of one material. Of course I can not remember what the blend was by I think it was a nylon with something else off the top of my head. It was not ripstop. I have never seen them with a tag in the neck ever.
The only exception to this rule I can think of is prototype stuff which does exist of course. I would suggest you take a picture and post it here so that hopefully somebody else can confirm that I am correct(hopefully they wont tell you to buy a book).
The label for size, description, NSN and manufacturer is always down near the front bottom of the zipper on the inside of course. The only other label is a large one which is on the inside in the small of your back with care instructions and how to launder it etc. I hope this helps
Dave
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Joined: January 9th, 2007, 1:32 am

July 5th, 2009, 11:31 pm #3

Hello, I`ve just picked up one of the Canadian DPM style Para smocks and I was wondering if these are made of more than one type of fabric and how it would normally be tagged? The one I purchased seems only to have the remnant of a small white tag at the neck. It doesn`t look like anything else was removed, could it be correct? Thanks
Kevin,

There has been a lot of on-line discussion about the Canadian issue DPM para-smocks, and how they came to be issued. The company that made the smocks used the same camouflage cloth they had already used for a combat uniform contract (pants and shirts) for the Tanzanian Army. The Tanzanian uniform pattern was based on the old Canadian combat uniform with the slanted shirt pockets, but using the camouflage cloth. The only tags on these uniforms was a small white cloth tag at the neck.

They looked like this:




As Dave mentions, the Canadian pattern smock has two labels; one on the inside mid-back and one on the lower inside left front.

The labels look like this:






I borrowed these images from another web-site. I would have used "Mark's Camouflage Uniforms" but that site seems to have gone down.

Kevin, if you can rustle up a copy of the book 'Eat Your Weakest Man' (2000) by Rui Amaral you will find an appendix that explains in detail the how the smocks came to be, including the use of the Tanzanian Army camouflage.

Cheers,
Dan.
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Kevin James
Kevin James

July 6th, 2009, 1:55 am #4

Thanks, I`ve posted a couple of photos. You can see where a tag was removed at the neck, but there`s no other tags. Very tan compared to most DPM. Found here in London. Could this be a prototype?



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Paul Harrison
Paul Harrison

July 6th, 2009, 3:44 am #5

Hi,
Your smock is Canadian Issue. It was worn by both the Canadian Airborne Regiment as well as the Special Service Force (SSF) in Petawawa Ontario. (Some of the CAR vets on this site will be able to provide exact dates of the introduction). There were a few other exceptions, (Jump Companies of a few select Reserve Infantry Regiments). In 1968 when the Canadian Airborne Regiment was formed, the first true "Canadian" smock was used. It was nylon with a full zip but made in a monotone green colour. Initial date of manufacture was NLT 1968.
The initial Canadian made camoflage smock was introduced about 1975, and it was a much darker base pattern than your smock, but also has a distinct plastic zipper. All of the female snaps had non voided centres. By 1977-1978 a metal zipper had replaced the plastic zipper and the colour was lighter but the non voided snaps were maintained. This will date your smock to about 1978ish. In discussion with some of the riggers in Petawawa one of the defects of the female snaps were that they were "popped" off by the male snap when connected. The result was by the late 70's/early 80's all snaps were made with a voided female snap on smocks being manufactured. One of my issue smocks that I still have is identical to yours and is dated 1978. (If you look closely on some of the newer smocks for sale, you will see the circular hole made in the female snap).

Following the disbandment of the Airborne Regiment the smock was removed from primary service (Mid 90's). The very last serving members of the Canadian Forces to wear the smock was the Canadian Airborne Centre (CAC) in Trenton Ontario. I don't have dates handy, but it was post 1999. It was replaced with the introduction of the Temerate Wear (TW) CADPAT uniform system.

My dates may be out a year or two but your smock is a Canadian made and issued item. Although the smock does not wear well, it was IMHO the sharpest piece of kit the CF issued post 1945.

Hope this helps.
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Kevin James
Kevin James

July 6th, 2009, 12:28 pm #6

Yeah, That helps indeed. Didn`t expect that type of pinpoint dating. Most appreciated Paul!

Cheers, Kevin
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Clive M. Law - Service Publications
Clive M. Law - Service Publications

July 6th, 2009, 2:56 pm #7

Hi,
Your smock is Canadian Issue. It was worn by both the Canadian Airborne Regiment as well as the Special Service Force (SSF) in Petawawa Ontario. (Some of the CAR vets on this site will be able to provide exact dates of the introduction). There were a few other exceptions, (Jump Companies of a few select Reserve Infantry Regiments). In 1968 when the Canadian Airborne Regiment was formed, the first true "Canadian" smock was used. It was nylon with a full zip but made in a monotone green colour. Initial date of manufacture was NLT 1968.
The initial Canadian made camoflage smock was introduced about 1975, and it was a much darker base pattern than your smock, but also has a distinct plastic zipper. All of the female snaps had non voided centres. By 1977-1978 a metal zipper had replaced the plastic zipper and the colour was lighter but the non voided snaps were maintained. This will date your smock to about 1978ish. In discussion with some of the riggers in Petawawa one of the defects of the female snaps were that they were "popped" off by the male snap when connected. The result was by the late 70's/early 80's all snaps were made with a voided female snap on smocks being manufactured. One of my issue smocks that I still have is identical to yours and is dated 1978. (If you look closely on some of the newer smocks for sale, you will see the circular hole made in the female snap).

Following the disbandment of the Airborne Regiment the smock was removed from primary service (Mid 90's). The very last serving members of the Canadian Forces to wear the smock was the Canadian Airborne Centre (CAC) in Trenton Ontario. I don't have dates handy, but it was post 1999. It was replaced with the introduction of the Temerate Wear (TW) CADPAT uniform system.

My dates may be out a year or two but your smock is a Canadian made and issued item. Although the smock does not wear well, it was IMHO the sharpest piece of kit the CF issued post 1945.

Hope this helps.
My Mark II, when he was in cadets, made a jump smock of Cadpat material. He wore this on his Dutch para course in '06 as well as last year in Italy when he did an Italian/Croatian course. I cannot post the pix from Haiti but will try to remember when I am back in Ottawa.
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Joined: February 5th, 2005, 4:07 pm

July 7th, 2009, 11:56 pm #8

Posted are images of the camo smock showing location of labels, with close-up details, including the labels. Hope this helps to ID your smock, which obviously is not one of the Tanzanian BDUs patterned after the Canadian combat uniform.

OK - Here I go again - not to pee on the parade, IMHO, ( - ), the camo smock is a poor quality copy of the OD nylon smock. It's really a POS. It sucks.

Unlike the OD nylon smock, the camo version, if mine is truly representative, would hardly hold up to serious field use. It's no more than a heavy shirt, and of such poor quality that the stitching readily falls apart. The only comparison that can be made with the old OD nylon smock is that it's a lousy knock-off. Now, I realize that the CAR guys are going to go ape shit over my remarks, but all one has to do is to compare the two smocks side by side.

The camo smock might be OK as a garrison jacket, but it would be worthless/useless in the field.
It's just way too flimsy.


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Ken Joyce
Ken Joyce

July 9th, 2009, 6:14 pm #9

Thanks Alex

I wonder if the OD smock is based on a prototype created by A/Lt. Col. Routh at the A-35 Center during the war. The overall configuration practically matches his suggestions. They were trying to develop an OD and camo version with practically the same types of snaps and pocket shapes. Ultimately using the US Suit Parachute Jumper as a model. Might explain the thin material used and more snug fit. As far as I know they used Deacon Bros of Belleville to acquire a sateen or nylon material as well as to put them together. They did create winter white suits for parachute use. I also wonder about the date of the actual prototype of the OD smock. I went to visit Ken Arril once and he had several examples of these smocks. One which appeared quite odd to me and looked like a prototype garment. I think he left well before 1968.
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Kevin James
Kevin James

July 10th, 2009, 3:42 am #10

Posted are images of the camo smock showing location of labels, with close-up details, including the labels. Hope this helps to ID your smock, which obviously is not one of the Tanzanian BDUs patterned after the Canadian combat uniform.

OK - Here I go again - not to pee on the parade, IMHO, ( - ), the camo smock is a poor quality copy of the OD nylon smock. It's really a POS. It sucks.

Unlike the OD nylon smock, the camo version, if mine is truly representative, would hardly hold up to serious field use. It's no more than a heavy shirt, and of such poor quality that the stitching readily falls apart. The only comparison that can be made with the old OD nylon smock is that it's a lousy knock-off. Now, I realize that the CAR guys are going to go ape shit over my remarks, but all one has to do is to compare the two smocks side by side.

The camo smock might be OK as a garrison jacket, but it would be worthless/useless in the field.
It's just way too flimsy.


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Thanks for following up and the extra photos. Mine seems fairly well made, not a very heavy weight fabric, but stitching is good.
Mine would seem to be an earlier issue, maybe the quality went downhill as time went on? Anyway, I appreciate the assistance. Cheers!
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