The Battle Jacket

The Battle Jacket

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 30th, 2002, 10:20 am #1

BATTLE JACKET

(Battle Jacket, Not "Ike" Jacket)

"When the 1stMarine Division arrived from Guadalcanal in early
1943, it was issued the Australian battle dress blouse and
trousers, because of a shortage of forest green service uniforms.
The wool serge waist-length blouse was OD, termed khaki by the
Australians.

It had pleated breast pockets, concealed pocket flap
and front closure buttons. Known as the 'Vandegrift', jacket
after the Division Commander, it proved popular. A US-made forest
green version was authorised for officers in December 1944and for
enlisted men in August 1945."

Re US Marine Corps 1941-45, by Gordon Rottman/Mike
Chappell, Osprey 1995.

I was issued both a green battle jacket and a blouse in boot camp as was the policy at that time. Some others, however were issued either two blouses or two battle jackets.

Upon my arrival at Camp Pendleton in September 1952, I "acquired" a khaki battle jacket , which could still be worn on liberty--something that helped on the sometimes chilly evenings; besides, everybody didn't have one at that time.

The green battle jacket continued to be worn, legally or otherwise, on and/or off-base, until the late '50s--some say later even.

-Dick Gaines

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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 6th, 2002, 7:40 pm #2

I found it amusing to read in Patton's Quotes the following...

"Tomorrow I shall have my new battle jacket. If I'm to fight I like to be well dressed.
"
As you know, the Marine Corps referred to its jacket as the "Battle Jacket" or "Vandegrift Jacket"; while the somewhat differently designed Army version was referred to as the "Ike Jacket,"

Marines also sometimes, erroneously referred to our battle jacket as an Ike Jacket.

I suppose, Patton, disliking Eisenhower as he did, preferred to call it something else.

Semper Fidelis,
Dick Gaines
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