Page last updated 19th December 2016

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Class A uniform for a male officer

(see here for a summarised list of preferred suppliers)
 

Jacket


This was an olive-drab (correctly described as Olive Drab 51, Dark Shade) four-pocket jacket with shoulder-straps and cloth waist-belt with brass buckle. The jacket fastened with three embossed brass buttons and a fourth plain flat plastic button which sat underneath the cloth belt. What made the original tunics unique was that they were made from a material called wool elastique which has a distinctive diagonal ribbed pattern as a result of its double weave. It is a very durable fabric with a texture similar to fine whipcord and which reflects the light in a way quite different to other uniform cloth such as gabardine or barathea. This is why reproduction jackets made of material other than wool elastique usually never really quite capture the right colour and texture of an original 1940s-era tunic. There were matching dark olive drab trousers to form a complete uniform with the jacket (see below).

Seal Military of Derbyshire, who I should mention are lovely people to deal with, do a very nice quality Class A jacket in barathea that is exactly the right shade of olive drab. This jacket is well-cut and very well-made. I can thoroughly recommend the Seal Class A jacket as one of the best reproductions currently available on the market.

What Price Glory operate a fast mail order operation to the UK from Dubai and are the only online retailers of whom I have had personal experience who can offer an authentic Class A jacket made of wool elastique at a reasonable price. And this really is an accurate reproduction, right down to the 'bi-swing' styling of the back of the jacket. But the downside is that, unless you are exceptionally lucky (or a somewhat unusual shape), don't expect your jacket to fit properly straight out of the box. The jackets come with unfinished sleeve cuffs to allow for tailoring and include a generous length of the requisite authentic cuff braid. One major problem I have encountered with WPG is the sizing of their jackets. Everything I have ordered seems to be at least one size too big, despite taking careful notice of their online size guides. Judging by their customer reviews this is a very common problem. I elected to get my jackets altered locally rather than returning them for exchange because WPG's returns policy doesn't appear to cover this sort of eventuality even though, strictly speaking, this is a manufacturing or marketing fault and such returns should really be at the retailer's expense, not the customer's. I recommend ordering their jackets in a size smaller than your actual measurements, other than where WPG specifically advise otherwise on their website. Having said all that, WPG's products are still very good and can be recommended.
 


 

An alternative to the four-pocket tunic is the so-called 'Ike jacket'. This description generally refers to any waist-length uniform jacket worn by the US Army during WW2 and is derived from General 'Ike' Eisenhower who popularised this style of coat. It is thought that the 'Ike jacket' was originally inspired by our own British Army battledress jackets and copied by the US forces stationed in Britain from 1942. Some Ike jackets were literally cut-down Class A tunics, complete with brass buttons, but later purpose-made examples, of which there were numerous variations, had concealed buttons and button-fastened cuffs. The Ike jacket is a very smart and flattering item of uniform. Very similar to the Ike jacket was the B-13 Flight Jacket, shown at left. Although it was originally issued to USAAF officers as an item of flying clothing, it soon found favour as an off-duty alternative to the Ike jacket.

Although Seal Military do stock their own Ike jacket, as do WPG, my own personal favourite in this style is WPG's B-13 Flight Jacket. It is made of the same authentic OD51 shade and weight of wool elastique cloth as their Class A tunic. When decked out with badges and insignia this really is a very smart and comfortable uniform jacket indeed.

 

   
Updated
12th December 2015

Trousers



US Army officers could wear either of two different colours of service dress trousers with their OD51 Class A jackets (see left). The original pattern were OD51 dark olive drab to match the Class A jacket. However, the most commonly worn pattern were the legendary 'Pinks'. The correct designation of the colour was 'Drab, Light Shade' which was described as grey with a pinkish tone, hence their commonly-used name. The original idea behind wearing pinks with the dark shade olive drab Class A jacket was that it was almost impossible to correctly colour-match a pair of dark olive drab trousers with the Class A tunic unless they were both made from the exact same stock of fabric at the same time, so it was considered preferable to wear contrasting trousers instead.  Both patterns of trousers were usually made from wool elastique or a cavalry twill material. Unfortunately I see so many re-enactors at Forties events and dances who have invested in an authentic Class A tunic but who then spoil the overall effect by wearing chino-style trousers of totally the wrong pattern and colour. Eastman Leather Clothing offer superb quality, entirely authentic reproduction pinks (see left) in wool elastique, accurate right down to the very last detail including the 'Officers Regulation' label inside the waistband. Seal Military also stock excellent reproduction pink trousers which are made from a high quality cavalry twill material of the right colour and which are very well-made.

What Price Glory are the only supplier of which I'm aware who stock the correct pattern of Class A dark olive drab trousers (see left) in authentic wool elastique. My recently purchased pair are a pretty good colour match with my Class A jacket bought from WPG a couple of years ago, but not close enough to wear as a complete uniform, which proves the point about the reasoning behind wearing 'pinks'. However, when these trousers are worn with an A2 flight jacket or an M1941 'Parsons' field jacket, or even just with a khaki shirt and tie in Class B dress they create an authentic appearance as often seen in period photographs (see the example below in the Tie section).
 


 

 

 

 

 

 




 

Updated
12th December 2015

Shirt



The shirt was long-sleeved with shoulder-straps and flapped breast pockets, and had a rayon-lined collar and shoulder yoke. According to the official Officer's Guide of 1942, the only authorised colours were olive drab (correctly specified as OD51 dark olive drab) and khaki. In 1944 a third option was authorised which was a pale stone colour that closely matched that of the pink trousers. Several prominent suppliers offer for sale chocolate brown shirts but these are not at all authentic. 'Chocolate' is often used to describe OD51 dark olive drab  but is not actually a brown colour at all. Please see the section on this website dealing with the subject of 'chocolate' uniform items for a fuller explanation. In my current experience, only Soldier Of Fortune (see left) and What Price Glory stock authentic replicas of the OD51 olive drab ('chocolate') shirt.

Seal Military stock excellent reproductions of the khaki shirt. What Price Glory stock a cotton-poplin model (see left) that is approximately the right shade of khaki, is authentic in style and cut, is comfortable to wear under the tunic and is reasonably priced. But be warned, the quality can be variable. I purchased two of these shirts, one of which was fine but the other had a plainly visible defect on the collar and had to be returned for exchange.



 


 

 





 

 

Updated
31st January 2016

Cap
 


The Service Cap was affectionately known in the USAAF as the 'Crusher'. The US bomber pilots wore their service caps on missions over Europe and, in order to accommodate the needs of wearing headphones, they were permitted to remove the inner stiffeners from their caps which gave created the characteristic crumpled and crushed appearance (also known as a '50 mission crush'), hence their nickname. Nothing better expresses the individuality of a USAAF re-enactor than the character of his 'crusher'. The aforementioned 'Silver Wings, Pinks & Greens' devotes a whole chapter to the subject of the service cap.

An important consideration when choosing a cap is the range of sizing. Some stockists only carry quarter sizes, that is to say 7", 7" and 7". However, I recommend ordering an ⅛" size larger than your normal hat size, just for comfort. Military service caps are not generally known for their comfortable fit (I still remember mine from my Army basic training days - it was like wearing a crown of thorns!) and if you are attending a Forties event for any length of time you really don't want to feel like your head is in a vice. Another thing to bear in mind is that new hats tend to be round in shape whilst the human head is somewhat oval. The best way that I have found to make the one fit the other is to use a good hat stretcher. This not only persuades the hat to adopt a more head-like shape, but it also keeps the hat in shape. In fact, my several military hats are all kept on stretchers whilst not being worn. There are a few hat stretchers available from online retailers but the one I prefer is from Neal Hall in the USA. Not only is it reasonably priced, even including the usually exorbitant US postage charges, but importantly it can accommodate hat sizes from 6 to 8.

The first service cap I bought was from Epic Militaria of Aberystwyth. It was nicely made and well-priced, but unfortunately the colour was closer to dark khaki than olive-drab. Worn with 'pinks' and tan shirt as a Class B uniform, or with a leather A-2 flight jacket, it would be passable, but would never come close to correctly matching the colour or texture of a Class A tunic.

What Price Glory win the prize for stocking the only reasonably-priced service cap made of authentic wool elastique that matches their own Class A jacket. This cap also matches Seal Military's Class A Jacket perfectly. It even has the same authentic leather back-strap found on certain WW2-era brands of cap such as Luxenberg. I'm happy to say that this cap is also stocked in eighth-inch sizes. If there is one criticism I can level at WPG's service cap, it is that the stiffened band around the circumference of the hat is too tall with the result that the cap takes on a slightly exaggerated appearance. This is a great pity, because otherwise this would definitely be the one to buy.

Seal Military have a nice range of service caps in olive drab wool and tan/khaki, both their own repro versions and Luxenberg copies, at very reasonable prices. I have just acquired two of their Luxenbergs, one in olive-drab and the other in tan, and can highly recommend them. The quality and fit of both is excellent and the olive drab version is a good match for Seal's and WPG's Class A jackets.

The absolute Rolls-Royce of service caps were, without doubt, those from the Diamond Clothing Company who hand-made beautiful replicas of four of the most famous WW2 cap brands, Bancroft, Collett, Knox and Luxenberg. I personally own a replica Collett and a Bancroft cap from Diamond and really can't recommend them highly enough for comfort, quality and authenticity. However, it appears that Diamond have now ceased manufacturing crusher caps to concentrate on their A2 leather flight jackets. But do not despair, there's a new kid on the block in the form of the American Patrol Company. I have just become the proud owner of one of their 'crusher' caps in OD51 dark olive drab wool elastique and can't praise them highly enough. They are bespoke-made to your individual head size and come with a variety of options including gold monogramming and a choice of vintage-style brand names inside the sweatband. APCo are a great company to deal with and their lead time on orders is very reasonable.

Another manufacturer has just contacted me regarding their range of caps, the Society Brand Hat Company. A visit to their website reveals that they not only make great-looking 'crushers' but also what appears to be a nice range of garrison caps (see below for explanation). Society Brand Hat Co. can also be found on facebook here.

An alternative to the service cap is the uniquely American 'garrison' or 'overseas' cap. First issued to U.S. "doughboys" in World War I, the hat was called the overseas cap as it was only worn by troops sent to France who were given the French type forage cap as they did not have their wide-brimmed campaign hats with them. The garrison cap was issued in several different guises but the correct pattern for USAAF officers in the ETO was dark olive drab in colour with black and gold piping to denote officer status up to the rank of colonel; Brigadier Generals and above had solid gold piping on their caps. The wearer's rank insignia is worn on the left side of the cap only, with no insignia displayed on the right side. However, I have seen some period photos showing the USAAF winged propeller insignia worn in place of rank. The best source for this cap is What Price Glory whose version is not only the right colour but is also made from wool elastique that exactly matches the fabric of their Class A and Ike jackets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

Updated

Tie


Prior to September 1942 the standard uniform tie was made of black worsted. These were briefly replaced with a dark olive drab (OD51) pattern but shortly thereafter the colour was permanently changed to light khaki (tan). However, some officers continued to wear their traditional black ties throughout the war (see the images below for examples of the variations). Some retailers offer a supposedly reproduction chocolate brown tie but these are completely wrong as this colour was never issued or authorised. Note that ties of the period were tied with a very slim knot (what the Americans refer to as a 'four-in-hand' knot, but is actually the same simple method of tying a tie that we were taught as kids) rather than a large modern Windsor-style knot. The original issue tie for officers was made of mohair or wool worsted, but almost every repro example I have ever seen has been in gabardine or similar material which is really too thick to permit a small knot. Also, almost all reproduction ties tend to be too long - they are sized as per modern civilian ties whereas the originals were shorter to allow the ends of the tie to be neatly tucked away inside the shirt between the second and third buttons. Tie colour was usually chosen to contrast with the shirt being worn, but the tan tie was commonly worn with the light khaki shirt. Original WW2 officer's ties in both OD51 and tan are commonly available on ebay at quite reasonable prices. I have recently obtained some very nice examples in both colours, including a couple of ready-made ties that attach around the neck with an adjustable strap.

What Price Glory stock a very nice light khaki wool worsted tie which is sufficiently lightweight to permit the tying of a nice narrow knot. Otherwise, there is really nothing to choose between the other online retailers when it comes to ties, not even the price. If your preference is to wear a black tie, perfectly acceptable modern alternatives are available from ebay and Amazon. However, please do get a proper woollen tie and not one of the modern ones of some man-made fibre or other - apart from the fact that they look awful, they also tend to loosen their knot very quickly.
 



     
 

 

 







 

Updated
6th April 2016

Belt


The US officer-pattern waist belt was made of heavy-duty khaki cotton webbing with a brass slip-through buckle. Reproductions are available from virtually every online stockist with little difference in price or quality. In fact, I suspect that one factory in Taiwan probably supplies the entire universe! See our summary of preferred suppliers for the various recommended sources. However, original WW2 belt buckles are easily available on ebay at reasonable prices. These look much better than the rather glitzy reproductions. Don't bother hunting for the matching original canvas belts on ebay unless your waist size is around 30" or less! But the good news is that original belt buckles will fit the reproduction belts which, in themselves, are well made and quite accurate.          

 

 

Shoes


The correct forties-pattern officer's footwear worn with service dress uniform was the Shoe, Low Quarter, Russet Leather. This was a plain-fronted (no toe-cap) brown leather lace-up shoe with six pairs of eyelets. What Price Glory offer their own version of these which are well-made and reasonably accurate in style. But for sheer authenticity, Soldier Of Fortune have recently begun stocking excellent reproduction shoes (see left) which I can personally recommend as being the most accurate copies I have found to date.

An alternative suggested by Seal Military is the classic 'Monk' shoe (see left) which is a plain-fronted buckled shoe and which appears in one of the many photos in 'Silver Wings, Pinks & Greens'. See also the period poster reproduced at lower left. Seal carry a beautiful pair by Loakes, a well-known English manufacturer of high-quality shoes, but if you want something a little more affordable another English outfitter, Samuel Windsor, stock their own version of the Monk shoe in their 'Prestige' range which I find perfectly acceptable, and at a third of the price of the Loakes. Samuel Windsor also stock a plain-fronted lace-up Prestige Gibson shoe which is an excellent substitute for the original officer's low-quarter pattern at a very reasonable price, and is thoroughly recommended.

Socks can be any plain beige, olive green or light brown pair. A favourite of mine are the so-called 'Invincible Extra' socks from Orvis - their tan colour is perfect, they are comfortable and guaranteed to outlast any other socks. Alternatively, the Eastman Leather Clothing sell a superb reproduction of the 1942 G.I. olive-green woollen socks in 2-pair packs. I can also thoroughly recommend these for both comfort and authenticity.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Insignia




This is the finishing touch to any uniform ensemble. My own personal preference is for original insignia, which is easily obtainable through ebay. This at least adds a nice touch of authenticity when wearing reproduction uniform. However, if budget restrictions dictate the purchase of reproduction insignia, in my opinion the suppliers with the biggest and best range of badges, patches and insignia are Seal Military and Soldier Of Fortune.

If you are intending to portray a USAAF officer, be aware that the winged propeller branch-of-service insignia as worn on the lapels of the Class A jacket or shirt collar should be of the correct pattern. Most suppliers advertising this type of insignia are actually selling modern-day US Army Aviation Branch badges which are not quite the same as the original USAAF style. Below left is an original WW2-era USAAF lapel badge - notice that the tops of the wings are fairly straight. In the centre is a modern lapel badge of the US Army Aviation Branch - notice how the wing-tips curl upwards and that the wings have a distinctly different shape. This is the pattern incorrectly sold by most suppliers as USAAF insignia. Below right is the pattern supplied by Seal Military which is very close to the original WW2 style of insignia, and is the only one that I can currently recommend.

         

Seal Military stock far and away the very best range of reproduction pilot's wings available in the UK, from standard metal ones at very reasonable price to luxury sterling silver copies of Luxenberg's that simply exude quality. Until 1942, it was the custom for USAAF aircrew officers to wear miniature qualification wings above the left breast pocket of their shirt when in Class B dress, but thereafter it became more common for full-size wings to be worn. A good supplier I have found for miniature shirt wings is USA Military Medals

Click on the thumbnails at upper left for guides as to the correct placement of badges and insignia. These images are taken from the 1943 edition of The Officer's Guide, a book published annually for US Army officers.

Officer's rank insignia, aircrew wings and medal ribbons are often available in two different forms: pin-back (brooch-type) and clutch-back. The latter type have two or more sharp pins that penetrate the uniform fabric and are secured at the back with spring clips or 'clutches'. Although the pin-back type can appear to be the easiest option to affix, they are actually quite difficult to mount straightly. Clutch-back insignia are by far the simplest type to make a neat job of mounting and are therefore recommended. The only exception to this is in the case of shoulder-mounted rank insignia: if the uniform to which the insignia is to be affixed has 'open' shoulder loops then clutch-back is the best and correct option. If the shoulder loops are stitched closed then pin-back insignia is the only option as the clutch-back pins will never penetrate through all the layers of fabric on the shoulder to allow the spring clutches to fit. See my note about insignia mounting pin lengths in the Medal Ribbons section below.

Shoulder patches were sewn on the left arm only, centred on an imaginary line from the shoulder seam to the cuff, the top of the patch being 1/2 inch from the shoulder seam. The patch was usually either the winged-star Army Air Corps insignia or that of the Army Air Force to which the officer was assigned. The most commonly-seen Air Corps patches in England during WW2 were those of the 8th Air Force whose aircraft carried out the strategic bombing of enemy targets in Europe, and those of the 9th Air Force whose aircraft attacked tactical targets in Europe prior to D-Day and also provided paratroop transport and glider tug aircraft for airborne operations. See images at left.

When dressed in Class A uniform, insignia is usually only worn on the tunic and not the shirt. However, I have found several WW2 photos of USAAF officers that clearly show otherwise. The image at lower left is of Major Gale Cleven, 350th Bomb Squadron, 100th Bomb Group, stationed at Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk, in 1944. He can plainly be seen wearing branch of service and rank insignia on his shirt collar under his Class A tunic. This would permit him to remove his tunic whilst on post, reverting to Class B dress.

 

 

Updated
19th December 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 










 



 

 

 

 

Medal Ribbons  


The question of wearing medal ribbons is a somewhat contentious one. Some maintain that if you didn't earn them then you shouldn't wear them. But another point of view suggests that, if the character you are portraying would have worn medal ribbons then, in the interests of authenticity, you should wear them also. I personally believe that, as long as the ribbons worn are consistent with the history of your character, then it is proper to do so. As long as you are sensible about this and haven't inappropriately awarded yourself a Victoria Cross or Medal of Honour then campaign medal ribbons and similar awards are fine. As a matter of interest, the USAAF in England had a policy of automatically awarding the Air Medal to every officer and enlisted man who completed five combat missions over continental Europe (see image at top left). If wearing medal ribbons, do make sure that they are mounted in the correct order of precedence (see our links page for online guides) and that the reason for their award is fully understood.

Be aware that, unlike British and Commonwealth forces who wore up to four medal ribbons on a bar, US forces only wore three ribbons per bar. Any additional ribbons were worn above the first bar. It can be a bit fiddly to neatly align the bars so if you prefer to have your four or more chosen ribbons mounted as one double-row unit, you will have to obtain these from one of the several specialist suppliers in the USA such as Medals of America or USA Military Medals.

Good sources for US medal ribbons within the UK are Seal Military and Soldier Of Fortune. A sensible combination of ribbons would be the Air Medal (for more than 5 combat missions), American Defence Medal (if your assumed character was already serving in the US forces between 1939 and 1941) and the EAME (European-African-Middle Eastern) campaign ribbon for service in any of those theatres from December 1941. If, like me, your persona is that of an 'old soldier', he may well have served in the Great War 25 years earlier and would also wear the US WW1 Victory ribbon (see image at bottom left).

A note about mounting pin sizes is in order. All of the modern reproduction medal ribbon bars (and most other US insignia) I have seen have the standard US clutch-pin type of fastening (sometimes called butterfly clips). The sharp pins that fasten the ribbon bars in place on the uniform come in two different lengths, 6mm and 10mm. Some suppliers seem to stock only the 10mm size as standard (which other suppliers consider to be extra-long). These are fine as they will comfortably accommodate even the thickest uniform jacket material. But the shorter 6mm pins struggle with anything thicker than a shirt or summer tunic. I would advise checking with your chosen supplier about pin length before ordering.


 

 








 

Wristwatches 


I see so many re-enactors going to great lengths to get their uniform exactly right and truly authentic, only to spoil the overall effect by visibly sporting a digital wristwatch, which of course weren't even invented until nearly 30 years after WW2! Even wearing an analogue watch with a modern-style metal bracelet is somewhat anachronistic as leather or cloth watchstraps, or occasionally the early type of expanding sprung metal straps, were the order of the day back in the 1940s.

USAAF aircrew (and other US Army officers) were issued with standard A-11 wristwatches which were made under contract by Bulova, Elgin and Waltham, the most common of which was the Elgin model 539. These were issued with khaki cotton watchstraps. Vintage Elgin A-11 watches from WW2 are still available through eBay and on specialist collector websites, but their price is high and the condition not always the best. However, there is one UK watch specialist, The Merchant Adventurers, that carries a very reasonably-priced modern replica of the iconic A-11 watch. These are Swiss-made timepieces made to very high standards and can be thoroughly recommended. These watches come as standard with a modern-looking black nylon strap, but replacement replica khaki straps can be easily found on ebay or Amazon for just a few pounds and are very easily fitted. Alternatively, both Soldier Of Fortune and What Price Glory stock authentic copies of the original khaki cotton watchstraps.

Soldier Of Fortune also stock the same modern copy of the Elgin A-11 US Army wristwatch (see image at left) which comes complete with an authentic khaki cotton strap. However, my first example came with a strap that was badly made and would have barely fitted a child's wrist. The replacement I was sent was better-made and considerably longer - it might pay to check that a sufficiently long strap will be supplied when ordering.

More recently I have discovered a supplier in the US, The WatchDoc, with a stock of original new-old-stock GI watchstraps (see left). It's only when you compare one of these to the reproductions sold by Soldier of Fortune that you realise just how shoddy the repros are. Moreover, the originals from this supplier are really not expensive and are easily available via eBay. Do be careful to order the correct size as I found that the standard size was a bit too tight for my wrist (and I'm not overly muscular) and had to replace it with an extra-long one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 




 



 

 

 

 

 

Spectacles


Another potential authenticity issue for re-enactors who wear prescription glasses is their spectacle frames. Although some modern metal-rimmed frames can just about pass for the 1940s period, most simply look too modern to be realistic. Luckily there are some online suppliers offering modern reproductions of original period frames that can be re-glazed with prescription lenses. These include Dead Men's Spex and The Optometrist Attic. The latter are an excellent source of absolutely authentic WW2 GI spectacle frames for US re-enactors. This is because they can supply the very same standard silver Shuron P3 frames as issued to hundreds of thousands of GIs during WW2 (see left). These aren't new-old-stock but rather have been in constant production by Shuron since the 1930s. It might surprise some readers to learn just how many US servicemen did wear prescription glasses during WW2 and a recent article, Eyeglasses and the WWII GI, written by Michael Ellis of the 90th Infantry Division Preservation Society is definitely worth a read. I have recently obtained a pair of these authentic Shuron P3 frames with the cable temples (the type of arms with flexible curves that fit snugly behind the ears) and easily got them re-glazed to my prescription at my local  Specsavers opticians.


 




 

 

 

 

Rainwear


It is a fact of life that our weather here in the UK is unpredictable at best, even at the height of summer. Given that almost all Forties events are held outdoors with usually limited available shelter from the elements, it makes sense to take appropriate rainproof clothing if the forecast predicts the possibility of wet weather. The standard raincoat for US Army officers during WW2 was the iconic trench coat. First produced during WW1, as it's name suggests, it provided lightweight rain protection for officers serving in the trenches. The same basic design has now remained popular with soldiers and civilians alike for almost a century.

As US Army officers privately purchased their trench coats, these varied considerably in colour from pale yellowish-beige to olive green to pale grey-beige. However, regardless of colour, the trench coats all followed the same basic style of a belted, double-breasted rain-proof garment with wrist-straps and epaulettes. Badges of rank on the epaulettes were the only insignia usually worn on the trench coat, although I have seen photos showing USAAF and 8th Air Force patches on the left sleeve below the shoulder.

What Price Glory stock their own reproduction trench coat but the price is rather high. A search of ebay or Amazon quickly reveals plenty of alternative trench coats available at reasonable prices. I picked up a very nice example from eBay at a mere fraction of WPG's price. Alternatively, Soldier Of Fortune stock new and unissued US Army M1943 Officer's Long Field Overcoats, which they advertise as trench coats, complete with the original wool blanket lining, at a very reasonable price (see image at left). Once the detachable lining is removed, the overcoat doubles perfectly well as a trench coat that can be worn over a Class A uniform. The only drawback is that they carry just the one size, medium (41" - 43" chest).

Another useful item in a rain shower is a waterproof cap cover. They were certainly available to US Army officers during WW2 - I have a photo of General Eisenhower wearing one during an inspection of troops prior to D-Day. Unfortunately they appear to be all but impossible to source within the UK. However, a perfectly acceptable alternative is the clear plastic disposable shower-cap sold very cheaply by major chemist shops. As the photo at left shows, these elasticated shower-caps fit neatly over the top of the service cap. I now always keep one of these in a pocket of my trench coat just in case.

 

 







Accessories  
  The devil is in the detail, as they say! Why not add this detail, in the form of replica ID cards and other ephemera, to your carefully recreated period ensemble? Soldier Of Fortune carry a small range of such paraphernalia