Private Purchase M-41 Field Jacket
The U.S. M-41 Field Jacket has a definitive WWII design and
heritage. Formally, it wasn't known as an M-41 or
M-1941 Field Jacket, but rather as an OD Field Jacket. (It
was also sometimes referred to as a Parsons jacket because of
the role played by Major General J.K. Parsons in its design.)
The M-1943 Field Jacket which replaced it was the first
field jacket to take the model year nomenclature but, since
the OD Field Jacket in its ultimate revision appeared in 1941,
the informal name M-41 has become commonly accepted.
The jacket example shown here is of interest in that it
has an unusual modification indicating that it is a privately
purchased rather than an issued jacket. Referring to the
photos below, there is an additional zippered pocket
on the right side below the standard slash pocket. The
zipper in this pocket is made by Crown and is brass and
has a nice little chain puller. The construction of this
pocket is such that it could not have been a modification
but only could have been part of the original jacket
Aside from the pocket deviation, the materials, colors, and
construction characteristics of this jacket are no different
from standard issue jackets.
Here are two more interesting details of the jacket.
- A brass triple marked Talon
zipper with a rectangular
puller is used. Note the two different colors of HBT tape present
on this zip, khaki on one side and O.D. on the other. This appears
original as there is no evidence of any zipper replacement.
- An A.F. of L. United Garment Workers of America
union label is found
inside the pocket, another sign that this not an issue
jacket. The neck label, which likely would have named the
maker, is missing.
- Risch, Erna, and Pitkin, Thomas,
Clothing the Soldier of World War II. Q.M.C.
Historical Studies No. 16, September 1946. [Available
- Army Service Forces Catalog QM Sec. 1
(Enlisted Men's Clothing and Equipment),
Quartermaster Supply Catalog, OQMG Circular No. 4 - Revised
August 1943. [Available in reprint.]