Acme Depot Showcase #2

(Filed: 9 September 1999)

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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 assembly.

Aside from the pocket deviation, the materials, colors, and construction characteristics of this jacket are no different from standard issue jackets.

M-41 Private Purchase

M-41 Private Purchase Pocket

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 in reprint.]

  • 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.]

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Copyright © 1999 Marc D. Weinshenker. All rights reserved.