Field or Combat Uniforms: WW II ETO Jacket

ETO Jacket
Jacket, Field, Lined (Enlisted Man)
First Pattern ETO Jacket.

Today in WW II: 15 Nov 1943 German SS leader Heinrich Himmler orders Gypsies and those of mixed Gypsy blood to be 'on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps'.   

Jacket, Field, Lined (Enlisted Man) -- The ETO Jacket

British Battle Dress Blouse Jacket

The ETO Jacket was manufactured in England for American forces based on the British Battle Dress blouse design (Photo, left.) It was intended to replace both the wool Service Coat and the M-1941 Field Jacket (Parson's Jacket), neither one of which served the needs in the European Theater of Operations. The design was developed by General Robert Littlejohn, Chief Quartermaster in the ETO. General Eisenhower himself ordered the ETO Jacket procurement, tired of waiting for the requested design to be produced in the U.S. Production of the ETO Jacket began in May of 1943.

The First Pattern (Specification No. U/1180A) was based on the M-1941 Field Jacket with a button front, two front slash pockets with button flap closures,tabs at the sleeve cuffs, and a half-belt in the back. It has a British style waistband with a metal buckle closure. The shoulders are plain without loops. It was made of rough British wool with a lining and a gas flap behind the button closure. (See photo, top of page.)

Second Pattern ETO Jacket

The Second Pattern of "Jacket, Field, Lined (Enlisted Man)" was Specification No. U/1379. Although quite similar to the First Pattern the design was based more on the British Battle Dress blouse, rather than the M-1941 Field Jacket. It featured front breast pockets with button covers, shoulder loops, front buttons, and wrist tabs. The waistband closes with a button instead of the First Pattern metal buckle. There was no gas flap. (Photo, right.)

Officer's Jackets in the ETO Jacket Pattern

Although there was a batch of Officer's ETO Jackets made (Specification U/1387-C), many officers had their jackets made by their own tailors. The ETO Jacket was very popular and the fact that the Supreme Commander (Ike) favored the design made it almost mandatory for ETO Officers, particularly SHAEF staff. These privately made jackets often had small design "improvements" based on the officer's taste. The officer's jackets often were made of better materials and linings.

The Ike Jacket Becomes Official Standard

The Quartermaster eventually caught up with the requirement and on 2 November 1944 the Jacket, Field, Wool M-1944 (Ike Jacket) was classified as the standard of issue. Mass production of the Ike Jacket in the U.S. fully replaced the ETO Jacket by 1945 and it was no longer produced.

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