Original British WWII Airborne Forces Pattern 1942 Parachutists’ Oversmock - Dated 1944

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is a lovely offering from us and the first one we have received in our inventory! This is an incredible, 1944 dated British Parachutist’s “Oversmock”. While the Denison Smock was designed for paratroopers, it was also issued to glider troops and eventually the Commando units. The oversmock was only ever used by paratroopers, as it was specifically designed to be worn during the descent onto the landing zone. In training, the oversmock could be collected and returned to stores, but on operations, it was considered disposable and was to be removed and abandoned on the drop zone. This example does not appear to have been abandoned for left on the field of operation, making this an even more attractive offering.

To reduce the number of accidents, it was considered vital to prevent any entanglements between the paratrooper, his equipment, and the parachute. In 1942 the Denison smock and the parachutists’ oversmock were both adopted and entered into production. The Denison was worn over the wool battledress uniform with the webbing equipment worn over it for the obvious reason of easy access. The oversmock was then worn over all other uniform and equipment items, separating them from the parachute harness and rigging lines, preventing the user from any line entanglements.

The parachutist’s oversmock is a sleeveless garment made from a green denim-like material with a full-length zipper which is original to the smock. Like the Denison smock, it has a “monkey tail” to be snapped up between the legs to keep the garment in place during the jump. However, these are buttoned from the outside as opposed to the inside on the Denisons. The oversmock has a pair of elasticized pockets near the waistline, each intended to hold a single grenade to assist in an opposed landing.

The overall condition is quite nice and comes more than ready for further research and display.

Approximate Measurements:
Collar to shoulder: 10"
Shoulder to shoulder: 18.5”
Chest width: 25.5"
Waist width: 29"
Hip width: 30"
Front length: 41"

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