Original British WWII Special Air Service SAS Commando Beige Beret

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The sand-colored beret of the Special Air Service is officially designated the beige beret. The beige beret was worn from 1942 till 1944. In 1944, when the SAS returned to the UK they were forced to adopt the maroon beret of the airborne forces as they became part of that command. When the SAS was re-raised in 1947 as 21st SAS Artist Rifles they again wore the maroon beret. In 1956 however the SAS officially adopted the beige beret again, an attempt was made to match the original sand colored cloth beret from those in the possession of veterans. This proved impossible to do from existing approved cloth color stocks held by the British authorities, so, as a compromise and with no authorization for expenditure on a new color dye the nearest acceptable color was selected and approved by an all ranks committee of the Regimental Association. In 1958 all SAS personnel switched from maroon to beige. Personnel attached to the regiment also wear this beret but with their own badges in accordance with usual British practice.

This is a lovely example of the SAS Commando “Beige Beret”, which is offered in excellent, service worn condition. The interior lining was cutout, more than likely to allow better airflow to the user’s head. There are scattered moth nips and holes throughout but the “Who Dares Wins” embroidered cloth insignia on the font is still completely intact. Embroidered cap badge of the SAS, consists of a dark (Cambridge) blue shield on which a white sword (Excalibur), point down, with a pair of light (Oxford) blue wings. An Oxford blue scroll over the lower part of the sword bears the motto WHO DARES WINS in black. Sword, wings and scroll all outlined in red.

A lovely example ready for further research and display.

The Special Air Service was a unit of the British Army during the Second World War that was formed in July 1941 by David Stirling and originally called "L" Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade—the "L" designation and Air Service name being a tie-in to a British disinformation campaign, trying to deceive the Axis into thinking there was a paratrooper regiment with numerous units operating in the area (the real SAS would "prove" to the Axis that the fake one existed). It was conceived as a commando force to operate behind enemy lines in the North African Campaign and initially consisted of five officers and 60 other ranks. Its first mission, in November 1941, was a parachute drop in support of the Operation Crusader offensive. Due to German resistance and adverse weather conditions, the mission was a disaster; 22 men, a third of the unit, were killed or captured. Its second mission was a major success. Transported by the Long Range Desert Group, it attacked three airfields in Libya, destroying 60 aircraft without loss. In September 1942, it was renamed 1st SAS, consisting at that time of four British squadrons, one Free French, one Greek, and the Folboat Section.

In January 1943, Colonel Stirling was captured in Tunisia and Paddy Mayne replaced him as commander. In April 1943, the 1st SAS was reorganized into the Special Raiding Squadron under Mayne's command and the Special Boat Squadron was placed under the command of George Jellicoe. The Special Raiding Squadron fought in Sicily and Italy along with the 2nd SAS, which had been formed in North Africa in 1943 in part by the renaming of the Small Scale Raiding Force. The Special Boat Squadron fought in the Aegean Islands and Dodecanese until the end of the war. In 1944 the SAS Brigade was formed. The unit was formed from:

1st Special Air Service
2nd Special Air Service
3rd Special Air Service - 2e Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes
4th Special Air Service - 3e Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes
5th Special Air Service - lineage continued by Belgian Special Forces Group
F Squadron - responsible for signals and communications

It was tasked with parachute operations behind the German lines in France and carried out operations supporting the Allied advance through France, (Operations Houndsworth, Bulbasket, Loyton and Wallace-Hardy) Belgium, the Netherlands (Operation Pegasus), and eventually into Germany (Operation Archway). As a result of AH’s issuing of the Commando Order on 18 October 1942, the members of the unit faced the additional danger that they would be summarily executed if captured by the Germans. In July 1944, following Operation Bulbasket, 34 captured SAS commandos were summarily executed by the Germans. In October 1944, in the aftermath of Operation Loyton another 31 captured SAS commandos were summarily executed by the Germans.

  • This product is available for international shipping.
  • Eligible for all payments - Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, Paypal, Amazon & Sezzle


Cash For Collectibles