Item:
ONSV23AAF019

Original U.S. Vietnam War 1st Cavalry Division OG-107 “Type III” Jungle Jacket With OG-106 “Ball Cap” For Major General Elvy Roberts - Formerly A.A.F. Tank Museum Collection

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a fantastic example of a “jungle jacket” uniform set for (at the time) Major General Elvy Roberts. A graduate of the class of 1943 at the U.S. Military Academy, Roberts entered military service in World War Two with the 101st Airborne Division. He served with the 501st and 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiments, 101st Airborne Division, as a Company Commander, Regimental Operations Officer and Battalion Commander. He made combat jumps into Normandy and Holland and participated in the five major campaigns of the 101st Airborne Division, including the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, as a Battalion Commander.

After serving two years in Iran as a Military Advisor to the Shah, he assumed command of the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division in 1961. He subsequently became Chief of Staff, 11th Air Assault Division.

In Vietnam, he was Assistant Division Commander, 9th Infantry Division, and Commanding General, 1st Calvary Division, in May 1969. He led combined U.S. and South Vietnamese forces in the assault against the Cambodian strongholds on 1 May 1970.

After Vietnam, Roberts was assigned to posts in Japan, China, Korea, Mexico, Spain, and Yugoslavia, before being appointed as the head of the U.S. Delegation for Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction in Vienna.

In 1973, Roberts was Commanding General of the U.S. 6th Army based at the Presidio of San Francisco, a post he would hold until retiring from the Army in 1975.

Besides the US Military Academy, he also attended the Command and General Staff College, Armed Forces Staff College, and the Army War College.

The uniform set came to us from the American Armoured Foundation, Inc. Tank and Ordnance Memorial Museum. The AAF Tank Museum was a living memorial dedicated to the Tank and Cavalry soldiers of the world. Before 1981 some of the artifacts that make up the AAF Tank Museum was a private collection belonging to Mr. William Gasser. Mr. Gasser felt that his collection would be beneficial in educating present and future generations to the sacrifices made and the technologies gained during war. Therefore, in 1981 the AAF Tank Museum was established as a non-profit charitable organization, and Mr. Gasser's donated his private collection to the Tank Museum. Mr. Gasser is still active as Volunteer Director and Curator of the Tank Museum and his knowledge of military history has been a great asset to the museum. Unfortunately after 20 years of operation it had to close its doors, which is when this uniform was acquired.

The set consists of a lovely uniform top (OG-107), trousers, “ballcap”, museum sign and copies of letters from Roberts concerning this uniform, stating that it does appear to belong to him.

All of the Tropical Combat Uniforms shared several basic characteristics. The coat consisted of two slant pockets on the chest and two lower bellows pockets. Each of these pockets closed with two buttons and the coat had a button front closure.

The first pattern jungle fatigues were adopted in 1963 and were made of 5.5 ounce cotton poplin dyed Army Shade Olive Green 107 or "OG-107". The pattern is easily distinguishable as the coat and the pants had "exposed" buttons. The coat featured the standard pocket lay out, but the closure buttons were not covered. The jungle fatigue coat also had shoulder epaulets, side take up tabs, and an integrated gas flap that could be buttoned internally to better cover the neck and prevent chemical / gas agents from entering through the front button closure.

In August 1964, the Army Materiel Command ordered a revision to the jungle fatigue design. They found that the exposed buttons had a tendency to snag on brush, and addressed this issue. The buttons on the coat and pants were covered, but the epaulets, side take up tabs, and gas flap were retained. The fabric was changed to 6 ounce cotton poplin to help them wear better and the OG-107 color was retained. This Type II pattern style entered Vietnam in late 1965 and were soon to be replaced in 1967 by the third pattern jungle fatigues though they are commonly seen through 1968.

The third pattern fatigues which were introduced in late 1966 / early 1967 were a simplified version of the second pattern. The coat lost its side take up tabs, gas flap, and shoulder epaulets. This pattern is slightly more complicated as it was issued in two classes. Class I was OG-107, or green and Class II was ERDL Camouflage in either green dominant or brown dominant depending on the region they were being issued to.

This lovely Third Pattern “Class 1” jungle coat is in lovely, service worn condition with great insignia. There are signs of moderate wear, but being a General’s uniform set, there is not much field wear present on the set. All pieces and components are in great condition and without any extensive damage or wear.

This is a wonderful uniform set and comes more than ready for display!

Approximate Measurements:
Medium Regular
Chest: 37 to 41 inches
Height: 76 to 71 inches

Pants:
Waist: 38"
Inseam: 33"

Memorial/biography from Frank Camm, LTG, Ret., ’43 JAN classmate:

“LTG Elvy Roberts, a paratrooper in World War II, a combat veteran of the Viet Nam War, and a former commander of the Sixth Army in the Presidio of San Francisco, died 11 Oct 2005 after a long illness.

Elvy Benton Roberts was born on 21 Aug 1917 in Manchester, KY to Farris F. and Iola Hatton Roberts. He graduated from Barbourville High School in 1934 and Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College in 1939. He abandoned premedical studies to enter West Point at the urging of his 149th Infantry National Guard commander. In the National Guard for three years, he attained the grade of Sergeant.

At West Point, Elvy participated in fenc­ing, light-heavyweight boxing and track. He was also in the Cadet Chapel Choir, the Glee Club, and the Dialectic Society. His January ’43 Howitzer entry says, “Elvy came to USMA with a fervent love for classical music, singing in the choir and enjoying the finer things of life. Academics made the going tough at best, but after starting anew he doggedly overcame all tight situations that arose. Although earnest in his application to work, there was earnest indulgence in amusement too. He takes to the Infantry a perseverance coupled with precise and good thinking—the very attributes of suc­cess. ‘Good Luck,’ loyal son of the blue grass.”

Elvy graduated from West Point in January 1943. After the Basic Infantry Course at Ft. Benning, GA, he attended Parachute School with eighteen “ dough foot” classmates and received his jump wings in May 1943. He married a college friend from his hometown Drucilla Wilson of Vinegrove, in December and, after a quick honeymoon, went to England with the 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division.

During the bloodiest days of World War II, Elvy made combat jumps in the invasion of Normandy and of Holland, receiving a Bronze Star and the Dutch Bronze Lion, Order of Leopold. Participating in five major campaigns, including the Battle of Bastogne, he was a company commander, regimental operations officer and battalion commander in the 501st and 502nd Parachute Infantry regiments and advanced to the rank major in March 1945.

Elvy was battalion executive officer and commander in the 82nd Airborne Division, 1946—47, when daughter Catherine was born. While he was on the faculty at Ft. Benning, GA in 1949, daughter Sandra was born. After attending the CGSC, Elvy served on the EUCOM Staff, 1950—53, and the Army Staff, 1955—58, and attended the Army War College, 1958—59. He was promoted to colonel in 1959, while serving in the Military Assistance Group in Iran, and son Bill was born in 1960.

Elvy commanded a brigade in the 101st Airborne Division, 1961—63, and was chief of staff, 11th Air Assault Division, the divi­sion that tested the airmobile concept and became the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). He commanded the 1st Airborne Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, during its first battles in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam, 1965—66, and then became secretary of the joint staff for GEN Westmoreland in the Military Assistance Command, Viet Nam.

Elvy became a brigadier general in 1966 as deputy commander and, later, commander of Ft. Jackson, SC, 1966-68. Returning to Viet Nam in 1968 as assistant division command­er, 9th Infantry Division, he became a heli­copter pilot, flying “First Horse.” Promoted to major general, Elvy commanded the 1st Air Cavalry Division in Viet Nam and led U.S. and South Vietnamese Forces against enemy strongholds in Cambodia in May 1970.

After returning to the Pentagon as Chief of Plans, 1970-71, and Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, 1971-72, Elvy was named head of the U.S. Delegation for Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction in Vienna. Promoted to lieutenant general in 1973, he became Commanding General, Sixth Army, at the Presidio of San Francisco, 1973-75, as the Sixth Army was shifting its main responsibility from Regular Army to Reserve and National Guard units.

Elvy received the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Master Parachutist Badge to­gether with numerous decorations, including two Distinguished Service Medals, a Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, four Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, 13 Air Medals, two Commendation Medals, and Dutch and French awards.

Upon retiring in 1975, Elvy became a district manager of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, then Vice President of Heald Colleges in California (eight business and three engineering colleges) and later a consultant for two decades. During his 1968 tour in Viet Nam, Elvy met Kim Ngo, a Vietnamese law student, who later came to the U.S. and became an American citizen in 1980. He married Kim in 1989.

Elvy enjoyed downhill skiing, skeet and trap shooting, fresh water fishing, reading historical novels and singing popular songs for friends in his deep baritone voice.

He was also a passionate animal lover, own­ing three adopted strays: two dogs and a cat. He was a member of the Bohemian Club, St. Francis Yacht Club, Rotary Club, and Guide Dogs for the Blind. He also was a director of the Salvation Army and the Boy Scouts.

When asked for words of wisdom for those coming after him, Elvy replied, “In the military profession, as in most others, a sense of humor is vital. Always keep it and never lose it. Equally important, sort minutia out from the important and keep effort focused on the important. Never lose sense of propor­tion and sense of perspective.”

Elvy was admired for his kindness to oth­ers, modesty, enjoyment of life, good humor, and the example he set. His enthusiasm, grace, poise and ram-rod straight posture made him an imposing figure recognized by everyone. He was, indeed, a great man, hero, human be­ing, and dear and cherished friend of bound­less generosity.

Elvy’s wife Kim; children: William Roberts of Fairfield, CA, Catherine Repine of Miami Beach, FL, and Sandra Halford of Cedar Rapids, IA; and five grandchildren survive him.”

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