Item:
ONSV9248

Original U.S. Vietnam War Era U.S.M.C. M-1955 Second Pattern Fragmentation Body Armor Vest - Size Medium

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely example of the infamous M-1955 “Flak Jacket” as used by United States Marines since its introduction in 1955.
 
After the Korean War, the M-1951 was improved based on operational experience. The improved vest was introduced in 1955 as "Vest, Armored M-1955". The name was later changed to "Armor, Body, Fragmentation Protective; Upper Torso; (W / Collar, M-1955)".
 
The M-1955 remained in service with the US Marine Corps and the US Navy until the PASGT (Personal Armor System, Ground Troops) was introduced in 1978.
 
The M-1955 consists of 13 layers of nylon fabric in the shoulder area. In the area below, the vest consists of 23 3 mm thick, approximately 135 × 135 mm large Doron plates, which are sewn into pockets in the vest in three overlapping rows (and also overlapping within the row).
 
The vest is made of water-repellent cotton fabric. The 3/4 collar contains six layers of nylon fabric. The vest opens at the front and is closed with a sturdy zipper. The zipper is positioned so that the panels slightly overlap when closed. Furthermore, it is covered with a flap that is closed with four snaps.
 
Over the right shoulder of the vest runs an approximately 45 cm long piece of rope sewn into cotton fabric, which is known as the "Rope Ridge". It prevents the strap of a slung rifle from slipping off the rather smooth shoulder of the vest. The vest has an open pocket on the left front of the chest, which can hold a first-aid kit, however, Marines soon realized that a pack of cigarettes fit even better. Around the lower edge of the vest there is an approximately 25 mm wide strap with metal eyelets, to which equipment can be attached with the metal hooks of the M1910 carrying equipment.
 
Vests manufactured after 1967, such as this example, have two large stowage pockets at the front that are closed with buttoned flaps. The pockets are made of nylon fabric, while the vest is still made of cotton fabric. These pockets are useful because the vest prevents access to the pockets of the uniform blouse when it is closed.
 
On the inside, back panel, the original manufacturers tage is still highly visible and complete:
BODY ARMOR, UPPER TORSO
8470-00-576-4194
KINGS POINT MFG. CO., INC.
M67004-78-C-0173 4/12/78
IMPORTANT
ARMOR, BODY, FRAGMENTATION PROTECTIVE; UPPER TORSO; (W/COLLAR, M-1955)

SEVENTY PERCENT of all combat casualties are caused by fragmentation type  weapons. This vest, including the flexible shoulder pad area and collar, will afford you considerable protection from these missiles. However, it will NOT protect you from ALL small arms fire at close range. Take care of your vest and wear it wisely.

IT MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE!
U.S. MARINE CORPS.
SIZE M
 
The US Marine Corps placed a much greater emphasis on soldiers in the field wearing their vests than was the case with the US Army. Personal carrying equipment (M-1961 or M1956) was usually worn under the vest; this was easier because the M-1955 is shorter than the US Army counterparts ( M-1952 and M-69).
 
The vest is heavy and rattles a little, but does not retain body heat as much as the US Army nylon vests. It's more comfortable to wear than the M-69 because its collar is lower and doesn't restrict head movement as much.
 
This beautiful M-55 comes ready to be displayed!

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