Item:
ONSV6431

Original U.S. Vietnam War Navy SEAL Grenadier Experimental Float Coat Jacket

Regular price $2,295.00

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a ultra rare Vietnam War Era United States Navy  Experimental Floating Jacket as issued to SEAL teams. It comes complete with internal inflatable bladder with C02 actuator with ripcord still intact, and manual inflation tube. This near unissued example still retains its original tag which reads:

EXPERIMENTAL GARMENT
PROPERTY OF U.S. NAVY
CLOTHING & TEXTILE RESEARCH UNIT
NATICK, MASS.
SIZE MED-LONG NO. GRENADIER
CONTRACT NO. N00298-70-C-0406

Lime Green rip-stop ERDL variant for a Grenadier with multiple pockets for double magazines and grenades and well as other instruments. All velcro is in excellent condition. There are no tears, holes, rips or poor stitching that we can find. All buttons are present and are in excellent condition. All pockets and pouches are clean and don't appear to have ever had anything in them. All pull straps in pouches are perfect and in great condition.

These jackets are exceptionally hard to find as they were experimental and issued in only limited numbers. This is the most complete best condition example of the Grenadier variant we have ever seen. This example is museum worthy and won't be easily found again.

Birth of Navy SEALs and the Vietnam War
President John F. Kennedy, aware of the situation in Southeast Asia, recognized the need for unconventional warfare and special operations as a measure against guerrilla warfare. In a speech, to Congress, on 25 May 1961, Kennedy spoke of his deep respect for the United States Army Special Forces. While his announcement of the government's plan to put a man on the moon drew most of the attention, in the same speech he announced his intention to spend over $100 million to strengthen U.S. special operations forces and expand American capabilities in unconventional warfare. Some people erroneously credit President Kennedy with creating the Navy SEALs. His announcement was actually only a formal acknowledgement of a process that had been under way since Korea.

The Navy needed to determine its role within the special operations arena. In March 1961, Admiral Arleigh Burke, the Chief of Naval Operations, recommended the establishment of guerrilla and counter-guerrilla units. These units would be able to operate from sea, air or land. This was the beginning of the Navy SEALs. All SEALs came from the Navy's Underwater Demolition Teams, who had already gained extensive experience in commando warfare in Korea; however, the Underwater Demolition Teams were still necessary to the Navy's amphibious force.

The first two teams were formed in January 1962 Men of the newly formed SEAL Teams were trained in such unconventional areas as hand-to-hand combat, high-altitude parachuting, demolitions, and foreign languages. The SEALs attended Underwater Demolition Team replacement training and they spent some time training in UDTs. Upon making it to a SEAL team, they would undergo a SEAL Basic Indoctrination (SBI) training class at Camp Kerry in the Cuyamaca Mountains. After SBI training class, they would enter a platoon and conduct platoon training.

According to founding SEAL team member Roy Boehm, the SEALs' first missions were directed against communist Cuba. These consisted of deploying from submarines and carrying out beach reconnaissance in prelude to a proposed US amphibious invasion of the island. On at least one occasion Boehm and another SEAL smuggled a CIA agent ashore to take pictures of Soviet nuclear missiles being unloaded on the dockside.

The Pacific Command recognized Vietnam as a potential hot spot for unconventional forces. At the beginning of 1962, the UDTs started hydrographic surveys and along with other branches of the US Military, the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) was formed. In March 1962, SEALs were deployed to South Vietnam as advisors for the purpose of training Army of the Republic of Vietnam commandos in the same methods they were trained themselves.

The Central Intelligence Agency began using SEALs in covert operations in early 1963. The SEALs were involved in the CIA sponsored Phoenix Program where it targeted key North Vietnamese Army personnel and Vietcong sympathizers for capture and assassination.

The SEALs were initially deployed in and around Da Nang, training the South Vietnamese in combat diving, demolitions, and guerrilla/anti-guerrilla tactics. As the war continued, the SEALs found themselves positioned in the Rung Sat Special Zone where they were to disrupt the enemy supply and troop movements and in the Mekong Delta to fulfill riverine operations, fighting on the inland waterways.

Combat with the Viet Cong was direct. Unlike the conventional warfare methods of firing artillery into a coordinate location, the SEALs operated close to their targets. Into the late 1960s, the SEALs were successful in a new style of warfare, effective in anti-guerrilla and guerrilla actions. SEALs brought a personal war to the enemy in a previously safe area. The Viet Cong referred to them as "the men with green faces," due to the camouflage face paint the SEALs wore during combat missions.

In February 1966, a small SEAL Team One detachment arrived in Vietnam to conduct direct actions missions. Operating from Nhà Bè Base, near the Rừng Sác Special Zone, this detachment signaled the beginning of a SEAL presence that would eventually include 8 SEAL platoons in country on a continuing basis. SEALs also served as advisors for Provincial Reconnaissance Units and the Lein Doc Nguio Nhia, the Vietnamese SEALs.

SEALs continued to make forays into North Vietnam and Laos, and covertly into Cambodia, controlled by the Studies and Observations Group. The SEALs from Team Two started a unique deployment of SEAL team members working alone with South Vietnamese Commandos (ARVN). In 1967, a SEAL unit named Detachment Bravo (Det Bravo) was formed to operate these mixed US and ARVN units, which were called South Vietnamese Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRUs).

By 1970, President Richard Nixon initiated a Plan of Vietnamization, which would remove the US from the Vietnam War and return the responsibility of defense back to the South Vietnamese. Conventional forces were being withdrawn; the last SEAL platoon left Vietnam on 7 December 1971, the last SEAL advisor, left Vietnam in March 1973. South Vietnam fell to North Vietnamese communist forces in April 1975. The SEALs were among the highest decorated units for their size in the war, receiving by 1974 one Medal of Honor, two Navy Crosses, 42 Silver stars, 402 Bronze Stars, two Legions of Merit, 352 Commendation Medals, and 51 Navy Achievement Medals.
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