Original U.S. WWII 13th Airborne Division M1943 Field Jacket

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Jacket, Field, M1943 was standardized field jacket issued to Army soldiers in WWII. It was longer than the M-1941 jacket, coming down to the upper thighs. It was made in a light olive-drab OD7, later a darker OD9 cotton sateen. It also had a detachable hood, drawstring waist, two large breast pockets and two skirt pockets.

The uniform was designed to be warm in winter by use of a separate jacket liner. The jacket liner was a separate cotton-shell jacket with two slash pockets and button and loop fastening, generally in a lighter shade of olive drab (OD3) than the main jacket but in practice rarely issued during World War II. In the ETO this was intended to be replaced by the M-1944 'Ike' jacket, or one of the generic 'ETO' jackets which could come in versions that were either near-identical to the M-1941 jacket, but in rough khaki wool outer, or versions almost identical to British Battledress, both versions being produced locally in the UK in several variations.

This example offered in excellent condition is approximate size US 42. It bears a nice embroidered 13th Airborne Division patch on the left shoulder. The jacket is not named, does not have the data label and is free of any major imperfections, all buttons are present and the condition is very good. Genuine WW2 issue M43 jackets with patches from famous divisions are hard to come by and this is one of the best we’'ve seen in a while and from an United States Airborne division that fought in the European Theater during WWII.

The 13th Airborne
Division was an airborne forces formation of division-size of the United States Army that was active during World War II. The division was commanded for most of its existence by Major General Elbridge G. Chapman. It was officially activated in the United States in August 1943 at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, remaining active until February 1946, however it never saw combat.

After activation the division remained in the United States to complete its training. This training was completed by September 1944, but had to be extended by a further four months when the division provided replacements for the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. The division also encountered delays in mounting large-scale training exercises due to a lack of transport aircraft in the United States. This shortage was caused by the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions taking priority over the 13th in terms of equipment due to the two divisions serving in combat in Europe. As a consequence of these delays the division was not fully trained and combat-ready until January 1945, and was transferred to France and the European Theater of Operations in February.

When the division arrived in France, it came under the command of the First Allied Airborne Army, which controlled all Allied airborne formations. The division, along with two others, was selected to participate in Operation Varsity, the airborne operation to support the Anglo-Canadian 21st Army Group crossing the River Rhine, but was removed from the operation due to there being insufficient transport aircraft to carry all three divisions into combat. Several other operations were planned for the division after the end of Operation Varsity, but these operations were cancelled when their objectives were captured by the rapid advance of Allied ground forces and they became superfluous. After the end of the conflict in Europe, the 13th Airborne was shipped to the United States to stage there before it was to participate in the planned invasion of Japan, but the conflict in the Far East ended before it was required and it remained in the United States. The 13th Airborne Division was finally inactivated on 26 February, 1946 and its combat personnel were transferred to the command of the 82nd Airborne Division.

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