Original U.S. WWII 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Custom Tailored Ike Jacket With English Made Insignia

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is a fantastic custom ike jacket! We have encountered these tailored items before and we believe them to have been done by a tailor in England. The jacket started its life off as a standard US Army Officer’s Class-A jacket but was shortened to waist length and tailor to perfection to have the appearance of the elegant Eisenhower “Ike” jacket. The jacket, officially known as the Jacket, Field, Wool, Olive Drab, is a type of waist-length jacket developed for the U.S. Army during the later stages of World War II and named after Dwight D. Eisenhower. Intended to be worn on its own or as an insulating layer beneath the M-1943 Field Jacket and over the standard wool flannel shirt and wool sweater, it featured a pleated back, adjustable waist band, fly-front buttons, bellows chest pockets, slash side pockets, and shoulder straps.

This jacket was worn by one of 8 Majors we have been able to find on a 325th Glider Infantry Regiment roster that was not Killed In Action. There are no laundry or ID markings present on the uniform, making the identification nearly impossible but this does not take away from the absolute beauty of the uniform!

The left sleeve bears a gorgeous 82nd Airborne Division patch while the top shoulder straps have bright Major oak leaves next to the Distinctive Unit Insignia of the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment. White was the original branch color for Infantry and blue has held that designation since 1903, and both are included to reflect the organization’s beginnings in that branch. A blue disc on the chief (upper third) of the shield is taken from the Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the 82nd Division, the unit to which the Regiment’s was first assigned; the white temple in the disc is from the Seal of the State of Georgia, where the unit was first organized. The two-barred cross is called a Lorraine cross and commemorates the heavy action the Regiment saw in the province of the same name in World War I. “Let’s Go,” the unit motto, reflects the zeal and enthusiasm of the Regiment’s personnel to serve their country.

The front left breast of the jacket features a lovely Glider Badge with a Single star and is backed by a blue with white trim oval for the 325th GIR. The Glider Badge was a special skills badge of the United States Army. According to the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry, the badge was awarded to personnel who had "been assigned or attached to a glider or airborne unit or to the Airborne Department of the Infantry School; satisfactorily completed a course of instruction, or participated in at least one combat glider mission into enemy-held territory.

Beneath the badge is an array of ribbons including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, American Campaign, EAME (W/ 1 Bronze Arrowhead and 3 Stars) and a WWII Victory Medal. Beneath the ribbons is a fantastic Combat Infantryman Badge. The Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) is a United States Army military decoration. The badge is awarded to infantrymen and Special Forces soldiers in the rank of colonel and below, who fought in active ground combat while assigned as members of either an Infantry or Special Forces unit of brigade size or smaller at any time after 6 December 1941.

The collar/epaulets feature the standard “US” and “Crossed Rifles” insignia with the right crossed rifles being a British made example and is not a pin back. The right shoulder features a wonderful, period correct example of the Belgian fourragère. The Belgian fourragère of 1940 was created by Prince Charles of Belgium, Regent of the Kingdom to honor certain military formations that distinguished themselves during the Second World War. It consists of three cords terminated by a knot and a metal tag, and is braided in red and green; the colors of the Belgian Croix de guerre of 1940. The fourragère is in cotton for non-commissioned officers and soldiers and in silk for officers. Another example is present with the uniform but is not attached.

Other items included that are not attached to the uniform is a “325” crossed rifles collar device and a miniature British made Combat Infantryman Badge, both offered in excellent condition.

This is a fantastic uniform jacket, packed with great starting points for research! Comes more than ready for further research and display.

Approximate Measurements:
Collar to shoulder: 9.5"
Shoulder to sleeve: 24”
Shoulder to shoulder: 16”
Chest width: 17"
Waist width: 15.5"
Hip width: 15.5”
Front length: 21.5

Called to active duty again during World War II on 25 March 1942, the regiment formed under the command of Colonel Claudius M. Easley at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. After initial training, the regiment was reorganized as a glider infantry unit when the 82nd Infantry Division was reorganized as the 82nd Airborne Division in August 1942, and the 325th was redesignated the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment.

After further training, the regiment deployed to North Africa under the command of Colonel Harry L. Lewis. The regiment was not committed to combat until they conducted a landing at Salerno, Italy, on 15 September 1943. It was not, however, by glider but by landing craft

After service in the Italian campaign, the regiment deployed to England and conducted further training in preparation for Operation Overlord. Conducting a glider-borne assault on 7 June 1944, the day after the initial Normandy landings, the regiment fought in Normandy for over a month, sustaining heavy casualties before being withdrawn to England. On 9 June 1944 the 325th earned its first and only Medal of Honor of the war, belonging to Private First Class Charles N. DeGlopper.

Committed to another glider-borne assault in September 1944, the regiment fought in Holland as part of Operation Market Garden and later saw service in the Battle of the Bulge under Colonel Charles Billingslea.

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