Original U.S. WWII USMC Defense of Iceland Polar Bear Patched Winter Service Uniform Overcoat - As Seen in Book

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is an original Defense of Iceland Polar Bear Patched Winter Service Uniform Overcoat. This coat is featured on pages 45-49 in the book Sailors in Forest Green; USN Personnel Attached to the USMC by Jeff Warner. In fact this coat was purchased by IMA from the estate of Mr. Warner along with much of his personal collection

In June of 1941, the 1st Marine Brigade (Provisional) was formed ben combining the 6th Marines, 2nd Battalion 10th Marines and 5th Defense Battalion. The orders of of this new brigade were; "In cooperation with the British garrison, defend Iceland against hostile attack." The ranks of this brigade totaled 4.095 officers and men. They arrived in Reykavik Iceland on July 7th. The 1st Marine Brigade was stationed in Iceland for eight months before being disbanded in March 1942.

The original defenders of Iceland were members of the British 49th (West Riding) Division. They adopted a shoulder patch featuring a white Polar Bear on a black background. The British extended an invitation to the Marines to wear the shoulder patch when they arrived. This was granted Marine Corps approval so the insignia was worn on both shoulders (British style) while the brigade was stationed in Iceland. (J. Warner)

Approximate Measurements:
Collar to Shoulder: 10"
Shoulder to Sleeve:  24"
Shoulder to Shoulder: 18"
Chest width: 20"
Waist width: 19"
Hip width: 21.5"
Front length: 46
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