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Original WWII U.S. Navy Issue Life Preserver

Regular price $95.00

Sale price

Compare at $175.00

Item Description

Original Items: Very Few Available. An IMA exclusive offering! Found recently in a former U.S. Navy depot slated for demolition, These are genuine WWII United States Navy Life Preservers, standard issue for below decks personnel on U.S. Navy/U.S. Merchant Marine/U.S. Coast Guard Vessels during, and after, WWII.  These vests were found stacked in the former depot, and were placed there following WWII.
These are generally associated with troop ships, were they could easily be stowed below decks for soldiers and marines to use in case of emergency. They were also occasionally worn by personnel not regularly issued the more often well-known Kapok life preservers. As kapok was a difficult material to obtain during the war, the Navy looked to preserve the material for vests used by crew who wore them most often, those being top-side personnel.
Produced from treated Navy Blue canvas with eight cork flotation sections, most bear markings and show "Passed" inspection stamps with 1945 dates, some even show manufacturers markings such as Sullivan Awning Company. None show manufacturer dates, only inspection dates, which leads us to believe they were manufactured prior to the test dates.  Some straps may be damaged or missing but most will be intact.
An excellent opportunity to obtain a representative example of a life preserver used by seaman during WWII. As most of these vests were simply discarded and destroyed in the years following WWII, this was a rather fortuitous find! A great chance to obtain a WWII navy life preserver for a mere fraction of the price of a much more expensive Kapok vest!
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