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U.S. WWII Assault Vest

Combat vest issued to assault troops for the Normandy landings. In May 1944, these were issued in limited numbers to troops of the 1st, 4th, and 29th Infantry Divisions as well as the 2nd Ranger Battalion. They proved hot, heavy and impractical and it appears that most had been discarded ("lost") within a month of the landings. I believe that the latest known original photo shows an infantryman wearing one in early July during the breakout battles. They were not a popular item with the troops.

These vests were made in both OD#3 (the famous "khaki") and OD#7 canvas. The few original photos of the vests in use show what appears to be a nearly even mix of the two colors. They were made in the spring of 1944, after the factories were transitioning to the darker color so this is hardly surprising. Historically, there is no meaning to one color or the other. This is a meaningless production variation, and has nothing to do with what unit they were issued to. Additionally, it appears that their issue was random and erratic. In the photos of troops loading onto their boats for D-day, perhaps one in five men are wearing vests. Thus, pick the color you think prettiest. They're both "right."

Our OD#7 (green) vests will be "transitional" meaning they will be made from green canvas, but the binding tape on the edges and some of the straps will be khaki. Originals came in every combination imaginable so far as canvas and strap color relationships are concerned.

Made in USA
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