Questions About the United States Navy Peacoat

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Matt Jones, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. bwc1976

    bwc1976 New in Town

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Hi guys, I just discovered this forum and this thread a week or two ago, and finally got my new account validated so I can post. I'm a huge fan of pea coats, as well as longer wool or leather overcoats (the heavier the better!), leather flight jackets (particularly the A-2, B-3, and Irvin), and trenchcoats, so obviously I'm in good company here. My first pea coat experience was in high school in 1990, when the girl that sat in front of me in algebra class sometimes wore her dad's old one. I finally bought my own 10 years later at Burlington Coat Factory, and the material seems like the right thickness and it keeps the wind out like nothing else I've had before, but I'd still love to find an actual Navy issue one sometime.

    Like some of the others who have posted in this thread, I found that the newer issue coats aren't as thick and heavy as the older ones (or even some of the newer civilian-made ones such as Schott). In addition, the newer one I looked at wasn't even fully lined; only the topmost 1/2 or 1/3 of the inside was the smooth shiny material. So what I was wondering was if anyone could confirm if they switched from the full lining to the half lining at the same time as they switched from the nicer heavier wool to the thinner wool? Also, does anyone know about the Canadian issue coats, and whether they're still as heavy and well made as the older American ones?

    Glad to meet you all, and thanks for all your advice.
     
  2. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,659
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Welcome to the FL; with your interests, you will find a good fit.

    Actually the entire coat is lined; it's just the top part that is the shiny rayon type material. The bottom part of the coat is a fuzzy, warm liner. And yes, this type of liner was used when the wool shell was changed to Melton wool in about 1980.

    Edit by Peacoat: I need to restate what I said in the above post. There are actually two liners in the new coats. There is the insulated liner that covers the inside of the coat, and there is the shiny rayon type liner that covers the insulated liner only on the top portion of the coat. That liner wears better and is on the top part of the coat where the heaviest wear is. So, you are exactly right about the liner only covering part of the coat. I have included a picture below to illustrate.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. bobbyball

    bobbyball One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    London
    This has got me thinking about the vastly superior materials that were used in the 1940s/50s.

    Of my two 10-button peacoats, they really have beautiful dense wool. In fact, the one I bought recently almost has the feel of cashmere it is so lustrous. Whilst it is a heavy substantial wartime utility coat, the tailoring is vastly superior to many high-end clothes of today.

    The modern issue peacoats just come nowhere close.

    I just love em.
     
  4. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,659
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Making statements like that can get you in trouble with the ones who have the modern issue peacoats! I generally keep my thoughts on this sensitive subject to myself. That way I don't stir up controversy.
     
  5. votan

    votan New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    east coast
    i'm new here as well and have followed this thread since the beginning. i was in the navy (gunner's mate) from 1984-1988 and reserves 1988-1993. i have a few pea coats from the early '60s and a new condition 1967 that had all the inspector tags in the pockets. great info here!
     
  6. bobbyball

    bobbyball One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    London

    Apologies to all pea coat owners who may have been offended. Certainly it is not my intention to upset anyone here. I just get a bit carried away with the vintage stuff and my 10-button finds have made me a bit excitable! I have had a number of peacoats over the years and it is only in the last few years I have come to see the many variations in fit and subtle styling that makes the whole subject so fascinating.

    I need to keep my big mouth in check sometimes.:eek:
     
  7. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,659
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Don't worry about it; all they can do is yell at you--as I quickly found out!
     
  8. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,229
    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    STICKY INFO

    Please refer to the OUTSTANDING thread Peacoat has assembled on these coats. You'll find it at the top of the "Outerwear" forum. It is not to be missed.

    Thank you again for your work on this resource for all of us, peacoat.
     
  9. budrichard

    budrichard Familiar Face

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Wisconsin USA
    A great piece of wprk by PEACOAT! Thanks for your efforts.
    I recently purchased a 1990 issue coat for myself, same maker and year as the one I got my wife but without gold buttons and a women's size 12 1994 for my daughter from the same seller. When they come I will Post pics and the comparison to a black object as PEACOAT requested.
    My father was a Lt JG on an LST off Omaha Beach during WW2 but I never remember him having a peacoat, the pictures of him show the tan type officers uniform. He was wounded during D-Day but never once would talk about it. One of his enlisted men was his lifelong freind and the bond was stronger than with his brothers. We skipped a generation and I did not enter the Military but spent my time in Graduate School. My son on the other hand did enlist for 6 years, so we are still a Naval family. I watched every episode of 'Victory At Sea' with my Dad. I think I missed a great opportunity but as Nuclear Engineer, the Navy told me I would go to Idaho to train Nukes on the prototype they have/had there. No sub or carrier duty for me.
    Well I digress but great work again PEACOAT!-Dick
     
  10. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,659
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Votan, welcome to the FL. As yet I haven't been able to pin down the year that the Navy switched back to the black plastic buttons from the pewter buttons. The closest I have is mid to late 80's. As you were still in the Navy during that time period, perhaps you will remember approximately?

    MK and the Bartenders (Scotrace, Feraud, and Paddy) have been kind enough to allow me to organize the information appearing in this lengthy thread and post it as its own topic. That topic is found as a locked sticky at the top of the Outerwear section, entitled, of all things, "Peacoat Dating."

    Instead of spending an hour or so going through all the posts in this thread (which contain both good information and a few bits of misinformation), one can initially spend 20 minutes reading the other topic, learn most of what is known in the modern world about peacoats, and the dating thereof, and then come back here to find additional information from this thread.
     
  11. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,659
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    And thank you Scotrace for your help in this project. For those of you who don't know, Scotrace is also a peacoat fan. He tends to favor the WWII and prewar coats, which isn't a surprise.
     
  12. votan

    votan New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    east coast
    when we were issued our pea coats in bootcamp (october 1984) they had silver buttons. we had to cut them off and sew plastic anchor buttons on...by hand. i don't remember the exact date of uniform change but i'd say it was early '80s. there were quite a few sailors who were grumbling about the changes in uniform then. so we can say it was pre-84 at least.
     
  13. bobbyball

    bobbyball One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    London
    Sticky thank you

    I would like to add my sincere thanks for the peacoat sticky. It really is one of the most authorattative summaries I have seen and should help the collector and historian no end. Well done!!
     
  14. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,659
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Were you still in boot camp when you replaced the buttons? That would have been 1984. My previous conversations with sailors indicate that it was later than that, more like sometime between 1986 and 1989.
     
  15. Serendipity

    Serendipity New in Town

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Hi, I just bought a 1968 Kersey peacoat in the Goodwill here in San Francisco (40R). I didn't know much about it other than that it was probably military issue, until I found this forum and the wonderful information that has been posted.

    It's supposed to have three rows of buttons double-breasted, plus two at the collar, but the top row of buttons is missing.

    Therefore I need to replace two buttons vintage 1968. Anybody know where I could find them?

    TIA
     
  16. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,659
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    They are always on ebay for a decent price. If you can't find any in the next week or so, I will send you two of them.
     
  17. votan

    votan New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    east coast
    yes, it was bootcamp: october 1984. we were issued our "seabag" (all our uniform items) and marched back to the barracks where we were ordered to cut the silver buttons off and sew on by hand new plastic ones. we did this as a group. there was a big uniform change in the early '80s (late 70s even?). it came down before i left for bootcamp and i wish i could remember exactly what year. '86-'89 is waaay too late for this change. i know that for sure. i gave my original issue pea coat to my college girlfriend so it is long gone. BTW, thanks to your sticky i see that 3 of my coats are early 1950s w/ the 'naval clothing depot' tag.
     
    davyjones007 likes this.
  18. Serendipity

    Serendipity New in Town

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Thanks, peacoat. I really enjoyed reading your descriptions of the history of these coats. One post in particular is what enabled me to figure out what year it was.

    I just looked on eBay and you're right, there are tons for sale, and since I have my own coat to compare with, I think I will be able to find the correct buttons, so I probably won't need to take you up on your generous offer.

    I've always wanted a peacoat, I was thrilled to find one at the Goodwill and it was only $10.99! It's in absolutely perfect condition, except for the missing buttons.
     
  19. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,659
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Thank you so much. I am glad you find it interesting.
     
  20. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,659
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Thanks for the update. I got the 1986--1989 information from a Lounge member named Wolf, who was in the Navy during that time. Your date of October, 1984 is more definitive, so I will change it the next time I update the thread. I appreciate the information.

    I guess from that experience, you learned to never give your peacoat to your college girlfriend! That's all I'm going to say about that, just in case . . . .
     
    davyjones007 likes this.

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