Officially designated on 10 February 1941 by the U. S. Army Quartermaster as JACKET, WINTER, COMBAT, P. Q. D. Spec. No. 26, this jacket was destined to become one of the most popular articles of clothing used by the G. I. in World War II, and was to gain post-war Hollywood film fame when worn by actor Brad Pitt in the 2014 release of "Fury."
The jacket formed part of a three-piece suit, including a matching helmet and bib-front trousers; this set was intended to be a winter suit for the Armored Forces of the U. S. Army, hence the jacket’s nickname that would make it famous – Tanker Jacket.
First-model jackets of P. Q. D. Spec. No. 26 featured open-top patch pockets and a double-faced cotton twill wind flap behind the zip closure, which was later replaced with a wool-backed wind flap. The revised Spec. No. 26A jackets are easily distinguished from first-model Spec. 26 jackets by having cotton-lined slash pockets and maintaining the wool-backed wind flap that appeared on later Spec. 26 jackets. While the Spec. 26A jackets were the most typical and dominant in production and use in WWII, the first-model Tanker Jackets of Spec. 26 are, by comparison, more unique looking, they have more history, having seen combat first in N. Africa as worn by the vanguard tankers of the 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions and even General George S. Patton, Jr., and they soldiered on in combat right up to the end of the war in 1945. Usage of the Tanker Jacket, however, far transcended the Armored Forces. The inherent stylish good looks, comfort, practicality and warmth of the Tanker Jacket made it a favorite among all troops; officers very commonly sought and wore the Tanker Jacket.
The basic jacket has been copied many times over in a variety of civilian jacket styles since its original issue to the U. S. Army in 1941 – a true testament to the timeless, classic styling and practicality of the original design. Today, a vintage first-model Tanker Jacket from WWII in a wearable size and condition will command a substantial four-figure price in the collector market, if you can even find one.
This Buzz Rickson’s 1941 Tanker Jacket has only been resurrected from its multi-year hiatus since 2014 with the popularity of Brad Pitt’s “War Daddy” character in the film “Fury.” The Buzz Rickson's 1941 Tanker Jacket superbly captures all of the features found on a vintage original examples and is even used by museums for displays due to the extreme scarcity and high price of the original jackets from WWII. Take note of these authentic features masterfully crafted into every Buzz Rickson's 1941 Tanker Jacket - things you'll only find poorly imitated on lesser "knockoffs":
• Precise copy of original U. S. Army Quartermaster label design
• Custom manufacturing of the correct twelve-ounce, cotton-twill shell to precisely match 1941 US Army specs. and dyed a correct shade of Olive Drab #3
• Cotton-thread construction
• Custom manufacturing of the correct, Olive Drab, blanket-wool lining to precisely match 1941 US Army specs.
• Two unlined patch pockets
• Vintage-style 1941 brass “Conmatic” zipper. YES, the zipper commonly found on original WWII Tanker Jackets - an amazing and valuable feature found on no other Tanker Jacket copies on the market today!
• Blanket wool-backed wind flap protector located behind zipper closure
• Custom manufacturing of the correct, two-ply, worsted wool-knit collar, cuffs and waist skirt in Olive Drab
• Double-pleated bi-swing action back
The design staff at Buzz Rickson’s has resurrected a classic winter coat from the wardrobe of the 1930s U. S. Navy and U. S. Coast Guard, typically seen being worn by officers and NCOs on hazardous dirigible duty.
No expense has been spared in this masterpiece that incorporates features common to the era, including the rounded Mackinaw-style collar, double-breasted frontal closure with rugged horsehide buttonhole tabs to allow for either right or left crossover fastening, genuine urea buttons, exterior lower pockets trimmed in rugged horsehide that provides for the pocket flap to be worn tucked into the pocket opening or worn covering the pocket opening, wool-lined sleeve interior, sumptuous, half-inch sheepskin lining in the body and a deliciously cozy, brown-colored sheepskin storm collar, and a jacket exterior fabric crafted on vintage looms from a hard-wearing, all-cotton moleskin twill in medium brown.
This is a coat that will not just keep you warm, but will look better the more it is worn and the fabric creases, folds and mellows from use like your favorite pair of jeans. Quantities are extremely limited for this one-time offering from Buzz Rickson’s.
Now, you may ask, what is a Buzz Rickson four-needle, set-in-sleeve, loop-wheeled sweatshirt? Four-needle sewing machines overlay the edges of all seams, creating a flatter, smoother seam construction with far less seam allowance, thus decreasing bulk. Loop-wheeling looms are special machines that are able to weave a perfect tube, but they can only weave one set diameter per loom; this means the factory needs a different loom for each size - very expensive - which is why you hardly ever see true tube construction in modern-day garments. Even the most expensive designer sweatshirts will usually have a side seam - sometimes two seams! Tube construction ensures true shape is maintained, not only during its construction, but during its life of wear. This is the proper way to make a sweatshirt; in the good old days, the proper way was the only way. It's cheap and easy to make shirts from a flat piece of cloth, and most customers would never notice the difference, though they may wonder why their not-so-cheap sweatshirt seemed to lose its shape after only a few washes - but now you know.
Traditional vintage-style sweatshirts of this caliber are not available even from the fashion high street. With shrewd foresight of the oncoming vintage clothing market, much of the old, U.S.-made 1920's machinery and looms were bought up by the Japanese in the 1970's when they were otherwise deemed obsolete. These old looms, although much slower than modern machinery, are able to produce much higher-quality fabric - fabric that perfectly matches the quality of those garments made from the good old days. For those who can appreciate such quality, these sweatshirts are sure to please.
Buzz Rickson's premium, vintage-style, all-cotton athletic sweatshirts are made from medium-weight, 100% cotton fabricated on 1920's-vintage loop-wheeling machines, styled with all the correct features found on the old sweatshirts, and cut to hug the body in a flattering form without bulk, just as the vintage originals did. Limited quantities available. Take note of these authentic vintage styling features:
• Custom manufacturing of the medium-weight, all-cotton fleece fabricated on a vintage loop-wheeling loom
• Vintage wash
• Four-needle, TUBE-Body construction with no side seams, and with lock stitch throughout
• Vee-placket neck detail
• Set-in sleeves
• Four-inch cuff and waistband
• Exact copy of the original-style rayon-on-cotton labels
• True vintage fit for flattering appearance, not a sloppy, relaxed fit with droopy shoulder seams