Olive Drab Foul Weather Jacket

In the late 1970s the RAF developed some of the best wet weather clothing of the era for use by aircrews standing in wet conditions servicing aircraft (we have covered the trousers of this set here). The British Army quickly took notice of these garments that were vastly superior to their own wet weather gear and appropriated the design. The new version was slightly thicker than the RAF design, but apart from that the only differences were in the labels but it was now a general service item available to both services. Tonight we are taking a look at the jacket from the later General Service version of this foul weather gear:imageThe foul weather jacket is made from a heavy duty green nylon type fabric and is fitted with two large pockets on the skirts, each secured with Velcro:imageThe front of the garment has a heavy duty metal zip covered with a velcroed fly:imageThe jacket has a large hood that can be rolled back and secured with a Velcro tab:imageA drawstring allows the hood to be drawn in around the face when worn up:imageShoulder straps are fitted to allow badges of rank to be worn:imageA common problem with waterproof clothing is that it can be very hot and sweaty to wear, soaking the wearer with sweat rather than rain. To help combat this slightly, the underarms of this garment have a mesh panel for ventilation:imageThe waist is elasticated to help hold the jacket close to the wearer body:imageWhilst Velcro tabs are provided at the end of the sleeves to help seal these and prevent water from coming in at the wrist:imageThe jacket has an inner liner under the main outer shell:imageAs well as sizing and care instructions, the label indicates that this jacket was manufactured by Belstaff International Ltd as part of a contract issued in 1979:imageNote the absence of the specific ‘RAF’ nomenclature on the label. My thanks go to Paul Hannon for his help in unpicking the history of this garment and for supplying this great shot of Ghurkhas wearing the jackets whilst patrolling in Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands:33234748_10156485630683854_1649262506746576896_n

One comment

  1. This was a GROUNDCREW item not Aircrew. They don’t service aircraft. We always said it was a cold-wet jacket, as that was how it kept you, cold and wet! Useless in a cold German winter apart from keeping rain off initialy but it always seemed to soak through and weigh you down. Ripped very easily. Pockets were a good size for carrying tools about and hood better than nothing. I served 70-94. Most of us wanted German Air Force type fatigues instead of what we were issued. Best bit of kit was the wooley pullover. I being one of the first people to test this for the RAF in 1970 when I started my apprentiship by using green army issue ones.

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