Canadian Army Combat Coat

A couple of years ago we looked at the lightweight Canadian combat shirt/jacket here. This was the lightweight Canadian combat uniform used from the 1960s until the end of the century. Alongside this was a heavy version of the combat coat used in colder climates and today that is the subject of our post:

This coat was introduced in 1963 and was in widespread use amongst the Canadian Army by 1966. The coat was slightly modified in 1966 and it is this second pattern we have here. The coat had the ability to take a thermal liner to allow it to be used in temperatures as low as 10 degrees fahrenheit, and we will take a look at the liner in a seperate post in a few week’s time. Returning to the coat, however, the design is very similar to the lightweight version covered previously, but made in thicker and warmer materials. This coat was designed to take the place of ammunition pouches when worn with the 64 pattern webbing set. As such the two breast pockets are sized to hold a C1 (Canada’s version of the FAL) magazine:

The left hand pocket had a small loop to carry a dosimeter in, but this was more commonly used to carry a pen by Canadian troops. The lower pockets are far larger and have a bellows type design, with a buttoned top flap:

The edges of the top flap are sewn to the sides of the pocket’s bellows to help prevent items being lost and inside each pocket is a pair of loops to hold a further two magazines:

This then gives the coat a carrying capacity of six magazines, although it is of course no substitute for a decent set of ammunition pouches!

The coat fastens up the front with a metal zip and a buttoned fly:

A series of button holes are fitted to the inside of the coat to allow the liner to be attached:

The collar of the coat is made of a heavy duty cordorouy type fabric, rather like a civilian wax jacket!

With this coat originating in Canada, the care label is bilingual and has instructions in both French and English:

This label is sewn into the rear of the coat, whilst the sizing and manufacturer’s details are recorded on a label sewn inside the front edge of the coat:

From this we can see that the combat coat was made in September 1967 by Peerless Garments Ltd. This coat lacks the waist cord that was introduced to the design in 1969- the coat went through a lot of small design modifications in its first few years of service, although of course they were all worn alongside each other until older items wore out and were replaced.

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