General Eisenhower Jacket Auctioned At Alderfer

On September 9, the Alderfer Auction Company of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, sold a World War II uniform jacket that belonged to General Dwight D. Eisenhower for $43,875 (price includes 17 percent buyer’s premium). The jacket, size 38 regular, displayed the 5 Star rank of General of the Army on each shoulder as well as a Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF) patch on the upper left sleeve. Above the left pocket were 3 ribbon strips that represented the three highest medals awarded to Eisenhower during his military career (the Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service medal, and the Legion of Merit medal). Attached to the inside pocket was a label with the original owners name and date of issue: “Gen D. Eisenhower 3/45”. This type United States military uniform jacket was modeled after a British uniform known as the “battle dress coat”. The uniform jacket was shorter than uniforms of the early 20th century with the bottom of the jacket ending at the waistline.

Much folklore surrounds this type of U.S. World War II jacket, including the idea of Eisenhower being credited with its design and acceptance by US forces. Compared to the full length military jacket, the short jacket made entering and exiting vehicles and aircraft easier, carrying and use of pistols more comfortable, and increased comfort by eliminating bunched fabric around the waist, particularly while seated. Because of General Eisenhower’s connection with this type of jacket they became known as Eisenhower or “Ike” jackets. The auctioned jacket was part of General Eisenhower’s wardrobe during the closing days of the World War in Europe and had been part of a private collection owned by James Mountain of Massachusetts.

For more information, phone Alderfer’s at (215) 393-3003; or visit online at www.alderferauction.com.

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