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Thread: US Navy Pea Coat History

  1. #1
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    Default US Navy Pea Coat History

    34D4570C-1429-4100-8928-9470F34A94A6.jpg
    So, a friend gave me the Navy Pea coat shown above several years ago. I had never worn it since I needed to lose some weight first. Well it finally fits and we had a chilly morning here in Long Beach so I decided to try out the coat. My friend loves to go to Garage Sales and pick up interesting items and this is no doubt where she got this.

    I always wanted one of these heavy woolen coats and this is no exception. The first thing I noticed that was interesting was a strap which was in one of the pockets:
    59F2B079-C059-445A-AD02-0560EF0C0D73.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Well, I figured out that the strap looks like it attaches to the underside of the collar:
    7DA154C9-9B24-4C34-BFA9-81D405CD67B0.jpg

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    I always thought that was a kind of "gorget" to cover your throat when the collar is turned up. Does yours have buttons on the underside of the front of the collar?

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    I knew the wisdom of the Bilge would soon present!

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    So I decided to look up some info to see it I could tell how old the coat is. I looked inside and found a label and two different names.
    004F3EBF-5024-45DD-8CC7-A7C6ACA03816.jpg
    0DBAEE47-F3E4-4487-96FF-7BD7C51F3367.jpg

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    The article online I read says that coats with labels like my example were made for the US Navy for WWII.

    I had no idea the coat was so old, it is in perfect condition.

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    I wonder if anyone knows why there are two names on the coat? One is stenciled on the inside lower hem. Were these coats reissued?

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    The next chapter of my story is a little sad. I googled L.V.C. Deichler.

    At first I thought that maybe the “L” stood for Lieutenant, and that the man’s name was V.C: Diechler, but I found him in a Fraternity Yearbook:
    00C91CBA-8F5E-4E2F-A14E-DF2FB1C97965.jpg

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History


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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Based on the uncommon initials, I think this is most likely the man who wore the coat.

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery
    3DCDDE4C-2175-4A26-8635-8978B699A175.jpg

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    I went Navy in 1966. We stenciled our names just inside the collar.
    When I got home in 1970, my 19 year old hippie brother walked off with my pea coat and all my bellbottoms.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    I’ll bet he commanded some SeaBees. He was a civil engineer:
    C2655FD6-9A8C-4D08-AE51-94965B908B88.jpg
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    I have to say that finding out the history of something that I thought was pretty innocuous, well- it gives me pause.

    I never served in any of our armed services, but I would like to express my appreciation for all of those who have served our country.

    I would also like to send thoughts of gratitude and respect to one Commander LVC Deichler.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Army & Navy Register - June 10, 1944
    Seabee Regiment Commended


    A regiment of navy seabees has been commended by army, navy, & marine corps officers for the part it played in repelling a sustained 17- day counter-attack on bougainville.


    The Seabees were under command of Comdr. L.v. Clark Deichler, USNR.


    Two batt., bivouacked just off the torokina fighter strip, were subject to especially heavy fire.


    In order to remain alive, in the bivouac area between march 8 and 24, 1944, an official report stated, it was necessary for all hands to spend some of the daylight hours in foxholes and to sleep in foxholes each night.


    In one 24 hour period, the japs scored 11 direct hits on the camp of one battalion and dropped more than 110 shells within 50 yards.


    These combat conditions did not prevent the seabees from completing all emergency repairs on the piva fighter strips, which had taken a heavy battering. During the entire 17 day period, no naval facility was out of commission for more than 30 minutes.


    Airfield repair groups have been recommended for appropriate awards by maj. Gen. R.j. Mitchell, U.S.M.C.., who was then com. Aircraft, Solomon islands, and who is now Com. Air South Pacific.


    Throughout the assaults, the Seabees continued work on a hospital, a pt base, boat pool repair facilities, and other important naval base structures. They replaced infantrymen in handling rations & unloading cargo. They furnished a combat team of approximately 400 men to be held in reserve for front-line duty.


    Their work, in the face of continued enemy opposition has been on the highest order and reflect great credit upon the battalion participating, said rear admiral O.O. Badger, U.S.N. Com. Service Squadron, South Pacific Force. This command, rear admiral badger continued, takes this opportunity to commend the regiment for the excellence of their performance.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralphie Boy View Post
    I wonder if anyone knows why there are two names on the coat? One is stenciled on the inside lower hem. Were these coats reissued?
    When I was in the Navy, 1967 to 1979, there were 'shops' where you could purchase 'reclaimed clothing' designated by a large 'R C' stenciled in red ink over the name of the previous owner. If the 'R C' was not there, you stood the risk of being accused of theft of the clothing from it's owner ( That was shirts and trousers, I doubt they did it on peacoats )


    Rick
    Charter Member - - Professional Procrastinators Association of America - - putting things off since 1965 " I'll get around to it tomorrow, .... maybe "

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Thanks for the info, Hawkeye and Jim. Of course it make sense, but I didn’t think of the Seabees as necessarily being in such danger.

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Here’s his picture. A screenshot from this video:
    https://archive.org/details/NPC-1437a#

    5315DC37-68B4-4252-8A8E-7E88E65214C1.jpg
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    That was very interesting, thank you!

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Amazing.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Great research!

    The war in the Pacific was nasty for everyone involved, including the Seabees. Think rebuilding one end of a runway while the other end is being bombed & Japanese soldiers are sniping from the hilltops.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default

    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Wow.

    Just wow.


    RIP L.V.C., you served your command and your country with true dedication & honor.

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Now to find a descendent...

  25. #25
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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Cool thread
    Skip

    ---This post is delivered with righteous passion and with a solemn southern directness --
    ...........fighting against the deliberate polarization of politics...

  26. #26
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    Default

    1934 Georgia Tech Yearbook:

    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Very interesting. Great research.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Last entry:

    A Georgia Tech Alumni newsletter of 1946 says Commander Deichler died “At Sea”. No other info.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

  30. #30
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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Incredible, Jim! Thanks so much for posting your research! How amazing that he was awarded the Bronze Star.

    Again, I confess my ignorance, for when I think of medal of valor recipients I wouldn’t have immediately thought of the Seabees. This ‘action’ at Bougainville, it sounds pretty hellacious. I can’t even imagine what that would have been like.

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    A remarkable thread. Thanks Ralphie and Jim.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    Fun and fascinating thread.

    I wore a surplus peacoat for several years, late h.s. to early college. But, being a callow sprout, I never paid the slightest attention to the name stenciled inside.
    David G
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  33. #33
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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    The wonders of Google, YouTube, and the Internet Archive.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    My father claims that standing a bow watch on a DE in a peacoat and watch cap was the coldest and most miserable he has ever been

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    Default Re: US Navy Pea Coat History

    This is fantastic.

    I had a genuine USN-surplus peacoat (no name, I assume was never actually issued) about ten years ago. It was absolutely invaluable when I was coaching they boy's hockey team.

    Then one day we had to leave the rink in a mad scramble because littlegirl went from normal to 102 fever over the span of about 15 minutes and the coat got left behind. I'm sure it's serving it's 5th or 6th owner very well.
    What color are their hands now?

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