An original 1943 dated American 'War Aid' made British Army battledress blouse which belonged to a staff sergeant of the Royal Engineers.
This jacket was made in the United States as part of the Lend Lease scheme. It is based on the standard British battledress blouse introduced prior to the Second World War but has a few key differences. The most notable of these is the exposed buttons on the breast pockets and the fly front fastening which gives War Aid jackets their distinctive look. All the buttons are the same as used on American military clothing of the 1940s.
War Aid battledress saw widespread issue in Italy during WW2 which may have been where this jacket was used. The insignia fitted consists of wartime economy printed 'Royal Engineers' shoulder titles which appear to be original to the jacket. Below these are Royal Engineers Arm of Service stripes which are simple felt examples as are often encountered on British battledress from this period. Sergeant stripes are also fitted and are surmounted by the Royal Engineers flaming grenage as well as crowns which denote the rank of sergeant. A khaki lanyard is also fitted to the right shoulder.
The collar has been heavly tailored to allow the jacket to be worn with a shirt and tie. From October 1944 the regulations were changed to allow all ranks to wear a shirt and tie and many soliders had their jackets tailored to suit this. This example has been very neatly done with the collar being only a single layer as illustrated in picture 9. This allows the collar to sit very smartly.
Inside the jacket the original label is still present and bears the date of January 1943 along with the size of 6 which is designed to fit a 38" - 39" chest and a 33" - 34" waist. The maker's name of 'Superior Coat Co.' is also present.
The jacket is in good condition with the usual signs of service wear and use. There are two small holes to the rear of the left sleeve as illsutrated in picture 14. Overall it displays well but please take time to study the pictures as this is a vintage, pre-worn item which may have small flaws commensurate with age.
A nice originally badged BD in good conditionand with a nice clear wartime date.