Officially designated on 26 March 1942 by the U. S. Army Quartermaster as JACKET, WINTER, COMBAT, P. Q. D. Spec. No. 26, this jacket was destined to become one of the most popular articles of clothing used by the G. I. in World War II, and was to gain post-war Hollywood film fame when worn by actor Robert De Niro in "Taxi Driver." It was originally configured under P. Q. D. Spec. No. 26 with open-top patch pockets and a double-faced cotton twill wind flap behind the zip closure. This revised Spec. No. 26 featured cotton-lined slash pockets and a wind flap backed with the same wool blanketing as used on the inner lining. The jacket formed part of a three-piece suit, including a matching helmet and bib-front trousers. This set was intended to be a winter suit for the Armored Forces of the U. S. Army, hence the jacket’s nickname that would make it famous – Tanker Jacket. Usage of the Tanker Jacket, however, far transcended the Armored Forces.
The inherent stylish good looks, comfort, practicality, and warmth of the Tanker Jacket made it a favorite among all troops. Officers very commonly sought and wore the Tanker Jacket, with senior generals such as Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Clark, and Ridgeway all being photographed wearing it. Fighter pilots and infantrymen also had great affection for the Tanker Jacket.
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