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OSS WW2 Uniform-Is it real?
Old 09-17-2004, 07:34 PM   #1
Jason Roberts
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Default OSS WW2 Uniform-Is it real?

Here it is. Is this the real deal? I have never in my life seen one like this. What do you all think about it?

Jason
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...270178480&rd=1
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File Type: jpg oss.jpg (19.0 KB, 379 views)
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:05 PM   #2
Kurt A.
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Jason-

It's a put-together piece of crap! What's particularly funny is the big "US" patch. That's a cut-down (used to have a large felt black square behind the triangle) "Non Combatant War Aide" patch. Somehow, I don't see an OSS guy as a "non-combatant."
Kurt
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:33 PM   #3
Jason Roberts
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Thanks Kurt. The stuff that some people come up with is pretty interesting. Do you know what those last two ribbons are?


Jason
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:40 PM   #4
Kurt A.
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Not totally sure, but my guess would be French Legion of Honor and Order of the British Empire.

Kurt
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Old 09-17-2004, 11:08 PM   #5
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I'm with Kurt- Run away! Run away! (in my best Monty Python voice).
Eek! Is there ANYTHING real on the jacket?
Allan


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt A.
Jason-

It's a put-together piece of crap! What's particularly funny is the big "US" patch. That's a cut-down (used to have a large felt black square behind the triangle) "Non Combatant War Aide" patch. Somehow, I don't see an OSS guy as a "non-combatant."
Kurt
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Old 09-18-2004, 12:00 AM   #6
Anthony Grisanti
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Kurt's right...looks to be French LOH and definitely British OBE.

Hey Allan...I think the material the jacket is made of is real.
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Old 09-18-2004, 11:38 AM   #7
Bill D.
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Any name or other identification inside of it ?

Markings ? Labels ?

Any story about it ?

While the "non-combatant" patch is odd, I wouldn't use it as a guage to rule out originality.

There were LOTS of non-combatant OSS personnel. They were linguists, lawyers, documents experts....a LARGE collection of specialists who were needed to plan and assist in the execution of operations.

The absence of any rank insignia goes along with the civilian patch. These individuals, however, carried a military-style identity card that specified their "Equivalent Military Rank". This enabled them to exercise authority with military personnel and it also, if they had officer equivalent rank, guaranteed them officer treatment if they became prisoners.

In all of the years I have collected I have only had one attributed authentic OSS uniform piece: an officer's four pocket tunic that had ALMOST no insignia or ribbons on it, since the veteran had removed them years before and they were lost. The only insignia on the tunic were the OSS spearhead devices, in black and gold bullion on the lapels, just as they are on this tunic. I have never seen them again since I owned that tunic until this photo.

The ribbons would be appropriate for a individual who was a staff or plans person in World War I (no campaign stars), and called back for World War II.
I really don't think that foreign ribbons for WW II style ribbon bars are very common for fakers, unless they are newly made, so I'd like to see a pic of the backs of those ribbon bars.

The SHAEF patch looks like a legitimate British-made example.

In other words, it could well be a fantasy put-together, but I wouldn't rule it out myself just on this photo.

Only mu opinion, of course.

Last edited by Bill D.; 09-18-2004 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 09-19-2004, 09:46 AM   #8
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Would it have made sense for a recalled to active duty 40-some year old (age based on the WW1 Victory Medal) "non-combatant" to be sent for paratrooper training (re: the wings on the jacket)?

I will say this in its defense. If I was going to fake-up a uniform, I wouldn't "waste" a size 46 jacket, that alone is worth over $200, for this purpose. I'd use a common $20 size 36.

But, the thing still screams "made-up" to me. And, I've never heard of those bullion DI's (not that I've seen everything that exists). I do recall reading an ASMIC article about the metal OSS DI's that are seen from time to time. There was a debate about which, if any, of those were original. I don't recall any mention of any bullion version of this DI in the article. Clearly any accepted as original bullion DI's would have factored into the discussion of what constitutes an "original" OSS DI. However, perhaps only a very few were made in some English tailor shop. Bill - Did you obtain your jacket with bullion DI's directly from the vet yourself? If so, that would be pretty good proof that original bullion OSS DI's exist. But if you obtained them from another collector who got them from..., who got them in a trade from... I would be suspect.
Kurt
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Old 09-19-2004, 12:03 PM   #9
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A well-known Kansas City collectors came up with several unused pairs of the bullion emblems a year and a half or so ago and several pairs were snapped up by dealers in the first couple of minutes of having them available at a show. (This doesn't mean they were good; just that they went into further circulation.) The balance (I believe) went in swaps later. I only saw scans of these but they looked original.

The U.S. civilian-in-service still seems the monkey wrench item in this situation, plus the curious lack of rank emblems on an otherwise "complete" outfit. Just my gut feeling, but simply take off the wings, ribbons, and OSS emblems and you have a perfectly legit civilian non-combattant jacket (which would have included the lack of rank emblems). Even the large size is consistent with a "chunky" civilian quickly stuffed into a uniform for interpreter or similar duty.
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Old 09-19-2004, 12:19 PM   #10
Chris Boonzaier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VerKuilen Ager
The U.S. civilian-in-service still seems the monkey wrench item in this situation, plus the curious lack of rank emblems on an otherwise "complete" outfit. Just my gut feeling, but simply take off the wings, ribbons, and OSS emblems and you have a perfectly legit civilian non-combattant jacket (which would have included the lack of rank emblems). Even the large size is consistent with a "chunky" civilian quickly stuffed into a uniform for interpreter or similar duty.
Would it not have been easier (if it is fake) to just put the OSS badges on a regular combat officer jacket than to put probably rare emblems on a jacket that make everyone scratch their heads?
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Old 09-19-2004, 01:19 PM   #11
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Well, it closes this afternoon. I think whether or not it's nuked by one of the Ebay heavy hitters who normally go for this sort of thing will provide an excellent indication of whether or not it's good.

Kurt
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Old 09-19-2004, 11:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt A.
Well, it closes this afternoon. I think whether or not it's nuked by one of the Ebay heavy hitters who normally go for this sort of thing will provide an excellent indication of whether or not it's good.

Kurt
I don't really think so, unless the high bidder received some additional photos or some other information about the tunic that was revealing.

I have seen treasures sell for a pittance on Ebay, because so many collectors were scared of them, and because Ebay's reputation has led to an attitude among many collectors that "If it's on Ebay and it's rare, it must be bad." At the same time, we have all seen crap sell for big money on that site.

My only thought on this tunic was that there were a number of intruiging points about it, and nothing that would cause me personally to rule it out as fake based simply on this single photo.

I personally wouldn't attempt to determine the originality of any uniform at all unless I had it in my hands, or at least a whole lot more information than we have in this post.

So someone aquired either a very rare tunci, that if correct may very well be researchable and identifiable, or a very creatively put-together piece. However, as I noted, the wool and bullion D.I.'s are like the only original attributed pieces that I have ever seen, and all of the other aspects lead me to think that someone who wanted to put together a convincing OSS tunic would have done it much differently especially, as you pointed out, Kurt, with a large size jacket that is valuable in its own right.

Also, as to the paratrooper wings. This badge did not mean that the recipient had gone through the intensive "Band of Brothers" airborne infantry course. It meant that the recipient was qualified as a military parachutist. That is, they were trained in how to jump, and they made the qualifying number of training jumps, Many of the OSS personel received parachute training, but that did not make them paratroopers. And again, the fact that the OSS took individuals from all walks of life, and of all ages, meant that a wide variety of individuals in the OSS qualified for this badge.

If you ever look at the records and photographs of the American trial of the personnel of the Mauthausen extermination camp, you will find that the first witness called by the military prosecution was a man named Jack Taylor. He was not a young man at 33 years old. He had been a publicist in Hollywood. He went into the OSS by way of his position as an officer in the United States Navy. If at a show any of us saw a World War II Navy officer's uniform with European service ribbons and army style jump wings, we would probably call it a "put-together". Yet Taylor was parachuted into Europe, captured, and sirvived (barely) imprisonment at Mauthausen until its liberation by American armored forces in 1945. He saw numerous atrocities, and was therefore the first witness of the trial, and he word a United States Navy officer's uniform with airborne wings on it.

Quote:
Bill - Did you obtain your jacket with bullion DI's directly from the vet yourself?
Yes. He sure wished he knew what he had done with his ribbons and other insignia.

That made two of us.
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Old 09-19-2004, 11:39 PM   #13
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Well, I just found the listing on Ebay using the "completed auctions" tool.

Based on seeing the other photos posted, I'm inclined to think that it is a legitimate tunic as worn by a memebr of the OSS attached to SHAEF.

That having been said, I also saw that the STARTING bid was $600, and that there was a RESERVE beyond that !

Well, sorry, but unless that tunic had A LOT more to go with it, such as a name, I myself see $600 as WAY too high for what it is, so I have no idea what kind of a RESERVE price this seller thought was appropriate.

$600 ?
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Old 09-20-2004, 06:58 AM   #14
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Bill-

In the seller's description, he mentioned he was selling the coat in order to build a "new garage." So, I'd guess his reserve was "a bit" more than $600.
Kurt
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Old 09-20-2004, 11:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Dienna
Well, sorry, but unless that tunic had A LOT more to go with it, such as a name, I myself see $600 as WAY too high for what it is, so I have no idea what kind of a RESERVE price this seller thought was appropriate.
I don't know about that... I've sold an unnamed 101st airborne enlisted tunic for over $800 on eBay, and this jacket has to be a LOT rarer than anything like that! I wouldn't have been surprised if it had sold for $1200+

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