Figure 1: Courtesy of the United States Air Force Web Site
Figure 2: Early 1970s design USAF blue shade 1549 overcoat.
This coat is a beautiful example of the 1970s design USAF overcoat. Identified general officer uniform grouping from Brigadier General Duane H. Erickson, USAF. This grouping includes only the generalís overcoat. Obtained for this collection from National Capital Historical Sales of Arlington, Virginia.
Figure 3: Sterling stars made by NS Meyer.
In the beginning of the 1970s there was a major change in the USAF overcoat. By the 1980s, the overcoat remained the same but was referred to as the Menís Overcoat Outer Garment. There were two different styles of the Menís Overcoat Outer Garments. The first design Menís Overcoat Outer Garment was USAF Blue shade 1549, wool and polyester serge, double breasted, six button, and with provisions for removing the liner. The coat has epaulettes, is semi-form-fitting, slightly suppressed at the waist. It was not recommended for use with civilian clothes because of the USAF buttons on the coat and, in the case of the general officer, military braid around the lower sleeves.
Accouterments for the coat include the scarf, gloves earmuffs and Blue Winter Cap. The scarf is Gray USAF shade 1155 or 1164, all wool or cotton simplex, with or without napped surface. The scarf may be flat or tubular knit with a width that does not exceed ten inches. The scarf must be worn tucked in. The gloves are USAF gray shade 1155 knitted wool or black or gray leather plain design without ornamentation or zipper. The earmuffs may be commercial design of any material but they must be plain, solid dark blue, black or gray.
General Ericksonís overcoat is the USAF blue shade 1549 coat. It is a government issued coat purchased through base clothing sales. It has the official government label found inside the breast pocket which states ďOVERCOAT, MANíS POLYESTER/WOOL SERGE, 13 OZ. BLUE 1549 Ė DSA100-73-C-0145 Ė 60% POLYESTER 40% WOOL.Ē The generalís name is written on the label for identification. The brigadier general stars were made by NS Meyer, are marked sterling and have the dual NS Meyer logo with M22 inside one of the shields. The coat has an internal light lining but also a zipper for the addition of a heavy liner in cold weather. The heavy liner has been removed.
Figure 4: Only the general rank overcoat displays the dual arm bands
on the sleeve of the overcoat.
All general rank officers were required to have sleeve braid on their overcoat. The sleeve braid distinguished them from all other officers. Overcoats used by other officers had no sleeve braid. The braid consisted of two mohair bands around the bottom location on the overcoat sleeve. It would be a one and one-fourth inches braid beneath a one-half inch braid, USAF Blue shade 95. The bottom thick braid would be located two and one-half inches from the bottom of the sleeve. There is a one and one-half inch separation between the lower and upper braid. The rank of the officer was worn on the shoulder epaulettes.