During WWII, the Marine Corps had experimented with battledress camouflage using the M-42 Frog Skin design in an official capacity, while other U.S. troops - especially airborne pathfinder units landing in Normandy, camouflaged their uniforms with hand-painted splotches, stripes and foliage. But it was only after the end of the War, having seen its potential, that the US Military set out to develop a camouflage pattern for broader uniform use.
Between ‘48 and ‘53 field tests were conducted using a number of different patterns, culminating in a trial in Panama of 8 different designs. Two complimentary patterns were found particularly effective, the green hued Wine Leaf, a bright foliage pattern ideal for Spring and Summer months and The Mitchell, a brown cloudy pattern ideal for Fall and Winter that was named for its designer, an artist and former marine Meldon Mitchell. It was determined that this combination could be implemented in an interchangeable two-sided design that was designated as Pattern-53. Ultimately, the Mitchell name became synonymous with both sides and the Leaf design is recognized by that moniker today.
Initially only used by the Marine Corp; U.S involvement in Vietnam meant that by the mid 60s both the Army and Navy were using Mitchell helmet covers too. Throughout the war a number of trial garments were made and tested in Mitchell camouflage, including the M-65, as seen here. though none of those garments widely issued and shelter halves and helmet covers remained the only official designation.
First issued to soldiers in the United States Armed Forced in 1965, the M-65 is the definitive field jacket, a pop culture icon and perhaps one of the most significant garments in menswear design history. It evolved from the M-1943 Field Coat via the M-1951 and is a seminal piece that utilized tailoring techniques and pre-eminent functional application to deliver an extremely flattering but entirely utilitarian garment.
The M-65 stands alone in its versatility, through its proportions and the execution of details such as the snap-flat cargo pockets, concealed hood, and adjustable drawstring at the waist and bottom, the M-65 can be combined and layered by the wearer to elevate an outfit in nearly any environment or setting.
The M-65 has been the source of countless imitations, this model, developed by The Real McCoy’s using entirely bespoke materials faithfully reproduces the detailed processes stipulated in the MIL specifications, such as the aluminium zips and other details. The outer shell is executed in 100% cotton, an up-spec from the cotton blend used in military production to aid the ageing process.
This version of the M-65 benefits from buttoned epaulettes not seen in the 1st Type, which troops liked for preventing heavy luggage from slipping from the shoulder. The four, deep front pockets can be closed with a heavy-duty press stud and the same can be found along the jacket opening, above the concealed, sewn-in zipper cover and bespoke MCCOY hardware.
Internal Urea buttons are provided to attach a quilted liner and velcro is provided on the collar to close, and on the flapped cuff which can be folded out in cold weather conditions.
- Camouflage Printed Cotton Sateen Outer Shell
- Cotton Nylon Lining
- High Density Cotton for Hood
- #7 Wire Front Zipper, Aluminum Alloy
- 50s Talon Collar Zipper, Aluminum Alloy
- Cotton Sewing Thread Construction
- Made in Japan