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United States Uniforms
1940's/50's Period, US Army, White Mess Dress Uniform, belonging to a Major General
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This uniform dates anywhere between the end of WWII to the Korean War period. The material it's constructed out of is usually found for that period. Later period white uniforms are usually (but not always) made out of more modern materials. This uniform is a US Army, White Mess Uniform. Sewn in its inside collar is a small bevo-like cloth tag with the tailor's name of: "James S. Lee & Co." (sounds like a Korean name?). Other than that there are no other markings found in this jacket except the General's partial serial number of "3 302" (unresearched as of now). This uniform belonged to a Major General (i.e.: a 2 Star General) as is evidenced by the double wide cuff braid and by the 2 white stars found sewn just above each stripe. When acquired the museum was told that this uniform belonged to a Cavalry General on occupation duty in Korea, but we can not prove or disprove the contention.
The condition of this uniform is a low-good, as it has the usual yellowing condition, and it shows much overall rain rust spotting. As the photos show, this spotting is visually evident but not as visible as to be unpleasant. The buyer should be aware of this before making any purchase decisions. Returns will not be accepted for the above clearly mentioned spotting condition as it is being clearly made known here. This uniform is being sold as is. The balance of the uniform is intact with not other evident damage. The inside is partially lined as is usual, and intact. The buttons are very unique. First, they are sewn on (1 being loose, and in need of re-stitching). This is quite odd as they are typically of the removable type to help facilitate laundering. Next, they are "Tokyo" back marked! This is an incredibly rare back mark. Perhaps the tailor "Mr. Lee" is Japanese, not Korean after all; or most likely "Mr. Lee" purchased his buttons from a Japanese source outside of Korea - who knows! The buttons are of the 2 piece eagle types and show age patina. The 2 smaller frontal buttons are not back marked, are of the 1 piece eagle types, and quite unusually, are
domed! They appear to have been purposely made not domed as should be normal, and they show no evidence of having been accidentally flattened. Their connecting false gold chain is missing, but is easily fabricated from an flfea-market vendor.
The slip-on epaulettes are quite a treasure. This uniform did not come with any when acquired, so the museum has included a free set from our collection. And what beauties they are. They are "N.S. Meyer" tagged and have the correct white (not blue) backing. They originally came from another uniform that once was in our collection that belonged to a 1939 period Medical Officer. A Cap, Service, White, Field Grade Officer's is included. It did not originally come with this uniform. It matches in color, material, and rain rust stained condition. This hat is well worn, but still looks decent (it rates a low-good). It is a later, perhaps Vietnam period. The white shirt and eyeglasses seen in the photos are not included.
Comments from the Curator:
This Major General's uniform shows much age and use. It still looks ok however, but it is no where near a perfect specimen. But how often does one encounter a early period, Major General's, White Mess Uniform these days anyway? If this uniform were named and in better condition the price would be considerably higher. But since it is not named, and that it does show age staining, the price is thus approachable. This is a good uniform for the budget conscieous and/or beginner General Officer's uniform collector.
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