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July 11th, 1973 dated, US Army, 1937 Pattern, Blue Color, Mess Dress Uniform, belonging to a Combat, Infantry, Major General, named: "Raphael Dean Tice", the Commanding General of the 3rd Infantry Division
July 11th, 1973 dated, US Army, 1937 Pattern, Blue Color, Mess Dress Uniform, belonging to a Combat, Infantry, Major General, named:  "Raphael Dean Tice", the Commanding General of the 3rd Infantry Division


 
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Description
 
This uniform is dated inside July 11th, 1973. It is a US Army, 1937 Pattern, Blue Color, Mess Dress Uniform. This beautiful uniform belonged, and is named on the inside tag to: (Major General) "R.T. Tice" (Note: not "R.D. Tice" - errors on clothing tags are very common and drive those inexperienced are-chair-historians just bonkers!). This uniform has a MAGNIFICENT blood red color satin full length lining that must be seen to be appreciated. It is also semi-quilted. And AGAIN the tailor screwed up as there are also 3 bevo-like embroidered initials tags sewn above the inside pocket that reads: "R.T.T" (again-not "R.D.T." folks). This unifor is custom tailored and only loosely follows the 1937 Pattern. Collectors/historians take note: in over 45 years of collecting uniforms, most Mess Dress uniforms seen came out of a formal/tuxedo tailor type of a shop after first being "militarized". This accounts for their many non-regulation details.

This uniform has not 1 but 2 bevo-like tailor's tags sewn in and both appear to indicate a different tailor (now that is one for the books!). Tag No. 1 reads: "Custom Tailored HAAS Baltimore", while tag No. 2 reads: "Marlow White Fort Leavenworth, KS". This is an interesting anomaly. Perhaps a 2nd tailor made additional modifications and/or alterations to the original coat? The lining is in excellent condition. The outer body is in MINT condition too. The buttons are of the 2 piece eagle types, are matching and backmarked. They are of the removable type too. This uniform has commerical style black satin lapels and not branch of service color lapels as is regulation. Again this practice is quite common to find on these style jackets. Even he "cut" of the collar/lapels is of the commerical style, not the regulation pattern.

Each shoulder has a heavy gold bullion slip-on epaulette. They appear to be of a older and more luxurious period. They each have a sewn in tag, but they are undecipherable (they are not "Meyers", and are better made). There is evidence that General Tice once wore his proper miniature medals on his left collar lapel. Each lower sleeve has the regulation wide black velvet false cuffs. Each cuff has the proper gold oak leaves, but these leaves are the cheap yellow cotton embroidered type and not of the more richer gold bullion (what a shame he cheaped out on this). Above the velvet are his 2 silver bullion General's stars insignia (no cheap-out on this).

The uniform includes a commerical, white color tuxedo shirt that is original to Ticeand Korean made. It has been modified to have permanent, not removable buttons. Also original to Tice and included with this grouping is his tuxedo style black color tie. Another original inclusion is General Tice's cummerbund. The next inclusion is Tice's matching material tuxedo trousers. They once again are of the commerical type. They only have 1, not 2 black satin stripes running down each leg. There are no tailor's tags found inside. Across the front of the jacket is the correct gold chain with 2 small buttons attached. To help complete this uniform the museum has added 8 pages of biographical/historical information on General Tice.

Comments from the Curator:

General Tice has been a real challenge to research. We do know that he served as an Infantryman and Battalion Commander in combat in Vietnam. He was awarded a Silver Star Medal, and a Bronze Star Medal with a "V" for valor device for combat. He also earned the much coveted Combat Infantryman's Badge. This General saw much combat in Vietnam making thi grouping highly valuable and desirable. Between 1977 and 1978 he as the Commanding General of the 3rd Infantry Division. Yo - Vietnam collectors - don't snooze on this one!

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