M43 field jacket file photo [29952]

US Army M1943 Uniform

Country of OriginUnited States


ww2dbaseIn 1943 a new combat uniform, the first to employ the layer principle, began to be introduced for all ranks after extensive service trials. The Model 1943 field jacket and matching trousers was adopted in response to complaints about the poor quality of the M1941 jacket. First issued in 1943 to the troops of the 3rd Infantry Division in Italy, it became available in North West Europe only from late 1944, although it never fully replaced the earlier styles, which were still being seen right through until Victory in Europe Day. It would remain in service through the Korean War until eventually being replaced by the newer OG-107 pattern uniform in 1952.

The Model 1943 Field jacket was made of olive-drab, shade 7, sateen cloth (generally of a stronger green colour than the M1941 jacket). It was a coat type jacket, wind resistant and water repellent, with a plain back, fly front with six buttons, and the waist could be adjusted by means of a drawstring. Lined throughout with light-weight poplin fabric, it had matching shoulder straps, two outside breast patch pockets with flaps and two lower diagonal slash side pickets. The sleeves were gathered at the wrist and fastened with a tab and button. Various kinds of knitted and pile linings were also available to make the basic jacket suitable for most climatic conditions. Some GIs went to the trouble of having extra cargo pockets sewn to the outside thighs of their trousers since many soldiers preferred to carry the necessities of campaign life stuffed into pockets and bandoliers instead of packs or pouches.

With the introduction of the M1943 field jacket came the M1944 hood, made from the same material as the jacket, a treated cotton, which fastened around the jacket collar and buttoned under the chin. This was made to be sufficiently large enough to fit over the standard M1 steel helmet (although it was sometimes worn beneath for added protection in cold weather). Because it restricted hearing and head movement the hood was not very popular among the troops although service regulations would compel its widespread use. In the field the jacket and its matching trousers would normally be worn with the regulation Army issue field equipment, the garrison (overseas) cap or M1 helmet, and russet-brown leather lace-up combat boots. In 1944 a new style combat boot, with built in leather gaiters fastened by two bucked flaps, replaced the old ankle length boot and separate M1938 webbing gaiters, whose many loops, hooks and eyelets were hard to get off in an emergency and tended to break easily in daily use.

Officers would wear their rank insignia on the left front of their overseas cap or painted in white on the front, and sometimes on the back, of their steel helmet. N.C.O.s and men had olive-drab chevrons on a blue ground situated on both sleeves of the jacket.

Andrew Mollo: Army Uniforms of World War 2 (Blandford Press, London, 1973)
Philip Katcher: The US Army 1941-45 (Osprey Publishing Ltd, 1978)
Wikipedia - US Army M1943 Uniform


Last Major Revision: May 2020

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Steve says:
9 Jul 2020 02:01:39 PM

Neither of the men pictured with this article are wearing the M-43 jacket, and may not be wearing the matching pants.
2. Steve says:
13 Jul 2020 01:36:58 PM

Nice swap -- now let's talk about that Luger holster that's been "appropriated." ;-)

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