Thursday, April 23, 2015

Republic of Vietnam Last Issue Uniform

March 1975 dated and issued Republic of Vietnam uniform, RVNHS Archive.

                        This shirt was one of the last uniforms to be issued and worn in the final weeks of the Republic of Vietnam. It has a March 1975 manufacture date, but has evidence of a name tape being removed form the chest, and also a unit insignia on the sleeve. It is not possible to tell the identity of the owner of this shirt, nor specific unit affiliation. What is clear is the shirt was issued and saw service some time on or after March of 1975, making it one of the last uniforms to be issued to the armed forces. The shirt is the olive drab four-pocket pattern, which come with covered or exposed buttons, and had become commonplace by 1975.
Armored crew in four-pocket pattern olive drab uniforms,
Battle of Xuan Loc, April 1975.
            The shirt was acquired in the United States. Uniforms of those taken prisoner were typically destroyed. However, as part of the refugee asylum process after escaping Vietnam, soldiers were given civilian clothes to wear. If this was not possible, insignia was simply removed from their uniforms to signify their status as refugees. This may have been the case with this uniform, but we cannot be certain. Nevertheless, the shirt does represent one of the last Republic of Vietnam uniforms to see service in those intense final weeks.

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