SOE / OSS Camouflaged Stiptease / Jumpsuit
Allied agents of the SOE that were parachuted into occupied territory were issued with a set of protective overalls and a fabric jump helmet, both made of a distinctive and unique camouflage pattern. Intended to be used only once, they were buried or otherwise disposed of when landed alongside the parachute; the agent then went along on his or her way clothed in civilian attire to blend in anonymously. Made for purpose, the jump suit had many interesting features, including two front zips running parallel the entire length of the garment, enabling the wearer to step out and discard the overalls with maximum speed; a large pouch fitted to the rear, for fitting a small parcel, suitcase or attaché case; several purpose-built pockets, both internal and external (one intended for fitting a small digging tool); a short leather strap with buckle fitted at the neck of the suit, for connecting the special jump helmet.
Although the vaguely similar camouflaged tank suit often appears offered an SOE “Striptease” suit, original examples such as this are extremely rare, those that do usually having been modified post war with the addition of a hood.
Original in every respect, this example is in very good overall condition but has significant fading to the rear left side where it has lain in storage for all these years. There are no rips or tears and the all-important main zips operate well with no obvious damage to the short zips although these will need a little candle wax to get them moving freely. Internally some of the press fasteners have oxidised and separated.
On the left sleeve is the pocket for the shroud knife which still contains the original camouflaged lanyard whilst on the inside are pockets for a folding shovel, flashlight, fighting knife, medical kit, maps, money and lethal tablets. Most obvious is the large pocket or bustle at the back for carriage of a radio, suitcase or other items.
An incredibly rare opportunity to acquire an original SOE/ OSS Jump / Striptease suit.