Does the Original B3 Jacket Worn by Patton Still Exist?

Posted by American Mystique on 12th Jan 2023

Does the Original B3 Jacket Worn by Patton Still Exist?

The closest Patton Jacket version to the Original B3 he wore in WWII is the current Cockpit version that is made in the USA. There are knock-offs, but they copy the Cockpit Version. As far as I can tell, the Cockpit Version is the closest and the absolute best overall quality. The cockpit version is the most sought after jacket in the entire world, even Russians want it. But enough bragging.

Who made the WWII jacket for Patton? It could have been any of the small shops that sprung up after Pearl Harbor. Those shops are now long gone and far too many are lost to history. Many of those shops were a testament to American entrepreneurism as no company was large enough to handle the quantities the war required. Many were Mom & Pop owned and each shop furnished a slightly different version and often lighter or darker shades.

Patton’s B3 was a normal issue jacket when he got it in his hands. Patton then had it revised and altered to his specification, and what exactly all those were no one knows. They are lost to history, so far. The big fact here is that the jacket was an “issue” Jacket.

One modification was the shoulder straps. The issued B3 had none. But, when you are General Patton, you are going to want your Stars showing. So, we know through pictures of the period about that shoulder modification. We know there was elbow protection through horsehide patch supports adhered to the lambskin sleeve by a hot glue process used in the 1930’s & 40’s.

The Patton Jacket itself as far as I know has never appeared in images other than WWII Europe when he had it on. No Images have surfaced from any museum. Does it exist? I have not personally seen any images of its existence, not even from the Smithsonian, other than WWII imagery.

The Movie Patton was made in 1970. Patton is most likely wearing an older version restyled to match the WWII version. Avirex Jackets was founded by Clyman in 1975 who branched off to form the Cockpit in 1987. But they quit the Bomber Jacket business and went into bike racing and little boy cloths. The Cockpit is that newer version of the Avirex company. His wife Jackie runs the Cockpit. So we know that the movie jacket was not an Avirex creation.

Who made the movie version? Maybe Hollywood itself. When they need any garment they have the people who can make that stuff from scratch. They will also purchase and alter everything to fit the actor. We once took an order from a studio for a B3 for Brandon Frazier for the 3rd Mummy Movie. He was 6-7 or 6-8 in height and even a tall version would not fit him. We had to have it specially made to fit his height. But they really altered it significantly, like adding huge inside pockets for the guns the actor carried in the film. The changes were so many, the jacket was no longer "our version" or creation. But, that is Hollywood. The Hollywood Be Jacket may be stuffed in a box whose whereabouts know one no longer knows.

I am not sure what else to tell you about “the Patton” Jacket. It could exist, but no one is talking. If the Patton Estate has it, they aren’t talking or displaying it either. Museums are funny places, I once was looking for a document from the 1830’s and after a year of dogged research, I finally found it in a dusty box all by itself in the U of Texas archives, uncared for, unknown to the museum staff that it still existed!If you do find it, let me know. It most likely is under our nose but we just don't know it yet.