This is a vintage original M-51 Fish Tail Parka a jacket that with its smart and functional design has been appreciated by many since it was first introduced in 1951. The older variants like this are starting to get rare and are harder and harder to find. Considering that the model turns 70 this year it is easy to understand that there are starting to be fewer of them.
The M-51 Parka, also known as the "Fish Tail Parka" was originally issued for the US Army during the Korean war 1950-53. The name refers to the year it became standard issue (1951) and it became the standard issue cold weather parka. The previous cold weather parka known as the "N-3B" was a lot heavier and not optimal for the Korean weather, and that became the birth of the iconic M-51 Fish Tail Parka.
But it wasn't the army who gave the jacket it's iconic status! Today it's hard to mention the M-51 parka without thinking of the British mod subculture in the 1950s and 60s. The parka along with a slim cut suit, modern jazz music and riding a Vespa or Lambretta was the way of life for this growing subculture.
The name Fish Tail comes from the split back that looks like the tail of a fish. The design allows the garment to be fastened around each leg for added warmth.
This is a vintage original with a patern date number 26 Sept. 1952. The jacket has seen many days of use and has a number of repairs (see pictures). The condition is fine for its age and it is not in need of any further repairs at the moment. The repairs give it a nice patina and are also proof that the jacket has been used for almost 70 years now!
- Vintage Original M-51 Fish Tail Parka Size M - Size Medium - Shell fabric 100% cotton - Pocket lining 100% wool - Zipper - Two hand warmer pockets
All measurements are in centimeters and measured on a flat surface. Width is measured straight across the chest from armpit to armpit, length is measured at the back of the garment from the neck down and the sleeve length is measured on the underarm from the armpit to the end of the cuff.