Images of various Artifacts of the Month's

March 2019

Artifact of the Month

Smoking Jacket

This tiger stripe smoking jacket was worn c. 1967 by LTC Jack Schwartz of the 519th Transportation Battalion which served in Thailand during the Vietnam War. On 20 May 1966 the unit was activated at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, as the 519th Transportation Battalion (Motor Transport). The unit received orders to support U.S. Air Force operations out of Thailand and began operations there on 17 December 1966.

While not serving under combat conditions, the battalion supported the effort by transporting food, fuel and other logistical needs to US Air Force bases in Thailand. The units at these bases flew missions in support of combat actions. A special survey disclosed that the "Tiger Battalion" had the longest line of communication and largest mission of any battalion of its type in the world. The 519th served in Thailand until February 1971 when it was deactivated.

The tiger was adopted as the battalion’s mascot after they arrived in Thailand. The image was put onto most things that were used by the battalion headquarters. Thus the reason for the tiger stripe camouflage dinner/smoking jacket.