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Operation Eagle Claw Field Jacket Unboxing

If you were like me, you learned about the April 24, 1980 US raid into Iran to rescue American hostages on the news the next morning. Commentators spoke of a secretive US military force and an aircraft accident. While the raid itself was unsuccessful, the units involved only became better and more determined.

My introduction to what was worn by the rescuers on this mysterious raid was from a plate in an Osprey Elite book on Special Forces.

The Black Field Jacket with taped US Flag and Watch Cap became an image burnt into my head. Turns out, like most things, it wasn’t quite that simple. A series of photographs released years later, which were taken at the intermediate staging base in Oman prior to infil, depict a wide variety of clothing and jacket mods being worn.

Dave Hall, President of the Silent Warrior Foundation charity had recently contacted me about a fundraiser in conjunction with their upcoming Whiskey and War Stories event honoring Operation Eagle Claw which will focus on the participants and the hostages they were intent to rescue.

One of the Unit members had offered to allow Dave and team access to his modified M65 and Alpha Industries had donated some Field Jackets to be modified in a similar fashion so that they could be auctioned off to benefit the charity. Knowing how much I love kit and SOF history, he asked if I was interested in helping. I jumped at the chance and put him in touch with Kory Brown of Berspitze Customs to discuss doing the actual modification.

Last Friday, I was lucky to be asked to participate in an unboxing video at S&S Precision for the project, along with Dave and Kory. The box contained quite a few surprises including some sand from Desert One.

The jacket reproductions and many other items will be available for auction on www.auctionfrogs.org during the event.

9 Responses to “Operation Eagle Claw Field Jacket Unboxing”

  1. Insane Soldier says:

    This is Fantastic! I have always been intrigued by personally modified clothing.
    Well Done Eric!

  2. Richard Schagen says:

    It finally dawned on me when they talked about modified vests, that they worked on USAF survive vests as the basis

  3. James says:

    Too cool that there are surviving examples to work with.

  4. Justin Williamson says:

    More details on all of this are in the Osprey book on Operation Eagle Claw. This is the most comprehensuve picture of the mission, featuring specially commisioned artwork and maps. https://www.amazon.com/Operation-Eagle-Claw-1980-disastrous/dp/1472837835/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=operation+eagle+claw&qid=1625501249&sr=8-3

    • Dave Hall says:

      Speaking of maps, one of the original Escape and Evasion maps carried by a Unit member on Operation Eagle Claw was donated to us for the auction and will be auctioned online on August 21, 2021. A link to the auction items will be up soon at the charity website http://www.silentwarriorfoundation.com.

  5. Jon C. says:

    This is some amazing history. Strong men do the deed, but the gear gets them to and through the OBJ.

  6. Incredibly excited to be involved with this project. Thank you Eric and Dave for the opportunity!

  7. Angela A Borland says:

    Really looking forward to the event. Thank you all so much for putting this together ?????

  8. Kevin G Rooney says:

    After this ill-fated, mission I enlisted into the Marine Corps. Leaving for Boot, in December 1980. Coincidentally, during the first phase of Boot we were informed that the hostages were released on 20 January 1981, President Reagan’s inauguration.
    It was at the time that I developed a keen interest in Delta Force. I was fortunate enough to read Col. Charles A Bekwith’s book Delta Force. Do yourself a favor, give it a read, it is chock full of information regarding the genesis of this elite unit