Wednesday, December 26, 2012



Earlier this month I wrote about story behind an old military jacket that had washed ashore after Hurricane Sandy, and how the person who found it was able to return it to the widow of the cadet who'd originally worn it at West Point in the early 1930s.

The jacket shown above is not that same jacket, but it's very similar. It was purchased 20 years ago at a consignment shop by a Minnesota woman named Mary Helen Taft. When she read a news article about the jacket that had washed ashore, she became curious about the one she had bought, which was stowed away in her closet. So she dug it out and then did what the person who'd found the other jacket had done: She contacted West Point and asked if officials there could use the marks on the jacket's tags to tell her more about its original owner.

In this case, the jacket had been worn by a cadet named Joseph Francis Albano, who graduated in 1971. (West Point cadet jacket design apparently didn't change much in the four decades.) He's still alive, although he and Mary Helen Taft hadn't yet spoken or met as of a few days ago.

Further details on all of this, along with a mention of yet another vintage West Point jacket being traced back to its original wearer, can be found here.

(Special thanks to Barbara Zimmer for pointing me toward this one.)

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