Veterans Community Collecting Event Artifacts

My Uncle's Navy Uniform from World War II


Ethan Bickford


Ethan Bickford



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John Herbert Bickford of Winsted, CT, born 10/9/1926, served as a sailor in World War II. A mechanical engineer, John went on after the war to design fasteners and bolts for nuclear power stations. He wrote several books on this specialty. Anne Chalmers Rosie Bickford (1925-2015), his late wife, graduated from MIT's architecture program in 1950--she was one of only seven women in her class. John and Anne were married for 64 years.

Ethan Bickford, John and Anne's nephew, contributed this uniform to the digital collection.

The Navy "crackerjack" dress blues uniform includes:

  • Blue dress jumper with three rows of white piping and two stars on the collar flap. No rate on arm or cuffs.
  • Blue wool trousers, mended by hand, with thirteen-button broadfall flap and zippered pocket
  • Flat hat of wool, leather and U.S. NAVY ribbon
  • Two pieces of undyed cotton long underwear, a.k.a. winter skivvies, stamped with the sizes (30 and 32) and the last name of the sailor, tied with the original standard-issue "clothes-stop" twisted cord

c. 1940s, exact dates unknown.

As of 2018, John Bickford is 91 years old and lives in Connecticut.

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militaria, naval uniform, crackerjack, history of STEM, World War II


American Material Culture | Archival Science | Cultural History | History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Industrial and Product Design | Military and Veterans Studies | Military History

My Uncle's Navy Uniform from World War II