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  • Writer's pictureJami Barr

All Who Served and the Fashions of WWII

Fashion can be found through each generation when we look at military history. The uniforms and civilian attire evolve each year, but in the newest addition aboard the USS Yorktown guests can get a closer look in the “All Who Served” exhibit of the military attire in World War II. This exhibit opened to guests on April 15, 2023, for “The Fighting Lady Turns 80” celebration. The curators at Patriot’s Point are Melissa and Meredith. These two wonderful individuals brought this exhibit to life to show the different uniforms worn by men and women during the second World War. With the help of some friends from The Charleston Museum and military branches, Meredith and Melissa have successfully offered something extraordinary to the patrons that visit.

Of the various outfits displayed, there are two that are civilian that are more than meets the eye. The first is the “D-Day Dress” which tells the story of D-Day if you look close enough at it. On this blue and white dress there are figures from top to bottom from the landing on the beaches of Normandy to the celebration in the streets when Allies declared victory over the Germans. This dress was donated to The Charleston Museum and is on loan from said museum to Patriot’s Point. The second outfit is one made of lightweight crepe wool and is brown. Instead of being a dress, this article of clothing is referred to as a wedding suit. The suit was worn by Jean Welsh who married a man from Charleston and thus, the suit was donated to The Charleston Museum as well. Wedding suits were for those who only had a few days’ time, at most, to get married before the military member was off to duty. These suits were seen to be more practical and easier to acquire compared to an actual wedding dress.

D-Day Dress

Wedding Suit

This exhibit has many little details available for viewers alongside the clothing displays. One detail lay within some of the articles of clothing. In the middle of the exhibit room is a case with navy uniform tops and a jacket with oriental dragons inlaid on the inside of the jacket or the cuffs of the tops. This was a forbidden extra to have but if one was bold enough, an individual would have these embroidered on while overseas. Another great gem on display is a simply Dixie cup hat. This specific Dixie cup hat has the words “USS Yorktown” inscribed on it with a list of names and was bought at Goodwill for $.50! The Dixie cup hat was then donated to Patriot’s Point and can be viewed by guests who come aboard.

This exhibit has much to offer and gives the viewers in-depth details on each uniform or piece of clothing on display. Much like the fashions of the 1940’s and 1950’s, this exhibit will not last forever. It will run until July 16, 2023, so if you onboard, please take some time and see it. I promise it will not disappoint.

Dixie Cup Hat

USS Yorktown Seabag

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