One of the most popular stories on feelnumb.com is the history behind the US Army Jacket worn by John Lennon. In our 2010 article we broke down every aspect of the shirt Lennon wore countless times and most notably during the only time Lennon performed a full-fledged solo concert. The famous image of Lennon wearing the jacket graced the album and movie cover of the “Live in New York City” concert filmed on August 30, 1972 at Madison Square Garden.
When asked about how he acquired the jacket on the Dick Cavett show Lennon said:
“It’s very funny, I was in the German Airport, I had an American Army mac on and a guy came up and said, I just got out of the Army in Vietnam and if you’d like these clothes I’d love to give them to you, ‘I said alright’, and he sent me all these Army clothes in the post, A few years ago it was.” – John Lennon – September 11, 1971
There has never been an actual mention of the identity of the US Soldier until now in this feelnumb.com EXCLUSIVE story. The last name on the jacket worn by Lennon is REINHARDT and that was the only thing we knew about the “Unknown Soldier”, UNTIL NOW!!!
In March of 2017, after some extensive research, I was put in contact with the family of the late Sergeant Peter James Reinhardt, the man who gave Lennon the famous Army jacket and the story is amazing. Here is a photo of Sergeant Reinhardt who served in South Korea in 1968.
Lennon claimed Reinhardt had served in Vietnam but we had previously debunked that claim in 2010 because of the “2nd Infantry Indian Patch“ and the “Imjin Scout Regiment DMZ Patch” that relate directly to the U.S. mission to defend South Korea from North Korean invasion.
Here are the jacket patches…
The Reinhardt family even sent me this photo from one of the South Korean Headquarters taken by Sergeant Reinhardt showing a DMZ Army Jeep.
The story from the Reinhardt family coincides almost exactly with Lennon’s version:
“Peter worked for Delta Airlines when he left the Army and had free travel. On his way to see his mum he met John Lennon and got talking. Peter in his own way told Lennon that the military jacket he was wearing was “Crap” and offered to send him one of his (which of course he did). Lennon gave Peter his address and promised to send one in return (which he never did). They spent a long flight chatting and when they landed Lennon gave Peter some signed stick figure drawings he was doodling on the plane.” – Linda Reinhardt 2017
Regretably, Peter later sold The Beatles legend sketches in the 1980’s during some tough times.
The man in the photo wearing the famous jacket is Peter’s brother Andrew Reinhardt who was in the British Army at the same time his brother was serving in the US Army. The photo was taken sometime in the mid to late 1960’s in Germany and the brothers had switched uniforms to take a few snapshots.
This jacket is so legendary that it even made it’s way into an Academy Award winning film with Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump (1994).
Sadly, Sergeant Peter James Reinhardt passed away on March 21, 2007 and was laid to rest at Skylawns Cemetery in San Mateo, California but the connection between him and John Lennon lives forever.
Thank you so much to Andrew & Linda Reinhardt for sending and allowing me to publish these amazing photos that finally tie the knot on the history of the John Lennon U.S. Army jacket. For more info in the jacket and where it is now, click the image of link below.