I think this is a good opportunity to test how to post text and picture sequences within a topic. I've posted a similar thread in another forum two years ago. I hope it fits here as well...
Every historian/collector has his own preferences. One is looking for the high end top rank's stuff, another one is looking for as much collectibles as possible. I'm focused on everything related to one specific German garrison (Idar-Oberstein). But I'm sure everybody is at least interested in the extraordinary, "customized" stuff you won't see every day.
Going through a box of photographs in the German Artillery Society's archive I stumbled upon a picture of two Bundeswehr soldiers in white coveralls.
Something like Navy or AirForce flight suits were my first thoughts but on a second look I noticed the Army rank insignia. In addition the enlisted on the left seems to carry a red (Artillery) beret within his coverall's hip pocket. Obviously the other soldier (Stabsunteroffizier) is regarding aerial photos. Could it be early drone (UAV) personnel at work, ....in white coveralls?
This picture intrigued me and I called a senior NCO who served a long time with the Drohnenlehrbatterie 300, the (drone/UAV training battery), garrisoned in Idar-Oberstein for more than 20 years. I asked him about white coveralls in use by the unit. He told me that these coveralls were worn from 1981 – 1983, when Drohnenlehrbatterie 300 was performing hot climate trials with a new UAV (Drohne CL 289) in Yuma, Arizona. And he rembered, how these "uniforms" were called by the members of the battery: "Big Macs".
I thought that he was kidding me. Then he told me more about these trials in Arizona. The battery was send to Yuma proving ground with standard German OD field uniforms. Sandy-colored Dienstanzug uniforms were issued as well but these were of course unpractical for the daily work. The German Army had no hot climate fatigues these days. In a local "JCPenney" store white coveralls were found. To give that coveralls an "uniform look" national insignia, rank insignia, name tapes and a local made pocket patch were sewn on. The battery commander decided to launch a request for approval. Actually the German Liasion Staff in Washington approved the "uniform" for local wear during these trials. As far as the NCO remembered each soldier bought 2-3 of these coveralls.
When meeting the NCO he gave me his overall for the German Artillery Society's collection. Additionally he showed me the battery's chronicle with dozens of pictures showing these uniforms worn during the trials. Still today reunions of the former members of this trial-unit were called "Big Mac Treffen".
IMHO these Big Mac coveralls meet all uniform criteria. They were worn by an entire unit, they were approvad (for local wear) by a higher HQ and regulations were made for their wear. Now let the pictures speak for themselves.
Finally some insignia worn by the unit until it's deactivation.