Dennis Hatfield
3 min readSep 16, 2017

On a hot, sultry Sunday afternoon, nothing on TV but a boring golf tournament, it was time to do my favorite exercise, channel surf! With over 300 channels to choose from, there has to be something to hold my attention for more than five minutes. Sure enough, on the Classic Movie Channel, I find The Guns of Navarone. I’ve only seen the movie about a hundred times, I mean I can do dialogue in the scenes; and I like the casting. I came into the cut where they realize there’s a traitor among them; and they have to deal with it; wow, I’m hooked again.

I watch the blowup scene; they all escape, except the crazy kid who gets into a personal gun fight, which ends in a tie; and the knife fight guy who reaps his own karma, and that brings me to the final scene: David Niven and Gregory Peck standing on the deck of a British cruiser, horns and ocean sounds in the background, looking back at the burning island and admiring their work. When you’ve watched a movie as many times as I’ve watched this one, you’re always surprised when you notice something new. Something that never caught your eye before, but that’s what happened, at that moment, to me. Gregory and David were both wearing the coolest, warmest looking, most outrageous looking coats I have ever seen in my life. Why I had never noticed them before I will never know, but what I realized at that moment was,“I want one!”

The movie ended, I’m on line! Hum, Gregory Peck coat? David Niven coat? Navy coat? P jacket? No luck. After exhausting all my search ideas, with no success, I turned to the expert. “Hey! Cookie, I saw this very cool coat on The Guns of Navarrone, I been trying to find one on the Internet, apparently I can’t come up with it.”


“A coat! I’m trying to find a winter coat on the Internet!”

“A coat? Are you crazy, it’s 90 degrees outside!”

“I know, but it’s a very cool coat; and I want one!”

“Ok, ok, what does it look like?”

“All wool, like a camel hair coat, hooded, wooden buttons — -”

“ They’re called Duffel Coats!”

I will not bore you with my true search, but it took me all over the world. I have become a semi expert on original English Navy Duffel Coats in the process. First of all finding an original 100% wool coat is hard enough, but to find an original Guns of Navarone English Navy Coat, that fit, that was just pure luck! On line, one turned up, in of all places, Phoenix Arizona. I might add, it was inexpensive, comparatively speaking. Talking to people who know way more about duffel coats than I do, I found out there are several names the coats go by: Duffel Coat, Toggle Coat, and Ferry Coat. Personally, I like the latter, and this morning when I woke up, looked out the window and saw two inches of snow on the ground, I got dressed, wool sox and 2 sweaters, went down stairs, had my cup of coffee, put on my new, old Ferry Coat, turned and looked at Cookie and said, “ How do I look?”

“ You look like Gregory Peck.”