- Genuine Chrome Tanned Capeskin
- Genuine Horn Buttons
- 100% Worsted Wool Knits
- 100% Cotton Liner And Thread
- Reproduction 1920's Labels
This jacket is an accurate reproduction of the first flight jacket made for the US Navy pilots in the 1920's. This jacket appears in the mid 1920's on squadron members of the High Hat's, VF-1B squadron. This squadron had the top pilots in the navy at the time and was the first carrier fighter / bomber squadron. The pioneering pilots of the High Hats "wrote the book" on carrier flight operations, and they also had a demonstration team that performed at air shows. They would have received the first flight jackets to beta test in the field.
These early jackets were most likely test jackets for the USN37J1 Jacket program. They appeared just before the specifications were released for the 37J1 Jacket, and had a lot of similarities. They also had some huge differences that do not conform to the specifications of the standard issue 37J1 Jacket. It is clear some features were changed to make the jackets easier to produce and more durable.
The unique and different features found on this USN flight jacket:
1. Welted Pockets - The pockets are inside the jacket, not on the outside.
2. Collar Snap reinforcement is inside of the knit, not on the outside.
3. Jacket has 6 main buttons, not 5.
4. Single line stitching on cuffs, waist, pocket, the later jackets and Double stitch lines.
We believe A.G Spalding made this jacket. They were a major contractor to the government in the 1920's that provided flight helmets and other gear. They had also made test jackets for the A-1 program in the mid 1920's, about the same time this jacket appeared. It was made out of the same materials so we know they had the supplies. Spalding had jackets during that time with welted pockets, and there are other similarities in stitching and style that point to Spalding as the maker as well.
High Hats Jacket
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