BUZZ RICKSON 37J1 Admiral version review

Discussion in 'Repros' started by Persimmon, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. Persimmon

    Persimmon Well-Known Member

    Nottingham England
    I thought I would do a quick review of my Buzz Rickson 37J1 "Admiral" version.

    I have customised the jacket in a number of ways.

    The most obvious is the collar. The original high style button collar, I have had changed to a varsity collar - I do have it seems a penchant for this type of collar as it so much easier to wear.
    I much prefer my varsity style collar Admiral A1 leather jacket to my Eastman A1 jacket with the higher collar. However we are all different and I am sure its not for all.

    Secondly I took off the Buzz Rickson leather Lt. Honan name tag clone.

    Thirdly I gave it a few washes to give it a more worn look which has also as a side affect faded the USN stencil. It has though faded/eliminated the stitch marks of the leather name tag.

    Finally I took off the wind flap as I found it was uncomfortable and did not look right. ( I saw in other posts on this style of jacket the wind flap has a few detractors. )
    It was a easy unstitch and left no visible marks but can easily be put back onto the jacket.

    Buzz 37J1 Admiral pics 004.jpg

    Buzz 37J1 Admiral pics 003.jpg

    Buzz 37J1 Admiral pics 007.jpg

    This is a Buzz Rickson repro. I understand that they are no longer available but there are of course other manufacturers out there producing this style of jacket currently. (McCoys, Cockpit,Bronson etc)

    For those who don’t know to much about this style of fabric Flight jacket it was developed in the 1920/30’s as the 37J1, issued to pilots with designs similar to the A-1 leather flight jacket developed around the same time and used by the United States Army Air Corps

    Generally constructed of khaki cotton twill, or olive tinted Bedford cord cotton; navy pilots wore these jackets in open cockpit aircraft during the earliest days of the aircraft carrier. The Bedford Cord weave originated in England and because of its ridges it resembles corduroy fabric.

    The military renamed the fabric "Jungle Cloth" and it was used by the U.S Navy during WWII. The 37J1 jacket lasted through to the earliest days of WWII

    This specification was their own - BuAer 37J1 with mid chest pockets and several knit collars.
    These were the varsity style (non buttoning), single button, single snap and double button options.

    Buzz 37J1 Admiral pics 009.jpg

    Buzz 37J1 Admiral pics 008.jpg

    Buzz 37J1 Admiral pics 005.jpg

    This jacket that I have when produced by Buzz has three main differences to their second production run.

    To start with the zipper is an early Talon style zipper. Lately on version two they used a Hookless zipper.



    Secondly the arms are cut wider in their first version to the more trimmer second version.

    Thirdly the colour looks in their first version closer to the original pictured in their vintage flight jacket pictorial in their 2003 Buzz Rickson catalogue.

    There are some other small differences - the labels read the same but are slightly different and the hanger is sewn in the first version less close to the label.

    Orginally the jacket collar looked like this -

    Interestingly if you compare the pictures below it shows the second version's label placement differences and the use of the Hookless zipper.


    If you don't have one of these jackets in your collection I would highly recommend purchasing one.
    Surprisingly warm to wear (its not a N-1 though !!) and comfortable to have on.
    Easy to cutomize or should that be bastardize !!

    Sometimes though for me a leather jacket does not fit for every occasion and this jacket does give me more wearing options.
    The button pockets are great for putting lots of things in.
    The expansion areas do allow for some good and secure storage.

    Hope you like the review.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  2. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

    Portland, OR
    Looks great Alan! I like the mods and the washing had really put some good looking wear on the jacket. Yes the cloth 37J1 is a great option to have. I have one that I wear often. It was a one off from a Japanese company called WIP. They must have had a limited production run because they sold out quickly and never restocked. The jacket was under $125 shipped from Japan and was worth more in my opinion. I had to change out the knits and still have a few mods to do. I will try and post a review on another thread.

    The link still works but they have been out since 2016 I think:

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  3. zoomer

    zoomer Well-Known Member

    Gerbracht Aeronautic Corp.
    Great mod. Anyone who can score an Asian made 37J is fortunate.

    Just a few quiggles...the Navy never gave fliers the "option" on their collar. AFAIK the varsity jacket style was just used on the capeskin 37J. Some had an A-1 style collar, but with a single snap closure instead of the buttons.

    The Bedford cord version was 37J1A or -B. -A had the 2 button closure (as the Buzz had). -B had the zip-up collar with single button and loop.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  4. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

    Good Looking Jacket!
    I wonder why Buzz no longer offers it.
    Do you happen to know about when it was discontinued?
  5. zoomer

    zoomer Well-Known Member

    Gerbracht Aeronautic Corp.
    <bitch>The only customers left were big milk-fed amerikajin that Buzz didn't want to fit?</bitch>

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