Discussion in 'Vintage' started by Maverickson, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. Maverickson

    Maverickson Active Member

    Virginia Beach, VA
    Hi All,

    Little did I know that back in 2008 & when I first began my endeavor to duplicate my father's original first issue G-1 flight jacket that it would take ten years to accomplish. It now gives me great pleasure to announce that I have finally succeeded in full filling that task.

    To begin & most unfortunately, his original G-1 was stolen out of his office in hanger #23 VA-152 MAVERICKS at NAS Alameda in the fall of 1969. Then upon his passing in January of 2008 I happened on to one of his group photos which set me on my task. That photo with father (a career naval aviator & attack pilot) wearing his long lost jacket & ultimately launched this project is seen directly below.

    It took some doing to correctly ID the jacket but with help from the VLJ forum, a cousin who retains his father's jacket & whom entered flight school in 1954 together with father. Ultimately & the fact that both my father and uncle were issued their G-1 flight jackets simultaneously helped immensely. In addition, there were a few identifiable manufacturer characteristics. Not to mention, contract dates. All of which proved beyond a reasonable doubt exactly which make and model jacket was needed to be acquired to begin this duplication process.

    That identified G-1 jacket was a 1954 model 7823 (AER) made by CAGLECO SPORTSWEAR CONTRACT NO. N383s-9211A. That jacket seen directly below was acquired by me in 2010.

    This Cagleco jacket fits me very well & since acquiring it has had some periodic use. All prior to simply applying the patches I thought it best to do some repair work to bring it up to par. As I suspect that this Cagleco G-1 jacket will outlast me.

    It was my intent to keep this jacket all original & it remains original. As are all the patches I subsequently applied. However, it required some needed upgrades. To include a lining repair at the collar's yoke and zipper work due to a poorly factory attached and inset zipper. The jacket's original zip alignment was set into a position I refer to as crowded.

    The zipper was difficult at best to initiate a connection. With the little wear that I had given the jacket created an unacceptable amount of abrasion to the leather fold along it's trailing edge of the zip track. The only way to remedy the zipper problem was a complete realignment.

    Thought it might be interesting to show some before and after pix of that zip work. Directly below is the factory inset zip is seen. Note that in the first of the pix the male insert is buried. In the second provided image illustrates a close up of the little or no separation between the leather folds which plagued the entire zip track.

    The next pic is a close up of the jacket's leather extension with it's realigned zip. Note that I gave it just enough separation at the connection points and track. My preference for a perfectly aligned zip. All to limit abrasion to the leather & make it easy enough to connect without over exposing the zip.

    With the zipper's realignment work temporarily machine stitched in place from within, to limit missed topstitches I decided to restitched the zipper back in place by hand. Done using the double needle technique. I have found that using double needles best duplicates a machine stitch. In this case, done as to hit every original hole both inside & out and front and back.

    Although time consuming, my hand hand work made it most difficult to tell that this zipper's realignment work was ever done & otherwise quite impossible to do by machine. In this case, time well spent.

    With the patch work & rather than simply attaching the patches through the entire jacket, I also went the extra step. While opened up for repairs, I decided to attach the patches so that the bobbin thread would be attached directly to the leather. As a result, all those freshly attached patches have their corresponding bobbin thread neatly covered by the lining.

    Two of the patches (VA-152 & leather winged ID tag) seen on father's duplicated Cagleco jacket were his. On the jacket's back panel is this same version used during his command of the VA-152 MAVERICKS http://a4skyhawk.info/article-unit/va152. While the most rare seen attached to his jacket is the 1958 VA-55 FJ-4D FURY PAIR FLING THE FORMOSA STRAIT. That beyond rare patch was donated to me by one of father's then surviving 1955 through 1958 VA-55 squadron mates. Otherwise, I doubt that particular patch would have been obtainable. All others (1955 & fist version of the VA-55 WARHORSES & 1957 USS HANCOCK cruise patch) were sourced though eBay. The last patch needed and what I used to refer to as the missing link (1957 ATG-2 HANDS PATCH) finally showed up and was received this January. Thus allowing me at long last to correctly recreate his jacket just as it looked before it went missing all those years ago.

    Some links as related to father's ATG-2 1957 USS HANCOCK (CVA-19) deployment. One of the many he made during his USN aviation career.





    All those above referenced Air Craft links are as related to father's named to him and same numbered 512 VA-55 WARHORSES Skyraider from his ATG-2 WESTPAC deployment. Then seen again below is his same named to him A/C on the tarmac at NAS Miramar in 1957. That pic was taken by father of his bomb laden AD-6 Skyraider A/C just prior to boarding, firing her up & doing some practice bombing.

    WARHORSES doing cat shots Note the open canopy & prior to ejection seats. Just in case the pilot needs to quickly step out!

    WARHORSE Skyraider gone flying

    A long time coming and well worth the effort!

    Cheers, Dave
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
    Greg Gale, steve u., nkang and 20 others like this.
  2. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61 Well-Known Member

    Pasadena, CA USA
    That's awesome! All I have from my Dad's D1's are his patches. Not even pictures...very nicely done.
  3. johnwayne

    johnwayne Well-Known Member

    Well Dave, that deserves a round of applause and I'm sure your Dad would pleased as punch and proud of what you've done, a fine tribute to the man, your Dad!
    Pilot likes this.
  4. seres

    seres Member

    Very nice, Dave!
    Pilot likes this.
  5. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

    Kansas, USA
    Excellent job and a great cause. Good on you for hanging with the job for as lost as that took!
    Pilot likes this.
  6. Maverickson

    Maverickson Active Member

    Virginia Beach, VA
    Hi All,

    Not long after initiating this project I did a related thread on the VLJ Forum back in 2008. Albeit those pix attached to the initial thread have subsequently gone missing http://www.vintageleatherjackets.org/threads/missing-usn-squadron-patch.826/#post-34243 . Included in that referenced thread is some back story to this entire process.

    It took for ever to both ID & then acquire the (missing link) patch seen on the jacket's upper right sleeve. Ultimately, IDed with the help of the Tail Hook Association. Then proven beyond a doubt after contacting the widow of a VA-55 squadron mate who also wore this same patch on his G-1 jacket. That individual was killed in an operational accident. In total 7 others from the original 1955 through 1958 17 man squadron compliment were also lost. All either lost through operational accidents or KIA. My father was a lucky survivor.

    The patch is Japanese made & specifically manufactured for the 1957 USS Hancock (CVA-19) WESTPAC deployment. This particular patch is the 2nd version of the 1955 model Air Task Group Two & a hold out from the Korean War. As it turned out it would be this particular Air Group's final deployment. Very limited in it's production and made with silk thread. The patch shows up almost like a neon sign & looks very much 3-D.

    Since you have now seen the last operational ATG-2 patch as attached to Father's jacket, I thought that you all might like to see the first. The initial version of the ATG-2 patch that dates the Korean War is actually easier to find. That version of the patch & also from my collection is seen below.

    Cheers, Dave
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  7. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

    outstanding, dave, and true labor of love.
  8. Cocker

    Cocker Well-Known Member

    Amazing jon, I'm sure your father'd be proud of it!
  9. Persimmon

    Persimmon Well-Known Member

    Nottingham England
    Excellent story.
    So many years of satisfactory effect. Well done.
    Can you post a picture with you wearing it. Would be great to see the jacket on you just like your dad.
  10. Grant

    Grant Well-Known Member

    Well done Dave. As I'm sure you already are, wear it with great pride.
    Pilot likes this.
  11. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    Un Grand Bravo depuis la France!
    A great applause from France! A lot of respect to your Dad and his son!
    Love it.
    Thx for sharing.
  12. Rutger

    Rutger Well-Known Member

    Hengelo, Netherlands
  13. Kennyz

    Kennyz Active Member

    What a wonderful tribute to your Father, Dave. Very well done!

  14. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

    A great tribute to a your dad.
  15. bazelot

    bazelot Well-Known Member

    San Francisco, CA
    fantastic job Dave, this is an amazing tribute to your dad.
  16. Skip

    Skip Well-Known Member

    Great Southern Land
    Yes, indeed it is an outstanding tribute to your father Dave. So glad that it has all come together
  17. johnwayne

    johnwayne Well-Known Member

    Have you any kids to pass it on due course? It'll make a great family memento to hand down with the provenance you can provide too.
  18. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

    Portland, OR
    Great work Dave! It looks identical to the original. Great story too. I'm sure your Dad would be very proud of the work that you put into the jacket and the fantastic results.
    All The Best,
  19. bebel

    bebel Member

    Fantastic job, Dave!

  20. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

    That's brilliant. What a great way to honour your old man.

    It's stuff like this that makes VLJ a real special little corner of the interweb.

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