Flight jacket supply system

Nickb123

Well-Known Member
I've been thinking this over today and thought it would be an interesting subject...

How exactly did the supply channel of A-2s, M-422s, etc. work?
I know there were many different contracts, but did certain "contracts" get sent to certain areas in the States?
For instance, if I received my jacket in California (example only, I don't know exactly where these were issued) would I only see certain makers' jackets there, instead of somewhere on the East Coast? (Again, example).
Did all of the jackets get sent to one main location and then distributed out or did the makers send them out on their own?
Also, when it came time to actually distribute the jackets to the airmen, were there a "bunch of different contracts" given out at one time or just one?
These are kind of hard questions to verbalize for me, but I think it's an interesting subject.
 

PaulGT3

New Member
Great question, I hope some body can answer it, before we lose the historians who CAN answer the questions!
 

porkchop

New Member
As a former Navy Supply Corps officer (hence the nickname "porkchop") that had responsibility at one time for flight jacket appropriations, we would place orders from the regional supply depot. They shipped us what they had in inventory at the time. We could ask for specific sizes for a particularly large aviator or support crewman, but not a particular "brand" or contract. We would usually end up with a bunch of different jackets. For example, I vividly remember one shipment in particular in the mid-80s as it came with two sets of Brill Bros G-1s. The ones with a USN perforation in the windflap were put in the paraloft (parachute loft) for storage and issue, while the jackets with no USN perforation in the windflap were put in the Navy Exchange system for replacement sales (i.e., if your issue jacket was stolen or "misappropriated" or somehow got legs - it was peculiar that so many wives and girlfriends had issue jackets ... hmmmmm) you could buy the same (i.e., replacement) jacket through the Navy Exchange officer, but the jacket would not have a USN perforation.

Furthemore, if we had a really difficult time fitting an aviator for a G-1 because he was so big, for example, we almost exclusively used Flight Suits (now Gibson and Barnes) to specially make the garment. Their product, even then, was so much better than what was issued. It got to the point that only the FNGs (f&*^ing new guys) in the squadron (or command) wore the Navy supply system G-1s. All the older guys (LTjg and above) wore Flight Suits, San Diego Leather (no many, however) and some of the jackets you could get in Turkey.

However, at no time did anyone check to see who made your jacket (unless it draped well, which the Flight Suits did.) And, Flight Suits would come right to the squadrons to fit everybody. Current, my grown daughter wears my Brills Bros, and my son wears either my other Brills Bros or Flight Suits jackets. (I tell him it's not nice to wear a leather jacket on his vet hospital rounds!)

So, in answer to your question, there really wasn't any magical to it. Now there was magic to ordering the watches for the SEAL and EOD teams.

I hope this sorta kinda answers your question.
 

PaulGT3

New Member
Great answer Porkchop,
that takes care of the Modern Navy side, anybody got any info on the WW2 and Army Air Forces and the Air Force?
I find it fascinating.
Porkchop, do you know the difference between the USN perforation and the PAINTED USN on the back collar?
Was that meant to represent the same thing? I.E. was the painted Navy collar what was done to the Jacket when it
was issued in the earlier years, and the perforation done on todays jackets?
 

MikeyB-17

Well-Known Member
The 7823(AER) jackets in the early 50's were the first to have perforated windflaps, although some retained the stencil. Only the jackets issued to aircrew had perforations-the ones sold through the Navy Exchange didn't-I used to have one like that, an Irvin B.Foster with a two-piece back and no USN perforation-there's one like it on Roger's site.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Are you saying that the San Diego leather G-1 was better than the issued?
 

porkchop

New Member
Platon - No. Some guys just bought their replacement jacket there. The leather may be okay, but San Diego Leather's jacket is designed "funky." The sleeves are attached to the body at a weird angle. The jacket fits great if you keep your arms down, but the minute you raise your arms, the jacket pulls up on your chest. And even I can see that the overall design is far away from the standard G-1 design. Most of the younger enlisted guys bought from SDL because of price (if they lost their issue jacket ... or it got legs.)

PaulGT3 - No, I do not necessarily know when the shift from painted to perforation of the USN began. I do believe, however, there was at least one contract that had both.
 
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