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HLB M-422?

Stony

Well-Known Member
I've been in touch with someone that says they have a HLB M-422, but I thought Monarch, W&G and Switlik were the only makers of that contract. I know that HLB made a M-422a, so what differences would set the two contracts apart? They sent me a picture of the jacket, but of course the label is missing.



Any help is appreciated.
 

Grant

Well-Known Member
Hey Wilson,
As far as I know you're correct. Full Gear only lists Monarch and W&G (2 contracts) as having M422 contracts. With Dave Sheeley's discovery of the Switlik M422, that brings it to three.
H&L Block had two contracts for the M422a (NXS-5134 and NXas-5134) - courtesy of Aota Mituhiro.
 

Stony

Well-Known Member
Yes, I talked to J.C. about this and he said the person I talked to was probably talking about the H&L Block. J.C. is also the one that found the Switlik that Dave now has.

Did Aota write a book about this?
 

Grant

Well-Known Member
Aota's book is titled Full Gear (now out of print). It's a collectors guide for flying clothing from the 20's through the 70's.
 

Stony

Well-Known Member
Aota's book is titled Full Gear (now out of print). It's a collectors guide for flying clothing from the 20's through the 70's.
Aota probably go this information from M.H. who did a lot of research on navy jackets about 20 years ago from official sources. He said he gave copies of his information to someone in Japan.
 

Maverickson

Well-Known Member
Hi Al,

I've been to the National Archive in Washington, D.C. & spent some time researching. All of that time was spent looking up the Switlik. Reason being, I have an original Switlik M-422 jacket and wanted verification and to substantiate that particular contract. All of which I found.

So far I've found the dates and quantities delivered to the USN at NAS Pensacola for the Switlik M-422. But not the HLB nor the other two (Monarch and W&G) known M-422 makers.

When I get back up to the National Archive again I'll find the dates and quantity delivered for the remaining single Monarch and three separate W&G M-422 contracts. While at it & If there is was in fact a USN contract for a M-422 HLB jacket I'll find it too.

Cheers, Dave
 
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Maverickson

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

It has been my experience that little is known about the USN M-422 model jacket contracts. In the past, I've seen lists of actual USN jacket makers and it came to my attention that they were incomplete. None were truly chronological and all lacked dates and quantities. In fact so incomplete most do not list what I can now identify as having five separate contracts that make up the M-422 model jacket.

Moreover, I thought it was important to substantiate that Switlik was actually a participating maker. As I've yet to see that list with Switlik having been listed as a maker. Not to mention & more than likely that manufacturer who made the fewest M-422 jackets.

As a matter of fact before I found those dates and numbers delivered that information was truly speculation. Now that I have proven out that the Switlik was in fact a bonafide USN M-422 jacket maker it has peaked my interest in the M-422 model jacket in general. Going forward, hopefully I'll now find out the true order in which all of those individual M-422 contracts were let and those number made by each individual manufacturer.

Stay tuned!

Cheers, Dave
 
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B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Dave
Your Switlik M422 is the first one I’ve ever seen, never knew it existed, it will be interesting to find out when and how many were made.
 

Maverickson

Well-Known Member
Dave
Your Switlik M422 is the first one I’ve ever seen, never knew it existed, it will be interesting to find out when and how many were made.

Burt,

I found that Switlik's M-422 jackets were delivered in three separate shipments to the USN. All three shiopments went directly to N.A.S. Pensacola. They began in March and the last came in April of 1941. There was something just less than 250 jackets delivered in all.

So far, no dollar amounts or when the contract was initially let. However & I have yet to see that much information from any given USN jacket contract ever listed anywhere.

Fortunately I live 4 hours away from the National Archives in D.C.

Cheers, Dave
 
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zoomer

Well-Known Member
Care to divulge delivery dates for any other contracts? Was the '422 supplied in 1939 or only 1940-41?
 

Maverickson

Well-Known Member
Care to divulge delivery dates for any other contracts? Was the '422 supplied in 1939 or only 1940-41?
Unfortunately, I did not initially go beyond looking up the Switlik M-422 contract. But in hind sight I can only wish that I had. However, I now have the exact section and correct books earmarked pertaining to that information in archives.

The next time I go I'll take the time & look up the remaining M-422 contracts.In addition a couple other post War early 55J14 contracts that are also of some interest to me.

In addition & what I find most interesting is a friend of mine's father graduated flight school out of Pensacola in the early spring of 1941. Just weeks following the delivery of the Switlik M-422. One might have thought that he would have been issued a M-422 model jacket. However, his father's flight logs indicate that he was in fact issued a 37J1 flight jacket. Also confirmed in that pic seen below.

Dad at Pensacola 1941.jpg


All leading me to believe that the M-422 was issued much later than one might expect. Maybe not until late 1941 & when the stock of 37J1 jackets were exhausted. I'll be better able to confirm that notion with my next visit to D.C.

Not to mention, his father's logs do not indicate him even receiving a leather flight jacket until the late 1940s with a 55J14 G-1 and seen below. Taken during the Korean War while aboard the USS Princeton (CV-37).

VF152 Korea.jpg


Both our father's were one time COs of the same squadron VF/VA-152 and ironically we live only minutes apart.

He still has his father's (L.W. Foster 55J14 G-1) jacket today.


Cheers, Dave
 
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B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Now....not trying to hijack the thread, but lets just take a look at the fit on those issued jackets for a second. o_O
 

zoomer

Well-Known Member
37J1s were no longer being procured, so these probably had to be recycled from the fleet, who would have gotten the first issue of any new gear.

In wartime 37J1s were only issued to cadets, who would have been more than glad to get rid of them. The Bedford cord fabric was tough, but it was anything but colorfast, so the jackets were faded and often dingy, with slack or mismatched knits.

37j1a-eisner-sea-washed.jpg
 
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Maverickson

Well-Known Member
37J1s were no longer being procured, so these probably had to be recycled from the fleet, who would have gotten the first issue of any new gear.

In wartime 37J1s were only issued to cadets, who would have been more than glad to get rid of them. The Bedford cord fabric was tough, but it was anything but colorfast, so the jackets were faded and often dingy, with slack or mismatched knits.

View attachment 22071
Zoomer, You may be right. However, that does not explain why those new M-422 Switlik jackets were specifically sent to NAS Pensacola. It seems to me that Pensacola is an odd place to have initially sent those M-422 jackets. That is if they were meant to be first distributed into the fleet in stead of graduating flight students.

Cheers, Dave
 
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