Looking for a flight jacket...

kharshbarger

New Member
Hey Y'all,

First post here! I didn't even know there was a place that fellow vintage leather jacket congregated...absolutely loving this place already.

So I'm looking to replace the below jacket - it was my uncle's and was sadly stolen, but I really loved it and was hoping I could possibly find some semblance of a replacement? I don't remember much about the jacket, but I do know that it was originally owned by a pilot circa Vietnam (or that's the story I was told) and had USN hole-punched into the flap behind the zipper. Know this isn't much to go on, but was able to find this, this and this on ebay which seemed relatively similar? Was wondering if anyone with more expertise than me could shed some light on this subject?

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Much much much appreciated. Thanks y'all!
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
That's actually quite enough to go on: definitely a G-1 Navy pilot's jacket. If you happen to remember what manufacturer's name was on the label, you could get even more specific and get a perfect clone of your uncle's flight jacket.

There are a lot of options for repros. Anywhere from $200 up to $2000, if you want a boutique jacket that's (frankly) nicer than anything that was ever issued to soldiers.
 
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B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Hey Y'all,

First post here! I didn't even know there was a place that fellow vintage leather jacket congregated...absolutely loving this place already.

So I'm looking to replace the below jacket - it was my uncle's and was sadly stolen, but I really loved it and was hoping I could possibly find some semblance of a replacement? I don't remember much about the jacket, but I do know that it was originally owned by a pilot circa Vietnam (or that's the story I was told) and had USN hole-punched into the flap behind the zipper. Know this isn't much to go on, but was able to find this, this and this on ebay which seemed relatively similar? Was wondering if anyone with more expertise than me could shed some light on this subject?

View attachment 41249

Much much much appreciated. Thanks y'all!
Hi Kharsh
Your uncles jacket was a Vietnam era US Navy G-1 jacket issued to Naval pilots during that period . If you’re not really a jacket guy, think of Top Gun and the jacket Cruise wore in that movie is the same one .
For more information read this


Now we collect many different types of flight jackets and many of us have G-1 jackets .
If your looking to purchase one or just learn about them you’ve come to the right place. What size do you wear?
 

Brent

Active Member

A lot of good information here on the G-1. Direct your attention to the Vietnam time line. You should be able to find one fairly easy.

Regards,
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
Honestly, the dates in the wikipedia article @B-Man2 linked are detailed enough that, if you happen to know (or can find out) when your Uncle graduated flight school, you might be able to narrow down his flight jacket to one or two possible contracts. Then it's just a matter of trolling ebay for a while until you find an original, or finding a repro maker who can make you a first-rate copy.
 
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MikeyB-17

Well-Known Member
Welcome aboard. At a glance from the photo, I’d say that was a late Vietnam War jacket-looks to me like a Dynel collar-that’s faux fur as opposed to real mouton (sheepskin) which was used on the earlier contracts and started to be replaced by the Dynel in the late 60’s. It’s generally regarded that the mouton-collared jackets are more desirable and tend to demand higher prices. By the width, looks like a single ply ‘rib-rack’ waist knit as opposed to a folded, double ply which came later. Can you remember what colour the label was? Earlier jackets had black labels with gold or silver writing, later ones had white papery labels. Of the three links you’ve posted, only the last one is definitely a USN issued jacket-fairly sure the first two are repros, although any of them would look pretty much like your uncle’s. The last one is a Brill Brothers which are pretty common-from the pic looks like a 1970 contract but hard to tell. It’s likely to be pressed cowhide, as opposed to goatskin which the earlier ones were-again the earlier ones being the more desirable, although some of the cowhide ones can be great-I have one with fantastic leather, but it’s very hit or miss-in general you’re probably better off with goat-but it’s not outside the realms that your uncle’s was cowhide. Looks like a replacement zip which is common-I’d say that one was the closest to your uncle’s. The first one has side handwarmer pockets, which issue G-1’s didn’t have (I think some recent Coastguard jackets might have had them, but very much an exception). Dynel collared G-1’s are relatively cheap, $100-$150, mouton collared goatskin jackets have gone up in price and appear to be around $300+ unless you’re lucky. Usually the older they are, the more desirable and thus expensive they are, with wartime jackets being the most sought after and the biggest money. Then you get into the realm of repros, which can be very, very nice and also very, very expensive, although Five Star leather are producing some pretty decent jackets at reasonable prices. Good news is you have a pretty good chance of getting something close to your uncle’s jacket-better if you want! Good luck with it.
 
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kharshbarger

New Member
Oh wow - blown away by all the knowledge and feedback here! Thanks for the warm welcome - greatly appreciate all of your help!

@mulceber @B-Man2 @Brent thanks for the KILLER introduction to the G1. @MikeyB-17 your in-depth breakdown was incredibly helpful as well. I'm about to dive in on my g1 history. Excited to learn more!

@B-Man2 Re sizing: I wear a 42-44. Was leaning on the larger side so I'd have more room to layer under the jacket come fall and winter. Do y'all have any thoughts on fit? If certain contractors tend to produce big/small/true to size?

Sadly I'm not sure of the exact year the jacket came from, or when my uncle graduated flight school, but I do remember that the label was black with gold writing. There was also one internal pocket on the inside that would perfectly fit a folded 8 1/2x11 piece of paper.

@MikeyB-17 I guess this would place it on the earlier side? I want to say the original was pressed cowhide - had a stiffness to it that I'd assume goat wouldn't have? But I'm far from being the expert.

Does anyone have any favorite manufacturers of the G1? Tend to gravitate towards non repro, but would love to hear y'all's thoughts on both sides.

Again, many thanks!
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Oh wow - blown away by all the knowledge and feedback here! Thanks for the warm welcome - greatly appreciate all of your help!

@mulceber @B-Man2 @Brent thanks for the KILLER introduction to the G1. @MikeyB-17 your in-depth breakdown was incredibly helpful as well. I'm about to dive in on my g1 history. Excited to learn more!

@B-Man2 Re sizing: I wear a 42-44. Was leaning on the larger side so I'd have more room to layer under the jacket come fall and winter. Do y'all have any thoughts on fit? If certain contractors tend to produce big/small/true to size?

Sadly I'm not sure of the exact year the jacket came from, or when my uncle graduated flight school, but I do remember that the label was black with gold writing. There was also one internal pocket on the inside that would perfectly fit a folded 8 1/2x11 piece of paper.

@MikeyB-17 I guess this would place it on the earlier side? I want to say the original was pressed cowhide - had a stiffness to it that I'd assume goat wouldn't have? But I'm far from being the expert.

Does anyone have any favorite manufacturers of the G1? Tend to gravitate towards non repro, but would love to hear y'all's thoughts on both sides.

Again, many thanks!
Here’s what I would suggest . If you normally wear a size 42 and want extra room go up one size to a 44. The next suggestion is to know your personal measurements, as the size tags of most military jackets dont always reflect the true size of the jacket . For the most part measurements are given by:
Shoulders : Shoulder seam to shoulder seam across the upper back.
Arms: Shoulder seam down the arm to the end of the knit cuff
Chest: measured from arm pit seam to arm pit seam across the chest.
Length: measured from rear collar seam down the middle of the back to the bottom of the knits.
If you have a favorite jacket that fits you well measure it. Once you know your personal measurements you can compare them to the jacket your thinking about buying and know that it will fit you regardless of how it’s marked on the size label .
So now you have a good idea of how we look at jackets as far as the fit goes. If you need more info feel free to ask and one of us will be happy to try and help you out :)
Cheers
 

MikeyB-17

Well-Known Member
Not quite-they started using cowhide with an impressed goatskin-like grain around the early 70’s. Sounds like Kharschbarger’s may have been one such, the cowhide is generally thicker and often but not always stiffer. My cowhide example is definitely thicker (goat tends to be thinner and more flexible), but is pretty supple, but I’ve seen them like cardboard. Not sure when the black labels were phased out, but if it had one I’d guess it was one of the earlier Dynel collared versions. Roger Moore’s site that Brett has linked to above is a very good guide-shame he doesn’t seem to be involved in jacket collecting any more, he was the man when it came to G-1’s.
 

917_k

Active Member
A black label with gold lettering suggests a 7823b and earlier right? I’m pretty sure 7823c + jackets all have either black label with white lettering or the white label with black lettering.

Anyway, if you’re not too concerned initially on these finer points, you can pick up a legit USN issue jacket on eBay for not a lot of money at all. I’ve got 3 7823c spec G-1s and never paid more than about £50 GBP.

The G-1 is a superb jacket and pretty much my favourite flight jacket, so good choice!
 

kharshbarger

New Member
@Silver Surfer thanks for the welcome! been on ebay and found some stuff already - a name tag would be something else!

@B-Man2 appreciate the sizing guide! definitely won't hesitate to shoot you over a message if something else pops up.

@mulceber eber + @MikeyB-17 - very very cool to know about the material history. will be doing a deep dive on the G-1 thread as soon as I get home today. Honestly never knew there was a community of people so involved with vintage jackets + gear. Everyone's expertise is blowing me away.

And I agree @917_k - it's a beautiful silhouette. I've never been into the motorcycle style jackets, but these flight jackets always keep me coming back :)

Thanks to everyone's help, I was able to find + purchase a brill brothers g-1 that looked almost identical to my uncle's for just $50 in size 44. Working zipper and fairly in tact ribbing too! Might need some darning, but not too much if any. Will keep y'all posted!

big thanks to everyone that took the time to post & share. was truly an incredible intro to this place!
 

917_k

Active Member
And I agree @917_k - it's a beautiful silhouette. I've never been into the motorcycle style jackets, but these flight jackets always keep me coming back :)
It's a slippery slope....pretty sure I started this from seeing a G-1 jacket and thinking "that looks like", now here I am with 7 of those and at least 20 other types of flight jacket and numerous military jackets.

Enjoy the Brill Bros G-1 and definitely report back on her when you get it, pretty sure I have a Brill Bros and they're a fine thing.
 

Tigers9968

Member
Thanks to everyone's help, I was able to find + purchase a brill brothers g-1 that looked almost identical to my uncle's for just $50 in size 44. Working zipper and fairly in tact ribbing too! Might need some darning, but not too much if any. Will keep y'all posted!
Welcome to the madness!
Just out of interest where the hell are you lot finding these issued G1s for $50? All i can find is one that are between $2-300 lol
 
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