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New 37J1 Model - The "Tophatter's Jacket" - 37J1 Pre-contract Test Jacket

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
Those jackets in the photo above are the later flat flap version of the 37J1. 100% sure on that.

On jacket on the left you can see that button #4 and #5 are only halfway in the hole making it appear smaller, like snaps. The jacket on the right, you can see button #4, and it appears button #5 also, is half in or the folded back jacket is partially hiding it.
 
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Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
You must have read my mind Grant ;)
I was just looking at that when your posting popped up. Here’s a photo I found of the same thing. You can also see a dark background for the hat painted on the plane. I went to the web and found this on Flightjackets.com site
View attachment 25183View attachment 25184
However there are also renditions that look like this
View attachment 25186
The jacket that Gable is wearing looks to be the later version of the 37J1 with the pockets sewn on the outside of the jacket.
Yep looks like somebody else came up with the same color scheme that I interpreted from the photos. Red circle.
9BFE34B9-605E-4015-8C1D-73CE2C41CC8C.jpeg
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
High Hats... Not Tophatters back in the day?
Yes this is interesting. Research shows that the squadron initially called themselves the High Hats. They adopted the Top Hat and name when they began carrier operations in 1927 as squadron VF-1B. They had a 9 member USN precision flying team in the late 1920's -1930's called "The Nine High Hats". Like the Blue Angels of the day. The pilots were drawn from the High Hats squadron. I have not been able to determine when the name changed to The Tophatter's (One word). I believe it was around the time that the High Hats team was touring air shows in 1928-1930. It was early on in the squadrons history but a definite date is unknown at this time.

-Jay
 
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Lorenzol

Well-Known Member
This is another very interesting and educational thread. I am learning about a jacket that, until recently, I didn't even know existed. Kudos to Jay not only for researching the jacket and sharing this research with us but, even more, for bringing it back to life by manufacturing a reproduction of it!
 
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