New vs old N-3B genuine parka

eamenos

Member
Hello guys,

Since few days ago I've been looking for a genuine N-3B parka to be warm during the winter subzero temperatures. Having said that, I've got a doubt: would you recommend me to buy a 70s or first 80's model (like Greenbier Industries, etc) or the latest ones (2003, most of them made by Dj Manufacturing Corp.). In my opinion, I would go for a 70s or 80s model, but I want to know your opinions of that. What is important for me are the materials and the manufacturing quality, and also the warmth they can provide. Thanks
 

917_k

Well-Known Member
I don’t own any new N-3B jackets, so can’t comment on the quality of those, but I do own all of the earlier versions -N-3, several N-3As and several N-3Bs up to the early 70s version. Every single one of them without exception is superb. The quality of construction is first class and they’re incredibly warm. I prefer these earlier ones as well with the coyote fur hood trim, rather than the synthetic fur used on later jackets.

My personal favourite is the Albert Turner C series (MIL-J-6279C) jacket from the mid-late 50s:

07473329-5A7B-4959-9D74-76B2AE7F5D0E.jpeg


7B6CB268-33CD-4659-A994-63D849E74835.jpeg


Here’s the very first N-3 jacket as well, in olive drab, again a beautiful jacket that I’ll happily wear when the weather is cold enough:

6149FAC0-F3F9-4D0F-9C25-B6D2C4766015.jpeg
 

bn1966

Well-Known Member
Pilot has the way of it..an N-3A, had one once but too warm for Southern UK for me even in Winter..
 

eamenos

Member
Personally I’d go for the earlier versions, I’m wearing an early 50’s N-2A in the current cold UK weather..stylish and warm IMHO & despite it’s age looks almost new.
Those are very difficult to find in an very good- to excellent condition, the same as the n2b or n3b parkas in coyote fur. Because of that, i'm looking for 70s until mid 80's models of the N3B parka
 

Dany McDonald

Well-Known Member
I made a Typo by the way it's a N3-A....

See it here...

 

eamenos

Member
Hey eamenos, whats your size, I have an original Mashland N-3B that needs a new home...

Keep me posted.

Dany
I use a large size in my genuine 1981 N-2B parka. I don't know how N-3B parkas are. I'm 173cm tall and 72kg, I think I would need a Medium size when talking about N-3b. What do you think??
 

Dany McDonald

Well-Known Member
I do try try to grab any Manufacturer dates that are printed here from Full Gear and I wish someone would publish dates for N-2's and N-3's...!

Edit: Actually all dates for D-1's to N-3's

Dany
 

917_k

Well-Known Member
When I eventually get around to it I’m going to try to put together a list of dates and contracts. I’ve been collecting photos of spec labels for every jacket I come across (usually taking screen shots from eBay listings or other posts on the internet) and noting down the spec numbers. You can then cross reference these against US military index of specification and standards books that are available in Google books. It’s not perfect, but gives a pretty good idea of dates.

Essentially, all N-3A jackets have the spec MIL-J-6279. When the jacket became the N-3B, they added a letter to the end, which seems to have been the standard practise with lots of the flight clothing at this time (basically when everything switch sage green). The first N-3B spec is MIL-J-6279A, which appears in an October 1952 index catalogue, which seems to broadly align with when the decision was taken to switch to sage green. None of this clothing actually seems to have been issued until a lot later though. Anyway, based on this these are roughly the dates:

MIL-J-6279A: 1952
MIL-J-6279B: 1954
MIL-J-6279C: 1956
MIL-J-6279D: 1957
MIL-J-6279E: 1960
MIL-J-6279F: 1965
Etc

From the 6279E series onwards you don’t really need the spec number to date it, because by then the US military was using contract numbers (DA, DSA etc) which include a dating number.

Obviously this isn’t perfect because the spec number won’t align fully with when the jacket was made and issued, but it gives you a close enough idea.

Just to add as well, I’ve never seen an N-3B with the 6279A or B spec, so I imagine these were made in very limited quantities.
 

Pilot

Well-Known Member
Just to add as well, I’ve never seen an N-3B with the 6279A or B spec, so I imagine these were made in very limited quantities.
Correct, according to “full guear” only two contracts ; 1953, Blue Anchor Overal Co Inc and 1955,Southern Sportswear Co.
They pop up from time to time in Japanese Americania auctions… and yahoo.jp.
 

917_k

Well-Known Member
Thanks @Pilot Blue Anchor makes sense, they did the ‘a series’ L-2B jackets around the same time. Would love to know if any of these very early N-3Bs actually exist.

Regarding the book, I’ve given up hope on finding it, hence starting my own research. Would love to get my hands on it, but actually with all the photos and information available online now I’m hoping I can build up a decent enough resource myself.
 
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