Parka ID please


Well-Known Member
Toward the end of last year my daughter apparently took a shine to this parka that popped up in a one of our local auction houses specialist sales. Fair enough. I was then somewhat surprised to see my wife walk in with it having used my bidders number in the sale. Following on I have been a tad less than pleased to see it still on the hook where it was hung after it was brought into the house.

Unfortunately the label is missing but at a guess it's probably a 38-40, I suppose I ought to try it on really. It has had obvious use and what looks to be some reflective tape added. It is substantially padded and fairly heavy. I make no bones about my lack of any in depth knowledge of postwar parka's.

As an aside we are within the flightpath of Midenhall & Lakenheath so items from there and other places do crop up for sale around here from time to time.

With the above in mind can I have a positive ID please. As it is not being used here I will probably offer it up for sale at some point.

Thanks in advance.

These are the auction photos....



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Yeah that’s real coyote fur, not the faux fur they used later. I had one once, very warm but weighed a ton. Mine was a ‘65 Southern Athletic Co.

Happy Hooligan

Active Member
yes, late 50's-60's N-3B . I believe they were wool lined up until about 1970-72 then they went to poly. I have 2. The leather on the sleeves was added.


Well-Known Member
N-3B flight / flying parka from the late 50ies /60ies. IMO.
Nice piece.
Similar one here,
Ah thank you. I suspected that's what it was but didn't want to put my foot in it and get it wrong, as I say the neck label has gone AWOL on this one. Out of curiosity I have just tried it on and suspect it's a 40+ maybe 42. I note it has a chunky olive coloured YKK zip which I am presuming is a replacement ...but have no idea if that is correct. It's been fitted well, not an amateur job.


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I was issued one of these in the early 70s and it had the coyote fur collar, so they were still dolling them out at least until this time period.


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The tape on the sleeves in the photos? That's reflective stuff, it has a couple of X's in the same stuff on the back too.
Hi Steve
Coming into the mix a little late on this one. I’ve had a few of these over the years and everyone who posted is spot on in their comments . The reflective tape is for higher visibility for ground crews and is often found on issued N-3b arctic parka flight jackets.
They were made by several contractors but one of the most desirable ( As Mikey pointed out) was the Southern Athletic Co made jackets. They were made with real coyote fur and were a bit heavier and warmer . They did weigh a ton compared to the others. The earlier jackets had real fur hoods but later the coyote fur was replaced with synthetic fur. If yours still had the original label you would note that they are sized in Small , Medium, Large and Extra Large sizes as opposed to a numbered size. The XLs are difficult to find in the older models with original fur hoods and almost impossible to find made by Southern Athletic Co . They have been reproduced more times and by different companies than the A2 jacket. They are very warm and in the hiarchy of military jackets this would be my next “go to” jacket if the weather ever got too cold for an Irvin! I think only Smithy (Tim) would get a lot of use out of it with living near the Arctic Circle. You might get to wear it once or twice a year. It is a great jacket however so you may just want to hang onto it a bit longer.
That’s all I’ve got!!