VA-145 'Swordsmen' Martin Lane G-1; legitimate or not?

MaydayWei

Well-Known Member
Good evening gentlemen,

Tonight I am writing to you all wearing the jacket in question.
I recently purchased this 7823D (WP) Martin Lane G-1 and I can say confidently that the jacket itself is genuine issue; my question is whether or not its patchwork legitimate or a later addition.
Photos will follow at the bottom, reasons for and against are as follows.

For:
I am of the opinion that the patchwork is legitimate because of the chronological consistency and historical accuracy of the story that the patches seem to tell.
Please note the following:
(A) The jacket itself is dated to 1968 (DSA100-68...); and
(B) It has 7 patches:
on the front it has [1] an ATRKON-145 patch and [2] a USS Ranger patch;
on the right arm, [3] an A6 Intruder patch;
on the left arm, [4] a Tonkin Gulf Yacht club patch; and
on the back, a [5] USS Enterprise Patch, [6] a carrier air wing 9 patch; and [7] an ATKRON-145 labelled Hawaiin Occupation patch (with the dates 14 JAN 69 & 4 MAR 69).

If indeed it was worn by a VA-145 pilot, all the patches weave a historically accurate and chronologically consistent story.
The jacket would have been issued to a new pilot in 68; fresh outta flight school he would go on to fly the A6 with VA-145 on his first cruise in 1969 with USS Enterprise (which was part of Carrier Air Wing 9 in 69). [This explains patches [1], [3]. [5] and [6])
However, the USS Enterprise suffered an explosion (on the 14th JAN 69) which put it into repair in Hawaii till MAR the 4th of 69. (This explains patch [7])
Being fixed up in MAR of 69, the Enterprise went on to serve in Vietnam. (Hence, patch [4])
Finally, after the 69 cruise, the pilot may then have continued with VA-145 on its OCT 70 - JUN 71 cruise aboard the Ranger; the directly subsequent cruise to the 69 Enterprise Cruise. (thereby explaining patch [2])
Hence, the pilot would have served to back to back tours with VA-145.
Assuming all the patches are legitimate, the story it tells is indeed chronologically consistent and historically accurate. (See: https://www.seaforces.org/usnair/VA/Attack-Squadron-145.htm)
I feel it would be highly unlikely that someone would illegitimately recreate the patchwork on this jacket to such a fine degree of historical accuracy and consistency; save, of course, for someone with the uncommon perseverance and eye for detail like @Maverickson (in recreating his father's jacket to a tee).

Against:
The strongest indication that the patchwork is not legitimate is the obvious lack of aviator wings/leather name tag with the pilot's name on it. Nor did I find any tag removal holes/patch marks where the name tag should have been (left breast).
It is my understanding that, despite having no patchwork guidelines, the USN requires an aviator's rank, name and wings to always be on his left breast.
Another thing was that, being totally candid, the jacket came with an additional USS Coral Sea patch; which would seem to suggest that someone may have wanted to patch up the jacket based on a different squadron aboard the Coral Sea but subsequently decided to go with VA-145 patchwork instead (?)

That's the best of my reasoning so far. But, honestly, the jacket spoke to the 'Top Gun' in me. It was my size, so I threw in an offer and went for it.
I especially love the colour of that collar; its a nice rust in the shade and a beautiful golden brown in direct sunlight.
Please share your thoughts, I would love to hear what you all have to say.
PS, I have my eye on an NOS E model Brill Bros. G-1 in 36; talk me out of it, please!
Fit pics to come soon!

Pictures:
View attachment VA-145 G-1 Front .jpeg
View attachment VA-145 G-1 Right Chest.jpeg
View attachment VA-145 G-1 Left Chest.jpeg
View attachment VA-145 G-1 Front Collar.jpeg
View attachment VA-145 G-1 Back Patches.jpeg
 

MaydayWei

Well-Known Member
PS. I am not sure why the pictures are just showing up as jpeg.s. When I made the post they showed up in 'full picture' mode as they should.
They are 6000x4000, is that too high a resolution?
 

bazzer

Well-Known Member
I am not sure on the patches are real they look real to me IMHO

however I don't believe this should concern you as jacket and the patches work well together and could be genuine to the jackets service as you are well aware

It's a pretty mint jacket original with original patches

I know how you feel in the need to be sure it's real but this is almost impossible to know without a name

It's really up to you and your gut feeling if believe it's real or not
Very nice
Baz
 

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
Would a 1968 jacket be adorned with a black or brown name plate on the left chest?

Are the stitches per inch consistent? Same colour/shade for the backing stitching. Expectation would be different colours/stitches per inch as they would have been sewn at different times and potentially at different bases...
 

MaydayWei

Well-Known Member
I am not sure on the patches are real they look real to me IMHO

however I don't believe this should concern you as jacket and the patches work well together and could be genuine to the jackets service as you are well aware

It's a pretty mint jacket original with original patches

I know how you feel in the need to be sure it's real but this is almost impossible to know without a name

It's really up to you and your gut feeling if believe it's real or not
Very nice
Baz
Thanks for the input.
I looked at the stitching around the knits and (by colour, consistency, and a lack of extra holes/missed holes) it appears that the knits are original to the jacket.
So, pretty mint; hence the suspicion!
 

MaydayWei

Well-Known Member
Would a 1968 jacket be adorned with a black or brown name plate on the left chest?

Are the stitches per inch consistent? Same colour/shade for the backing stitching. Expectation would be different colours/stitches per inch as they would have been sewn at different times and potentially at different bases...
Thanks for your insight.
Pretty sure, it would be black on the left chest.
Some stitching is seal brown, and others black for the patchwork.
But the stitching for the jacket itself is seal brown and consistent throughout, indicating original knits and original everything to the jacket itself.
 

Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
Nice jacket and nice fit. The patches looks correct for the time, but the lack of a nametag with wings is strange. I think the @Phrog Driver can explain more.
However, I must note that I had an original G-1 (sold it) with a VAW-78 patch and without a nametag.
 

dinomartino1

Well-Known Member
My Korean war G-1 is the same whereas besides the two Korean war patches it has a blue bolts sqn patch where the name plate would be and a USS Roosevelt patch on the other side of the chest added later on in the pilots career, nothing unusual about that.
I have seen photos going back to the Korean war of patches where the nameplate should be [ look at the photo below ].
I don't think lack of a name plate is a big deal, mine has stitching where the name tag was under a patch but thats because originally it had the tag and a sqn patch on the arm and he had the same jacket for a long time, if he had of got a replacement jacket later on and wanted to keep all the old patches there would never had been a name tag on the new jacket.



024-2.jpg
 

MaydayWei

Well-Known Member
My Korean war G-1 is the same whereas besides the two Korean war patches it has a blue bolts sqn patch where the name plate would be and a USS Roosevelt patch on the other side of the chest added later on in the pilots career, nothing unusual about that.
I have seen photos going back to the Korean war of patches where the nameplate should be [ look at the photo below ].
I don't think lack of a name plate is a big deal, mine has stitching where the name tag was under a patch but thats because originally it had the tag and a sqn patch on the arm and he had the same jacket for a long time, if he had of got a replacement jacket later on and wanted to keep all the old patches there would never had been a name tag on the new jacket.



View attachment 58424
Thanks for the insight, mate.
That'll help put my mind at ease! I've always thought nameplate was the only USN-required regulation for flight jackets.
But then again, I do know that some flyers never patched their jackets in order to get around the rule that G-1s not be used in civilian life. So, I guess the nameplate isn't as important as I once thought.
Additionally, if it was an afterward patch job, what would have stopped the afterwards patcher from simply adding a nameplate?
 

Phrog Driver

Well-Known Member
Nice jacket and nice fit. The patches looks correct for the time, but the lack of a nametag with wings is strange. I think the @Phrog Driver can explain more.
However, I must note that I had an original G-1 (sold it) with a VAW-78 patch and without a nametag.
It is an excellent jacket and a nice fit, you should wear it with pride. Long standing Naval Aviation practice (and what distinguished Naval Air from Air Force) was that in the Navy, what was not written down or mandated, was considered acceptable, (and usually exploited until it got out of hand and generated 'official guidance' from the fun police). So, while I'm not sure about now, in my day, nametags were not required. Lack of guidance meant that jacket patch configuration depended on the relative level of rebelliousness or non-conformity of the aircrew owner. The other thing that may distinguish an un-named jacket is that it may have belonged to a non-aircrew ground pounder (maintenance or intel type) who came by it less than legitimately (aka 'procurement' or 'cumshaw'), and benefitted from the anonimity. And our senior ground pounders were usually so revered by command and aircrew for their outstanding work product, so leadership seldom, if ever, cared if they wore a flight jacket. Hope this helps. Bottom line, enjoy the jacket!
 
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