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Bancroft Flighter Restoration


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#1 38Driver

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 08:08 PM

A while back when I started to put together my ETO fighter pilot I knew I'd have to have a Flighter at some point.  So I started looking and frankly the prices scared me away.  Then I saw one advertised on the forum here and I grabbed it.  To say it was a bit forlorn was an understatement, but I have this thing for wayward bits.  It begged to be saved.  Once in hand I was discouraged to see it was even more forlorn than I thought.  It was then that I came across  "Society Brand Hat Co." and Pete Williams.  When looking at his website I saw he did restoration work.  With that in mind I asked him if he'd take it on and he did.

 

While I suppose I broke some sort of code in having the original Flighter restored, I just felt like that unknown pilot might want it back some time and it should look the part. 

 

First batch of pictures are how it looked to begin with and the start of the tear down by Pete.

 

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  • Flighter22.jpg
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#2 38Driver

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 08:10 PM

Pete did an absolutely amazing job and I couldn't be more pleased with the result.    The finished product.

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#3 38Driver

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 08:11 PM

He used as much of the original parts as he could which is why the sweatband looks a bit beaten up.  It's a wartime Flighter though as the Patent Pending marks are there.

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#4 JDK

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 01:12 PM

Very nice indeed. Looks to be a very nice restoration job. Congrats!

JD

#5 MattS

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 01:43 PM

Pete does do good work, thanks for sharing!



#6 jonesy1275

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 01:49 PM

What a transformation.

So if it has 'Patent Pending' it's a definite wartime example?

Neil.

#7 MattS

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 01:53 PM

Yes, the patent was issued February 13th, 1945. See; http://www.usmilitar...t-hat-question/



#8 SocietyBrandHatCo

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 04:52 AM

Dan,

Again, so sorry it took so long. I think I have a photo somewhere of the wool top removed so I could sew in the new satin liner and sweatshield. I'll try to find it. That was actually the hardest part. Fortunately the new satin matches the original satin almost perfectly.

#9 38Driver

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 05:00 PM

Well worth the wait Pete. It really is a masterful restoration

#10 Ronnie

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 12:13 AM

No way! That is freakin awesome. I love it when an item such as this is saved! Society Brand Hat Co. you are the man!
Ronnie

#11 MAW

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 07:20 AM

Make no mistake...the refurbished hat looks good.....but to me, the salty original version looked better.

Just my opinion....

#12 38Driver

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 06:41 PM

No way a self respecting fighter pilot would wear the beat up version into London. Gotta do right by my pilot

#13 SocietyBrandHatCo

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 09:52 PM

Make no mistake...the refurbished hat looks good.....but to me, the salty original version looked better.

Just my opinion....


I absolutely agree, in most cases, that caps should just be left alone. Unfortunately this Flighter was literally falling apart. The leather visor and chinstrap were dry rotted and they fell apart as I was removing them. There was no sweatshield, and the satin lining had become mouse food at some point. The wool was discolored from the leather turning into powder and from years of neglect. The stitching throughout much of the cap was shot and I have no doubt if Dan did nothing the cap would be a pile of junk in a few years.

#14 MattS

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 05:43 AM

Better to have saved and restored it in that condition, I agree. Once it dry rots, falls apart, and becomes rodent food, there's little value left.




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