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WWII US NAVY FLIGHT JACKETS M-422, M-422A , M-421A , M-445A , AN-J-3A , AN-6552


KASTAUFFER
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I live in Europe too.  There are good folks here to sew it back. Bill Kelso in England would be a possibility.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Maverickson

Hi All,

 

See two of the most rare USN Intermediate flight jackets that were ever issued within the USN.  Both are pre War M-422 jackets made by Switlik Parachute and Equipment Co. These two jackets represent 2 of the 247 that were issued to the USN during the first quarter of 1941. 

 

184960915_PairOfSwitlikJacketsjpg.jpg.7b480d05a3eac1831fd378a6ea4cf9f0.jpg

 

The jacket seen on  right was initially received as a basket case and completely restored by me. While at it I was able to get a detailed pattern for future reproductions. This same jacket was featured in an earlier thread. While the Switlik jacket seen on the left was received unaltered and completely original.

 

That same jacket seen on the left belonged to a VB-135 squadron member. During WW-2 he did two combat deployments on Attu flying EMPIRE EXPRESS missions. He flew the the Ventura and his first and the Harpoon on his second.  According to the original owner's NAS Pensacola Flight Clothing Invoice which was included with the jacket, states that it was issued on July  2, 1941. 

 

I have a hand full of period pix of that same Switlik M-422 jacket seen being worn by the original owner while at Attu. 

608653773_PercyOnAttuWearingSwitlik.jpg.79e71b4d8836aa8c2939a72058509848.jpg

 

Unfortunately, the winged ID tag is missing. However, I was told by the family that it was in fact removed from the jacket and buried along with him.

 

Cheers, Dave

 

 

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Maverickson

Hi All,

 

Actually, the story behind my association with that VB-135 related Switlik M-422 jacket predates it's purchase. As a number of years ago I happened upon a picture that looked to have included a naval aviator wearing a Switlik Parachute & Equipment Co. M-422 jacket.  By luck I saved that particular pic on the hunch that this same jacket seen worn (upper left) was in fact one of those elusive and seldom seen Switlik M-422 jackets.

 

438244252_WW--2VP-135Crew(1).jpg.ce72ac93aa0422b72ddc3eed982e8924.jpg

 

As it turns out this same M-422 jacket I IDed in that period pic was fact a Switlik. In fact it was one in the same jacket, Albeit, that group pic in which I initially IDed containing the Switilik was taken early on in the War and when the owner was a LTJG. verses a LT. as seen in my later pix that I received with the jacket.  

 

1408240916_SWITLIKM-422.jpg.94c6ce322e22320b469afeb7b3efdc0d.jpg

1442071581_MySwitlikM-422Worn.jpg.0efd3b814c8cd67ecf860333985ab19e.jpg

That bulge in the bulge in that left pocket was the result of it containing four morphine shots and several books of matches. As they were all still present when the jacket was received. 

 

 

Cheers, Dave

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

One of my volunteer duties is to do historical research for items donated and about to be catalogued for a museum I volunteer for.  We just received two navy flight jackets issued to a marine... a M-444 and an M-445. Can someone help me with factual info on these two jackets, such as materials used, manufacture and or issue dates, difference between the M-445 and M-445A, how to decipher contract numbers, names of manufacturers, and any discerning/interesting facts about these jackets.  Also sources would be helpful. The info I have found online is sparse at best.  Thank you in advance!

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dmar836

NMWW2A, you are wise to find a community. On the web info can be pretty spread out. Are you a member of the Vintage leather jacket forum as well? The questions you ask are appropriate but rather involved - pages worth. This forum has knowledgeable members who might be able to help but the VLJ forum has(or had) members who focus mainly on such detailed facts. Give that forum a try as well.

Welcome to the forum!

Dave

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Thanks Dave.  I will check out VLJ.  In the meantime if anyone has any info on these jackets, it'll be of great help piecing together a picture.

Hans

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dmar836

Dave(Maverickson) is a wealth of knowledge on Navy jackets down to the stitch.

Best of luck,

Dave

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  • 3 months later...

This is an M-422A I recently acquired.  It's a Gordon & Ferguson. In pretty good condition.  Note the name in pen on the lining "Lt. E.A. Reed".  On a hunch that he might be a Marine aviator (no patches/artwork on the jacket), I researched the name.  Everett A. Reed joined the Navy Air reserves while working for the family in July, 1942.  He subsequently attended the Marine Aviation Training Center, NAS, Corpus Christi, TX and graduated as a Marine aviator on Christmas eve, 1944.  He went home on leave, became engaged and then joined the Marine Aviation Detachment, Naval Air Gunners School, Hollywood, FL in January, 1945.  After completing training, he was stationed at MAS El Toro, CA.  On March 23, 1945, he was injured and subsequently died of those injuries on March 21, 1945.

This is his jacket, in beautiful shape, but it comes with a sad story attached.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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