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Named G-1


tonycretan
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USN G-1 leather flight jacket. I did some 'detective' work and here is the outcome!
The original owner (see the leather nametag) was Wallace Bruce Mechling.He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1957 and became an A3D pilot. He was killed on 13 Jan 1962 when the A3D he was piloting hit a mountain in the Philippines. The plane, carrying a crew of 3 men, last seen Jan 13 after taking off from the 7th Fleet attack aircraft carrier Coral Sea.The crew identified as Lt WALLACE B MECHLING, Lt Thomas J BEADLES & Aviation Fire Control Tech/2C Albert W FORKNER.
The crew was originally presumed to have been lost at sea until wreckage was sighted high in the mountains almost two months later. The A3D-2 that Mechling flew that fateful day was the last A3D built BuNo147668. Interesting too is that his father was one of the navy's early jet test pilots.
This without a doubt is a great piece of U.S. Naval Aviation history!!
It is now proudly and respectfully displayed at my house!!

 

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  • 5 months later...

Under the old Navy aircraft designations, A3D ment Attack bomber, 3rd design, Douglas Aircraft. In Navy slang of the times, it unofficially ment "All Three Dead", in reference to the fact that a lot of crew members didn't survive in a crash.

That's one heck of a nice jacket! VERY nice. and with a history to boot!

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  • 2 years later...

The widow of Lt Bruce Mecklin lives here in Oak Harbor, WA where he his squadron was based at NAS Whidbey Island at the time of the crash. He was on deployment while she remained in Oak Harbor. She is happy to see the flight jacket in such good condition and being well cared for. She is curious how you obtained the jacket - no desire to get it back, just curious.

Some added history. She told us that this flight jacket originally belonged to Bruce's father. (LT Mecklin went by his middle name). He did not wear it a lot because, at size 38, it was too small. Some research on the J-7823 (AER) jackets shows that production was started in 1951. So it is plausible that his father was original owner and later gave it to Bruce who replaced the name patch.

 

PacNWNAM

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