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Navy Orange MK 2 Survival Vest - 1966 manufacture with pilots names

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Hi everyone. I just picked this up at a flea market last week for dirt cheap. It's not my usual area of collecting but the years it was used piqued my interest. I was just wondering if by chance anyone recognizes any of these pilots names? I'm more likely to keep it if it saw use in Vietnam. The dates are right there of course, 1966-1971. Thanks for your help.

Paul

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I think those signatures are the Parachute Riggers that did the actual inspections of the vests.

 

Chris


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The pilot or crew name would be stenciled on that white tape sewn to the external lift strap that goes over the right shoulder. Sometimes have a unit marking there as well.


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We’re these worn in specific aircraft, or are they flight deck related vests? They seem somewhat cumbersome for the tight confines of a supersonic aircraft cockpit ... does anyone have a photos of them in use? If aviation related, are they helicopter or fighter related?

 

Dale

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The last years of these vests in the orange collar they were probably worn by some helicopter crews and cargo, ASW aircraft etc. The earlier yellow ones were worn by jet pilots in the 50s til the MK-3 belt and the LPA type horse collar vests came out in the 60s. The Army actually had their own yellow Mk-2s as well used in the early 60s til about 1966 when they LPU-2s started taking over. They did seem a bit cumbersome. Ive heard stories from the Army side of things in Vietnam. I know a OV-1 Mohawk pilot who wore them in 65-66 time frame. With this vest they also wore their ejection seat torso harness. He told me a story of taking off for a mission and have one of the inflation pulls getting caught on the ejection seats lap belt which inflated half of his vest. He had to use his knife to cut it and deflate it. After that he told me they started taping a razor blade on the underside of the instrument panel glare shield in case it happened. Guess it was pretty common to happen. When worn those 2 inflation pull cords basically sit on top of your thighs which would be right in the way of a seats lap belt as well.


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Very interesting Mohawk. I like finding pieces that I normally dont collect because I learn. I really appreciate the info.

Paul

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Im told that un-intended inflation is the reason the MC-1 knife was issued. An inflated raft, during flight, could cause loss of control.

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