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AC-130 Gunner Jacket - What is it?!?


Howlingriffon
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Howlingriffon

I just picked this up and the more research I do, the more confused I become.  I know the IR glint tape was rigger added and I assume the clear vinyl was also as I haven't seen that on any photos post early 60's.  The original owner started on gunships in 71 and did multiple tours in nasty places.  I thought it was a L2B until I got a look at the tag and it indicates a MA-1.  Any help or clarity is always appreciated.  I do have a couple more photos of patches and what not if needed.

 

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phantomfixer

The jacket is one of the last variations of the MA-1… the reflective tape is typical of flight line jackets… the plastic name holder is typical of the era… 

 

flight crews still wore the MA-1 in the early 70’s… in 73, the first nomex jackets started showing up.. the CWU-17/p.. later the CWU-45 and 36/p.. starting to phase out nylon jackets and go with the nomex

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phantomfixer

1970 pic of a Phantom driver with MA-1, and black leather name tag, no clear pocket for it, not saying an old school guy wouldn't want the cleat name holder on a 73 dated jacket

MA-1.jpg

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Howlingriffon

Thanks for the feedback.  I asked the guy I got it from about the patch and he said he had put it on recently 🤬

The tape is the IR reflective not visual light.  The story is that when a ship went down, another gunship could track the surviving crew with the IR cameras.  

I did switch that one out for a looks to be never worn CWU-36.  If that MA has any value, let me know and I'll get it back.  I paid $25 originally...

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Story is suspect. Did the PO have the patch and learned what they did or did he have the jacket with provenance to the owner and what he flew in, then sourced a repro patch to match the owner's unit. All a lot of work for a repro patch on an MA-1. 
I think the value would be the same with or without the patch and/or story.

Great jacket though in a decent size. For $25 you can't get hurt.

Dave

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