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Help identifying a Vietnam War flight suit


mhernandez1234
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mhernandez1234

This flight suit from Vietnam was recently donated to the museum I work at. Is anyone familiar with flight suits of this color? Are they rare? It is made of nomex a flame retardant material. I also posted a picture focusing on the collar inside the suit where if viewed from a certain angle it appears as though something was printed at one point in time but is no longer visible. Any idea what was printed there if anything at all?

 

Thanks for any information!

post-10912-1284036690.jpg

post-10912-1284036696.jpg

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Cobrahistorian

We've got one of those in our collection here at the National Guard Memorial Museum that was worn by Jim Gibbons (Governor of NV) when he was an RF-4 pilot. I've never seen one that was worn in Vietnam, but that doesn't mean it wasn't done. It isn't a K-2B, but like yours, the dataplate on ours is gone. I'm not sure the nomenclature on it. From what I've seen, they are fairly uncommon. Not super-rare, but nowhere near as common as the gray or orange K-2Bs.

 

Jon

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Hi,

 

This flight suit with this strange color could be one of the 600 experimental suits tested during 1971. It was made with PBI fire protective cloth developed by 1968 but not chosen by US Armed Forces that prefered Nomex cloth

 

Best

Croc

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mhernandez1234

The pilot who donated the suit also flew reconnaisance on an RC-130 out of Okinawa. I am going to take some more photos and post them because the color is off on the ones I posted. The suit is more of a brownish gold.

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is the material kind of a thicker and oily feeling to it , it isn't really oily but feels like it is ?????

I had one also of this color sometime ago, no makers tag in the collar but exact same color and the black velcro .

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The pilot who donated the suit also flew reconnaisance on an RC-130 out of Okinawa. I am going to take some more photos and post them because the color is off on the ones I posted. The suit is more of a brownish gold.

 

 

This orange suit was worn by MSGT V. D. O'Neil of the 35th Tactical Airlift Squadron was part of the 374th Airlift Wing (PACAF) at Naha AB, Okinawa from 8th Aug 66 to 31 Mar 71.

 

As can be seen from the round patch he flew in C-130A's. The round patch was over the name tag.

 

LINK TO THE FULL THREAD.

 

CanberraAircrew122.jpg

 

Aircrew132.jpg

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Close up of the tag.

 

Aircrew124.jpg

 

A bit odd. The tag indicates a Weps contract on the flight suit, which is a Navy contract. The MSgt was an Air Force NCO who specialized in maintaining O2 gear for halo jumps flying Army "A" teams out of Okinawa, which would be the 1st of the 1st as I doubt anyone else was doing HALO jumps back then.

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In september 1968, Air Force Materials Labs started works to develop a new fire protective material called PBI Polybenzimidazole.

During Fall 1969 this new fiber was tested in Naticks, Navy NADC and AF Labs.

The first report in november 1970 (AFML-TR-70-178) stated that this new material was better than Nomex in fire protection.

Evalutation continued during 1970-71, 20 coveralls were fabricated for AFML labs evalutation. In a phase II 600 PBI coveralls were fabricated and distributed to various AF, Army, Navy and NASA installations for in service operational test and evaluation.

The suit design selected by AFML was specification MIL-C-83141, (the CWU 27/P design).

The fastners came from Scovill Co

In AFML-TR-71-195 from september 1971, the PBI was found to be superior to the flying suits currently used by USA but I don’t know what happened after ??!!

 

I enclose two views of this PBI fiber, it will give you an idea of the color

 

post-1289-1284112331.jpg

 

post-1289-1284112347.jpg

 

Best

Croc

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mhernandez1234
is the material kind of a thicker and oily feeling to it , it isn't really oily but feels like it is ?????

I had one also of this color sometime ago, no makers tag in the collar but exact same color and the black velcro .

 

Yes, it does have an "oily" feel to it.

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The suit has a twill weave, moving diagonal, is that the same as the PBI suits?

 

May be, the cloth on the image I posted are from gloves made in PBI, but it should be different, I posted it mainly to show you the PBI color.

 

Croc

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The 600 garments were fabricated by Welson & company inc Harford Connecticut. Final shipment was made on 28 august 1970

 

I enclose you the technical caracteristics of this coverall

 

post-1289-1284129200.jpg

 

Best

Croc

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  • 2 years later...
northcoastaero

The gold and blue PBI material flightsuits were used by NASA astronauts also. The indian orange USAF MSGT flightsuit

appears to be originally a USN/USMC pre 1968 flightsuit that was issued in tan also.

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