Tuesday, February 12, 2013

the 55J14 Korean war G1 jacket

CVG-19 patch

VA-195 patch

Charles McGraw

William Holden production shot 

Today's post,is about what is my all time favorite G1 jacket .This late 1940s 55J14 Navy flight jacket was made by L.W. Foster Sportswear. The 55J14 jackets were the first of the G-1 series and came right after the WWII M-422A. These jackets were made between 1947 and 1950 and were followed by the MIL-J-7823 series....
The jacket appears to be barely worn,with its fully functioning  blackened Conmar brass zipper. The naturally pebbled goatskin is flawless and retains the faint "USN" stencil on the reverse of the collar .
As with all Foster 55J14 jackets the right pocket has a stitch line for the pencil pocket that run vertically up the pocket. This stitch line is unique to the Foster 55J14 but can also be seen on the Gordon & Ferguson M-442A. nice scalloped pocket flaps that were used on through the 55J14 run.
I've had several USN jacket over the last 2 decades,no bragging here,but as much as i love the beautiful patina of a vintage ww2 M422A ,i've never felt it was a good fit for me .the 55J14 is what i'll go for anytime ....
This great example of Korean G1 in almost mint condition , is straight from the estate of an aviation machinist's first class mate who was onboard CV-37 carrier USS PRINCETON from 1950 to 1952  .beside its name tag it has 3 very desirable period patches .the best one being the very collectable patch from the CVG-19 : USN 19th carrier group. This patch is the one worn by William Holden and Charles McGraw in the 1954 Paramount movie : "bridges at Toko ri" but is also seen on the original G1 featured on the "top gun " movie....

Carrier Air Groups typically had four fighter squadrons with 58 planes and an attack squadron of 14 planes. The CVG-19 had 4 fighter squadrons: VA-55, VF-192, VF-193 and VA-195. on the opposite sleeve the amazing "dambusters" VA-195 patch .Acronym VA means "all-weather medium attack", and VF means "advanced twin-seat fighters".

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