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Vintage Flight Jackets Landing at Beyond Retro

Posted on June 19 2012

People have come to Beyond Retro for authentic vintage military garments for as long as we've existed, but every now and then we receive items that deserve a special mention, and today is just such an occasion.
Making their way to all Beyond Retro stores this week are these truly incredible vintage flight jackets, ranging in origin from the early 1960s to the 1980s. Brought to use by the US Navy in the 1930s, the G-1 replaced the iconic A2 as the Navy's standard-issue flight jacket in 1943, celebrated and favoured for its bi-swing pleats that allowed fighter pilots greater freedom of movement in a confined cockpit environment. The jacket's resulting popularity was its own undoing and was cancelled as a military issue by Congress after overwhelming the Navy's supply  system in 1978. That same popularity however meant that the G-1's hiatus was very brief indeed - its cancellation was reversed in 1981, just in time to become a tiny bit famous as the jacket worn by Tom Cruise in Top Gun.
Strutting around in the same style jacket as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell might seem cool in itself, but why wear a replica of a fictional character when you can own the real thing? Thanks to the penmanship of a Naval pilot who clearly didn't trust himself not to lose his things, we've managed to track one of these jackets back to a Lieutenant Commander John "Red Eye" Dillard, a USN pilot active between 1954 and 1975 who, according to our research, almost certainly served in the Vietnam War.
Vintage clothing doesn't get more authentic than this and it doesn't take psychic powers to predict that these won't hang around for long. If you feel the need, the need for speed, use it to get to your nearest Beyond Retro before they're all gone!
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