G-1 patching help

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by GregGale, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. GregGale

    GregGale One of the Regulars

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    I have a plan. I'd really like to buy an AVI G-1, and patch it. I think G-1-s look especially good patched. I wouldn't go the Top gun way, but I'd like to turn it into a fictional G-1 of Cmdr. Richard Owens - CAG from "Final Countdown". So I researched countless pictures of patched G-1s, and I'm having a hard time figuring out what the rule was - if there was any, what patch went where. So I made 3 versions in photoshop. Which one would be more accurate/realistic?

    1) The "Burbaker" way, that is, only 4 patches, not too cluttered, I quite like it:

    1.jpg

    2) The "MIG Killer" - loosely based on ELC's Mig Killer jacket as far as the number and position of patches go:

    2.jpg

    3) The Movie version - this is how Owen's flight suit was patched (it sort of contradicts patterns seen on original jackets, the Tomcat patch is on the opposite shoulder...)

    3.jpg

    Or 4), something I haven't thought of, maybe suggestions of different patches?

    This is an original that inspired me:
    [​IMG]

    And perhaps, I could have a jacket art painted on the back based on this, but this wasn't as common as paintings on A-2s, was it? Perhaps it would be too much.

    [​IMG]

    Question two: Are there any patch placement rules? Like distance from zipper/ shoulder seam, anything I could go by?

    Many thanks in advance for your input.
     
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  2. Flightengineer

    Flightengineer Practically Family

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    Greg, in any case I would use a photo of the originals. I had 4 G-1s - three of which I sold. These were the issued originals.
    On the first there were no patches at all (only traces from name tag), on the second there was only squadron patch on the chest, on the third there were traces from squadron patch and NAS patch on the chest and from the name tag, but the one that I now own has patches on both sleeves and on the chest and the neimtag.
    Name tag at all of this G-1s was at a different distance from the zipper, but located strictly parallel to the the pocket line. The distance from other patches to zippers was determined solely by the size of the patches themselves IMO.
    As far as I know, there no were very strict rules with the exception of the name tag location .
    I am sure that there are guys who were directly related to USN or USMC aviation and they will respond in more detail.
    And yet - I've never seen back arts on issued G-1 - I think it was done later, not during the service. This does not mean that you can not draw a picture on back :)
     
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  3. GregGale

    GregGale One of the Regulars

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  4. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    #1 looks good to me.
     
  5. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

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    Generally speaking, the current group patch would be on the left shoulder. The combat patch (unit with which the pilot saw combat) would be on the right shoulder. The current squadron patch (if authorized) would be on the right chest, opposite the name tag and wings, which would be on the left chest.

    @Flightengineer is correct; there are rules about the placement of the name tag. One of my flight jackets has the name tag 3" from the zipper chain, and the other has it 2.5" from the chain.

    If you could determine the unit or units with which he saw combat, you could sort it that way. Put that patch on the right shoulder. His last unit patch could go on the left shoulder, and his last squadron patch could go on the right chest.

    Here is a link to Navy uniform rules. I haven't read all of it, and if it contradicts what I have said, follow the rules in the link:

    https://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/uniforms/uniformregulations/chapter5/Pages/5201.aspx
     
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  6. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    Final Countdown is an awesome movie, and a total classic! Love Kirk Douglas as the Admiral. Watch the F-14's nearly stall out shooting the Zero interception scene, awesome.
    Inspired the excellent Zipang!, where JSDF Aegis destroyer time travels to intervene in Guadalcanal, and the Designated Targets trilogy where UN Task Force time travels to 1941.
    Might seem cheesy now, but Final Countdown was seminal, and still does the paradox twist pretty good.
     
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  7. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    Greg, I struggled with 'correct' patch placement on some of my tribute jackets a few years back. I looked at hundreds of photos, and got the advice of members here who served. Everything (almost!) conflicted.
    For example, after WWII and it's split from the Army, the USAF did indeed have regulations about placement of patches. Outside of early SAC crew official photos, I've almost never seen this followed. In Korea patches were worn generally the same within a squadron, but placement often varied between squadrons. By the end of the Korean War you see fewer patches as it seems the awareness of giving that information to the enemy for free if you got shot down was starting to take hold.
    By the Vietnam era, all flight suits were supposed to be 'sterilized' -without patches, but you still see a wide variety of placement on flight Jackets (L-2b) worn when not flying. Robin Olds had an L-2b with 8th TFW patch on right chest, when (IIRC) it should have been on left shoulder.
    Incidentally, Vietnam era flight jackets often have patches all over the place with no regard to regulations except placement of name patch. Take a look at Wild Weasel pilots jackets: patches all over.
    Squadron patches should have been worn on right shoulder, but no one wants to wear a patch with the animal or character on it facing backwards (as is often the case with older insignia designed in WWII when patches would have been worn on the chest). N.B. The 'famous' Triple Nickel's Vietnam era patch would have been rearward looking when worn correctly. Current versions have the image 'flipped' so that it's facing forward when worn on the right shoulder.
    The introduction of Velcro backed patches and Velcro receivers on flight suits seems to have gone a long way to enforcing the standardization of patch placement in present.
    I expect all of the above is true for the USN too. No patches in wartime, anywhere you like in the 'stitch-on era', and standardized in more recent Velcro-era.
     
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  8. GregGale

    GregGale One of the Regulars

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    Thanks Big J! I've also looked hundreds of photos, and my No.3 option seems to match both the movie (Owen's flight suit), and some real life pictures from 1979-80.

    I've also found pictures with the squadron patch being worn on the chest, which IMO looks a bit better. (No.1). So that's the dilemma...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    but it looks a little better this way:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    Greg, I notice that you also are looking to put together a 'Bridges at Toko-Ri' G-1 as well. Me too! I bought a set of patches from G&B and am searching for a G-1 to put them on.
    The squadron patch in the movie is VF-192.
    They aren't the squadron in the book, and they weren't the squadron that conducted the strikes that inspired the book, but they are a real squadron that really took part in the Korean War, and the reason that their patches feature in the movie is that they supplied the aircraft and the pilots for the movie, hence their nick-name 'The World Famous Golden Dragons'.
    It always makes me chuckle when some one says they were just patches made up for the movie, they weren't.
     
  10. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    BTW, I got the CAW8 patch from G&B too. Very good quality.
     
  11. GregGale

    GregGale One of the Regulars

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    Thanks, I’ll probably go for G&B too!
     
  12. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

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    Hey Greg,

    That is a good looking jacket you have there. Final Countdown was a very fun movie and IIRC the inflight scenes were repurposed for either the NASM and/or the Intrepid museum in their carrier aviation area, music and all.

    As to your question, I can only speak to my era ('90-'00 or so) though I did fly with a lot of Navy guys. The answer, as you have already gathered, is not simple.

    1. I don't know what the Navy regs say, but the Marine regs actually only allowed for a nametag and a squadron patch on the chest during that time period. Note that this was not routinely enforced, other than in a rare inspection, and it was not uncommon to see an aircraft patch on the right shoulder and/or a flag on the left. Also note that naval aviators did not generally wear a flag on their right shoulders as with the US Army. A lot of the feeling in the squadrons about adding patches kinda came and went over time. In my era, I'd say most guys were pretty sparing on their G-1 patching, saving most of their patches for their CWU. There were exceptions though.

    2. Outside of point one, you were as likely to see either more or no patches on a pilot's G-1. And it was due to this fact that patch placement is pretty up in the air with these jackets within a few broad guidelines which you mostly seem to have followed (e.g. no aircraft patches on the chest, etc).

    The nametag was pretty straightforward, but even these, as well as any other patches, were generally placed by eye. In part this was due to there being no provision for the "non-reg" mounting of patches, in part to the varying size and shape of the patches, and finally due to the fact that these jackets did not always scale exactly.

    What I mean about that is that two inches above the pocket of a size 38 jacket might look fine, but 2 inches above the pocket (probably the same sized pocket) of a size 44 would probably not look quite right. I've also discovered recently that some G-1/m-422a makers placed their pockets based on the side seam not the center. So, the bigger the jacket's size, the more space between the pockets making that an inexact measurement. Despite that, I rarely saw a set of patches that didn't seem to fit on the jacket about where they would fit on the flight suit, which is an easy guide when you're wearing one.

    3. In planning your jacket, you also need to consider the "era" of the pilot's career that the jacket was made. An Ensign would need to be pretty bold to walk into the squadron spaces with patches all over their jacket. There were always a few. They usually got the callsign, "Hollywood".

    Your average nugget might go with the standard squadron patch and nametag (if not just a nametag or nothing) when he first shows up. If he carries his jacket into a follow on tour, then he might add a second patch or a wing insignia if he is assigned to the wing. And here's where you start to see the issue. He might put the wing insignia on his chest if he had had no previous patch there. If he had a squadron patch, he might need to put the wing patch on his shoulder. If he had an aircraft patch on one shoulder or a flag on the other....well you get the idea. That's where you start seeing patches in non standard places, really on any jacket but especially on leather for obvious reasons.

    On the other hand, guys did occasionally trade in their jackets though I would say it was less common. If you are talking about a CAG or an admiral, then he might have had an entirely new jacket made for him. In this case though, I think he would want to be careful in NOT showing favoritism towards a single squadron when he's in charge of many. In these jackets you might actually see the ship or wing patch take center stage on the chest, with maybe some of his old units arrayed around it or on a sleeve. At a guess, that is why the character above's jacket has the wing patch on his chest, though I'm not sure if he would have kept the shoulder squadron patch in real life, unless he was assigned to VF-84 for the purposes of quals and such. A comparable Marine Air Group commander would wear the triangular group patch on his chest and perhaps his old squadron specific aircraft patch on his right shoulder or a generic aircraft patch. It might be a little different in the Navy.

    Then you have centurion patches, cruise patches, Tailhook "I wasn't there" patches, Top Gun patches, LSO "Rectum non Bustus" patches, etc. And that is how you get three chests and at least six arms of patches on one G-1.

    So you can really make an argument for all sorts of jacket configurations. You are probably best served though by copying a specific jacket. I'd say Jacket 1 above would be a typical config for a Jolly Rogers first tour pilot who went on to take a position with the wing. Jacket 3 would probably be a guy who got a new jacket as a wing guy who is on the Roger's roster to fly with them. Jacket 2 would be more of an I love me jacket.

    In any case though, that metal USN pin was not very common and depending on the era would have caught the eye of the Safety Officer as FOD. ;)

    Sorry for the long answer. Hoped it helped a little.

    Deacon
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
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  13. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

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    Their shoulder patch actually reads SSHWFGD :D
     
  14. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    Deacon, you're going to have to tell me what the 'SSH' is for. I've got an idea, but not sure if the mods will let me post it!lol
     
  15. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

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    Then you probably got it right! [emoji23]


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  16. GregGale

    GregGale One of the Regulars

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    Deacon, thank you so much for this detailed answer! That was exactly what I'm looking for, and more. Extremely helpful.

    I like your logic saying he would have had his squadron patch on the chest, and later when he climbed up that ladder would he sew on more patches - this would make me go for option 1. And even if he's CAG, it's possible that he still used his old jacket in which case No.1 is still correct. No.3 would only be correct only if he got a new jacket. Fortunately the movie never shows Owen in a G-1, so I have some liberty as to which one I choose. So you say the safest bet would be No.1, and coincidentally, that's the one that looks best. I'll forget about the pin, though, nobody wants any FOD in those TF30s :)
     
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  17. GregGale

    GregGale One of the Regulars

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  18. GregGale

    GregGale One of the Regulars

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    I'm happy to inform you all that this project is now completed :)

    The knits were updated with those I bought from Larry. The difference is night and day. They are so much softer, but still sturdy. Because they are more pliable, there is no resistance to push the sleeves back up like with the thick stock knits, so the sleeves tunnel quite a bit. Not that I care, the size 40 was too restrictive in the torso ;) I'm really happy with the result, I now have a good looking G-1 patched as Owen's jacket, and I didn't spend more on it than I could afford :)

    IMG_1001.JPG IMG_1018.JPG IMG_1025.JPG
     
  19. Boyo

    Boyo One Too Many

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    Well done Greg!.. looks great!
     
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