G8 or Raider Jacket History

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Seb Lucas, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,276
    Location:
    Australia
    Can anyone with a robust knowledge of vintage jackets tell us about this jacket's history? I always thought it was a 1980's Cooper design but I read on another site that someone had one of these made in the 1950's, possibly from a company in Pennsylvania. I have never seen one that predates the 1980's but that doesn't mean they weren't made before then. Anyone know? Everyone for Lost Worlds to US Wings sell these.

    Here's the Lost World's version. The back is a half-belt.

    Raider-3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
    davyjones007 likes this.
  2. oneterrifichog

    oneterrifichog Practically Family

    Messages:
    635
    Location:
    Signal Mountain, TN
    I have heard that it came from Willis & Geiger before Lands End purchased them. I have seen W&G versions on Ebay recently with the Red label. This would tie in Lost Worlds, U.S. Wings and Avirex/ Cockpit as I am pretty sure all 3 companies produced jackets for W&G. I do not think that the jackets were produced for the U.S. Military. I would almost bet it was marketing on the part of W&G.
     
  3. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,276
    Location:
    Australia
    Any Ida what era they were first produced?
     
  4. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,206
    I have always liked the style of the G8. I looked at an Avirex in the early 90s, it was a nice jacket. The only thing I did not like was, the over the top pebble grain, and I would like scalloped pockets. When researching U.S. Navy leather jackets from the 1920s, I came across a pilot wearing a jacket that looked pretty much like a G-8. The pockets were up higher like the later Navy A1 jackets. Unfortunately, I lost the photo and have not come across that photo since! I believe, the pilots had to purchase their own flying gear until the Navy version of the A1s were issued in the 30s. So there may be a little truth to the jacket, just don't call it a G8!
     
  5. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,713
    Location:
    Coastal North Carolina, USA
    I'm confused now. Isn't it called a raider jacket because the design was copied from the jacket Harrison Ford wore in "Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark"?

    BTW...I don't think there ever was a military G-8. I've heard that designation used by people referring to jackets such as the Navy WEP and the ANJ-3, but I'm pretty sure its just a marketing term devised by one of the jacket makers.

    Here's a link that discusses the invention of Ford's jacket.

    http://www.indygear.com/igjacket-RotLA.html

    AF
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  6. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,753
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    It's not a Raider jacket. This is a Raider jacket:

    http://www.gibson-barnes.com/prod-293986/Raider.html

    http://www.uswings.com/product/cockpit-usa-classic-raider-jacket/

    The Raider has a G-1 back, plain A-2-like collar, and zippered (not flapped) top dual-entry pockets. While it was introduced and became popular in the early 80s - and some of its success was due to the contemporaneous popularity of Indiana Jones - it's not a movie-repro jacket like those of Wested, US Wings, the G&B Expedition, etc.

    The G-8 (also sometimes called the "Type 440") is a separate animal... and it's especially interesting because there seems to be so little historical basis for it, yet all the models from different makers are very similar. Here's US Authentic's:

    http://www.flightjacket.com/g-8-jacket.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  7. nightandthecity

    nightandthecity Practically Family

    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    1938
    I've always believed the "G8-M440" to be an Averix design. Certainly I first came across it in the mid-80s in their catalogue, where they spouted a load of bull about it being a pre-war USN jacket. Most of the G8s I've come across have been Averix ones. I believe the other makers simply copied the design, easy to do as it is basically the WW2 USN M445 sheepskin design tweaked a little and made in straight leather.

    As for the "Raider" name, this was what Lost Worlds called their version......they may still call it that for all I know.

    For a short while Averix also produced this jacket, based on the AN-J-4, which was of course a derivative of the M445. This they simply stuck their AN-J4 sheepskin label in.

    DSCN7523.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
    davyjones007 likes this.
  8. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,713
    Location:
    Coastal North Carolina, USA
    Thanks, Doc! So a "raider" jacket isn't the same thing as an "Indy" jacket? Its a completely different design no more kin to the movie jacket than a J-22 is to an A-2. Makes sense now.

    AF
     
  9. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,713
    Location:
    Coastal North Carolina, USA
    I agree about the "G-8" not being a real pre-war Navy jacket. The designation "G-1" didn't begin until after WWII. It would certainly be odd to call a pre-war jacket "G-8". As I said earlier, I've heard the Vietnam era WEP referred to as the G-8, which would make more sense. But it isn't so. The WEP was never designated as G-8, either.

    AF
     
  10. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,276
    Location:
    Australia

    Sorry Doc, this jacket is also called a Raider (by Lost Worlds) - there's more than one jacket with that name. But yes, nothing to do with Indiana Jones. As someone else said on a different thread, the Raider or 440 looks a lot like a M-444, without shearling and with a leather collar. It even has the triangular elbow patches.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  11. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,276
    Location:
    Australia
    I don't think anyone believes the jacket was ever a military one but (as I said at the start) I have heard from one man claiming to have a version of this made in the 1950's.
     
  12. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,737
    Location:
    California
    I know which photo you're talking about. It was posted here in a thread a LONG time ago, way before I joined. I think it even had the diamond arm stitching. I'm on it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  13. thor

    thor One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,770
    Location:
    NYC, NY
    Personally I love the G-8/440/Raider design, especially it's faux association with the U.S. Navy (those diamond-shaped elbow patches are awesome!). Hope this thread (and the knowledgable input of our esteemed FL members) leads to some good historic perspective on the civilian development and production of this hybrid, quasi-military style "flight" jacket.
     
  14. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,737
    Location:
    California
    I found a thread of a suppsed "G-8" sighting, where it was debunked as being just a civie jacket.
    http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?67793-A-Real-G-8-from-WW-II
    Since the pics aren't on the thread anymore, here's a pic of General Truscott in what I think was the jacket in mention. A google search of Gen. Truscott will show additional pics. I've also noticed the G-8 looks a lot like a Navy M-444 jacket without the shearling (which was mentioned). There WAS a pic somewhere which I think was of a pilot by his plane wearing one. That's the one I'd like to see.
    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
    davyjones007 likes this.
  15. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,737
    Location:
    California
    On the other end, further speculation the Cockpit jacket is fictional:

    M-440
    4+4+0=8
    G-8
    lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  16. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,737
    Location:
    California
  17. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,276
    Location:
    Australia
  18. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    Messages:
    619
    Location:
    England
    General Truscott's jacket is similar but not identical to an M-444: see pockets and stitching detail on either side of the zipper here: http://liberationtrilogy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/12b-195814-Truscott-ODaniel-Oct-44.jpg

    And back view here. No diamond sleeve patches, an M-422A back, and the epaulets look like an add-on to hold his rank insignia: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped..._Bronze_Star_from_Gen._Truscott_in_France.jpg

    Basically, it looks like an AN-J 3/M-444 mash-up. Military or civvie? Got to be civvie, surely?
     
    branquinho likes this.
  19. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,276
    Location:
    Australia
    Private purchase.
     
  20. thor

    thor One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,770
    Location:
    NYC, NY
    After reading the response from that "expert" at the Naval Aviation Museum re the G-8, I notice it is full of erroneous information pertaining to known Navy flight jackets. There never was an official Navy G-8, but it just goes to show that we must sometimes do a lot of digging to get the real answers.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.