Rare Pre War M-422 Jacket

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Maverickson, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. Maverickson

    Maverickson Familiar Face

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    Hi All,

    See my latest and grandfather of the USN G-1 jackets. Of special interest to USN jacket enthusiasts like my self.

    The jacket seen below is an original size 40 and made by Switlik Parachute And Equipment Co. Arguably the most rare USN jacket that was ever made. According to my research at the National Archives in Washington D.C. this jacket is one of 247. All delivered in three separate shipments directly to the USN at N.A.S Pensacola. Those shipments were all made during the first quarter of 1941.

    Before I researched this Switlik M-422 jacket it was not a truly credible USN mil spec contract. More often than not this same USN jacket maker is omitted from the list of known USN flight jacket makers.

    Most notably, this jacket was stitch using 100% silk, the goat hide is vegetable tanned and the overall design is full of unique features.

    SWITLIK M-422 HALF ZIPPED.jpg

    Switlik M-422 Zipped Up.jpg

    SWITLIK M-422 REVERSE.jpg

    Collar And Label .jpg

    SWITLIK OPENED.jpg

    Switlik Half Opened.jpg

    View attachment 247298

    SWITLIK MAP POCKET.jpg

    Switlik USN Stencil.jpg

    This last image is a WW-2 era pic that I found & have IDed as a Swtilik M-422.

    Close UP  VP-135 SWITLIK.jpg


    Enjoy!

    Cheers, Dave
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  2. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Remarkable!

    What a great find.
     
    Maverickson likes this.
  3. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,918
    Location:
    Australia
    Looks so fresh, you'd swear it was a repop.
     
  4. Downunder G Man

    Downunder G Man Practically Family

    Messages:
    852
    Location:
    Australia
    Lovely indeed...( BUT the war did start in 1939...) I get your drift , Pre "Pearl Harbor" of course !
     
    Maverickson likes this.
  5. thor

    thor One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,878
    Location:
    NYC, NY
    374E9BA8-AF12-4FE6-89A3-597DC8E11A05.jpeg
    That is an amazing find @Maverickson! The SWITLIK M-422 is certainly the rarest of the M-422 jackets.
    Do you have any details on the b/w photo that you posted? What aircraft is in the background and what squadron it is, or when the photo was taken? Just curious. The jacket in the pic definitely looks like it’s probably a Switlik.
     
    Peacoat likes this.
  6. Maverickson

    Maverickson Familiar Face

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    Thor,

    Yes, that jacket seen in that provided vintage pic is a dead ringer for my original Switlik M-422 jacket. It has the exact same unusual overall pocket shape and low pocket placement. You can even make out the fold created by the unique Switlik pencil pocket slot. That pencil slot's leather insert creates a tell tale crease because of it's extra bulk. Also noticeable in my provided period image.


    Switlik Top Loading Pencil Pocket.jpg


    Each of the three (W&G, Monarch & Switlik) M-422 makers had individualized pocket configurations. Moreover, no other WW-2 jacket maker but the Switlik had that same low placement. All leading me to believe that the jacket seen worn in that image has to be a Switlik.

    In addition, the collar is also obviously larger size. By all indications, with the combination of the over sized larger collar being a M-422 specification and pocket configuration pretty much eliminates the possibility of that jacket seen in the vintage image of being anything other than a Switlik.

    When I found that WW-2 image the caption read VPB-135. That pic is seen below. The patch seen on their jackets looks to be the VB-135 BLIND FOXES https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VP-5#/media/File:Vp135_01_09apr2002.jpg. With that particular version of their squadron patch was used from 1943 until 1945 or the end of the war.

    That A/C looks to be a PV-1 VENTURA. Which checks out with the few visible A/C details, squadron patch & number of crewman. The VB-135 squadron history shows that that this particular squadron was newly commissioned & received that particular PV-1 A/C in early 1943 while at NAS Widbey Island. Thereafter much of late 1943 through 1945 was spent in Adak Alaska.

    Marston mat (temporary perforated metal decking) is visible in that attachment. Telling me that this pic was probably not taken at NAS Widbey Island but in fact Adak.

    Cheers, Dave
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
    Deacon211, dannyk, thor and 2 others like this.
  7. jonbuilder

    jonbuilder One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,577
    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    How did you find such a rare jacket? I like to hear unless it's a trade secret
     
  8. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Staff Member Bartender

    Messages:
    4,969
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Wow! You knocked it out of the park on that one. I'm still drooling over it, and I imagine @thor is as well.

    I, too, would like to know how you found it.

    Congratulations.
     
    thor likes this.
  9. Maverickson

    Maverickson Familiar Face

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    Hi All,

    This Switlik M-422 jacket was offered directly to me by another collector. Moreover, because he knew that I would take the time to restore the jacket and do it right. Which as you see, I did.

    When I initially received this same jacket was a basket case. In doing, I completely dissembled the jacket into it's individual panels and restitched it in it's entirety. All previous repairs were corrected and then done as per original. Nothing was left undone.

    To include researching it at the National Archives in Washington D.C. Which I did because previous to my findings and due to it's rarity most did not recognize Switlik Parachute and Equipment Co. as a credible USN flight jacket maker.

    Cheers, Dave
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  10. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Staff Member Bartender

    Messages:
    4,969
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Good that you have those skills. I would have slapped a dose of Pecard on it and called it a day. And that is a fine restoration job you did.
     
    dannyk and Maverickson like this.
  11. jonbuilder

    jonbuilder One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,577
    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    Sir, you are a cornerstone to the vintage jacket collection and preservation
     
    Maverickson likes this.
  12. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,700
    Location:
    Troy, New York, USA
    Great find... amazing detective work... Thanks!

    Worf
     
    dannyk and Maverickson like this.
  13. Brettafett

    Brettafett One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,240
    Location:
    UK
    Incredible acquisition and... Fantastic restoration!!!! Expect no less from you.
     
    Maverickson likes this.
  14. galvestonokie

    galvestonokie Familiar Face

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    houston
    great jacket, great back story, great work. way to go!
     
  15. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,155
    Amazing jacket. Great find and restoration work.
     

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