To patch or not to patch

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by highhope, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. highhope

    highhope New in Town

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Leeds
    Hi all,

    I acquired an original A2 jacket some time ago, managed also to trace down the original owner and researched his past - a pilot with 15th fighter squadron in Panama. Took it a little further and got in touch with his remaining family in the states, a truly fantastic story - and it’s still worn (with great care) regularly in a Piper Cub. Here’s the conundrum, I’d like to add a patch to my Eastman replica and after racking my brains for some time thought it might be nice to apply his squadron colours to my Eastman. I’ve spent all tonight painting up a leather patch but before sewing it on, wondered what you fine folks thought?

    Here’s a photo of an original - and the one I painted up tonight placed on my Eastman...

    Thanks

    Tom
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Stand By

    Stand By One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,723
    Location:
    Canada
    What's not to like, highhope?! Beautiful work! Really, very nice indeed!
    If it was me, I'd "age" it with a bit of tea just to tone it down a shade and advance the natural ageing process, but other than that, it's great! Thanks for posting!
     
    Hat and Rehat likes this.
  3. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,263
    I say go for it. It'd obviously make you happy. The patch is super nice!
     
  4. CBI

    CBI One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,136
    Location:
    USA
    I have a GW repro patched and an original M422 patched as well as a number of other original A-2's and G-1's that don't have patches. I find the patched jackets never get worn. Patches are really cool but they can make the jacket look a bit like a costume vs. a jacket one can simply wear. My 2 cents
     
    Bfd70, Peter Mackin, Dav and 2 others like this.
  5. ShanghaiJack

    ShanghaiJack One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Do it..!!

    Patched jackets, I consider them to be
    an homage to our heroes of yesteryear.
     
  6. Peter Mackin

    Peter Mackin Practically Family

    Messages:
    591
    Location:
    glasgow
    Patched don’t do it for me,,I think they make a jacket unwearable for someone my age,,I won’t be allowed out the house in one,,:)
     
  7. Downunder G Man

    Downunder G Man A-List Customer

    Messages:
    422
    Location:
    Australia
    I have this on my Avirex A2. WW2 patch from a USAAF squadron " The Crusaders".

    I like it but it was on the jacket when I bought it. ( Not for even close to Eastman prices I must say !)

    They operated over Europe out of RAF Wendling

    It's your jacket and your choice . Nice patch you have by the way ! Avirex A2 badge.jpg
     
    El Marro and Stand By like this.
  8. Bfd70

    Bfd70 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,367
    Location:
    Chicago
    Nice job on the paint work. I’d vote that since you already have a patched jacket leave this one alone. I think they look cool but agree with the sentiment that it’s a bit costumey.
     
    navetsea likes this.
  9. Stand By

    Stand By One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,723
    Location:
    Canada
    I can see the "costume" argument - my girlfriend cites it from time-to-time with me.
    But really, it all depends on what you pair the jacket with. A patched USAAF jacket with a plain ball cap and jeans isn't "costumey" to me. Not at all. I think it's a nice remembrance to an individual or the generation where all gave some and some gave all, and gave us the freedom we all enjoy/take for granted today. And a patched jacket can be so cool as the patches and jacket art can look amazing if done well as it has a certain class and quality of that 40s era, which predates fashion and was all just style.
    But pair it with the wrong/patched cap or a pair of chinos and a tan shirt, and, well, one can expect flak from the girlfriend and general mockery. Fair do's.
    But then again, I sometimes take the underground in the city and witness what everyone else is wearing and am frequently agog. So who cares? If it makes you feel good in a crazy, modern world that seems to have lost its marbles (and sense of history), wear what you like. I have never regretted patching my Aero ANJ-3 and it easily gets the most compliments from strangers of all my jackets (mostly ELC) and I think much of that has to do with the patches and jacket art. The fact that it's a superb design and so well made helps too!
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
    casterfield, Monitor and Boyo like this.
  10. casterfield

    casterfield New in Town

    Messages:
    29
    I’d do it. I don’t think it’s too costumey, unless you’re wearing military dress and boots throughout.
     
  11. Dr H

    Dr H One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,890
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Nice artwork, but it’s a no from me too.
     
  12. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,263
    Exactly. Wear what you want the way it makes you happy. People literally physically become who (or what) they want to be nowadays, what's a couple of leather patches compared to that.
     
    Stand By likes this.
  13. Stand By

    Stand By One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,723
    Location:
    Canada
    Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!
    Indeed!
     
  14. navetsea

    navetsea Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,934
    Location:
    East Java
    great painting on the patch, but since you already have a similar jacket with that patch why would you want to have a clone of it?
     
    ProteinNerd likes this.
  15. highhope

    highhope New in Town

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Leeds
    Hi all

    Thanks for your comments - I guess it’s just different tastes.

    I wasn’t very clear on my first post but the original jacket I have doesn’t have any patches on - only the name of the chap who owned it - Fred Handley Porter (and who’s history and family I traced when I acquired the jacket). I found a photo of the patch associated with his unit on the internet so I decided to have a go at painting a copy of it for my Eastman A2...I just figured it’s nice to put a little touch of remembrance to Fred when me and my friend do our early Saturday morning flights - not really for show, just a personal tip of the hat I suppose to a chap who’s past fascinates me - and who’s own A2, is now in my care.

    Anyway, thanks for the comments all - much appreciated!

    Tom
     
    JMax, Stand By and navetsea like this.
  16. casterfield

    casterfield New in Town

    Messages:
    29
    Did his family not want to acquire the jacket from you?
     
  17. highhope

    highhope New in Town

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Leeds
    Hi

    Sadly only distant relatives now remain as he had no children. Those that remain never knew him, they knew nothing of his past or even that he served in the army air forces during the war. To be honest, I had expected to part with his jacket once I’d got in touch with them - but they didn’t seem particularly interested beyond filling in the blanks in their family tree and thanking me for my research - it’s not everyone’s cup of tea I guess, one man’s treasure and all that...

    I’m only a custodian, it’s still very much his jacket - I just care for it.

    If it were me, I’d have moved absolute mountains to reunite!

    Tom
     
    HoosierDaddy and casterfield like this.
  18. casterfield

    casterfield New in Town

    Messages:
    29
    Thanks for responding. That’s a lovely story and I think it’s amazing that you’re honoring his memory with the patch!
     
    Peter Mackin likes this.
  19. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    20,135
    Location:
    London, UK
    I'd go for it myself. As a rule, I do find plain jackets more 'flexible'. That said, I have in my time owned two A2s, both seal - one ELC horse, one Aero goat. The ELC had only the AAF roundel transfer; the Aero had that plus a 'Lucky Sevens' painted leather patch. The Aero got worn vastly more often, the the point where I decided just to sell the ELC. Just a nicer jacket all round (and I also realised I preferred how the goat looked of the two). I don't personally find one of these patches alone costumey - it's not like you're going for one of those Top Gun jackets, or an AVG tribute with extensive patching and artwork front and back. As I understand it, this would make it one of the more common 'decorated A2' styles that appeared during the war (the vast majority were left plain), at least until the AAF started discouraging any form of jacket decoration after Goebbel's propaganda shots of the 'Murder Inc' boys. I don't believe that a patch like the one you have painted so beautifully is out of place or necessarily costumey looking in a day and age where logos and prints on everything are now so common. As other have noted, in any case, why care what the herd think?
     
    El Marro likes this.
  20. highhope

    highhope New in Town

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Leeds
    Thanks for your comments everyone - I took the plunge in the end :) had to re-do the patch though as the paint didn't adhere to leather finish on my first attempt. Spent a night with a piece of sandpaper, some humbrol paints and the tongue out - and much happier with the result. No flaking or cracking at all, the thinner paint soaked properly into the leather. I know patches aren't everyone's cup of tea but there's a personal story behind this one and I'd hope that Freddie - without kids - would be happy that 50 years after his death and 77 years after he bailed out of his Airacobra over Chame Point in Panama, there's some 35 year old who's keeping his memory alive :)
     

    Attached Files:

    torfjord, El Marro, Edward and 4 others like this.

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