Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds
  • The Fedora Lounge is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Vintage MA-1 jacket: genuine Alpha Industries or fake?

7fashoff9

New in Town
Messages
4
Hello there!

Thanks to admins/mods for accepting my account. I've browsed through this and similar forums before and learned that vintage, military-produced MA-1 jackets are tagged with a USAF code Mil-J-XXXXX (I mostly learned from this guide here). I recently grabbed a vintage MA-1 jacket from a local thrift store that doesn't have "J" in the code but a "1": "Mil-1-8279E". Other than that, there is no other tags/labels that I could use to verify the authenticity. The zipper pulls have "Alpha" engraved, but that's about it - is this a 100% fake, wannabe Alpha Industries jacket? Or is there a chance that's a genuine vintage one? It looks like it could be a piece from the 70s, but I don't know how else to determine it. I would appreciate any form of help or guidance, many thanks in advance! :)
IMG_20220311_232323.jpg

IMG_20220311_232903-min.jpg

IMG_20220311_234119-min.jpg
 

Doctor Damage

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,248
Location
Ontario
I agree with Peacoat, it looks like a civilian model by the tag and I'm pretty sure that Alpha didn't do "Alpha" branded zipper pulls on their military jackets. What colour is it? The military ones were only ever made in green.

Here's a looooong thread on MA-1 jackets to check out (link below) in which we discuss both military jackets and many of the civilian repros and other related odds & ends:
https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/ma-1-flight-jacket.72250/
 

Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,808
Location
China
Hello there!

Thanks to admins/mods for accepting my account. I've browsed through this and similar forums before and learned that vintage, military-produced MA-1 jackets are tagged with a USAF code Mil-J-XXXXX (I mostly learned from this guide here). I recently grabbed a vintage MA-1 jacket from a local thrift store that doesn't have "J" in the code but a "1": "Mil-1-8279E". Other than that, there is no other tags/labels that I could use to verify the authenticity. The zipper pulls have "Alpha" engraved, but that's about it - is this a 100% fake, wannabe Alpha Industries jacket? Or is there a chance that's a genuine vintage one? It looks like it could be a piece from the 70s, but I don't know how else to determine it. I would appreciate any form of help or guidance, many thanks in advance! :)
View attachment 409239
View attachment 409240
View attachment 409241
The Mil-J-xxxx is the model number but it does not automatically mean that it is issued or ordered by military. Alpha produces tons of MA-1 for civilians and to make them more military or authentic, Alpha would have tags that show the same model number, usually MIL-J-829790J.
For military issue, you have to look for another set of code like DSA-xxxxx, DA-xxxx. That is the military contract number. The one you posted has a make up contract number.
The one you show does not look like a real Alpha let alone a military issue.
 

7fashoff9

New in Town
Messages
4
The Mil-J-xxxx is the model number but it does not automatically mean that it is issued or ordered by military. Alpha produces tons of MA-1 for civilians and to make them more military or authentic, Alpha would have tags that show the same model number, usually MIL-J-829790J.
For military issue, you have to look for another set of code like DSA-xxxxx, DA-xxxx. That is the military contract number. The one you posted has a make up contract number.
The one you show does not look like a real Alpha let alone a military issue.
Thanks so much for this insight, the "1" instead of "J" in the "Mil-X-XXX" code seems really strange. Is there anything else that I can check/verify, to make sure it's either 100% fake or real, or would it all be just guessing? There's unfortunately no more labels or washtags...
 

Doctor Damage

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,248
Location
Ontario
The one you show does not look like a real Alpha let alone a military issue.
yeah, the more I look at it, the more I agree with you on that point... seems unlikely someone would install Alpha zippers on a different repro... might be one of those Alpha Replica models but probably not

to the original poster : don't buy
or if you already own it, if it fits just wear it and enjoy
 

Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,808
Location
China
Thanks so much for this insight, the "1" instead of "J" in the "Mil-X-XXX" code seems really strange. Is there anything else that I can check/verify, to make sure it's either 100% fake or real, or would it all be just guessing? There's unfortunately no more labels or washtags...
Yes.
1) It does not even have the Alpha Industries name on the tag (even military issued has the manufacturer's name);
2) It is missing part of the material. Material should read-
Shell and Lining 100% nylon and then there should be an interlining. Wool pile for the real vintage or more modern repro polyester fiber. I doubt Alpha being a contractor and reputable manufacturer would be so careless to forget to list the interlining.
 

bn1966

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,076
Location
UK
Not Alpha and not service issue would be my thinking & best guess would be a ‘knock off’.
 

7fashoff9

New in Town
Messages
4
Yes.
1) It does not even have the Alpha Industries name on the tag (even military issued has the manufacturer's name);
2) It is missing part of the material. Material should read-
Shell and Lining 100% nylon and then there should be an interlining. Wool pile for the real vintage or more modern repro polyester fiber. I doubt Alpha being a contractor and reputable manufacturer would be so careless to forget to list the interlining.
I've found a label that supposedly has the contract number without the DSA or DA at the beginning: 9051-79, which is the same as on mine (79 is supposed to represent the year, but I'm not sure), issued for Defense Personnel Support Center (which mine doesn't even say). The original also doesn't have the interlining info, nor does it have the name of the manufacturer, which makes it more similar to mine, but still - it says "Mil-J-8279E" instead of "Mil-1-8279E" like it does on mine, and there's no DPSC info. Here's the comparison:
image040.jpeg

IMG_20220311_232323.jpg


Is it possible that someone paid this much attention to knock off the DPSC issued label jacket? At this point, I don't expect that this is even an Alpha, but it makes me wonder. Here are more photos of the original DPSC issue. I'm curious what's your opinions guys :)
Thanks for all the help so far!
 

Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,808
Location
China
I've found a label that supposedly has the contract number without the DSA or DA at the beginning: 9051-79, which is the same as on mine (79 is supposed to represent the year, but I'm not sure), issued for Defense Personnel Support Center (which mine doesn't even say). The original also doesn't have the interlining info, nor does it have the name of the manufacturer, which makes it more similar to mine, but still - it says "Mil-J-8279E" instead of "Mil-1-8279E" like it does on mine, and there's no DPSC info. Here's the comparison:
View attachment 411126
View attachment 411127

Is it possible that someone paid this much attention to knock off the DPSC issued label jacket? At this point, I don't expect that this is even an Alpha, but it makes me wonder. Here are more photos of the original DPSC issue. I'm curious what's your opinions guys :)
Thanks for all the help so far!
I think DPSC is the manufacturer. Although it mainly procures products, it also produce a small percentage in house. For products procured from outside, the manufacturer's name is listed on the label sometime in a separate label.
In 1965, the "Defense Personnel Support Center" was officially established and its mission was expanded to provide food, medicines and medical supplies, in addition to its already essential clothing and textile supply responsibilities. The Defense Subsistence Supply Center of Chicago and the Defense Medical Supply Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. moved to the South Philadelphia location. This concentration of all three directorates in one space provided an efficiency that was immediately tested by the Vietnam War.
It has it own clothing factory since 1942.



Also since it is gov't owned and under the DSA later DLA, the contract is possibly different i.e. it is not open tender to private companies so may not have the DSA or DLA or DA prefix etc. There have been discussions on DPSC M65 jackets all having contract number without the DSA or DLA prefix. The opinion seems that those M65 is not issued but civilian models.


Alpha on the other hand is a private company and why would a DPSC jacket uses Alpha zippers. I doubt Alpha is a zipper supplier.

Yes, because you can find many knock-offs having labels copied from the real thing down to item and contract no. From A-2 leather jackets to M-65 jackets.

P1070598.JPG


I am pretty sure the US military never issued a black MA-1.
 
Last edited:

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,169
There was never a GI black MA-1, though either here or on VLJ I believe I once read someone mentioning being issued a (civilian market) black MA-1 for a gov job.
 

Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,808
Location
China
I also just noticed that there seems to be black zipper tape on OP's photo but the lighting may be the culprit. I have never seen a military issued MA-1 having black zipper tape.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
106,693
Messages
3,019,468
Members
52,282
Latest member
joeydavies
Top