Leave Our Flight Jackets Alone!

By Aviation Anti-Submarine Warfare Operator First Class Marc J Frattasio, U.S. Naval Reserve

The flight jacket covered with patches always has been more than just an article of protective flight gear. It is a Navy airman's heraldry.

It is a widely recognized cultural icon in the civilian world, also. Hollywood actors wore them in many popular films: Hellcats of the Navy, The Bridges of Toko-Ri, and Midway-to name a few. Indeed, the 1986 film Top Gun spawned a boom in replica Navy flight jackets that is still going strong. There is an enthusiastic collector's market for original flight jackets, and it is not unusual to see genuine Navy flight jackets with patches sold for more than $1,000.

Let's not discard another fine Navy tradition for no good reason. Leave our patch-covered flight jackets alone.

 

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