Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Perfect Coat For My Daughter!

So since it was raining and being nasty outdoors and we couldn't run Chickcam, we decided instead to hit some of the thrift stores in town.

Found the kid a pair of jeans--she's in between kids and young women's sizes and is a human stick insect to boot so she's hard to fit.  So, yay, pair of jeans!  I found a cool old handblown green glass bottle that looks to have held some kind of spirits, the wavy glass is beautiful.

But far and away the find of the day was this--an authentic jet pilot's jacket!

It fits the kid because it's a size 'small'--the guy who wore it must have been tiny!  It's got a sheepskin liner and was made in Hawthorne, CA.

The patch on the left is for the 'Be-Devilers', a group known as the 'Fighting Phantom Squadron', VF-74.  This guy apparently flew both Phantoms and Tomcats, I've narrowed the jacket's age to about 1983-84.  I've come up empty on researching the actual pilot, but there is some info and a Facebook page online about the Be-Devilers.  Below is the patch on the left arm.
The right arm, with an F-14 Phantom patch and below it one for a Tomcat ('Anytime, Baby!').

The jacket is heavy black nylon and is in stunningly good condition. I've got a message in with one of the guys on the Be-Deviler's Facebook page to see if they can give me any more info.  I showed the kid the cool info I'd found on the jacket's history, and we warned her to TAKE CARE OF IT, it's a piece of history.

I love thrift storing, you never know what you'll find!

EDIT:  My sister, who is in the Navy (duh, why didn't I ask her about it before...?), tells me:

"Her Jacket is carrying the rating badge of a "Aviation Structural Mechanic" Not necessarily a Pilot. Probably a Flight line mechanic for the Squadron. Could be anywhere from a 3rd class Petty Officer to a 1st Class Petty Officer."

I WAS kinda wondering why it wasn't leather, but thought maybe it was because things had changed.  Thanks sis!

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