Aeronautical Clothing North American
'Aero Leather' M-422A Intermediate Flying Jacket
The origins of the M422A intermediate flight jacket date back to the 1940's and was initially standardised as the M-422 specification by the US Navy in March 1940. It was then modified several times and by October 1943 was known as the AN-J-3A. The M-422A specification was the most widely produced of all the USN intermediate leather flight jackets and it saw action in all theatres in WWII. Post WWII and into the Korean War period the jacket evolved into the G-1 which is the commonly accepted name for the fur-lined-collar jacket issued to and used by the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
In consultation with a major UK collector he has confirmed this jacket is actually an older reproduction, dating from the 1980's and made by Aero Leather in Scotland. The printed label states 'Jacket Aviators Intermediate Spec MA422A. Bureau of Aeronautics Size 42 Contract No 20477 0683' and manufacturers name 'Aero Leather Co'. To the left breast is a USN leather name tag and whilst now rather faded appears to be named to a Lt Ian M Harris. We speculate the jacket may have belonged to a vet who added the name strip from his original jacket but it could just be a detail to add authenticity when the jacket was made. Interestingly to the left shoulder is an Army Air Force decal that remains in good condition. There is evidence a shield shaped badge has been stitched over this but later removed. The zipper fitted, that looks original to the jacket, is marked 'Ailee' and believe this brand was was used by Aero Leather of Scotland.
The heavy weight leather used on this jacket, which we believe may be goat skin, is in really good shape and no real issues. The brown wool waist knit is also excellent whilst the wrist knits are showing some age and use related wear. Inside features the characteristic burgundy coloured rayon lining and is in exceptional condition and also includes one interior snap fastened pocket. The Mouton fur collar is rather worn as is often the case with these jackets. The storm flap and back of the collar are not stamped with a USN property mark, as sometimes is seen. Size wise this jacket appears to be a genuine 42" chest and the arms are a decent length.
We have a range of extra photographs here so please ask for more details. With our initial description we were unsure if we had an original or older reproduction jacket. We are now pleased to advise, with much appreciated expert external assistance, this is an older replica and the price has been adjusted accordingly.