In 1967 the army started experimenting with nomex and testing out flight suits that the Navy had recently introduced. The objective of the testing was to provide helicopter crew with a greater chance of survival in case of a fire in the aircraft. The studies showed that a single layer of nomex helped to increase a crewman's survivability time in a fire from the 1 second provide by a standard jungle jacket to 4 seconds. With this data, the army introduced a two piece nomex suit, made from a lightweight breathable fabric, designed to provide the much need fire protection, and comfort in Vietnam's climate. Introduced in 1968 and produced into the 70s, these suits became standard wear for helicopter crews in-country.
This particular example is as good as they come. Patched with beautiful patina, this was worn by a Major who served with the 1st Cav, and went onto be stationed in Japan as part of the US Aviation Detachment there. Whilst I can't say conclusively, I believe this belonged to Maj Samual G Conley Jr, who got his helicopter wings in 1958 and served three tours in Vietnam, firstly with 611 Aircraft Maintenance Company in 62-63, the second with the 147th Assault Support Helicopter Company in 66-67, and third with USARV in 67-68. He retired from the army as a Colonel in 1985.
All of the patches are period correct, and worn/faded/puckered as you would expect from a period shirt. I believe from the zipper combination this to be a 68/69 made. contract. The patch on the front is from the "USA Aviation Detatchment" Honshu, Japan with the phrase "RED CARPET SERVICE" beneath the crossed flags of American and Japan.
This is in beautiful worn condition. Zippers all worn perfectly and there are no holes or damage. The collar strap has been removed and labels gone. There is sun fading throughout, with colour differences beneath the collar, patches and arms. All in all, a stunning example of this style of shirt with exceptional patches.
- No tag, fits a modern medium
- Pit to pit 20"
- Shoulder to shoulder 17"
- Shoulder to cuff 23.5"
- Collar to hem 29"