The N1 deck jacket, a classic, and for most people (given their timeless cool, reasonable availability & pricing) a first piece of proper vintage to add to the wardrobe - I know my first N1 was amongst the first pieces I had. But not all N1s are created equal, the classic jacket was in use with the US Navy from early 1943 through to the early 60s, and this is a very hard to find example of the first pattern.
In early 1943 the Navy introduced a new line of redesigned clothing to help it meet its requirements across multiple theatres and areas of operations. Designated with a N (N-1, N-2 and N-3) standing for Navy, this range of clothing would improve upon previous designs, and prepare the navy for the amphibious warfare required in pacific and to land in occupied Europe. The N-1 deck jacket was a vast improvement on the previous blue jackets, retaining the thick jungle cloth, but changing to a khaki colour more suitable as camouflage. It returned to a zip closure, improved the fit, changed to a thick alpaca lining and included a draw string around the waist. For anyone who has owned both will tell you, these are much better jackets to wear in the cold.
This is the first pattern, most recognisable through the cuffs, which inside have the alpaca fur running almost up to the wrist. Sometime in early 1944 this would change and the fur would end where the knitted cuff is stitched in.
I've also been doing some research on the markings on the jacket. Without rock-solid provenance it's always hard to say anything for certain, but as far as I can tell Jene is not a person (deck jackets did not belong to an individual but to the boat), but instead refers to the USS Eugene, a Tacoma class frigate which served with the US Navy in the Pacific during 44-46. USS Eugene carried the number 40 on her bow (as pictured), matching the number on the back of the jacket. Finally, I believe that NAF refers to Northern Attack Force, this was Task Force 78, the grouping of ships including USS Eugene that attacked from the north during the retaking of Leyte in late 1944.
This is in really great vintage condition, the perfect N1. The jungle cloth is in excellent condition, with only some wear mild wearing to the cuffs. All the buttons are the originals and in perfect shape. Remarkably, the original Talon zipper is in perfect working order with the insert in useable shape, it's starting to come away a little, so you'll need to be gentle when zipping. The stamp is worn away, and the label has worn away. The lining has areas of wear, but generally still very thick.
- No tag, but exactly matches a size 40s that I have
- Fits a modern medium/large
- Pit to pit 23"
- Shoulder to shoulder 19"
- Shoulder to cuff 25"
- Collar to hem 27"