It's always lovely when I come across something surprising, and this definitely fits into that category. I love a good deck jacket, and this is one of the most unusual and hard-to-find styles! And I'll be honest, it's so unusual there is actually little knowledge about it.
What I can tell you is that the contract number puts it into the early part of the 50s, around the Korean War and it's known as a Submarine jacket. Likely this is an early iteration of what would evolve into both the A1 and A2 deck jackets as it incorporates elements from both. A beautifully warm and soft insulated lining, with a cotton outer and piped outer seams. However, it's clear this design was short-lived and had issues. Originally manufactured with a very early plastic Waldes zipper, these were well known for breaking - indeed it had done on this example (and every other I've seen) and I've replaced with a suitable metal period alternative and kept the original zipper pull. The outer shell is also much lighter that the later A1 & A2, and this shows with some obvious areas of wear.
The patch is absolutely stunning, from the USS Diodon, a Balao class submarine that was in service from 1946-71. Likely the patch is early 50s and handmade in Japan!
This is a very very rare jacket, and whilst it probably wasn't the best design at the time, it's now a perfect winter warmer and addition to any US Navy collection.
Good but used condition. As above, the original zipper has been carefully replaced with a period correct alternative, and retaining the original zipper pull. There are some areas of wear, particularly around the cuffs and the zipper placket.
- Tagged a size large
- Fits a modern size large
- Pit to pit 24"
- Shoulder to shoulder 20"
- Shoulder to cuff 25"
- Collar to hem 27"