I've seen and owned a fair few Vietnam souvenir jackets over the years, but this is hands above anything else I've come across, so much so I would guess that it was once party of a 'Party Suit'. The Party Suits grew out of the fighter squadrons based at Tahkli Royal Thai Air Base in Thailand. Heavily patched and adorned lightweight, colourful flight suits that were worn on social occasions as a way to distinguish squadron members from one another. This particular example is a very well made flight jacket style, with details like zip cuffs and waist button tabs. But the most distinguishing is the hand embroidered cobras on the sleeves and reverse. Add to this a pair of very rare patches, primarily the 333rd TFS F-105 arrowhead on the shoulder.
The 333rd Tactical Fighter Squadron were stations at Tahkli from late 1965-1970. They flew the venerable F-105 Thunderchief, colloquially known as a Thud (supposedly because of the sound it made when crashing!). The primary USAF tactical bomber of the Vietnam War, the Thuds would bear the brunt of the bombing campaign on Hanoi, a very dangerous job. The 333rd would sustain 39 combat losses in its 5 year tour in Vietnam, and in total total 382 Thuds would be lost in Vietnam, 45% of all the airframes made.
Absolutely perfect, a few light marks on the silk lining, but otherwise flawless.
- No tag, fits like a medium short
- Pit to pit 22.5"
- Shoulder to shoulder 18"
- Shoulder to cuff 22"
- Collar to hem 24"