Posted by: Waring Hills | 6 April 2011

First Navy Flight Gear Issue, 1917

Naval aviator #68, Cyrus Sylvester in his flight gear 1921. (Photo Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida)

The United States Navy standardized the issuance of flight gear when the Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, approved a recommendation of the Board on Flying Equipment on standard flight clothing for the Navy Flying Service on 06 April 1917. Flight gear in 1917  authorized was a tan, sheepskin long coat, short coat and trousers, moleskin hood, goggles, black leather gloves, soft leather boots, waders, brogans, and life belts.

Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels

Naval flight gear has evolved over the years and wars of the past century and below are examples of World War II and present day naval aviator’s survival gear as it is called today. More on the dynamics of flight/survival gear in future posts!

Medal of Honor recipient Butch O'Hare in his flight gear 1942.

Flight gear of a current F-18 Hornet pilot, ca. 2008.



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