THE US NAVY AVIATOR’S SUMMER COTTON JERSEY

Posted on July 1st, 2016 by:

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THE US NAVY AVIATOR’S SUMMER COTTON JERSEY

In early 1944, after requests from fliers for cooler flying clothing for men operating in tropical climates, the US Navy came out with a lightweight cotton jersey for flying crews. The jersey, designated the M-593 was first issued in 1944 and became more common by 1945. Worn by both pilots and aircrew, the jersey had two chest pockets with green twill lining on the pocket flaps and a pen pocket. The jersey was often worn with the sleeves rolled up or under flying suits.



cotton jersey

Front of the M-593 Flying Jersey

cotton jersey

Reverse of the M-593 Flying Jersey

An article from Naval Aviation News from March 15, 1944 talks about the new cotton jersey being issued:

“BuAer has developed and procured a lightweight knitted cotton jersey to be worn for hot weather flying. It is the pull-over type with long sleeves and a low knitted collar that fits snugly about the neck. Two breast pockets are provided for carrying miscellaneous small articles. Jersey matches Byrd cloth in color and may be worn with flying garments or lightweight trousers.

Jerseys have been delivered and may be obtained in the usual manner by submitting routine requisitions. This jersey should not be confused with jerseys issued to personnel of carrier flight deck crews and may be identified by referring to Navy Aeronautical Specification M-593, Jerseys, Cotton, Knit, Aviators’. These stock numbers should be used in ordering:

Size 38 R37-J-167-38 Size 42 R37-J-167-42

Size 40 R37-J-167-40 Size 44 R37-J-167-44

Size 46 R37-J-167-46

The summer flying jersey was developed after activities operating in tropical areas complained that their summer flying suits – Byrd cloth coveralls – were too hot.”

The US Navy cotton flying jerseys are a rather obscure and unknown part of the aviator’s wardrobe from WWII and remain unknown to most collectors.



cotton jersey

The flying Jersey being worn by air crew (front row center) of the USS Croaton

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