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american heritage

  • From Sails to jets and Beyond...

    The Continental US Navy was founded in Philadelphia on October 13th, 1775 when the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution creating one of the cornerstones for the expansion of the United States into a global power. But it is the town of Whitehall in New York State, a town founded by a British Army Captain in 1759, that claims the honor of creating the first fighting ships known as the Valcour fleet. These ships sailed on Lake Champlain under the direction of General Arnold against the British Navy. Although they did not win the fight in 1776, the fleet stopped the British Naval efforts to invade the northern colonies via Lake Champlain, a major trading route southward from British controlled Canada.

    From left to right: Portrait of General Benedict Arnold, and a painting depicting the Battle of Valcour Island. (Painting: National Archives of Canada)
    A 1781 painting of John Paul Jones by Charles Willson Peale

    Generally recognized as one of the first heroes of our Continental Navy was a Scotsman named John Paul, who cleverly later added the “Jones” to his name in order to avoid un-pleasantries in England due to bad behavior. Nevertheless, John Paul Jones became a notable naval hero of the American Revolution wreaking havoc on the British Royal Navy with his small fleet of ships operating in European waters ultimately contributing to the American victory.







    Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 7 fly over USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    Fast forward to our present-day Navy, whose backbone of might is based on aircraft carriers, airpower, nuclear submarines, and a relatively small fleet of surface warfare ships equipped with enough sophisticated power to “encourage” entire unfriendly nations into diplomatic agreements. The aircraft carrier became preeminent in WWII from 1942 to 1945 and the Navy combat pilots, deck crews and seaman became our heroes for generations.

    Tom Cruise wearing the "Top Gun" jacket next to Kelly McGillis

    The Navy pilots flew with leather flight jackets since the late 1920s as well as Bedford cord cotton flight jackets. The G-1 iconic flight jacket, originally called the M-422, was part of the pilot’s uniform since the mid- 1930s. Their leather jackets were decorated with squadron emblems and hand painted images, classically portrayed in many movies including the iconic1986 feature film “Top Gun” which became a worldwide symbol of carrier-based air power: Navy Jets, sailors, and pilots who flew in harm’s way recalling another era of the adventurous events of the sailing ships in combat during the American Revolution.





    The symbol of the legendary quality of iron men and wooden ships translated into the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers of today along with the nostalgic and historic US Navy Pilot’s leather flight jacket has transcended USN history into an important and sought-after element of American culture. With guns, missiles, and lasers from high seas to high skies, the US Navy has a heck of a 243-year legacy.

  • AAM: Save the Cat!

    As proud Americans and purveyors of USA Made products, we at Cockpit USA see it as our responsibility and duty to champion and maintain our heritage. One way we achieve this is as sponsors of the American Airpower Museum located in Farmingdale, New York - home to an entire squadron of operational WWII aircraft and armored vehicles. Currently, the AAM's Consolidated Aircraft PBY 6A Catalina is undergoing restoration but we want this air bird back in her rightful place in the skies asap! Take a look at the flyer below and become part of the effort to maintain our history here!

  • Hammacher Schlemmer x Cockpit USA

    As the oldest catalog in the country, Hammacher Schlemmer are, like Cockpit USA principal facets and purveyors of American heritage at its best. First published in 1881, the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog became the East Coast's go-to source of choice for all things hardware. Since, the company has relentlessly grown, moving home to larger premises and becoming hardware pioneers by being the first to provide every new invention including the pop-up toaster in 1930 to the cordless telephone in 1975! Despite their many years and many expansions, Hammacher Schlemmer's  mission to strictly provide goods of high quality and functionality only stands strong. Naturally, Cockpit USA's Z2567 Army Air Corps Leather Flight Jacket and Z2979N A-2 Cotton Bomber Jacket is proudly included amongst their wares! Indeed it is true what they say, 'some things should never change.'

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