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made in the USA

  • Celebrating the heroic life of John "Jack" Lyle, one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen

    John “Jack” Lyle next to his fighter jet named after his first wife Natalie during WWII.

    “I don’t consider myself a hero because a hero is somebody who does something beyond the call of duty, I never did anything beyond the call of duty, whatever I did I did because I liked it” Fox News Channel May 4th 2018

    On this Black History Month Cockpit USA pays honor to one of the last surviving heroes of the iconic Tuskegee Airmen group of WWII. The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of black soldiers that defied expectations in a segregated military during a time when it was believed African-Americans couldn’t be trained in aviation. Their bravery and contributions helped promote inclusion in the advancement of the United States military.

    Photo of Tuskegee Airmen During WWII

    John “Jack” Lyle died on January 5th, 2019 at 98 years old in his home in the Chicago South Side. Lyle was a child musician, fighter pilot, cop, a sailor, an entrepreneur, and an amateur inventor. His wife Eunice Jackson-Lyle described him as an individual who loved to learn; “his home had a library stocked with encyclopedias and classic novels”. During his last days, Lyle spent his time at the Jackson Park Harbor on Lake Michigan, a perfect location for one of his many passions, sailing.

    “Captain Jack” as he was called by many loved ones was a highly skilled fighter pilot, "We flew 500 feet above the bombers to keep enemy fighters from hitting our guys," he recalled in a 2012 interview with Jet Magazine. "I loved flying, being up in the clouds, the scenery. I flew 26 combat missions, from southern Italy to Austria and southern Germany, over the Austrian Alps." Lyle also mentioned in the interview on how he was fired upon on several times and how he watched at first-hand other bombers being torn apart by the enemy. After the war, Lyle returned to his hometown of Chicago where he enlisted in college to then work as a skyscraper window washer. Lyle found other ventures after window washing; he worked as an insurance salesman to then owning his own fish and chicken restaurant and eventually a tree cutting service company.

    John "Captain Jack" Lyle, at his Chicago home, Friday, Dec. 2, 2011. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

    Lyle’s childhood dream came true in 1957 when he bought his first sailboat. The freedom he felt on the water fulfilled his competitive spirit. His intelligence and pilot experience made him an outstanding sailor, as he was quick to respond to any wind changes upon the horizon. The many years of practice paid off and Lyle eventually became a captain at the Jackson Park Yacht Club. Lyle's focus and love of sailing awarded him the title of  “Yachtsperson of the Year” by the Chicago Yachting Association at the age of 91, becoming the eldest person to receive the honor.

     

    John Lyle on Lake Michigan 2018

    With all of these recognitions none compare to the Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by then president George W. Bush in 2007, which acknowledge Lyle’s achievements and bravery during WWII. All of these milestones never deterred Lyle’s humbleness as he never considered that what he did was award-worthy.

    U.S. Capitol. Arrival. Greeted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Statuary Hall. Photo opportunity with 300 Tuskegee Airmen prior to Ceremony.

    Today we pay respect an honor the legacy of an American champion. Surviving though his wife and three children, John “Captain Jack” Lyle is part of history. Lyle and many other men during WWII risked their lives to ensure that our freedoms at home were protected during a time of adversity. His service and the service of all Tuskegee Airmen is an important piece of the Civil Rights Movement that influenced unity within the military. Here’s to a man who lived to be free in the skies and on the water, rest in peace John “Captain Jack” Lyle.

  • The Motorcycle Jacket

    blog-motorcycle-jacket-2

    Cockpit USA Motorcycle Jackets

    The Motorcycle Jacket has reigned the “go-to” uniform for the rugged and the rebel since we can remember. Whether its the effortless style or the durable functionality, the notable look has become a must-have staple for any person who understands fashion, let me tell you why.

    Inspired by the rebels of yesterday, Cockpit USA has introduced a collection of unique and simplistic motocross designs. Most notable is our recent addition, “The Bullet Racer”named after the longest living motorcycle design in history, The Royal Enfield Bullet.

    Our Bullet Racer jacket (shown below), is a perfect complement to jeans and boots or just a white t-shirt and slim fit casuals. At home, on the street, or on the race track this windproof racer look dominated both the fashion runways and motorcycle riders alike for its flexible bi-swing feature and chic embellishments offer a polished yet tough look.

    The Dirt Track Racer, shown below, is patterned after the jackets worn by leather suited dirt bike racers of the 1950s. This racer shows modern features with a nod to a vintage moto racer designed in a contemporary fit.

    Finally, our innovative hybrid of a motorcycle jacket meets bomber flight jacket is aptly named, the “Motobomber”. Made of the softest lambskin leather for comfort and mobility, it is versatile enough to wear on a bike or donned on a night out with friends. Boasting shoulder details inspired by those worn by motorcycle racers; we also added an elastic waistband and cuffs, a typical flight bomber jacket detail that is also functional in keeping wind out.

    US Army Air Force 1944 in front of B-17. Tuskegee Airmen 1943 wearing sheepskin and A-2 Pilot Jackets. US Army Air Force 1944 in front of B-17. Tuskegee Airmen 1943 wearing sheepskin and A-2 Pilot Jackets.

    The motorcycle jacket became one of the items preferred by the rebels in music who became inspired by the iconic character of Johnny Strabler played by Marlon Brando in the film “The Wild One” in 1953. Brando’s ultra-masculine rendition gave bands like “The Beatles”, King of Rock n' Roll “Elvis Presley”, the Sex Pistols, and eventually Brooklyn’s own “The Ramones”, a passion to utilize this fashion trendsetter as a sleek and young statement. The motorcycle look represented the new generation’s desire to stand apart from the norm. The image of rebellion became a focus of people’s at a time when the younger generation fought the conservative upbringing of their parents.

    Marlon Brandon as Johnny Strabler from the film "The Wild One". Second the band "The Ramones" Marlon Brando as Johnny Strabler from the film "The Wild One". Second the band "The Ramones"

    Many other brands have their own take on the motorcycle jacket, from ultra sleek classic styles to ultra trendy interpretations with bright colors and intricate details. Nevertheless, the motorcycle jacket will forever be a contemporary item suited for almost every palate. Cockpit USA proudly adds to the design by using the most durable leather manufactured in the USA. The style will never stop being an iconic landmark of the transitional “item of cool”. No matter the decade, the motorcycle jacket is a must-have item in everyone’s closet.

  • Artisans Of Freedom Films

    "Born in America, raised in the skies" Fall 2018 saw the launch of Cockpit USA's collaboration with Allen Edmonds and the "Artisans of Freedom" project. Shot at the American Airpower Museum, watch The Cockpit USA story.

  • 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.

  • An Air Force Second-To-None

    USAF F16 and P51 Mustang Heritage Flight

    Today, September 18th, 2018 we celebrate the 71st birthday of the United States Air Force. The Air Force traces its history back to 1907 when it became a division of the U.S Army Signal Corps just 4 years after the first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, NC by the aviation pioneers the Wright Brothers. First tested in combat during WWI, matured during the years between the World Wars, and dominating the skies in combat during WWII and coming into its own as the U.S Army Air Corps, and in 1941 renamed the U.S Army Air Force during WWII the independent Air Force concept took shape.

    Mosquito FAC pilots Korean War1

    In the aftermath of World War Two, as aviation technology advanced rapidly into the jet age proponents of an independent service branch were heard loud and clear. As a function of the National Security of 1947 the U.S Air Force was born on September 18th of that year and would become what could be considered the first line of defense against the growing Soviet Threat of the post-war years, that would become known as the Cold War. Since its birth 71 years ago the USAF has dominated the skies over our adversaries and has held the edge of Air Superiority over our nations, and allies’ foes through its dedicated and skilled airmen, and it’s always evolving and ground-breaking technological advances.

    F-84 Pilots circa 1950

    On this occasion, we salute all the men and women who have served our nation as Airmen past and present as well as all those who have defended our nation through air dominance for 71 years. We are also very proud to have supported our airmen for over 35 years supplying high quality, made in the USA flight apparel including flight jackets, flight suits, and especially proud to have been a part of bringing back the A-2 flight jacket tradition to aircrews in 1987 on the occasion of the 40th birthday of the United States Air Force.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Happy 71st Birthday USAF!

    To learn more about our nation’s Air Force go to www.af.mil and see first-hand the amazing job our Airmen do every day, both at home and abroad.

    Hill AFB F-105D and F 1980s
  • The Fishtail Parka

    Korea 1950, the U.S was at war defending South Korea from an invasion by North Korea and Communist China!

    Roads leaving to the Chosin Reservoir Roads leaving to the Chosin Reservoir

    On 14 November 1950, a cold front from Siberia descended over the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean peninsula, and the temperature plunged to as low as −35 °F. The cold weather was accompanied by frozen ground, creating considerable danger of frostbite casualties, icy roads, and weapon malfunctions. Medical supplies froze; morphine syrettes had to be defrosted in a medic's mouth before they could be injected; frozen blood plasma was useless on the battlefield. Even cutting off clothing to deal with a wound risked gangrene and frostbite. Batteries used for the Jeeps and radios did not function properly in the temperature and quickly ran down. The lubrication in the guns gelled and rendered them useless in battle. Likewise, the springs on the firing pins would not strike hard enough to fire the round, or would jam. In fact, it was the brutal Korean weather that gave birth to the fishtail parka.

    Rigorous Winter over the Chosin Reservoir Rigorous Winter over the Chosin Reservoir

    The M-51 fishtail parka hails its history from the US Army in Korea during the tough wet winters of the early 1950’s during the Korean War.   Like many iconic pieces of outerwear, “the fishtail” has roots in the military. The old M-43 field jacket and liner of WWII as well as the wool great coat were the standard outerwear provided to the military, but the notoriously wet and cold climate of the Korean peninsula necessitated a warmer coat for American troops in the Korean War.

    Cockpit USA M51 DMZ Fishtail Shell Cockpit USA M51 DMZ Fishtail Shell

    The Army designers first developed the M-1949 (Military 1949) and then the M-51 Cold Weather Parka as a result. The main concern for the US military during the Korean War was to keep the soldiers warm and mobile without wearing a robust and clumsy piece of outwear. The fishtail parka accomplished these needs with a three-quarter length, so it could keep someone’s entire body warm without hindering their movement, and constructed the coat out of waterproof cotton and then a nylon cotton blend, so the material would shed snow and freezing rain.

    In the 1960’s, the army surplus fishtail parka became a fashion staple on the streets of London, protecting the suits of working men that needed shield from the city’s elements. While fashionistas would have you believe the tail is intended to hang down like the back end of a fish, it’s actually function is to be tied around the wearer’s legs, from the back to the front, in order to seal things off from any unexpected wind gusts.

    London 1960's The Fishtail Parka becomes a fashion staple in the streets of London during the 1960's

    Our made in the USA M51 DMZ Fishtail with liner has adopted the architecture of the G1 issue shell and liner, and has now been modified to fit a zip in/zip out soft merino shearling hoody, which acts as a fur liner that can also be used as a beautiful and comfortable stand-alone piece. With its authentic water repellent military specification tight weave canvas, the 100% Mil. Spec cotton gives the wearer perfect cold or wet weather protection. Cockpit USA also offers an M51 DMZ fishtail shell and a U.S Army Airborne Parachute Wing insignia fishtail version that heralds the bravery of the military parachutist. Authentic, historic, and unique; the M51 Fishtail Parka is designed for those who demand the best.

    On The Left: M51 DMZ Fishtail W. Liner On The Right: Airborne Embroidered Fishtail On The Left: M51 DMZ Fishtail W. Liner
    On The Right: Airborne Embroidered Fishtail

     

     

     

     

     

  • Our “Ageless Warrior” The U.S.S. Coral Sea

    40th Coral Sea Jacket 40th Coral Sea Jacket

    Cockpit USA is proud to introduce the U.S.S. Coral Sea Tribute Deck Jacket in remembrance of the battle that took place in 1942. The Japanese embroidered tour jackets of the 50’s and 60’s inspire our U.S.S. Coral Sea Wool Tour jacket. At the height of Japanese embroidery work, servicemen enjoyed being able to order patches or embroidery for only one jacket, which was not the case back at home in The United States. Beautifully cut, sewn, and embroidered in the USA with back panel that includes patches along sleeves denoting the ports of call for the ship, the U.S.S Coral Sea Tribute Deck Jacket honors the story of the many brave sailors that served proudly on the front lines of the U.S.S Coral Sea. Made in a very dark P-90 military navy wool, our Coral Sea jacket showcases the strength, leadership, and authenticity that is perfect for the everyman who honors legacy and independence.

    VC22 Over USS Coral Sea CVP-43 VC22 Over USS Coral Sea CVP-43

    May 8th, 1942 became a pivotal day in the Pacific Theater as it carried out the very first all-carrier battle. Blinded on both sides, the events that occurred during that dark day influenced the defeat of the Japanese empire in the up coming years. “The Battle of The Coral Sea” was the fist of its kind as both parties could not see the other during combat. The number of missed opportunities became evident to the airmen involved as they learned their trade through trial and deadly error. One of the sharpest learning curves in Naval history, the battle of the Corral Sea was a turning point in WWII.

    This four-day World War II conflict marked the first air-sea battle in history. The Japanese were seeking to control the Coral Sea by occupying Port Moresby in southeast New Guinea; this of course never came to fruition due to the interjection of the Allied forces. After landing, the Japanese came under attack from the carrier planes of the American task force commanded by Rear Admiral Frank J. Fletcher. Even though this fierce battle proved to be damaging on both sides; the Allied forces came out on top due to the Japanese’s airplane loss. The loss of airplanes left the Japanese without enough planes to cover the ground attack of Port Moresby, resulting in a strategic Allied victory.

    U.S.S Coral Sea CVA-43 U.S.S Coral Sea CVA-43

    The U.S.S. Coral Sea (CV-43) named in commemoration of the historic Battle of the Coral Sea, launched on the 2nd of April 1946, and commissioned on the 1st of October 1947; earned the affectionate nickname “Ageless Warrior” through her long career, in service with the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet and subsequently the Seventh Fleet. In the span of 44 years of service, she has participated in NATO exercises around the world, operations during the Vietnam War, Paris Peace Accords and the Iran Hostage Crisis, in addition to a number of World Cruises and deployments. This resume would explain the ships motto “ Older and Bolder”. On April 26th, 1990. the “Ageless Warrior” was laid to rest. The U.S.S. Coral Sea was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register, eventually scrapped in the year 2000. Today and always, Cockpit USA honors the U.S.S Coral Sea.

     

     

     

     

  • 12 Days of Deals! Day Twelve

    Get geared up for the holidays with the Cockpit USA 12 days of Christmas event. 12 Days, 12 deals, each day offering 20% OFF that days look. Beginning December 10th, and running through December 21st, have everything you need for your holiday shopping.

    Day 12, December 21st: Use code DAYTWELVE

    Today is the last day to save! Take 20% off our Movie Heroes Top Gun Navy G-1 Jacket, Women's Top Gun Jacket, and Kids Top Gun G-1 Jacket.

    Take 20% off our Movie Heroes Top Gun Navy G-1 Jacket, Women's Top Gun Jacket, and Kids Top Gun G-1 Jacket with code DAYTWELVE on 12/21 Take 20% off our Movie Heroes Top Gun Navy G-1 Jacket, Women's Top Gun Jacket, and Kids Top Gun G-1 Jacket with code DAYTWELVE on 12/21

    Movie Heroes Top Gun Navy G-1 Jacket

    Maverick, Goose, and great balls of fire! This is the jacket that made us famous.

    Women’s Top Gun Flight Jacket

    Give your sweetheart her own Top Gun Jacket so she doesn't steal yours!

    Kids Top Gun G-1 Jacket

    For the whole family, future little pilots can get started early. 

    Use code: DAYTWELVE for 20% off these styles on December, 21st only.  Select Next Day shipping in order to receive your gifts by Christmas.

    Cockpit USA's "Movie Heroes"© Top Gun Navy G-1 Jacket Cockpit USA's "Movie Heroes"© Top Gun Navy G-1 Jacket
    Lauren Abraham wearing the men's "Movie Heroes"© Top Gun Navy G-1 Jacket Lauren Abraham wearing the men's "Movie Heroes"© Top Gun Navy G-1 Jacket
  • Made in USA: US Highland

    We make the perfect jacket for it, so now let us tell you where to go and get your wheels. Wondering what we’re talking about…?! Well, as the Cockpit USA Vintage Motorcross ‘Goodwood’ Motorcycle Racing jacket is an awesome recreation made according to the historical originals from the 30s, 40s and 50s… we’ve been thinking, what’s the use in having an authentic jacket when you can’t put it to its original use? Also proudly made in the USA are Tulsa, Oklahoma based US Highland motorbikes! As self confessed premier makers and developers of high performance single cylinder and V-twin powertrains and purveyors of custom made bikes, we at Cockpit USA wouldn’t go anywhere else for our dose of burning rubber. So grab the jacket, grab the bike and hit the road!

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