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  • 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.

     

     

     

     

  • A Brief History of The Black Cats

    PBY 5As Aircraft, part of The Black Cats Missions PBY 5As Aircraft, part of The Black Cats Missions

    Imagine flying closely over the dangerous waters of the South Pacific during WWII, hiding in the darkness of the night from enemy ships. These nighttime operations referred to as “Black Cat” or “Nightmare” missions will soon become your specialty, earning you the nickname “Black Cat”. These nocturnal missions gave the PBY airmen their fame in the early years of the 1940’s. Painted matte black, effective and creative in its late night stealth missions, the PBY aircraft became the first of its kind.

    The name “Black Cats”, adopted on October 30TH 1942, by the PBY aircraft stealth missions over the waters of the South Pacific, became one of the most important squadron names in U.S history. The PBY is considered to be the savior, hunter, aggressor, and supplier of the Pacific theatre during World War II. Though this heavy and slow flying aircraft was considered to be an easy target, the black matte paint turned this giant into an invisible nighttime predator. Equipped with torpedoes weighing more than two thousand pounds each, the PBY had to be precise to hit their targets during the dead of night. Extremely dangerous, but highly effective, these missions lead to shipboard Catalina crews receiving scores of commendations.

    PBY Aircraft PBY Aircraft

    The first official Black Cat squadron was VP-12, which operated PBY-5As, an amphibious version of the PBY that could land on water or on a runway with conventional landing gear. Formerly VP-24, VP-12 was re-designated on August 1st 1941 and stationed at NAS Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941 most of the fleet were on a training exercise when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. A majority of their fleet managed to escape undamaged, but the hangars of VP-21 and VP-22 were ruined. Fueled by patriotism to defend their country, VP-12 was transferred to NAS Kaneohe and patrolled the waters around Hawaii as well as sending detachments to Midway Island. Their attacks and rescue missions patrolling the South Pacific waters around Guadalcanal would lead to their legacy.

    Cockpit USA's New Black Eagle G-1 Bomber Jacket Cockpit USA's New Black Eagle G-1 Bomber Jacket

    Cockpit USA is proud to commemorate the history of the Black Cat squadron by introducing six iconic items that pay homage to the bravery of the aircrew men that served during WWII. We are offering three Black Cats t-shirts that shine light on the incredible aircrew of the VPB-24, VPB-71, and the VP-44 using the squadron logos, as well as our VP-44 baseball cap. Our VP12 Black Cats N4 Aircrew Deck Jacket commemorates the VP12 squadron, the first squadron that ventured into New Guinea and the Solomon Island airspace. Lastly, our hand treated goatskin Black Eagle leather G-1 bomber jacket honoring the missions of the VPB-71. Legendary, powerful, and one of a kind; the Black Cats were at the forefront of ingenuity and precision.

  • 75th Anniversary AVG Reunion

    Thom Richard P-40 Thom Richard P-40

    Atlanta GA, September 21-25, 2016, Cockpit USA, and the American Airpower museum had the honor of participating in the 75th Anniversary commemoration of the American Volunteer Group (AVG). Two of the three surviving members of the AVG were in attendance, and five P-40’s from around the country gathered to honor the group. With the help of Sponsors Cockpit USA, The American Airpower Museum was able to send their P-40 “Jacky C” from its base In Farmingdale N.Y. to Peachtree DeKalb airport in Georgia.

    Cockpit USA has made it part of it’s core mission to honor the Americans who volunteered to assist China during WWII. Their 23rd Fighter Group Jacket is a tribute to the group deigned to be as close to the original jackets used as possible. Additional Jacket designs have also been used as a way to continue to educate people on the groups fascinating history.

    American Airpower Museum's P-40 American Airpower Museum's P-40

    The American Airpower Museum, maintains their P-40 Warhawk in the original paint scheme of the 23rd AVG Fighter group. The aircraft is seen my school groups, museum visitors, and airshow fans across the Northeast United States.

    For more Cockpit USA styles honoring the American Volunteer Group please see our:

    Flying Tigers Souvenir Trucker JacketAVG Flying Tigers Souvenir Jacket23rd Fighter Group A-2 Flight Jacket

    Thom Richard wearing Cockpit USA's 23rd Fighter Squadron A-2 Thom Richard wearing Cockpit USA's 23rd Fighter Squadron A-2
  • Congratulations to pilot Thom Richard

    As you may or may not know, Cockpit USA is a proud Sponsor of Reno Air Race Gold Unlimited Class P-51 Team, "Precious Metal". Cockpit USA would like to take the time to congratulate pilot Thom Richard for successfully becoming the first World Champion in the international F1 World Cup Series. Thom is not only a supporter of our brand, a pilot for our museum, and a dear friend, he also moonlights as one of our models! Way to go Thom, and all of the members of the "Precious Metal" and "Hot Stuff" teams!

    Thom Richard at the American Airpower Museum Thom Richard at the American Airpower Museum
  • TBT: Our First Store in 1986

    Wow–these were the days! Digging through our archive we found a picture of our first store in 1986 that was on 595 Broadway in New York. We were the first themed, fashion store on Broadway, with a real T-6 Aircraft inside. Now you can visit the aircraft at the American Airpower Museum in Long Island and we've moved uptown to 15 W 39th St. Anyone else remember the old store?

    Our 1986 first sore on 595 Broadway in New York. Our 1986 first sore on 595 Broadway in New York.
  • Match Racer Jacket

    From riding your motorcycle to flying a plane to going to the movies, our Match Racer Jacket is a great fit for your summer wardrobe. Crafted from a flexible, water repellent textile fabric with perforated leather detailing, this jacket can be worn comfortably all year. Proudly made in the USA.

    Match Racer Jacket from the Civilian Pilot Training Spring 2014 Collection. Match Racer Jacket from the Civilian Pilot Training Spring 2014 Collection.
  • 99th Pursuit Squadron's Anniversary

    Photo from the National Archives Photo from the National Archives

    Today marks the 73rd Anniversary of the activation of the 99th Pursuit Squadron. The first fighter squadron  comprised of and led by African American pilots and maintainers, also known as the Tuskegee Airmen. The program officially began in June 1941, with 47 officers and 429 enlisted men. The Squadron first flew the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk in North Africa, and eventually flew the P-51 supporting bombing missions into Europe. The 99th would be the first of 4 Fighter Squadrons and 3 medium bomber squadrons of the Tuskegee Airmen . Pioneering Aviators of their time many went on to become future leaders in what became the U.S. Air Force.

  • The Story Behind The Pin-Ups Collection

    Here at Cockpit USA we’re avid storytellers. As proud purveyors of clothing imbued with genuine heritage elements, every one of our pieces is steeped in history and holds a story of its own. As much as we appreciate a pretty face or two, our Pin-Ups Collection of leather jackets is a touch more than that, weaving a very interesting tale of bravery and creativity. It all began during WWII when aircrews took to painting victory tags and patriotic mantras on the sides of their planes as morale boosters and to satisfy superstitions in an era that soon came to be known as the ‘Golden Age’ of nose art. The trend for wartime graffiti soon found its way onto jackets, with hand-painted slogans and curvy vixens clad in very little soon adorning every self respecting pilot’s leather back canvas. Drawing influence from the famous images and riveting back story, Cockpit USA started the Pin-Ups in the early 80s, a collection which includes the iconic 'Las Vegas Lady' and 'Second Chance' A-2 'Good Luck Pin-Up' bombers, paying homage to the valiant pilots who fought in the war. Style with a story; a perfect ending indeed.

    An array of genuine crafts emblazoned with nose art can be seen at The American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale, New York. This Saturday October 1st is the final chance for aviation enthusiasts to get involved in the C-47 flight experiences this season. It is not to be missed!

  • Boeing Plant 2 - Salvaged Wood Project

    Duluth Timber Company is pleased to again be involved in reclaiming timbers from an historic piece of American industrial infrastructure, this time Boeing Plant 2 in Seattle. Playing a crucial role in World War II, Boeing Plant 2 produced and let fly nearly 7,000 B-17 Flying Fortresses.  It built-out at 1.7 million square feet. It was one of the first modern assembly lines. “The plant employed as many as 30,000 people working three shifts to churn out bombers in staggering numbers — up to 362 a month.”  (“Wrecking Ball Looms...” Seattle Times 1/13/10) War SecretsSecrecy of the plant was so crucial during the war that Boeing built houses of plywood and fabric and installed fake streets to camouflage the roof. John Detlie, a Hollywood art director and first husband of actress Veronica Lake, helped blend the facility into the surrounding neighborhood. The fake housing development covered nearly 26 acres with netting, plywood and other material.

  • Freaky Friday

    Being that Cockpit USA is an authentic heritage brand and official supplier to the U.S. Air Force we have quite the customer range. On a recent trip to the American Airpower Museum, I sat down with the son of founder Jeff Clyman who we will refer to as "Goose" (for privacy matters, Top Gun movie reference and well... my own personal humor) to discuss the difference between men's fashion and military out-fitting.
    Goose is currently serving our country as an F-16 fighter pilot, and is also a New York based bachelor. Dressed to impress as always we begin to talk "photo shoots" and "brand direction", and just as Goose begins to inform me that my models are "too pretty" and was looking at a pair of skinny jeans like I was asking him to put on with a doubtful look- we realized there was some work to be done… I had the best project in mind :)
    The goal at Cockpit is to capture the fashionable and the "Guy's-guy" men of the world and I apparently missed a swag in my skip. So for fun we switched it up, each of us styled and posed the other. Without further a do...
    I present:
    Rudy Gonzales- Fighter Pilot a.k.a Fashion Buyer & Publicist
    Goose- Stylish New Yorker  a.k.a F-16 Fighter Pilot & Stud
    Please visit www.americanairpowermuseum.com

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