Sunday, March 25, 2012

Forget Atomic Fleck: Meet the Nuclear Jacket

This is a very cool item, though it doesn't fall within our usual time period.

While searching a local shop I glanced over and noticed the below jacket. Now, it's obviously a modern (from the 1990s) military cold weather jacket of some sort so it didn't really grab my attention and I nearly walked by it. However I noticed a name with rank and a vessel name and I became intrigued. Out came the Android and voilĂ : within seconds I had amazing results.

click images to enlarge

This jacket belonged to Larry Davis, the first captain of the USS Connecticut, a U.S. Navy fast-attack 'Seawolf' class nuclear submarine. Sweet!

The Seawolf class of subs was meant to succeed the older and larger 'Los Angeles' class submarines. Below is the USS Connecticut:

Capt. Larry Davis commanded the Connecticut from 1996 to 1999. He was captain of the vessel during its successful sea trials.

Though Davis was not the captain at the time, in 2003 the Connecticut surfaced through the ice in the Arctic and its vertical fin was 'attacked' by a polar bear, which gnawed on it for a while before 'disengaging'.

The back adds some more info.
The '761' stands for the USS Springfield (a Los Angeles class sub) so it looks like Davis (or at least his jacket) may have served on that vessel as a LTJG before eventually being given the Connecticut.

Here are some more photos of the USS Connecticut.

While the jacket fits me well it is fairly thick, as stiff as a board, and uncomfortable to wear for extended periods. Even so, it will proudly remain a permanant part of my collection.

A find like this is rare. How often do we get a chance to view a jacket used on a nuclear submarine by the captain, let alone own one?

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