HELO Jacket, Navy blue/Signal yellow, “Sea Hunt” Fall 2014

Helo Jacket Promo Mister Freedom 2014

Helo Jacket Promo Mister Freedom 2014

Helo Jacket Promo Mister Freedom 2014

Helo Jacket Promo Mister Freedom 2014

Helo Jacket Promo Mister Freedom 2014

Helo Mister Freedom 2014

Another terrifying adrenaline-charged stunt, captured by Mr. Tadashi Tawarayama of Seven Bros. Pictures, 2014. Beathtaking, no?




HELO JACKET, Signal Yellow/Navy Blue
“Sea Hunt” mfsc collection, Fall 2014

The final heavy hitter of our “Sea Hunt” two season-long saga comes in the form of an airborne pilot-type jacket: the “Helo”.
We first made a signal yellow Helo. And against Tina Turner’s advice, realized we needed another Helo. So there’s a navy blue version as well.
Are you still there?

I know nothing about flying machines, but I’ve always found helicopters fascinating. All kinds of shapes and colors, unlikely floating crystal bubbles in metallic frames, hovering and defying gravity and winds…

“When the command is GO… SCRAMBLE!” said the old GI Joe™ Action Pilot™ leaflet I dug out of surviving bits and pieces of childhood stored in a metal trunk back in the Old Country.
I was not much into video games or fire trucks as a kid, but kinda dug helicopters for some reason. Maybe because TV programs were full of them. Félix, the bright yellow Hughes 300 lifting off from the helideck of the Calypso with Cousteau on board meant Adventure. TC’s chopper in all its ‘Verner Panton’ paint job glory meant bizness…
Fancy recreational toys, island tour vehicles, for rescue missions or airborne stunts, Air Cav mean machines or rotorhead dreams… no matter the assignment, these flying crafts always seemed to be manned by skilled daredevils, handling real joysticks that surely beat Atari’s. I was sold.

Some of the above vintage photos/infos courtesy of members of the Professional Pilots Rumour Network, rotorhead section. All credits to the original owners.

So, when it came to designing a pilot-type jacket for one of our ‘Sea Hunt’ character, a rescue helicopter pilot, I was GO.
In many of the 1960’s-1980’s photos I’ve researched, helicopter pilots are wearing flight coveralls, CWU (Cold Weather Unit) jackets or jet pilot type jackets. It seemed that a jacket specifically made for helicopter pilots never existed in the US Air Force (I could be wrong). So I decided to blend nylon flight suits with MA-1, N-3B and CWU-type gear to come up with one.
The expert at Buzz Rickson’s kindly opened their doors, and allowed us to utilize their resources and mil-specs trims.
Back in California, we played with several ideas, different body types, length balance, styles, periods, tweaked pocketing and construction for a while…
For those into design anecdotes, the early sketch had a narrow and straight throat latch and a zipper chest pocket. After seeing an actual early prototype sent from Toyo Enterprises, I realized it made the jacket look too ‘racing’. I opted for a latch in the shape of an L-2B flight jacket waist tab and an alternate chest pocket design instead…

Well, let there be flight and there was flight, from sketches to prototypes, we eventually landed a ‘plausible’ hybrid. A jacket that looked to me like it had been around tarmacs cockpits for decades. The Mister Freedom® mfsc “Helo Jacket” was born.

Helo sketch Mister Freedom Feb2014 Helo sketch Mister Freedom Feb2014 Helo early proto Mister Freedom 2014

Our “Helo Jacket” shares its insulating qualities with original Air Force MA-1 type flight jackets (I mean the real vintage USAF deal, not the cheapo ‘Made in Pakistan’ civvy versions). While the thick wool pile lining will guarantee warmth, the wool knit collar and wrist bands will help prevent the cold air from penetrating.
The ‘Space Age’ V-shape of the cuffs was borrowed from a 1960’s WEP fixed-wing USN pilot jacket (detachable top part of a winter flying suit MIL-S-18342 C. Many thanks to reader Matt Henderson for the knowledge. More valuable insights on WEPs here).
This specific detail proved to be a real challenge during manufacturing. I believe the original purpose of these V-shaped cuffs was to allow extra stretching for a wrist instrument. In 2014, their main achievement was to provide real headaches to the skilled machine operators mounting our Helo Jacket… Sorry ’bout that.

Instead of the familiar orange lining of vintage MA-1 or L-2B reversible flight jackets, we opted for a non-emergency yet contrasting weather cloth lining. This is the same fabric we had milled for our Spring 2014 “Skipper Jackets“. This 100% cotton fabric not only feels nice against the skin, it also provides an interesting contrast in texture/hand/feel next to the mil-specs 100% nylon twill shell.
The Helo is a heavy winter jacket of about 3 Lbs.

Designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.


: Mil-specs heavy 2/2 nylon twill, milled in Japan.
Lining: 100% cotton 6 Oz. “Weather Cloth” tightly woven windbreaker popeline, milled in Japan.
Inner: Insulating wool pile.
Two model options:
a) Signal yellow shell/Navy blue linning & knit trims.
b) Navy blue shell/Olive “Jungle” green lining and knit trims.

* Original design inspired by vintage US Air Force flight gear.
* Vintage mil-specs replica parts & trims.
* Heavy duty 1950’s-type “Crown” zipper front closure.
* Inner windflap.
* 100% wool knit collar and cuffs.
* Two inside chest pockets.
* Snap throat tab.
* Expanding knit wrist “V” gussets.
* Arm “cigarette” zipper pocket (fits a case-less iPhone5)
* Bottom cinch string, leather sliders and eyelets.
* Made in Japan.

When needed, professional dry-cleaning ONLY.
Do NOT wash.
Our Helo Jacket is true to size, with somewhat of a slim fit. If you are usual a 38 in msfc jacket, you are a 38 in the Helo.

Please refer to approximate measurements in the chart below. Please note that due to the thickness of the shell/inner/lining, measurements are somewhat subject to interpretation.

Helo Jacket Mister Freedom 2014

Available Un-Issued.

 Retail $849.95

Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.

Mister Freedom® Spot Camo Chute “Jump” Scarf

Mister Freedom Jump Scarf 2014

Mister Freedom Jump Scarf 2014


Mister Freedom Jump Scarf 2014



Ruediger Richter 1966 AP photo Henri Huet

US Army Ruediger Richter, with “1er Régiment Etranger de Parachutistes” tattoo, Vietnam 1966. Photo AP Henri Huet.



Mister Freedom® “CAMO CHUTE SCARF”
June 2014 Edition


On a chilly day of December 1783, French physicist Louis-Sébastien Lenormand figures it would be good idea to challenge gravity by  jumping from the 150 feet-tall Babote Tower in Montpellier. Ever the prudent, he is holding what is basically a large umbrella. Betting galore in the assistance. Sacré bleu
He renames it PARA (against, in Greek) CHUTE (fall, in French), on his way home.

"I got this, guys"

“I got this, guys”

On August 16th 1940, Bill Ryder feels a firm slap on his thigh.
He then instinctively proceeds to jump out of a Douglas C-33, flying 1500 feet above Georgia.
1LT William Thomas “Bill” Ryder had just made the first paratroop jump in the history of the US Military.
On the same sortie, Pvt. William N. “Red” King moves into position, slap… GO! GO! GO!
Red King had become the first American enlisted man to jump out of a flying airplane.
The 48 volunteers of that “U.S. Army Parachute Test Platoon” paved the road for the future paratroopers of the five Airborne Divisions of the US Army.
WW2 was just around the corner, and a mustachioed psychopath had great plans for them.

William-Thomas-Ryder Parachute_Troops

Exiting a flying machine rigged to 65 lbs bundle of white silk fabric, in the dark, over unknown swampy territories, weighted down with some 100 lbs of gear, with angry people shooting at you, will appear to most like a questionable career move. “You fly to work” they said…
But men stepped up to the plate when it counted, and Operation Neptune scattered just enough of these jumpwing-pinned daredevils on the Normandy countryside to get the Kommandantur totally confused on where exactly the invasion was happening. Confused enough to miscalculate the necessary reinforcements needed to block the beachheads.
If it weren’t for the courage of those who bet the pot on that morning of June 6, 1944, and the loooong days ahead, the French would probably be speaking German today, as the saying goes.

D-Day Map Normandy458

It is usually perceived that paratroopers are quite proud of their legacy, training and accomplishments. Some consider themselves above the ‘legs‘ (non-paratroop infantry). They like to stand out in crowds, and won’t mind ruffling brass feathers from time to time. The men of the Filthy Thirteen took this next-level on D-1…

C. Ware & C. Plaudo, England June 1944 Filthy 13, June 5, 1944 Jake McNiece 101 Airborne McNiece Filthy Thirteen

Once airborne, a paratrooper’s best friend is the piece of fabric above his head, hopefully carefully inspected, repaired and folded by the expert riggers. For US paratroopers, it was common practice during WW2 to cut off a piece of the T-5 parachute with your trench knife after your first combat jump. The shredded piece of spot camo fabric would then be used as an ascot to show others you had seen action. This also rendered the canopy un-usable by the enemy, prevented neck rashes from the M37 wool shirts…
As the war progressed, scattered DZ would provide ample camouflage parachute material for troops to use as helmet covers as well.
The fancy neckwear practice also spread to Special Forces units, its popularity extending to the Vietnam conflict.

Maj Roger Donlon 67

Major Roger Donlon, 1967

Now, back on the safe and peaceful shores of sunny California.

The original US Army canopy we used to cut out our “CAMO CHUTE SCARF” from, came out of the dusty storage room of an old Army-Navy store…
I originally thought the fabric was silk but that canopy actually proved to be nylon (a burn-test produced a celery-like smell).
It is of the smooth nylon type (1rst pattern), not the 2nd pattern rip-stop camouflage parachute.
Because incomplete when found (missing sections, chopped suspension lines) there were no markings left to ID it precisely. Later on, when deciding on the stamp for the MF® scarf, I would arbitrarily settle on 1954, as all this happened back in early May 2014, a date marking the 60 years of the fall of Dien Bien Phu.
Not an expert on chutes but it seems nylon replaced silk in parachute production sometime between 1941 and 1943. Camouflage chutes in the U.S. Army were discontinued in the late 1950’s.

Although the canopy is 100% authentic, by respect for the story behind legit paratroopers jump scarves we decided not to make a replica of an original with shredded edges.
Instead we have adapted it a bit, overlocked the edges, added a (faint) blue ink stamp reminiscent of the original chute marking, and the “Sportsman” Made in USA label. They are still rough though, and are no Hermès square.
Each  scarf is unique in shape and size, as we respected the original panel shape. We also left the original splicing of sections (the white stitching flat felled seams).
Again, none of the scarves are perfect rectangles and size/ shape vary.
To really geek-out, the original nylon fabric is selvedge, with green ID, as revealed when we opened one of the seams of a torn panel.

Mister Freedom 2014 Reliance Chute 1943 Reliance-Manufacturing-Co-1942

And that, my friends, is the short story behind the MF® CAMO CHUTE SCARF!

This vintage scarf was re-purposed in California by Mister Freedom®. Limited edition.


Original vintage U.S. Army T-5 type parachute canopy, 100% smooth nylon, silky touch. Beige/olive/green Spot camouflage.

* Inspired by a US Airborne WW2 paratrooper tradition.
*  Overlocked edges
* Soft hand, silk-like.
* Scarf may include original flat-felled seam panel splicing
* Original MF® ink stamp.
* Sportsman label
* Re-purposed in the USA
* Limited edition.

The scarves have been laundered.
Hand wash with mild detergent. Line dry.

Available washed, one size
Retail $129.95

Call the store at 323-653-2014 or email sales@misterfreedom.com with questions.
Soon available on www.misterfreedom.com
Thank you for your support.

* Photo of
Captain Roger Donlon courtesy of Peter McQueen ©Stars and Stripes
* Photo of Jake McNiece courtesy of
Johan Romin.
* Some historical references collected from comments and photos of members of www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ , kind enough to make their knowledge public.

This post is dedicated to “Tonton Jean-Claude“, my Uncle, photographed here sometime in 1957  in the Djebel Grouz (border of Algeria and Morocco),  during his 2LT days in the 14e RCP (Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes), 1ère Section.

Sous-Lieutenant Jean-Claude L'Huillier, circa 1957

Sous-Lieutenant Jean-Claude L’Huillier, circa 1957