Vietnam-era vintage Nomex Aramid flight jacket, $10.

Military memorabilia can offer you some really nice opportunities, but the items that fans of militaria are after - and the reasons they're after them - often aren't that obvious to the rest of us. Flame resistant apparel is costly and always in demand, especially when it comes in the form of a nice Nomex flight jacket!

The Nomex flight jacket in this entry is an interesting example of an item that may be of interest to your eBay bidders, because it actually appeals to them on two separate levels.

This is a genuine military fire retardant Nomex flight jacket. See the last line in the label, where it says '100% AROMATIC POLYAMIDE'? The newer jackets say 'ARAMID' on the tag. But regardless of what the tag says, the shiny appearance of the material tells us that this jacket is known in the military as a 'Nomex' flight jacket, Nomex being DuPont's trade name for this flame resistant material.

This jacket was intended to protect its wearer from fire onboard the aircraft. The military aviator who wore this jacket would have also worn a Nomex flight suit, Nomex gloves, and likely also Nomex long underwear.

The coolest thing about these Nomex jackets is that they just look like they should be worn over a military flight suit, don't they? Unlike so much other military clothing, which make the wearer look like he's on the way to a backwoods militia training camp, this jacket looks quite nice. The shiny green finish gives it a very classy look. From my personal experience with these jackets, I know that the buyer of this jacket will probably be a guy who works in aviation in some capacity.

Besides being an attractive and functional piece of clothing, this jacket could also be considered an authentic Vietnam War-era artifact, dating from 1973. Notice the writing inside the jacket on the label: 'VMFP-3 El Toro.' Some quick Google research revealed that this stands for the Marine Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron 3, which was actually activated on 1 July 1975, on the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, California, as part of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing. And of course, at one time, this jacket's owner was one Captain C.D. Howell. So, although there's nothing to guarantee it, this jacket may very well have seen some sort of active duty in the war.

So, there you have it - a cool looking piece of military clothing with the very practical qualities of being warm and fire-retardant. And although there's no real historical importance to what's written on the tag, what's likely to matter to the buyer is that this jacket quite possibly saw use in actual combat. It just sort of lends a bit of personality and provenance to an otherwise unremarkable jacket, and fans of militaria really like that.

As a final note here, let's not forget another reason that you should buy any of these Nomex flight jackets you see, provided, of course, that they're in undamaged condition. Depending on the whims of your eBay crowd, these jackets generally sell for $50 to $200, for the basic fact that they cost the Government a lot of money. I know this from a painful experience because while in the Air Force years ago, one of mine was stolen and I had to pay Uncle Sam $200 for another one - and that was in 1986 dollars!

This Vietnam -era Nomex flight jacket sold for $135 on eBay, to a pilot in the Philippines.

Photo of Vietnam era Nomex flight jacket