Naval Aviation Old School

CDR Salamander was talkin’ bout some old Naval Uniforms, including the not very lamented Service Dress Grey of World War II.

That put me in mind of one of my all time favorite uniforms of the Navy. The Aviation Working Green Uniform.


Because of the chilly, dirty nature of early aviation, long before anyone had the bright idea to wear a flight suit, the pioneer Naval Aviators sought a uniform that was warm enough to wear in an open cockpit airplane, and not quite as susceptible to grease stains as, say, the choker white uniform, or the Service Dress Blue uniform. The result was a forrest green uniform that, from the early 1920s to its untimely demise in 2011, was almost unchanged. It also gave us one of the most cherished uniform items of the aviation community, the brown shoes.

The AWG uniform was always optional. That is, officers and chiefs in the aviation community could wear it, but weren’t required to either own or wear it. After the introduction of the flight suit, and the widespread use of the various khaki uniforms over the years, the AWG was somewhat marginalized. Still, it was a great looking uniform. And it confused the heck out of a lot of people. Most folks don’t typically think of sailor types wearing a green uniform.

I still have fond memories as a child of seeing my dad off to work while he wore his greens.

SteeljawScribe has a nice post from a couple years ago about the history of the AWG in Naval History.

6 thoughts on “Naval Aviation Old School”

  1. Martin Balsam is (I believe) wearing something like this in the movie “The Bedford Incident” precipitating an exchange between himselft and CO (played by Richard Widmark). Gritty movie.

    1. I think Marty reported aboard wearing SDBs with a dark combo cover, which had been eliminated shortly after WWII.

  2. My uncle was a former enlisted NAP and later commissioned. Retired a commander.

    He was buried in his Aviation Greens.

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