‘In Korea, the Air Force used to take the F-86 jocks out onto the field before dawn, in the dark, in buses, and pilots who had not been shot at by a MIG in air-to-air combat had to stand up. At first Gus couldn’t believe it and then he couldn’t bear it - those bastards sitting down with their custom A-26 Papa Nui leather caps were the only ones with the right stuff! The next morning when they tumbled out there in the dark, he was sitting down. He had gone up north toward the Yalu on the first day and had it out with some howling supersonic Chinese just so he could have a seat on the bus and wear an A-26 Papa cap.’
THE A-26 CAP
Any Korean War flyboy who knew his mettle also knew that being a hotshot pilot meant having a style that stood apart from the mil-spec world of the airforce. After a tour of missions above the Yalu with the sky thick with Migs, R&R options were always welcome and a quick trip to Tokyo was an opportunity to unwind and visit the local tailor for a custom leather squadron cap.
Drawing inspiration from these Jet Jockeys and their custom caps, Papa Nui has worked closely with Japan’s finest leather facility in Himeji, Hyogo prefecture, and the John Lofgren Company to introduce the A-26 cap.
The A-26 is a beautiful limited edition mechanics style cap that is realised in front quarter veg tanned Shinki Hikaku Horse hide. Shinki has a naturally rustic and antiqued grain and is a textured luxury hide that darkens and smooths with time and wear. This cap is the perfect pairing with any A-2 aviators jacket and it’s new Olive drab green colour is rich and deep and is off set with tonal stitching. A olive drab herringbone twill sweat band keeps the cap comfortable to wear and the pliable visor allows a nonchalant flip up implying a devil may care attitude.
This is truly the Ace of Caps and is available for October 2021.
-All veg tanned front quarter Shinki horsehide construction.
-Olive Green dyed with tonal stitching poplin taping.