Price€100£85.00 WITH TAXES & DUTY PAID



RemarksThe Real McCoy's MC24007

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The MILITARY TEE / FOURTH BUT FIRST is a grey melange athletic tee that showcases a rubber print of the Fighting Eagle mascot, inspired by the 4th Fighter Wing. The rubber print has been applied by hand at our Kobe-based factory. Finishing the tee is a binder neck, designed to maintain the shape of the neckline over time and repeated washes.

The finish of this gray Melange MILITARY TEE / FOURTH BUT FIRST is made by blending different coloured fibres into one yarn. The resulting marled texture and colour ‘Heather’ - named for the Heather Plant - is synonymous with athletic training apparel from the 1920s - ‘50s. The reasons for its invention are numerous, amateur sports teams often played in solid black, white or hooped jerseys when the cost of coloured dyes was still prohibitive and the introduction of a gray fabric for sweatpants and sweatshirts, often worn while warming up or on the benches was beneficial for its neutrality. However, achieving a consistent gray colour was challenging with the technology of the time. The Heather finish was extremely forgiving in production, which benefited the factory’s bottom line with a higher yield of fabric and was ideal for sportswear, with the distortion effect meaning stains were harder to see, while the resilience of the fabric could be improved by using a mix of fibres.

Customisation and design motifs that distinguish squadrons continue to counterpoint the uniformity of the United States Airforce; with motifs appearing on scarves, emblems and athletic t-shirts, which makes some of these units so iconic.

The 4th Fighter Wing, also known as the Fighting Eagles, has been operating since 1942, first being activated in England and comprising former U.S. members of RAF Eagle Squadrons. Earning a reputation as a unit that could achieve significant results during the Second World War, the entry into the Korean War in the 1950s would ultimately see the unit produce six ace pilots.

For 70 years the 4th Fighter Wing has persisted in setting a standard of excellence in air power and defence. The motto ‘Fourth but First” is a phrase that follows a series of “firsts” in the squadron, having been the first airforce unit to be activated in the European Theatre of War during WW2, where they were the first group to engage in the destruction of enemy aircraft. They would also be the first wing to deploy to Korea, where they responded to the USS Pueblo crisis in 1968. They were additionally the inaugural wing to receive the F-15E Strike Eagle, which was deployed during Operation Desert Storm.

  • 100% Cotton, 8oz
  • Fighting Eagle mascot, rubber print
  • Tubular Design
  • Cotton Sewing Thread Construction
  • Made in Japan