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History of the Navigator Briefcase

“The Navigator Briefcase was something that came from a design on an old WWII Army Air Corp Navigator Bag that is a part of my personal collection. The design seemed timeless; and with all the compartments inside, I thought it would be a perfect fit for today’s busy executive.” 

– Colonel

Vintage Navigator Briefcase, Col. Littleton No. 1943 Navigator Briefcase and old army jacket on the back of a restored command car
Colonel's Personally Restored 1941 WC-6 Command Car

The Original Navigator Briefcase

Type A-4 Navigator Briefcases were issued to US bomber crews in World War II to store their maps, paperwork, pencils and navigation equipment needed to guide the bomber planes to their target and back home safely again.

No. 1943 Navigator Briefcase Leather Variations

Colonel initially designed the No. 1943 Navigator Briefcase using Vintage Brown American Steerhide to resemble the original Navigator Briefcase. A few years later, American Buffalo leather was incorporated into the Col. Littleton Collection, and Colonel anticipated that this variation would be particularly striking.

After having the American Steerhide Navigator Briefcase in the line for several years, Colonel decided to experiment with American Alligator. The result was a work of art.

Extra Tidbits of History

A history enthusiast all his life, Colonel frequently tries to incorporate elements with historic significance into his work. On the No. 1943 Navigator Briefcases, you’ll find two particularly unique features. 

Perhaps the most exclusive feature of this incredible leather briefcase is the custom designed, solid brass closure – designed and manufactured by Colonel Littleton himself on a kick press from the 1800’s.

On the back of each bag, you’ll find a pommel shield featuring the bag’s serial number. Historically, the pommel shield was used on U.S. Cavalry saddles to identify the seat size and, many times, the arsenal that supplied them.

1943 Navigator Briefcase in Vintage Brown Steerhide - pommel view - on a wood table with a dark background
Pommel Shield
No. 1943 Navigator Briefcase in Vintage Brown American Alligator - Serial number 009 - claspe view
Solid Brass Closure

Hear It From Colonel

Discover more about the design of the No. 1943 Navigator Briefcase, what it can carry, and how it functions in Colonel’s video below.

Published: May 22, 2024

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