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WWII era USAAF fighter pilot's anti-G trousers


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#1 Gregory

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 07:08 AM

Hello,

The USAAF were the first air forces in the world that late WWII introduced anti-G trousers for their ETO-based fighter pilots. Does anybody have them in his collection and would be ready to present its cutter tag, details and general view?

Do you know what was correct name of this flight gear? Was a counterpart of the USAAF anti-G trousers in the USN fighter aviation as well?

Any replies nicely welcomed.

Best regards

Greg

#2 pmshindy

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 03:14 PM

Gregory,

I do not have a G Suit but I do have a bag for the suit. The bag is an OD 10" square by about 3" deep with two sewn in handles with a talon zipper.
On it are the spec.

Suit-Pneumatic Anti "G"
specification No C-3231
stock No. 8300-858470
order No. (W33-038) AC-7744
The Berger Bros. Company
property US Army Air Forces
Type G3A

I have a copy of Gear Up by Jon A. Maguire which has the suit in it. According to this book it was introduced in Nov. 1944 as standard issue to Fighter pilots in the Army Air Force.

Let me know what you find out and I would also like to add one to my collection.

pmshindy

#3 Gregory

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 01:55 AM

Paul,

Thank you very much! Valuable info at the beginning. So far I know only a drawing of G3A at the color plate of the "Mustang Aces of the Eight Air Force" book by Jerry Scutts (Osprey, ISBN 1 855324474), page 54. If I am not mistaken G3As were issued only to the P-47 and P-51 pilots but I have never seen any picture of the pilot wearing those trousers. They are very interesting because they were born before their times. Imagine that the WarPac air forces have never had such trousers even in 1980s.

Best regards

Greg

#4 bobgee

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 07:46 AM

Hello,

The USAAF were the first air forces in the world that late WWII introduced anti-G trousers for their ETO-based fighter pilots. Does anybody have them in his collection and would be ready to present its cutter tag, details and general view?

Do you know what was correct name of this flight gear? Was a counterpart of the USAAF anti-G trousers in the USN fighter aviation as well?

Any replies nicely welcomed.

Best regards

Greg


Howdy Greg

Your post forced me into some storage boxes. I have owned a WWII G-3 Anti-blackout suit for a number of years. I was an avid USAAF collector for a long time. This outfit came from the estate of a pilot named Major Anderson who flew P-51s with the 435th F.S.479th F.G. in the 8th AF. I did not get it directly. Enjoy the pictures The stamped data reads: "Size - Large-Tall, Suit Type G-3, Spec.#C3231, Stock # (blank), Order #(33-038) 45-2560-AF, David Clark Co. Inc, Property of U.S.A.A.F." Enjoy the pictures. Bobgee

G_Suit_Pics_003.jpg
G_Suit_Pics_002.jpg
G_Suit_Pics_001.jpg

#5 Lee Ragan

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 08:40 AM

If you ever hear a fighter pilot refer to his "speed jeans", you will now know what he is talking about! :lol:

#6 Gregory

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 09:47 AM

Wow friends! Thank you very much! The topic develops better than I thought.

At the end of our discuss I will write you small off-topic story of 1990 when I did an interview with the Polish MiG-29 pilot. It will be related to various anti-G solutions for the fighter pilot's legs but this story will be hard to believe for you.

But in the meantime -- could you explain me please how the G-3 operated? Were they hand-pumped by the pilot before take-off and they have constant pressure during flight and dog fight? Or were they similar to modern anti-G trousers and they had their own installation composed of compressor, pressure conduits, G-meter, valve, pressure control system etc.? This second system would require specially modified P-47s and P-51s with various engine and other mechanical modifications for the pilot's anti-G trousers but I have never heard about such modifications in WWII-era USAAF fighters.

And one more thing -- in your posts we do have so far two wordings (trousers variants), i.e. G-3 and G3A. Is G-3 older and G3A modified variant or not?

What about WWII-era USN fighter pilots and their anti-G protection?


I am very thankful for all your posts!

Best regards

Greg

Edited by Gregory, 11 January 2008 - 09:59 AM.


#7 bobgee

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 10:20 AM

Greg - To answer your question about Navy Anti-G suits, they had them also at the end of the war. I got one from a pilot many years ago who flew F6F Hellcats in combat in the Pacific. Here is a pic alongside the USAAF G-3 suit. It is on the left and you can see it is very similar to the USAAF version. The label is shown and has the same manufacturer but no BuAero number. I also got a later version anti-G suit, actually a flight suit called the Suit: Anti-Blackout, Type: Z2 Coverall. Label shown below. Made of nylon, this is from the Korean War era early-mid 1950s I believe. Enjoy the pics. Bobgee

G_Suit_Pics_006.jpg
G_Suit_Pics_005.jpg

G_Suit_Pics.jpg

#8 Gregory

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 11:28 AM

Bobgee!

Three times my great "Thank you!" for you. :)

Does anybody have "Life" magazine of January 29th, 1945? I do not have it but I know that there is an article there on anti-blackout G-suit for the pilots. If somebody could post the scans of this article I would be very grateful.

One more time thank you very much!

Greg

#9 Lightning Ace

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 11:17 PM

I had the USAAF Anti G Suit in a large size with its original storage bag but I sold it several years ago to a dentist from Puerto Rico who was a big WW II USAAF and NAF collector. I could send you a picture of it hanging on the wall in my collection room but the KB's are to big and I don't know how to downsize pictures yet.
Mike






Hello,

The USAAF were the first air forces in the world that late WWII introduced anti-G trousers for their ETO-based fighter pilots. Does anybody have them in his collection and would be ready to present its cutter tag, details and general view?

Do you know what was correct name of this flight gear? Was a counterpart of the USAAF anti-G trousers in the USN fighter aviation as well?

Any replies nicely welcomed.

Best regards

Greg



#10 Gregory

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 11:51 PM

I had the USAAF Anti G Suit in a large size with its original storage bag but I sold it several years ago to a dentist from Puerto Rico who was a big WW II USAAF and NAF collector. I could send you a picture of it hanging on the wall in my collection room but the KB's are to big and I don't know how to downsize pictures yet.
Mike

Hello Mike,

The images are nicely welcomed. I am still very interested in that trousers. It was pioneer such gear in the world then and WarPac could only dream about such trousers through decades of Cold War.

Test your uploading of photos in USMF section PHOTOS & IMAGING which is for just for new forumers.

Best regards
Greg

#11 Lightning Ace

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 01:02 PM

Thanks Greg I'll try it.

Mike

#12 Tseuh

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 07:44 AM

Hello,

Here is contribution to this interesting post.
I own a G-3 and a G-3A suits.

G-3 front :
Posted Image

G-3 back :
Posted Image

G-3 label :
Posted Image

G-3A front :
Posted Image

G-3A back :
Posted Image

G-3A label :
Posted Image

G-3A carrying bag :
Posted Image

Tim.

#13 Bob Hudson

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 08:18 AM

gsuit.jpg

gsuitlabel.jpg

gsuitinstr.jpg

gsuitcu.jpg

gsuitbag.jpg

#14 Gregory

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 12:20 PM

Hi Friends,

Thanks a lot for so interesting continuation of this thread. :thumbsup:

In post No. 6 of January 11th, 2008 I promised little story about anti-G trousers. In the first anniversary of that promise it is the highest time to write it.

It was in 1991. I led then the Air Forces Department in the Polish aerospace magazine. It was two years after our political revolution when in 1989 the 3rd Republic of Poland was born and communist system bankrupted the same as its funny WarPac good enough for cabaret but not for modern battlefield. For Poland it was a time of great come back to all social-political democratic values of the 2nd Republic of interwar period. The Polish military cooperated then very intensively with media to join this fantastic period of the Polish fundamental transformation and return to normal world after half a century long Soviet occupation.

Just in 1991 mentioned I interviewed the Polish fighter pilots of MiG-29s. Poland bought the most sophisticated variant 9.12A of those fighters as the Soviets accepted for export for the WarPac countries. The Polish pilots of MiG-29s were trained by the Soviet instructors in USSR at Astrakhan. The dog fights were of course an integral part of that training. The dog fights, when 8g, 9g and more is absolutely normal for fighter pilots. Believe, or not, but both the Soviets and Poles did not use then anti-G trousers in such fighters as MiG-29s. Nobody manufactured professional anti-G trousers for fighter pilots in entire WarPac. Because I was a sport pilot and I knew what does it mean 5g, 6g, maybe also 7g in aerobatics during my interview with the Polish MiG-29 pilots I could not believe they flew without anti-G trousers. It was funny situation -- I asked them: "And you wanted to fight against NATO wearing normal trousers without anti-G system? Do you know that the Americans have had such trousers since 1944 and the WarPac in 1990s still knows nothing about such trousers? Hahaha." They laughed with me and told that the Soviet pilots of MiG-29s before flight bandaged strongly their thighs and it had to serve them as entire "anti-G system". Last 20 years I am still ROTFLing at those idiots who were the WarPac's decision makers. :lol:

Best regards
Greg

#15 Cobrahistorian

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 12:33 PM

Awesome story Gregory, and absurd that they'd consider going into modern jet combat without such equipment. Fortunately it never came to a shooting war and former adversaries are now trusted friends!

I've got a G3A suit as well, which I'll dig out and take pics of at some point over the next week or so. Fascinating piece of equipment. Someday soon when i get my flabby butt back into shape, it'll fit properly again too!

Jon

#16 Gregory

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 12:50 PM

Awesome story Gregory, and absurd that they'd consider going into modern jet combat without such equipment. Fortunately it never came to a shooting war and former adversaries are now trusted friends!

Hello Jon,

I doubt that the Polish Air Force would ever shoot one bullet against NATO. The PAF has always been very patriotic even under Soviet occupation. In 1956, when serious anti-communist riot took place in Poland, the Soviets moved ahead with their tanks to the Polish borders. The PAF's C-in-C announced Red Alert then and told the Soviets very clear ultimatum -- "one Soviet tank crosses Polish border and entire PAF takes off against the Soviet armored units". And The Reds went home.

Best regards
Greg

Edited by Gregory, 20 January 2010 - 01:04 PM.


#17 Gregory

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 02:26 PM

And final of that story. Every one horror of our life finishes sooner or later. The F-16C Block 52M+ in the background and the PAF's fighter pilot equipped as good as NATO standards require it.

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  • 1.jpg


#18 Gordon B

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 06:19 PM

USAAF first to use G Suit?, better get the facts right before prouting off again

Beginnings of the G Suit, the Franks Flying Suit
Wing Commander Wilbur Rounding Franks of the Banting Institute of Toronto, along with his co-developer, Sir Fredrick Banting, had reached an advanced stage with his independently conceived solution to the blackout problem prior to and immediately following the commencement of World War two in 1939.
The Franks' hydrostatic suit, so called because pressure on the pilot's limbs was exerted by water-filled sacs, was the first suit devised that afforded protection against blackout.

Cotton Aero-dynamic Anti-G (CAAG) Suit
Prof. Frank Cotton of Sydney University, Australia, in 1931 described a novel method for determining the centre of gravity of the body. Cotton's doctoral thesis was on 'Studies in centre of gravity changes' and he published his doctoral thesis on the physiology of circulation and respiration.
In 1932 he was awarded a Rockefeller travelling scholarship and spent eighteen months in the United States of America. Appointed reader in 1938, he would become senior research fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council in 1939-45.
Research commenced late in 1940, and a suit was designed with rubber sacs covered externally by inextensible material. His research led to the development of the anti G aerodynamic suit designed to protect fighter pilots. The suits were manufactured in Australia by Dunlop Rubber Company.
It was researched that without a suit the maximum acceleration that could be tolerated by a pilot without loss of vision was 6 G. The sacs automatically inflated when G forces increased during flying. In a later centrifuge test carried out just before he left on a mission to Canada and the United States, Cotton was, while clad in the anti-G suit, exposed to about 9 G. (7 G. at the head and 11 G. at the feet) for 35 seconds, without blacking out.

Initially tested on a centrifuge specially built at Sydney University, it was then flight-tested in the sole Hurricane aircraft previously donated to the RAAF from the RAF in 1941.
Cotton freely communicated his ideas and experimental results to Americans working on the subject, and from then on the suit was developed rapidly, though not without a great deal of additional experimental work.

The Americans quickly realised its potentialities.

While the suit was being developed in the United States, further work was being done on it in Australia. Improvements were made in the local suit, especially to the valve regulating the air pressure. The valve as designed by Cotton worked easily and accurately enough, but required more compressed air than could be conveniently carried in an aircraft. An economical and ingenious valve was subsequently invented by Dr Myers of the National Standards Laboratory.

To comply with air force requirements the suit had to be easily donned and be reasonably comfortable to wear, light and lasting, and as nearly fireproof as possible.
In order of aircraft type, its deployment was to be originally to be equipped Kittyhawk, Spitfire and then Boomerang. In the end, it would be for the Spitfire only. 2 Flying Personnel Research Unit was the unit responsible for its development and later introduction in service with the RAAF.
Once it met these requirements the suit was officially adopted and the 1st Fighter Wing, under the command of Group Captain Caldwell, was trained in its use in late 1943. The RAAF went insofar as to provide Cool Rooms (air-conditioning) at each forward base for the pilots to change into and to wait prior to a scramble to reduce heat fatigue on the pilots.
The wing, then based in the Northern Territory, were extremely critical and reluctant to wear the vulcanised rubber CAAG Suit in combat due to its bulkiness, overheating, fire hazard and perceived difficulty in bailing out of a stricken aircraft.
Comments such as removing the enclosed feet section of the rubber suit and to be able to wear normal flying suit and combat boots, were passed on.
There are no records that state that the suit was used operationally in combat.
As earlier mentioned, the Canadians had earlier developed a water-filled suit, which the RAF adopted, but comparative trials in 1944 by the Royal Air Force concluded that: "There is no doubt the Cotton Suit gives the best protection." He therefore, as an Australian, had led in design the world's first successful gas-operated anti-G suit.
This principle of gas-inflatable bladders is still used in the modern anti-G Suit.
Compiled by Gordon R Birkett @2008

And we have pics of the prototypes and operational data per use even in the Northern Territory, mid 1943!!

What next? Roll Royce Merlin engine was American designed? LOL


Aussie Aussie Aussie!
Gordy

#19 Gregory

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 12:09 PM

Hello,

USAAF first to use G Suit?, better get the facts right before prouting off again

As can be seen, I hope, this thread is about the practice of aviation of WWII era -- not about theories, prototypes, R&D works and short runs of anti-G trousers used by small groups of pilots not necessarily in frontline units. If I would like to discuss about the theories, prototypes and R&D works at anti-blackout flight gear then I would set up the thread on Frederick P. Dillon's anti-blackout pilot's seat researched and developed before "mid 1943" as mentioned in your post.

The Americans used anti-G trousers during WWII normally, operationally and in larger quantities without any atmosphere of "big invention" and "aviation medicine revolution". These are the facts desired by you. ;)

And we have pics of the prototypes and operational data per use even in the Northern Territory, mid 1943!!

Would not you like to post the photographs of the groups of frontline RAAF's fighter pilots wearing the Australian-designed and made anti-G trousers? Do you have any data how many such trousers was issued to operational fighter squadrons of the RAAF excluding test units at the rears? Many years I collected, among others, the Kookaburra books dedicated to RAAF fighters of WWII and I do not remember the Australian figher pilot wearing anti-G trousers.

This thread is on anti-G flight gear used on grand scale and operationally only. :)

Regards
Greg

Edited by Gregory, 23 January 2010 - 12:16 PM.


#20 Gordon B

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 06:53 PM

Hello,
As can be seen, I hope, this thread is about the practice of aviation of WWII era -- not about theories, prototypes, R&D works and short runs of anti-G trousers used by small groups of pilots not necessarily in frontline units. If I would like to discuss about the theories, prototypes and R&D works at anti-blackout flight gear then I would set up the thread on Frederick P. Dillon's anti-blackout pilot's seat researched and developed before "mid 1943" as mentioned in your post.

The Americans used anti-G trousers during WWII normally, operationally and in larger quantities without any atmosphere of "big invention" and "aviation medicine revolution". These are the facts desired by you. ;)
Would not you like to post the photographs of the groups of frontline RAAF's fighter pilots wearing the Australian-designed and made anti-G trousers? Do you have any data how many such trousers was issued to operational fighter squadrons of the RAAF excluding test units at the rears? Many years I collected, among others, the Kookaburra books dedicated to RAAF fighters of WWII and I do not remember the Australian figher pilot wearing anti-G trousers.

This thread is on anti-G flight gear used on grand scale and operationally only. :)

Regards
Greg


Sorry Greg,

The original thread, in the beginning didn't narrow down as stated in your last comment. Perhaps there is no interest on the "how and where it was first trialled or its first use", so I'll stop annoying you.

My sources are from RAAF Documents and Unit History sheets which are available in the National Australian Archives.

BTW; Here's a pic of a RAAF Pilot wearing such garb, but I'll end there with my apolgises for presenting what I had in my prior thread. Also, though not necessarily part of the ETO, but in the SWPAC they were used operationally from November 1943 by 452Sqn. They were withdrawn from use in July 44. Later only 548 and 549 Sqns RAF in Darwin NT flying Spitfire MKVIIIs were fitted with the modifications and G Suits, These Units conducted airdefence of Darwin and would also later conduct offensive operations in 1945 on Japanese held NEI Islands above. As you've hinted, details of operational use are not documented

Though Kookaburra books are good, there are many more details missed such as operations by 548 and 549 Sqns and in time, should be updated with new research and additional facts presented. So,.."buyer beware"

Ciao
Gordon

Attached Images

  • A58_CAAg_Suit_1FW_Pilot.jpeg

Edited by Gordon B, 23 January 2010 - 07:11 PM.


#21 Gregory

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 01:00 AM

Hi Gordy,

I have always been big fan of the Australian Spitfire Mk VIIIs -- in my opinion the most beautiful members of the Spitfire family. The British underestimated them but in the Australian hands they were excellent weapon. And those Australian painting schemes!

Thanks for posting the Australian WWII era pilot wearing anti-G trousers. I hope we agree that I could not set up here the thread about world R&D works at anti-blackout flight gear because we have to remember where we are -- the USMF is dedicated to US history only. Such a thread about world R&D would be good for "12 O'Clock High!" forum but not for USMF here. It would be too much international thread to post it within the framework of US military affairs only. Preparing such a thread we would have to remember about basic questions as, for instance, who delivered measuring equipment in 1930s for aviation laboratories working at G-force. The best world accelerometers and accelerographs were manufactured in two continents by such companies as Badin, Kollsman, HMP, Smith and Beaudouin.

Best regards
Greg

#22 Gordon B

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 02:15 AM

Agreed Mate :thumbsup:

#23 Bebel

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 01:03 PM

Very interesting thread. Thank you. I have also a G-3A in my collection but not so nice as yours gentlemen! Congratulations.
But anybody have a first G-4 suit? I have never seen one and very few documentation seems to be talk about. I would be also very interested by knowing the date of the spécification of the G-4A and G-4B versions later at the end of the 40'.

Franck

G-4B from the cold war

EDIT: Picture is lost


Edited by cutiger83, 31 July 2014 - 09:32 AM.
update dead photo link


#24 dustin

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 07:42 PM

Thought I would resurrect this ole thread with this image

IMG_0015(0)c.jpg

 



#25 MWalsh

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 07:56 AM

The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota helped develop the original g-suits during WW2. Perhaps their public information folks would have more info related to this in the event anyone is seeking more details.


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