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WW2 LEATHER FLIGHT SUIT


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#1 mackeral

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 02:39 PM

FOUND THIS WW2 LEATHER FLIGHT SUIT IN A US NAVY PARACHUTE BAG WITH A METAL TAG ATTACHED.  WILL DO A FOLLOW UP POST WITH THE TAG.  I ASSUMED THIS IS AN ARMY AIR CORPS HIGH ALTITUDE SUIT BUT THERE IS NO MAKER MARKS AT ALL.

WOULD APPRECIATE ANY OTHER INFO.

Attached Images

  • FLIGHT SUIT 1.jpg
  • FLIGHT SUIT 2.jpg
  • FLIGHT BOOTS.jpg


#2 P-59A

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 03:01 PM

Given your bag is a Navy bag I think this is a set of Navy high altitude leathers.



#3 Navybean

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 04:11 PM

The boots look like AAF A6 flight boots. Is there a AAF tag on the tongue?
The Navy version of the flight boots had two zippers and laced up in the back.

#4 mackeral

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 04:17 PM

THE TONGUES OF BOTH BOOTS SHOW STITCHING WHERE A TAG WAS.


Edited by mackeral, 27 July 2019 - 04:18 PM.


#5 Navybean

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 04:21 PM

The top jacket looks like part of the USN electrically heat flight suit, the bottoms look like M445 flight trousers.
I would say the boots were originally tagged A6 and they are AAF boots

#6 P-59A

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 04:34 PM

Keep in mind a cross over in gear between Navy and Army can be found in the photo's of the time. I wouldn't get to hung up on it. The AN designation found on many items denotes use by Army and Navy. The fact the tags were removed is a fair indication this was the case with your leathers.


Edited by P-59A, 27 July 2019 - 04:45 PM.


#7 mackeral

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 05:47 PM

ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT THEIR VALUE?



#8 P-59A

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 09:13 PM

ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT THEIR VALUE?

The gear with the bag would be the thing that would interest people. I collect USAAF items and to be honest I have no idea what USN flight gear goes for. You have a name on the flight bag. Some research on your part could add some value.


Edited by P-59A, 27 July 2019 - 09:14 PM.


#9 mackeral

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 05:39 AM

i KNOW THAT IN 1943, HE WAS A FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR IN THE NAVAL AVIATION UNIT FOR A LOCAL COLLEGE.  HE WAS 23 YEARS OLD AT THAT TIME.  HE DIED IN TEXAS IN 1997.  STILL WORKING ON IT...



#10 gearup1940

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 08:05 PM

Should be tags inside the jacket and trousers,  the boots appear to be army type A-6,  but Navy also wore them.



#11 mackeral

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 05:29 PM

2 HLB-40-1.jpg Found the tags in the left pocket of jacket and left pocket on leg.  Both have been cut in half but together they say HLB Corp.  Found size tags in the fur, sz 40 for both.  Has slant pockets on jacket and patch pockets on legs of pants.  No vent holes in arm pits.  Zippers ar "Talon".  The fly has two button up snaps.  Slant pockets on pants have no lining.

Anyone have any info on HLB Corp?  I think I saw a movie a long time ago where the Navy was experimenting with flight suits before the War and they were changing to electric.  In other words, I think the electric suits were just a modification of their earlier suits.

Any thoughts?

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  • 2HLB-40-2.jpg


#12 IrishLegion

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 03:46 PM

Looks to be in great condition. Nice find!



#13 pararaftanr2

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 10:31 PM

"HLB" is reported to stand for Harry L. Breslow, the founder of the company, which made both civilian and military clothing.

 

HLB Corp., NY had contracts for flight clothing with both the US Navy and the USAAF before, and during, WW2, however neither your jacket, or trousers, conform to any wartime military products. These appear to be either civilian, commercially available items, or of pre-war military vintage. A close look at the labels could probably determine which, as military production should include a contract number that would indicate which service they were made for. As pointed out previously, the boots do appear to be similar to USAAF A-6 winter flying boots. The Navy did use a leather electrically heated suit during wartime, however it was one piece and did not have a fur lining. If electrically heated, you would be able to feel the wires inside and there would be a cord with plug for the electrical connection. Based on what information you provided about the original owner, being affiliated with a local collage, it sounds like he was possibly a civilian flight instructor in the Navy's aviation cadet primary flight program. 



#14 mackeral

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 08:57 AM

Para,  that makes sense that he may have been a civilian.  The flight bag has a name on it (Gene B. Whetstone) but no indication of rank.  Military people almost always indicate rank.  Thanks to everyone for the help.

 




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