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Collection from Italy: #2 P-38 Pilot, Tropical Environment

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Thanks Mathieu, too kind!!.


This P-38 guy is my preferred, too. Could go together with the F4U pilot as for realistic look among the "vintage" ones. As for the CBI theater, I preferred put together a small collection of Blood Chits and shoulder patches in order to have something related to it.

These pilots alone (plus some modern) weren't a small effort in those days.

Regards - Franco.

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Relating to Blue Leader's post #27,

a full CBI pilot (if so was meaning Blue?..) could be not all that requiring who knows more than, I believe, an AAF PTO pilot - not to mention a USN pilot, with all his rich and "elaborated" equipment (I saw myself what needed in order to make a complete and correct F4U Corsair pilot, and even so it still misses the "infamous" QAS 'chute harness and the M-592's contents).


So many pics I saw of CBI fighter pilots China or India-based, and all of them show airmen wearing a fligh suit, more often their plain uniforms (shirt and trousers, simply); often an A-2 jacket over that shirt; often the B-3 or B-4 Life Vest, but sometimes even not (!!); not alwais the oxy. mask; their parachute most of instances a AN-6510 seat type, but (almost) always left in the plane's cockpit.

This P-38 guy is rich enough of items (do not know whether anything else more I could have put on it), and in my opinion certainly more than could be a CBI pilot.

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Hi Franco,


You have right ! The difficulty for a CBI pilot is to have a patched shirt and an A-2 flying jacket with Blood Chits sewn on.
The flying equipement can be "elaborated" : B-2 emergency back pad fixed to the seat parachute, knife, canteen, holster, A-9 oxygen mask, A-9 flying helmet rigger made with adjonction of ear cushions ...
I have noticed also an another equipement worn by the fighter pilots of the 10th Air Force, a sort of cloth belt. Does somebody know what is it (here on the left shoulder of the pilot in the center) ?








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Hi Mathieu, I saw that for the first time - do not know what could be it? Interesting anyway.


As for the CBI pilot, I think it could range from a least equipped one but still 100% plausible (say, one from early 1943 flying P-40s and tasked with "ground work" supporting the friendly forces) to one of early 1945 flying P-51 from Luliang to Taiwan and back, most of time at medium or high-altitude.

In the latter instance, perhaps, we'll have almost a copy of a P-51 guy in the PTO as for the issued gear. But more generally speaking, possible displays are indeed many to choose among.

Most of photos I saw of CBI fighter pilots in mid-war timeframe, more or less, look like not particularly equipped: helmet/goggles, holster and knife, seldom the mask, seldom the Life Vest, shirt/trousers more than a flight suit, often (not always) the A-2 jacket, and of course the seat-type parachute.



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I know exactly what that belt is, it is an escape and evasion or money belt. Its a cloth belt that contains maps, money and other articles for E&E purposes. The belt pockets are sewn shut and are a controlled item only to be opened for use or by respective intelligence officers. These belts you are seeing are strictly a CBI item. I happen to have MIS-X and CBI intelligence documents discussing and describing this belt.

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Very complete and detailed set up there, nicely done!

506th Fighter Group Historian

Interested in all items relating to the 7th AAF, especially those of the VLR P-51 Pilots of the 15th, 21st, and 506th Fighter Groups.



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Thanks for the appreciation Waltz41 :)


Yes I really put a lot of time and researches in it. All done in a not-Internet period, this could explain the long time needed (for some other pilots, it was a very long one).

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For this mannequinn also, original plan was different from what subsequently evolved,


I was fascinated by a possible David Clark G-3 anti-G pants coming shortly into my hands, as a "price" to be paid for three airbrush jobs on modern HGU-style helmets I in effect did for an Italian collector. With this in mind I did all the three works in my spare time, mainly at evenings and by night (in total, about 75 hours work through five weeks) and already I had got the khaki AN-S-31 suit, in order to have nice contrast against the dark green (in this instance) G-3.

Things went in different way, after I better saw the G-3 myself having it in the hands. Item was actually in a rather so-so conditions and the guy had a later variant G-3A, instead, in almost new condition.


Airbrush jobs were by then done with very nice results, and helmets anyway were not mine, so I thought at the near -completed character displaying as USAF F-86 pilot in Korea; this one still needed only a G-garment and a proper oxy. mask, so I thought of the many pics I had seen about the anti-G suits in the Korean war - virtually all were G-3A (if there were any G-4A or G-4B in use, I never saw one),

in the end I decided to go on having the G-3A from the collector (with that, the jet pilot was nearing a bit more the final result) but relying on some items already at hand for a realistic guy in a tropical environment. I also had to re-paint the manequinn in a more "tanned" skin color, thinking suit's sleeves would have been rolled up - more skin exposed, yet plausible in this case.

B-8 back parachute and C-2 Life Raft pack came even more late - the raft pack, something like 6 years after the very first assembling.

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  • 1 month later...

The very pointed collar's tips are typical of the AN-S-31 and AN-6550 summer flight suits.


Widely used up to war's last day, even though the newer K-1 (and in a lesser degree, the L-1) suits saw service still during later wartime.

In comparison, Navy-used flight suits like the later M-668 (and the identical, green Nylon suits) do sport very rounded collars - almost identical to collars of the 15-years later, USAF K-2B suits.


Collar tips of the lightweight, khaki variant AN-S-31:




The virtually identical AN-6550:


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A short 'chute webbing strip was added to B-8's right front strap, forming a loop. From it, a "D" variant of the triangular parachute ring was suspended - perhaps in order to have something useful placed at hand if needed.

I left it, as found originally.




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  • 5 months later...

A dealer (and collector) who knows my collection will be next November at a italian Militaria not far from here, bringing among his stuff a brand-new A-10 (or A-10A) summer helmet.

He states the headgear worn here by P-38 mannequinn, flght helmet w/o earphones + radio headset in HS-33 style is uncorrect for a figfhter pilot, being this subject to hard and sudden maneuvres in combat. I think he would be glad to sell his A-10 to me :rolleyes: .


I do not agree of course. Aside from being my AN-H-15 (early specimen) and the headset a nice pair, I had at the time seen many a photo of fighter guys going in combat wearing a headset over helmets showing up the same, be they the summer ones or A-11 intermediate - P-61 pilots, for example.

And P-38 pilots as well, there are at least two color pics of Capt. Haning of 475th Fighter Group (P.T.O.) wearing a headset over a summer helmet - though this possibly a A-9 helmet, pic should be from about mid-'43.

With collection over since some years and having standards I believe to be high, I could be willing currently to spend a VERY moderate amount of euros for something really adding a last and worthy touch to some guys wich still need it. Much possibly I'll be there at the show if nothing serious will surface, my last time dates from several years back.

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