Jump to content

"Transitional" USN Summer Flight Gloves?


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

took from the "garbage" these leather, USN-marked flight gloves to show to a collector - maybe interested in them. I thought to exploit this by sharing some pics here both of them and of a pair original, WW2-period aviator's gloves.
Remember reading a old, hot Forum's debate regarding some mistakes claimed to be present in a series books, written about the WW2 clothing/equipment/uniforms of Navy aviator's. Among the noticed things, author's statement by wich some gloves' makers could have produced summer gloves sporting the black "U.S.N." markings in black, other than the much recognized and more usual silver.
I had them along many years until I found out a pair of brand-new, original WW2 gloves in one of three-four yellow or cream shades (in addition to brown ones). And so, the correct ones went on my "F4U pilot" mannequin. Those other are a bit puzzling to me, they are not the '60s true B-3A pattern we so often see here and there on Internet (and even too often, put for sale as "WW2 original Navy flight gloves").
Could be useful to add that, in turn, those more modern, yellow B-3A gloves of 1960s are known to exist even without rectangular line outside the USN letters - in addition to the much-known variant with rectangular line.


In my opinion these USN, black-marked gloves could pretty well be original - I do mean, not a modern copy. They should not be the correct pattern of wartime period but, still aren't much later in time. At least, so it looks to me.

An IMPORTANT note: inside markings and shape are almost identical to the wartime ones, BUT, the outside black marking is decidedly not well-printed. Quality doesn't match in perfection the earlier's.

Photos show them (above) and the wartime period (below) for comparison of details. Pleae is anyone able in better understanding their correct timeframe?

Thanks so much. Greetings from italy, Franco.


Here below, the original wartime pattern (here in a pale cream hue)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

From all possible evidences B-3 and B-3A gloves, well available in WW2 for USAAF, never went as such to Navy aviators. Navy gloves are indeed greatly similar, almost an B-3A pattern with "U.S.N." added, but of course were not B-3As.

Think could be useful a couple shots of true post-war "B-3A"-marked, summer gloves similar in generic look to the wartime period. Different in details, among them the cutting and the way of sewing between fingers.


The Navy ones, made in the '60s by "Mario Papa & Sons" or "Steinberg Bros." Here they lack the rectangular border around "U.S.N."




Here a relatively recent pair made by "Steinberg Bros." for USAF contract, yellow having again a sharper hue than during the '60s:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

P.S., even if particular lighting indeed counts very much in resulting colors, black-marked USN gloves really are decidedly a true yellow. Wartime ones, a lighter cream color + a very light pink hue.

Can state the most faithful results are the photo of post #1, and the first photo of post #2. In other pics, the pink percentage has been exhaggerated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

found out this from very early '50s in Korea, unfortunately the glove is small within photo.

Upon enlarging the black marking on hand's back is visible enough, but no more key details can stand out. Of course seams between fingers become dark much sooner, after getting dirty and sweat-soaked A good chance they are identical to mine?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gloves were found to be "interesting, maybe" but underlining that the black markings are not quality-level as other details instead do. Particularly, could be a strange fact the inside ones are flawless and technically perfect when carefully closely seen.

I agree with him but, even more so why should any so skillful faker do bad with a most visible and important details such the outside 'U.S.N'. markings? After all, in regard of our personal competence about inside markings of WW2 USN gloves, they could place whathever "pattern" letters or "assembly" numbers they do prefer... most likely, anything could be OK for us collectors.


Thus equally most likely the gloves are still staying with me, possibly will propose them on eBay before long.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...