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USAAF flak vest

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Just acquired this beauty. A USAAF flak vest manufactured by British company Wilkinson dated around 1943.

 

I have one book that states only 600 were manufactured by Wilkinson before production switched to the US. Can anybody confirm that?

 

Neil.

 

post-72146-0-11437400-1422100892.jpg


All Airborne Troop Carrier items wanted especially uniform groupings and unit history books. Anything considered!!

 

Collector and researcher of IX Troop Carrier Command. Visit my Facebook page to see the research and collection.

 

http://www.facebook.com/IXtroopcarriercommand

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That is a sweet looking vest - and a complete setup! Early date makes it even better and in such good conidtion!


Actively collecting:

13th USAAF uniforms and groups/medal groups!

307th BG, 5th BG, 11th BG, 42nd BG

Also looking for:

WWII Far East Air Force uniforms/groups!

Any Pacific Army Air Force Groups to 5th, 7th, 10th, 14th, 20th AAF

Collecting CBI and ATC Pacific Army Air Force groups

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USMF's custom photo resize tool:http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/229816-custom-resize-tool-exclusively-for-the-usmf/




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It's undated but the book I have says they were manufactured in 1943.

 

Still, it's looking good for a 70 or 71 year old.


All Airborne Troop Carrier items wanted especially uniform groupings and unit history books. Anything considered!!

 

Collector and researcher of IX Troop Carrier Command. Visit my Facebook page to see the research and collection.

 

http://www.facebook.com/IXtroopcarriercommand

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Just acquired this beauty. A USAAF flak vest manufactured by British company Wilkinson dated around 1943.

 

I have one book that states only 600 were manufactured by Wilkinson before production switched to the US. Can anybody confirm that?

 

Neil.

 

attachicon.gifFlak-vest-forum.jpg

 

Im very interested to know the same thing ? When the production switched to the US , were the vests then produced under the nomenclature M1 ,M2 etc ?

 

As the production for the M1 vests in the US began in August 1943 , I guess the British nomenclature TYPE A,B etc wasnt used ?

 

LB


WANTED : RAF 1940 PATT FLYING BOOTS

WANTED : DINGHY TYPE K ,TYPE A

" ALWAYS WANTING USAAF ITEMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL PACKAGING "

"WOULD ALSO LIKE 487th FS AND 515TH BS RELATED ITEMS "

"Illegitmi non carborundum"

 



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Hello Neil,

this is, in effect, the very ODD thingh wich apparently never comes out when talking of this very sub-variant of Flak Vest.

You (and me, too, and who knows how many other collectors) do have the same item wich is NOWHERE marked as really made by Wilkinson Swords Company. The actual ones made by them are shown in G. Sweeting's book at pag. 126, and clearly are not the same thing.

Moreover the original ones were just 600 sets, and -repeat- too much different.

 

I'm not saying your's is not a British-made vest (it looks like the US-made sets are a dark green, invariably) but I'm the first who tries to better know anything about this.

Many specimens are marked with British "broad arrow" on the white corduroy lining but, again, no brand's proof of evidence has never surfaced in my opinion.

Does anyone have any real, visible evidence they are not only British-made, but made by Wilkinson as well?

 

Greetings from Italy - Franco.

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The plot thickens !

 

my example of the vest laid flat which i thought was different from the above ,but it appears not !

 

LB post-106122-0-30820900-1422105240.jpg

 


WANTED : RAF 1940 PATT FLYING BOOTS

WANTED : DINGHY TYPE K ,TYPE A

" ALWAYS WANTING USAAF ITEMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL PACKAGING "

"WOULD ALSO LIKE 487th FS AND 515TH BS RELATED ITEMS "

"Illegitmi non carborundum"

 



donation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

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yes your vest is 100% the same of post #1.

It seems like there is a lot around, and all are in great shape. Mine is a bit "dirty" if we can call this way, yet a fantastic set.

 

But, here the MISTERY:

* this is not the real M-1 as many books seem to report it. A true M-1 does have both the front and back sides being armored, OK, but a different unmistakable shape.

* but it is not a M-2 vest either, even though the shape is correct. A true M-2 does have ONLY the front armored, being meant for crews who mainly stood seated.

 

It's by now many years I'm wondering about, but never found a satisfying answer (was I alone in doing this?). Can anyone shed any light? Franco.

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Agreed on those facts Franco , lets hope someone has further information regarding these vests

 

LB


WANTED : RAF 1940 PATT FLYING BOOTS

WANTED : DINGHY TYPE K ,TYPE A

" ALWAYS WANTING USAAF ITEMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL PACKAGING "

"WOULD ALSO LIKE 487th FS AND 515TH BS RELATED ITEMS "

"Illegitmi non carborundum"

 



donation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

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I also have an example like Neil's and Carl's, mine has only the broad arrow mark. IIRC I have seen WWII pictures of RAF Bomber Command crews wearing the same vest.

 

I know Wilkinson Sword keep good records of their edged weapons, so perhaps an enquiry to the company archives might turn up more?.

 

Matt.


Collecting WWII and pre-war Air Corps items-Unit Histories,Uniforms,Medals and Groupings.

*Seeking Pre-WWII Air Corps Officers and Enlisted Dress Uniform items!*

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This one was one of about 100 that my father got in a what're house in east London - all unissued.

post-1878-0-00243500-1422120653.jpg


Collector of Fixed bail M1 Helmets

https://m.facebook.com/M1Helmet/

"The dreams of Empire lure the hearts of Kings - and so men die" Burma, 1944

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This one was one of about 100 that my father got in a what're house in east London - all unissued.

attachicon.gifimage.jpg

 

Very nice vest. Go back and get the other 99 immediately!



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It maybe worth a try Matt !! Are we talking the same company Wilkinson of the razor blade fame ??

 

 

LB


WANTED : RAF 1940 PATT FLYING BOOTS

WANTED : DINGHY TYPE K ,TYPE A

" ALWAYS WANTING USAAF ITEMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL PACKAGING "

"WOULD ALSO LIKE 487th FS AND 515TH BS RELATED ITEMS "

"Illegitmi non carborundum"

 



donation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

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The very same Carl!.


Collecting WWII and pre-war Air Corps items-Unit Histories,Uniforms,Medals and Groupings.

*Seeking Pre-WWII Air Corps Officers and Enlisted Dress Uniform items!*

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

 

 

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The very same Carl!.

On it !!


WANTED : RAF 1940 PATT FLYING BOOTS

WANTED : DINGHY TYPE K ,TYPE A

" ALWAYS WANTING USAAF ITEMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL PACKAGING "

"WOULD ALSO LIKE 487th FS AND 515TH BS RELATED ITEMS "

"Illegitmi non carborundum"

 



donation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

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All i can seem to find ,regarding Wilkinson Sword producing these vests , is what is already known , plus that the vests pictured were originally produced for the RAF but the crews found them too bulky and awkward to get around the aircraft , so they were handed over to the USAAF ?? i found no information in the Wilkinson sword company history of them making these vests !!

 

So the mystery continues i suppose ??

 

LB


WANTED : RAF 1940 PATT FLYING BOOTS

WANTED : DINGHY TYPE K ,TYPE A

" ALWAYS WANTING USAAF ITEMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL PACKAGING "

"WOULD ALSO LIKE 487th FS AND 515TH BS RELATED ITEMS "

"Illegitmi non carborundum"

 



donation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

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regret having my digital camera out of work. If not, it would take less than one minute to get a detailed photo and to post the real original Wilkinson vests.

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regret having my digital camera out of work. If not, it would take less than one minute to get a detailed photo and to post the real original Wilkinson vests.

 

Are we talking about the same vests that are pictured in Mathieus book Franco ??

 

LB


WANTED : RAF 1940 PATT FLYING BOOTS

WANTED : DINGHY TYPE K ,TYPE A

" ALWAYS WANTING USAAF ITEMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL PACKAGING "

"WOULD ALSO LIKE 487th FS AND 515TH BS RELATED ITEMS "

"Illegitmi non carborundum"

 



donation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

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WANTED : RAF 1940 PATT FLYING BOOTS

WANTED : DINGHY TYPE K ,TYPE A

" ALWAYS WANTING USAAF ITEMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL PACKAGING "

"WOULD ALSO LIKE 487th FS AND 515TH BS RELATED ITEMS "

"Illegitmi non carborundum"

 



donation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

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hellop Littlebuddy,

obviously i do not want to know more than IWM does, but the fact is that while the Apron (as shown there) is indeed the M-3, for the M-1 Vest the description is not 100% correct. That vest is neither a true M-1, nor a true M-2.

 

M-1 Vest went together with M-4 Apron. It is a different vest than "our" vest - both as for front and back sections.

M-2 Vest went together with M-3 Apron. It is a identical vest to "our" vest but, ONLY as for the front. Back section was different.

 

So, it looks like that is a "mix" of a true M-2 front section, coupled to a modified back section - from unarmored, to armored. Evidence is striking enough.

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mmmm is there a "right" and "wrong" mix up of parts ? depending on what each individual required i suppose there could be a real mix match of m1 m2 m3 etc

 

LB


WANTED : RAF 1940 PATT FLYING BOOTS

WANTED : DINGHY TYPE K ,TYPE A

" ALWAYS WANTING USAAF ITEMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL PACKAGING "

"WOULD ALSO LIKE 487th FS AND 515TH BS RELATED ITEMS "

"Illegitmi non carborundum"

 



donation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

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Yes maybe. But, even more so that vest anyway cannot be called a M-1 (as it is instead, in many references).

 

Its front section is 100% the M-2's, the back section is modified from M-2's unarmored one. No doubt they saw action with USAAF crews (some pics do exist of this very vest/apron being worn by them), just it's this the reason for wich I'd like to get any sure and documented proof of its correct nomenclature.

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Totally agree Franco, I was hoping thee would be someone out there who knows

 

LB


WANTED : RAF 1940 PATT FLYING BOOTS

WANTED : DINGHY TYPE K ,TYPE A

" ALWAYS WANTING USAAF ITEMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL PACKAGING "

"WOULD ALSO LIKE 487th FS AND 515TH BS RELATED ITEMS "

"Illegitmi non carborundum"

 



donation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

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I'm currently helping a friend who after making a couple German WW2 fighter pilots, is putting up a complete B-24 waist gunner. It's coming out impressively realistic, we both hope to finish the "job" before long.

He too, got one set of vests identical to this one, but decided to have them seperately put on a torso form aside the main character - I agree, vest would too much hid the bast of its gear. We also are trying to re-create the fuselage panel the gunner will connect to: a aluminum plate, riveted, the "box" will go onto it having the "blinker" A-3 instrument and the oxygen bottles' pressure gauge.

 

We also already got the original FADA BC-1366 Switch Box, and the original Q-1B rheostat. All the correct personal cables/wires are present, it's a matter of time and available moneys.

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Very nice vest. Go back and get the other 99 immediately!

We did - this was a long time ago. About 20 were sold. A local museum has two on display. The rest we couldn't get rid of and they ended up going for scrap.


Collector of Fixed bail M1 Helmets

https://m.facebook.com/M1Helmet/

"The dreams of Empire lure the hearts of Kings - and so men die" Burma, 1944

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It looks like nobody else can shed any light on the matter of these particular sub-variant Flak Vests. When I'll have my camera working again, will take some pics at the true Wilkinson-made early vests.

Anyway they're on pag. 126 of G. Sweeting's book, "Combat Flight Equipments".

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