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Vietnam era flight boots - FWU-3/P


viking73
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RustyCanteen

Now apparently there was an "overshoe" which I suppose could be worn over these boots. I saw a reference to an "FWU-2/P" boot, but I do not know if that was another boot or another overshoe as I also found a few references to an "FWU-2/P" overshoe with a spec date of 17 December 1959.

 

1960:

 

1960.jpg

 

1968:

 

1968.jpg

 

And this for an "FWU-3/P" from 1964:

 

overshoe.jpg

 

Does anyone have a photo of such an overshoe?

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Does anyone have a photo of such an overshoe?

 

 

 

 

I found another web page which supports that they FWU 2/P is the overshoe. From what you posted there it looks like the overshoe spec dates back to at least Dec. 1959.

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RustyCanteen

 

I found another web page which supports that they FWU 2/P is the overshoe. From what you posted there it looks like the overshoe spec dates back to at least Dec. 1959.

 

 

Good, because I can't find any definitive proof there was an FWU-2/P boot (but apparently there was an overshoe), and the one reference I saw to a boot with that nomenclature could have had a typo I suppose.

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My question is when did FWU-3/P boots for all services replace the USAF-only alert boots? Well, with this bit of information we know it's after 1959 and before 1964. The pair in the next photo apparently is the daddy of the FWU 3/P'S. Instead of a DSA or other DoD contract prefix as seen on an FWU 3/P, this 1959 boot was made under a local contracting authority - Offutt Air Force Base.

 

label.jpeg

 

boot.jpeg

 

soles.jpeg

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RustyCanteen

Interesting that the heel on that 1959 one is smooth; none of the early 1960s ones I have seen are like that. Guess that was one of the three changes made by 1964. I still wonder why there is no FWU-2P boot, but some overshoe with that nomenclature instead. I also do not know what to think of the FWU-3P overshoe mentioned, since I haven''t found any reference to it beyond that.

 

For such a long-serving -and widely used- boot, there isn't much information on them to be found.

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Theres also the FWU-8 boot that had a speed lace system vs the zippers. The top of the laces was a metal barrel lock to just pull the laces tight and then the top of the boots have a velcro closed collar flap that you wrap the laces around. The FWU-3 and 8 boots were issued well into the 2000s as most of my friends who graduated UPT in 2008 all had FWU-8 boots. I used to see those 8/P boots worn by USAF and Army aviators all through the 90s til they got replaced by the Belleville 700 as the new Boot, Flyers way more than the 3P alert zipps. I also used to see the FWU-3 refereed to as a winter flight boot sometimes, why I don't know cause its not insulated. Not sure if that was incorrect but I did see it mentioned as a winter boot a bunch of times.

 

I dont have any experience with those older brown Navy boots, but those look exactly like the black steel toe ones they wore up til recently and I always noticed with those boots the front sections were always wider than the FWU boots that had a nice slim look to them. May cause the Navy boots are steel toes they need to be wider? I had a pair of them that had a thin removable insole liner as well where the USAF boots had no sole padding.

 

I know when my father was in Vietnam in 1969-1970, by that time at least in the 101st Abn, jungle boots were a no go for flyers. He was issued a pair of jungles but not for flying and almost never wore them as he was usually wearing his 2pc Nomex suit with the leather boots. I do have pics from his friends he flew with that were there a little earlier from 68-69 and some of them can be seen still wearing jungle boots and even regular utility uniforms flying, not the new Nomex flight suits.

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why I don't know cause its not insulated.

 

Technically they are insulated with a thin foam layer between the outer leather and the glove leather lining: but it's so thin it's hard to tell it's there.

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Yep,regular boots like that from basic to flight school and on to Viet Nam.No inside lining and no steel toe.I have one of my 2 pair left.

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Yep,regular boots like that from basic to flight school and on to Viet Nam.No inside lining and no steel toe.I have one of my 2 pair left.

 

Which service?

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Good question, Army.The soles say Biltrite.

My guess would be that Army pilots would be a lot more likely to wear regular leather (or even nylon) combat boots, instead of the flight boots. The Air Force and Navy likely had much better supply lines for speciality items.

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Bob,you are correct about the leather boots.We were not supposed to wear the nylon jungle boots(at least by 1969) because they could melt on your skin in case of fire.But at the same time we were allowed to wear our L2B nylon flight jackets though.

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