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Wilkinson flak vest


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One web site puts the number ordered from Wilkinson by the 8th USAAF at 10 for testing, 120 for further testing (enough for 12 B-17's) and another 600, enough for 60 B-17's. In 1942 this was the average number of operational aircraft at any given time. The order was completed in March of 1943. I have seen others like mine on sites, but no one has much info on them. The web sites I have looked at offer no detailed photos.

 

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Go to the sub-forum Survival Gear, and scroll down to USAAF Flak Vest. It is 6 pages outlining the evolution of the vest. The online information you mention are not the vest you have pictured, the vest you have was produced in fairly large quantities. Go through that thread and it should clear things up nicely.

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Go to the sub-forum Survival Gear, and scroll down to USAAF Flak Vest. It is 6 pages outlining the evolution of the vest. The online information you mention are not the vest you have pictured, the vest you have was produced in fairly large quantities. Go through that thread and it should clear things up nicely.

That post has allot of zigs and zags. If I got it right the broad arrow stamp on mine confirms British made. The three part nature of this vest, all parts having plates and combined with the design show this was made after original 730 vests were procured by the 8th USAAF. So my take away should be this is a British made flak vest patterned after the US made flak vest made for RAF use?

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Yours is British made, yes! The experimental ones like noted in your quote from online, is actually the white vests marked A,B,C,D. Many origianl photos of these are in that post. Due to the urgency, the vest you have began being manufactured in England to supply USAAF crews with the first order for 300 crews. More manufacturing took place throughout the year and beyond. About the same time the US Army ordnance department began awarding contracts for manufacture in the US, which they didn't start becoming available till the close of 1943. That thread, though a little convelouted, does outline the genealogy, supported both by documentation and images that contradict that online quote and the same belief published elsewhere. Long story short, your vest is NOT experimental, it was a production vest manufactured in Great Britain.

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Yours is British made, yes! The experimental ones like noted in your quote from online, is actually the white vests marked A,B,C,D. Many origianl photos of these are in that post. Due to the urgency, the vest you have began being manufactured in England to supply USAAF crews with the first order for 300 crews. More manufacturing took place throughout the year and beyond. About the same time the US Army ordnance department began awarding contracts for manufacture in the US, which they didn't start becoming available till the close of 1943. That thread, though a little convelouted, does outline the genealogy, supported both by documentation and images that contradict that online quote and the same belief published elsewhere. Long story short, your vest is NOT experimental, it was a production vest manufactured in Great Britain.

Outstanding! Thanks for clearing that up!!!!!! No one talks about that 300 number made until US production got a move on. Now for the follow up. As stated by others these do come up. Has anyone ran the attrition rate for the 1943 bomber crews and worked out what the survivor numbers are in general? I assume these went from crew to crew and were only written off if damaged or lost. I know thats a tall order, but some bean counter must of had that number at one time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

One web site puts the number ordered from Wilkinson by the 8th USAAF at 10 for testing, 120 for further testing (enough for 12 B-17's) and another 600, enough for 60 B-17's. In 1942 this was the average number of operational aircraft at any given time. The order was completed in March of 1943. I have seen others like mine on sites, but no one has much info on them. The web sites I have looked at offer no detailed photos.

 

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Hi P-59A, the attached chart is from the official US Army WWII Statistics of Procurement. It doesn't list the Wilkinson manufactured ones separately, however it lists total procurement including test examples, hope this helps your research. The first column is total production 1940-45, the other columns are individual years production 1940,1941,1942,1943,1944,1945.

 

regards lewis.

 

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Young enough to care and enjoy militaria - Old enough to remember as surplus

 

" Life's too short for reproductions "

 

 

Life is like a tank of gas, the closer you get to a quarter tank, the faster it goes 

 

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Hi P-59A, the attached chart is from the official US Army WWII Statistics of Procurement. It doesn't list the Wilkinson manufactured ones separately, however it lists total procurement including test examples, hope this helps your research. The first column is total production 1940-45, the other columns are individual years production 1940,1941,1942,1943,1944,1945.

 

regards lewis.

 

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Very cool! Thank you!!

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