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AZPhil

Are these Wool Felt Boots WW2 USAAF ?

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Hello All,

I am so glad that the site is back up. I have been waiting since Friday to ask this question

I ran across these and was wondering if anybody has seen or knows that these are WW@ Army Air Force.

I have seen a pair of wool felt boot in my copy of Combat flying clothing by Sweeting, But in that photo they do not have the leather toe cap like these.

 

I also have seen it mentioned that wool felt boot were given to US Postal service to be worn under there rubber winter water proof boots, But there was no picture of them. 

Now here are the ones being call WW2 Army Air force fight boots.

 So are these WW2 Army Air Force wool felt boots that would have been worn by Bomber Crews?

 

 

Semper Fi

Phil

Wool felt boots 2 resize x25.jpg

wool felt boot soles and heel resize x25.jpg


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There have been many who claim these are AAF issue but I have never seen proof through markings, photos, nor provenance. Interestingly, this claim is always associated with "for sale" items. The original description of a felt overshoe "of standard design", or however it was stated, doesn't appear to have become a standard. There are those all felt, composite-soled boots seen with the F-2 suits but they appear quite different and far rarer than these.

These appear to be standard sporting/hunting boots until someone provides evidence to the contrary. In fact, I just pulled up another browser and found many pairs. All "for sale" and only half claiming to be WWII(flying boots or combat boots) but with no actual evidence and none from a militaria dealer. Most non-housewife postings are described as 1940s hunting boots. One says 1960s and another on Etsy has a Biltrite heel but claims to be in original box dated 1963(though a bit more of a toe cap design its of same construction). Google "1940s Biltrite felt boots" and enjoy the cluelessness.

The wool textile act on a couple of the pairs indicates post 1939 mfg (but not sure that label would be required for a military contract although we do see the union labels in many other issued garments). Biltrite did provide soles for the military but that just means there were millions of soles out there. They also made them in the 20s and 30s. Point being it wasn't a wartime only gig and one plant might have made them continuously. Flooring later became their big deal. The context of these sellers alone, unless some stamp or other evidence other than personal insistence surfaces my answer is now more than ever - no.

Long answer, huh? Just the way I think before adding an unnamed, unmarked, and unknown item to my collection.  

What happens, and has even started with these boots, is that the claim of WWII use and rarity spreads among non-military antique dealers, etc. until a few collectors buy them, not wanting to be left out. New collectors assume the old collectors know a lot more than them and buy in. Now something becomes generally accepted as true. We have enough things that, just because they look old and functional, "are WWII issue". 

JMO.

Dave 

 

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Thanks Dave,

 Yes that was a long answer, But the point you made is clear. To use the term WW2 is a selling point to draw a crooked line that may or may not lead to the truth, But ambiguous enough to make one think "is it real"... I did the same search and found many with various claims yet not proof. 

 I had to ask as I wasn't falling for the WW2 unless I heard other wise.

I appreciate your reply.

 Thank you again

Stay Safe

Semper Fi

Phil


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Phil,

Here's another possibility, but an unproven theory at this point. The photo below shows crewmen from VP-135 suiting up for a flight in their PV-1 Ventura in Alaska in 1944. To me, the footwear on the center figure looks very similar to your boots. Note also that just under his M-455 fleece jacket, laying on the Marston mat (PSP) to the right, is his pair of M-380 winter flight boots. Might these felt boots be liners for the Navy's winter flight boots?

Regards, Paul

fa687c_d79678da06f44c68b1b300886d9c3dde.jpg

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Great pic Paul,

 A theory I'll give more consideration?.

I tried to blow the pic up, but I'm losing resolution as it gets bigger. Those boot do look to have the toe cap.

 

Now I have not bought these yet. I did want to hear from folks with more time and experience with flight gear than I before I did add them. All I have is the AN-H -15 and a A11 flight helmets and A14 O2 mask and several sets of goggles. Bucket list here!! Someday I'll have the bomber crew flight uniform from Head to Toe!!

 

Semper Fi

Phil

 

Wool felt boot in period pic (2) enlarged.jpg


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Phil,

If you are just starting out in flight gear, I would consider these a VERY low priority. They certainly aren't a mainstream item, even if they are found to be from WW2 someday. Not to mention, they were probably used as an inner boot, if at all, and wouldn't show in most instances anyway. Good luck!

Regards, Paul

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Paul,

 Very True,

From my friend and fellow crewman of my Uncle(Tailgunner), who was the B-17 left waist gunner. He provided me with what he was wearing the day they were shot down.. So I am looking at B10 jacket with the A-9 trousers as to what I'll be adding, Then the A-6 boots.  These felts boots seemed to be a cheaper start to what will be the $$$$ items to add.

But yes, These are the lower end of items that would not even be seen when everything is put together. 

 

Thank you for you input.

 

Semper Fi

Phil


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I certainly don't have the largest collection but it is sizable considering it is all USAAF - a whole bedroom full. I have yet to be drawn in by these offerings enough to purchase them as "WWII flight gear" and today I still don't feel I'm overlooking some actual kit. Not that my opinion matters much but I can't remember seeing these in any other USAAF collector's items. Again, I may be completely wrong but I just can't prove a nil.

Dave

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