Jump to content
AZPhil

Would you consider B-1 trouser acceptable?

Recommended Posts

Hello Gent's

 I want to get a B-17 Bomber crew display started.

I was wondering if the leather/shearing B-1 mechanices trousers would be acceptable for this purpose?.

 

So please share your thoughts.

Thanks

Semper Fi

Phil


donation2014.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I would add a pic. They do not have a tag inside and when I did some reseach I found they were the B-1 type. A little disappointing.

They look good and was told the leather is in good condition and the stains on the front are dried mud. They do have the suspenders but the fly in broken.

Well let me know if I should add them?

 

Semper Fi

Phil

flightpant.jpg


donation2014.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

its hard to find these in good condition (as you know)

 

if the leather is truly in good condition that would be the kicker for me - they always seem to have tears and rips - I think the mud could be cleaned

 

The button missing might be an issue if this is going on a full display but you could hide it

 

The leather is the biggest condition - and of course price

 

-Daniel


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

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifmsg-24355-0-77312200-1449362814.gif

 

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




Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Daniel,

Thanks for the reply.

 I thought I replied to this already.

I know what you mean about them becoming brittle. 

What I wanted to know is if these were worn as flight gear. 

In my copy of GEAR UP it says that these are mechanics trouser and that these "PROBABLY" made it on to Bomber flights.

But I'm not finding evidence of it.

Have you seen these in period photo's being worn by Bomber Crews?

 

Thanks again

Semper Fi

Phil


donation2014.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil,

These trousers, and the jacket that goes with them, have been pushed by some militaria dealers for literally decades, saying they were "worn by aircrew" as a way to move them along. If you want to represent a ground crew member, then these would be perfect. If you want to represent an aircrewman, I would recommend you wait and find actual aircrew clothing. Sure, it's within the realm of possibility that they made it on a bombing mission somewhere, at some time, but do you want your impression, or mannequin, of an aircrewman to be partially dressed as a mechanic? The choice is yours, of course.

Regards, Paul

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a question to add. Why did groundcrewman need a leather/shearling lined trousers? It makes sense if you are going into the frigid air, but why on the ground. And if the geographical area is cold, why don't they use simple wool or arctic trousers like cold weather troops?

Hunt


I am an amateur collector of US military items of the 20th century.

 

Looking for items related to:

-The Aleutian Island Campaign of WW2 and more specifically the Battle of Attu

-Items related to the 50th Combat Engineer Regiment/Battalion

-Items related to Wheelus Air Force Base Libya, particularly from 1958-1960

-WW2 items belonging to service members from Northern Virginia

-Cheap/Throwaway WW2 named uniforms

 

^^ PM ME!

 

Instagram: @surplus_central https://instagram.com/surplus_central/

eBay: http://www.ebay.com/usr/giovachm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Paul.

I appreciate the dealer sales pitch knowledge.

And  yes I want the Bomber Crew Airman with no doubts about it's look.

Thank you Gent's for your help. 

 

 As to Ground Crews wearing leather, Here is the Mechanic from the 384th BG. They are not wearing the B-1 trousers but they are wearing the D-1 leather jacket and that is a clear sunny day. They had to work through the night at times and when it was winter in England, I'm positive they would have been wearing the B-1 pants. Most of the engine work was done standing on a jacked up maintenance stand. 

Hunt they were issued that gear to use in that Theater of Operations. If they were in the Artic they would have been issued artic gear. 

Semper Fi

Phil

 

384th Mechanics.jpg


donation2014.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, AZPhil said:

Thanks Paul.

I appreciate the dealer sales pitch knowledge.

And  yes I want the Bomber Crew Airman with no doubts about it's look.

Thank you Gent's for your help. 

 

 As to Ground Crews wearing leather, Here is the Mechanic from the 384th BG. They are not wearing the B-1 trousers but they are wearing the D-1 leather jacket and that is a clear sunny day. They had to work through the night at times and when it was winter in England, I'm positive they would have been wearing the B-1 pants. Most of the engine work was done standing on a jacked up maintenance stand. 

Semper Fi

Phil

 

 

I appreciate the write up Phil! That answers my question for the most part.

Cheers,

Hunt


I am an amateur collector of US military items of the 20th century.

 

Looking for items related to:

-The Aleutian Island Campaign of WW2 and more specifically the Battle of Attu

-Items related to the 50th Combat Engineer Regiment/Battalion

-Items related to Wheelus Air Force Base Libya, particularly from 1958-1960

-WW2 items belonging to service members from Northern Virginia

-Cheap/Throwaway WW2 named uniforms

 

^^ PM ME!

 

Instagram: @surplus_central https://instagram.com/surplus_central/

eBay: http://www.ebay.com/usr/giovachm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

346467037_21st_Bomb_Squadron_B-24_Liberator_Amchitka_Alaska_Mar_19431.jpg.5b2cc467a53adab3c3c61419bf24305f.jpg


In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ground Crew of B-17F 41-24562 Sky Wolf (358BS) VK-A watching for their plane to return. Sky Wolf was lost on January 11, 1944. Thanks to Daniel Bon for the photograph.
 

 

41-24562ground.jpg


In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, huntssurplus said:

I got a question to add. Why did groundcrewman need a leather/shearling lined trousers? It makes sense if you are going into the frigid air, but why on the ground. And if the geographical area is cold, why don't they use simple wool or arctic trousers like cold weather troops?

Hunt

Hunt,

One thing to remember is that the fleece lined leather clothing, for both air and ground crews, was developed pre-war. At the time, they were state-of-the-art for a peacetime air force of that era. As the war progressed, and the ranks swelled, their drawbacks and impracticality was readily apparent. By order of General Arnold, they were phased out and replaced by various alpaca lined (or down filled) clothing with cotton sateen exteriors (B-9, B-10, B-15, A-9, etc.) that was cheaper to manufacture while being lighter weight and more flexible, but equally as warm. Again, this was true for both air and ground crews. The D-2 parka, B-2 trousers and B-9 helmet are examples of improved clothing developed specifically for mechanics.

Regards, Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is know doubt that a lot of gear was mixed between aircrew and ground crew..

the B-1 is a no go...they lack the full length leg zippers.....generally speaking....as a flyer, if you have to ditch or wounded requiring medical treatment in flight...the B1 trousers do not unzip the full length of the leg, making it very difficult to get out of in water...for a mannequin on display  ...that would be your call till you found a nice pair A-3s 

or consider the mid to late war alpaca lined flight trousers..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to agree but that wouldn't stop me from adding them to an aircrew mannequin for the time being. A-3s or A-5s would be better. But remember to keep the rest of the kit early war if you go full shearling. The whole "made it into the air" thing is certainly true just as ground crew are seen wearing A-2s and all other manner of flight kit. I just wouldn't want that to be my one representative example in a collection. If modelling a certain individual from a photo, fine. You see such gear substitutions in smaller museums and it displays poorly. Sure many don't pay attention to details but those few hoping to actually learn from such "experts" are potentially misled if not at least treated to a "who cares" or "good enough" attitude.

You also see, even here, the overdoing of the kit. Some have everything from the 13 catalog hanging on a mannequin and that too looks forced and inauthentic.

Kudos for wanting to do it right!

Do keep us updated photographically with what you decide.

Dave 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Dave,

Modeling after a photograph is what I'm TRYING to do.

 It would be my Avatar . This is the colorized version.

This is the Fioretti Crew in March of 1944. That is my Uncle Joe, bottom row second from the right. To the left of him is my dear friend Phil and also my reference to what was worn then.

He also told me everything about the day they were shot down on April 13th 1944 and also life in Stalag XVIIB. Phil is wearing an HBT coverall. My uncle seems to be decked out in leather.

 This is to honor them, Not general collecting and want it all type of thing..

 

 

Semper Fi

Phil

Fiorette Crew Damned YankeeII colorized.jpg


donation2014.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil,

If I understand correctly, it is your Uncle Joe you are trying to represent? If so, I'd say he is not wearing the winter flight suit, rather is similarly dressed to your friend Phil. What you are seeing in the photo appears to be an A-2 leather flight jacket worn over either an A-4 summer flight suit, or an HBT suit. I would guess he wears an F-1 electric suit under that. The life vest is a B-4 type and his hat is a summer weight B-1 made of olive drab gaberdine. Phil, and the man to your uncles left, both wear the B-2 winter cap, which was fleece lined leather.

Regards, Paul

1860826575_FioretteCrewDamnedYankeeIIcolorized.jpg.45de89e3de675b77e17dde23bca866af.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Paul,

Here is the original pic that Phil gave me.

Are your thoughts the same as to what my Uncle is wearing?

Now  Phil to my uncle's left told me he wore the HBT mechanics coveralls over his blue bunny suit and then his uniform under that. So yes Phil is wearing coveralls. He also said he was wearing the cloth flight helmet with the big black ear's. So I have a AN-H-15 setup for that. Phil told me my uncle wore the leather one with the big black ear's . So I have an A-11 setup for him.

I want to do a display for Phil and my Uncle. 

I would like to get your thoughts..The colorization kind of threw me a little as to what they were wearing and what I should look for. 

 

I kind of need to be set straight as to what I really need and I'm all ears.

 

Semper Fi

Phil

 

 

Fioretti_Crew_Original.jpg


donation2014.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil,

Way back in January of 2019, we discussed what Phil was wearing in your photo, and the use of the HBT coveralls, in your post on bomber crew uniforms:

https://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/321436-b17-bomber-crew-flightsuit/ I seem to recall a discussion about the A-14 oxygen mask in another of your threads too.

It sounds like your uncle Joe would have dressed in a similar, if not exact fashion to Phil, as I have outlined a bit here in this thread so far. From the photo you have, I can't say with certainty whether Joe is wearing HBT coveralls or an A-4 fight suit (either would be fine), but the flight jacket, cap and B-4 vest are unmistakable. The A-11 helmet (with earphones) sounds like what he would wear when flying, the B-1 cap in the photo probably only when on the ground, being more comfortable. If he used the F-1 electric suit, electric gloves and boot liners could also be worn. Those suits were prone to failure though, so A-9 gunner's mittens and B-6 boots were probably used at some point as well, or kept close at hand. Over all that would go the parachute harness, a QAC type, probably a "red group", with the D rings on the harness and hooks on the pack, which would be stowed near an exit, rather than worn, until needed in an emergency.  Flak armor and a flak helmet may have been put on over top of everything when they were in the target area. You mention the uniform being worn under the F-1 suit. This would have been not only an extra layer of wool clothing for warmth, but more importantly, something to wear and identify you as American military if captured. A pair of sturdy GI shoes was also recommended, in case you had to hoof it. The B-6 boots would have been sized large enough to fit over them. Forgot to mention the goggles, which were probably B-7 type, or the very similar AN-6530s.

The image below is probably similar to how he would have looked, except replacing the earlier B-3 vest in the photo with a B-4 vest.

gunner.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again Paul,

 Yes we did discuss what Phil wore. I have him locked down. 

I never asked about my Uncle and going by the photo I thought he was wearing leather trousers. That thread helped with supplying info to the person who did the colorization. I didn't know they were wearing the blue bunny suit. I grateful for that inof.

I did pick up the B-1 summer cap and when I saw the B-1's trousers for sale I thought I was partly there for working on my uncle Joe's display. 

 

Thank you for the extra information about what they were wearing. Going that route will be easier to find in very good to excellent condition versus the leather/lambskin flight suits.

 

Plus save me some serious $$$$

That is a great photo. I'm going to save that to my PC and now something to follow for Joe.

 

That guy kind of looks like Joe in this pic.

 

$1878675395_UncleJoewithstache1.jpg.1c6b58ce2bd05dfafdf43a30b3174958.jpg

.

 

.Once again and another, Thank You Paul

 

Semper Fi

Phil

 

 

 


donation2014.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This next consideration can make this expensive if not careful. The fact that the blue bunny was still worn along with the B-3s in the background sort of jibes with the idea of earlier gear still being used in this early '44 photo. I think your current plans are fine but whether A-11s were commonly available yet could be a question. The AN-H-16 was a heavier shearling helmet with the large rubber cups often worn by air crews but harder to find now. Not sure if I'd want to replicate what I thought was underneath the flight suit as heated suits could get pricey as well.

Great memorial!

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Dave,

Yes the undergarments could run the limit on doing this display completely. I found a blue bunny and the price was right up there with the A-2 jacket. I think for now I'll stick with the outer garments and flight gear. Maybe as time and budget permits I'll look into the finer details.

 

Looking at my Sweeting book "Combat Flying Clothing" The AN-H-15 and AN-H-16 were standardized in April of 1943 with the A-11 in August of 1943. Good point! If Phil said he wore the cloth helmet with the black ears, It would be the  AN-H-15 for that time frame, Which would make the AN-H-16 a possibility of what my uncle wore. I currently have a X-Large A-11 that fit my head , So that will be what I'll work with for now. When I get into the finer details, I'll put the AN-H-16 and the Blue bunny suit on my bucket list.

 

Thanks for chiming in.

I do appreciate everybody's input on my project.

 

 

Paul,

If you are still reading this. Do you have a date on that pic of the waist gunner?

So Is he wearing an A-11 or an AN-H-16 in that pic?

I cropped it for a closer look and I can't tell.

985221603_UncleJoeuniformdisplayreference.(2).jpg.4500a911d9ef05f3c209ee2e6e8effd7.jpg

 

Stay Safe 

Semper Fi

Phil


donation2014.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil,

I don't have a date, but without question, he is wearing an A-11. The chin strap on the A-16 is fleece covered and attaches differently (with a snap) than the one found on the A-11, which was lined leather and sewn to a D-ring on the wearer's right side, using a Bennett buckle on the left. The A-11 in the photo is an early model without the factory installed oxygen mask snaps. It  has the web tabs found in the A-14 mask box, which were to be sewn on after issue. For your impression, one with factory oxygen mask snaps should be fine though.

Regards, Paul

gunner.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil,

Still haven't got an exact date for that particular photo, but a little Internet searching turned up information on the subject, as listed on Fold3.com., which pins down a rough time frame.

He was "TSGT Mexico J. Barraza, radio operator of the 323rd Bomb Sq, 91st BG. Barraza flew with LT Ken McFarland's crew in B-17G 42-37761 "Blue Dreams" (coded OR-L). She was lost at the hands of another flight crew on 6 March, 1944."

They have a couple other photos of him, as well as the color image already posted here:

 

 

Fold3_Page_1_Black_and_White_and_Color_Photographs_of_US_Air_Force_and_Predecessor_Agencies_Activities_Facilities_and_Personnel_World_War_II (1).jpg

Fold3_Page_2_Black_and_White_and_Color_Photographs_of_US_Air_Force_and_Predecessor_Agencies_Activities_Facilities_and_Personnel_World_War_II (1).jpg

Fold3_Page_1_Black_and_White_and_Color_Photographs_of_US_Air_Force_and_Predecessor_Agencies_Activities_Facilities_and_Personnel_World_War_II.jpg

Fold3_Page_1_Black_and_White_and_Color_Photographs_of_US_Air_Force_and_Predecessor_Agencies_Activities_Facilities_and_Personnel_World_War_II (2).jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Outstanding Paul!!

Great Info and right time frame.

 I thought I read that the AN-H-16 had the fleece chin strap. And did notice the leather one on the pic, That is why I made the close up shot to verify,. But thought since I didn't have a AN-H-16 on hand to compare, I would ask first.

I'm on the right track then.. I didn't want any detour.

Thank You Again 

Semper Fi

Phil


donation2014.gif

Share this post


Link to post
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...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.