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WWII Private Purchase Flight Jackets


dmar836
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Scarecrow
On 2/3/2021 at 5:05 PM, dmar836 said:

Let's see your PP jackets from WWII!

Thought I'd start off Dave's thread with a few of my private purchase jackets that I have in my collection.  First up is a CBI one.  There are Chinese characters on the inner liner and on the back of the jacket.  I had them translated, please keep in mind Chinese doesn't always translate directly to English.  On the liner its says "Foreigner Who Comes To China" and on the back "Navigator/Navigation".  No label and unnamed and the white in the Nationalist Kuomintang star seems to have been touched up.  My guess this jacket may have been acquired in theater.

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Scarecrow

Next is a jacket made by Narragansett Leathers of Woonsocket RI and worn by a pilot of the 152nd Observation Squadron.  The 152nd was one of only two National Guard/State Guard aviation units Federalized during WWII.  They flew out of Hillsgrove Army Air Field in RI (Now T.F. Greene Airport).  The modern airport is on Post Rd. but running perpendicular to Post Rd is Airport Rd.  The Admin building, one hanger and the wartime control tower are still there.  One of the tenants of the Admin building is a flight school and it's where I took my flying lessons.  Kind of a thrill to have the plane stored in the wartime hanger and takeoff and land on what was once the Hillsgrove AAF runways. (Although greatly improved and expanded).  The squadron insignia is the RI Red, the state bird of RI.

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Scarecrow

One more from the 152nd Observation Squadron. (As you may have guessed this is one of my favorite WWII aviation units.)  I am fortunate to also have this pilots service jacket.  This pilot chose for his jacket a chenille State Of RI Seal patch. The label is missing from the jacket but definitely a private purchase and is not a contract A-2.  I also show some insignia including a pretty unique wing that came on this jacket.

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Scarecrow

Last is a private purchase A-2 type jacket that belonged to 4th Fighter Group ace Raymond "Bud" Care. It is made of an extremely soft, maybe calfskin, leather.  There is no label.

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  • 1 month later...
dmar836

Not really sure about that one. but I like the bombs on the arms.

 

Scarecrow, The last A-2 that you said is so soft might be cape skin? Kinda has that look to me.

Landing at WWII airfields is a hoot. I try to imagine what it was like training there. Our airport was a secondary field to the Olathe Naval Station only 2 miles away to keep their runway clear of limping aircraft. There was also training done. It started as a mail stop on a tertiary mail route and was then built up by the navy before the war with three runways(2 are grass) and a nice maintenance hangar which is still in use. The city wants to condemn the maintenance hangar but with solid steel trusses and concrete like you've never seen, it is still a better building than anything they could replace it with. I have no doubt they will eventually succeed.

 

Great jackets!

Dave

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Bob Hudson

This belonged to a US Navy doctor who served with Marine Air Group 23 in WWII:

 

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dmar836

Bob, I did see an older half-belt like that at the local CAF. Lots of red rot. They wanted to cut the painted back out of it. I can't justify cutting something up and suggested folding it to show just the back which contained 3 or 4 painted squadron insignia of his group. I think the story was that he was a doctor as well - but AAF. Interesting.

I can't deny Trenchbuff's suggestion that this was pre-war(as it appears that way) but there was the A-1 into the early 30s so basically there was a continuous line of issued jackets. There was also a robust sporting industry that made A-1 clones even during the depression such as Amelia Earhart often wore. I would think an officer would have much more likely chosen that style rather than a sporting jacket. Post-war, he might also have placed his unit patch on an existing pre-war jacket.

Very cool and not one to pass up!

Dave

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dmar836

BTW, and I'm sure you already know, I'd place this flat or at minimum on a form or significantly padded hangar. Those shoulders don't look too long for this world if hung on a sharp hangar.

Dave

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Also not uncommon for officers in other branches to get a "issue" A2 Often see the Airborne officers wearing them and FSSF also can be seen wearing issue A2 jackets

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