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A-2 Jacket


Dragoon
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Dragoon

Hi, just thought I would share this A-2 jacket I just recently acquired, it is fairly standard but has character, the overall condition is okay with the leather remaining fairly pliable and all the stitching intact, the zipper is Talon and in working order but with the pull tag is missing.

My knowledge on these is almost zero but I have been around US militaria for many years, I collect pre WW1 US Cavalry so am used to handling old leather objects. I have not done anything with the jacket except pad the sleeves out with tissue paper, as can be seen it had been stored flat.

The jacket has never been in a collection, it was purchased direct from a person who bought it to wear many years ago, that is how it has been treated as a wearable jacket, something it no doubt it was when first purchased.

I have done a bit of research and understand that as there is no tag and no sign of there ever being one that it is a private purchase? Secondly I think I am correct in thinking the leather shoulder patch is 12th USAAF.

I would be interested in to hear from anyone who might have anything else to add, either about the jacket or preservation, as can be seen most of the American flag patch is missing and the other is fragile, I am therefore trying to not handle it too much. I am not intending to treat or do anything with the leather, except for the patches the leather is not flaking mainly just scuffed or worn, the fold of the collar has the most wear. 

Thanks

Kurt.

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dhcoleterracina

Cool A2,  check inside the lining, just under the leather strap for a missing/removed contract tag. If no evidence then perhaps it was private purchase. The lining looks like a contract piece though. Looks like it had Lieutenant insignias on the shoulders too. 

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Dragoon

Thank you, well spotted I had not noticed the stitch holes on the shoulders until you pointed them out. No unfortunately no evidence of there ever being a tag.

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Hi dhcoleterracina

 

An apology and a thank you from me. You are correct, I took the jacket outside in the daylight and the stitch holes from where the tag has been removed are clearly evident just above the "W-1887" stamp. Just goes to show although I have only owned the jacket since last Friday I had only viewed it in artificial light due to poor weather. After reading your reply about the lining it made me go and check again.

Kurt

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Blacksmith

Hi Kurt - Congratulations, that is one fantastic jacket.  I checked available enlistment records, and there are 59 soldiers listed with that laundry number.  The enlistment records are not complete, but with some research - and a little luck - maybe you could find a 12th AF Lieutenant in that lot:

 

W-1887 Laundry Numbers

 

Good luck Sir!

 

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Hi Blacksmith, thank you that is most kind of you. I love a bit of research so will have a look through to see what I can find.

Thanks again for taking the time to help and sharing the link.

Kurt

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Blacksmith
9 minutes ago, Dragoon said:

Hi Blacksmith, thank you that is most kind of you. I love a bit of research so will have a look through to see what I can find.

Thanks again for taking the time to help and sharing the link.

Kurt

You are most welcome Kurt, anytime.  It may be, well, will be tedious, but I would possibly start by cross-referencing the laundry number surnames with the WWII Memorial Registry.  While that is crowd-sourced, per se, I have found it to offer some great leads over the years.  If you have any questions, you are welcome to PM me anytime.

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Nice jacket. Those are the standard type of Italian made incised leather patches often found on 12th and 15th AF jackets. You are most likely looking for an officer ASN so the enlisted laundry number info posted above will not help you find the owner. Officers can be tough to track down solely by their laundry number because there is not central database of officer ASNs.  

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Blacksmith
1 hour ago, Kadet said:

Nice jacket. Those are the standard type of Italian made incised leather patches often found on 12th and 15th AF jackets. You are most likely looking for an officer ASN so the enlisted laundry number info posted above will not help you find the owner. Officers can be tough to track down solely by their laundry number because there is not central database of officer ASNs.  

Actually, especially with AAC, I’ve found a fair number that were enlisted before commissioning.  I think it’s worth a look, but who knows?

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2 hours ago, Blacksmith said:

Actually, especially with AAC, I’ve found a fair number that were enlisted before commissioning.  I think it’s worth a look, but who knows?

Yes, many were enlisted first but they received new and different officer ASNs upon commissioning. The laundry number in his A2 is more likely to be for an officer ASN. 

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Blacksmith
1 hour ago, Kadet said:

Yes, many were enlisted first but they received new and different officer ASNs upon commissioning. The laundry number in his A2 is more likely to be for an officer ASN. 

Yep, I 100% understand how that works, but thanks.

 

My point is, and I mentioned it would require some “luck”, is that at least it is SOME information - which has born fruit in the past.  
 

Do you have a better approach (and I say this with profound respect) or were you merely looking to point out what wouldn’t work?  So, try nothing, versus something?  🤠

 

I also sometimes realize that what I find is much better than what I was looking for.  
 

Again, awesome jacket!

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I will have a look as I have nothing to lose, but I understand the probability is slim. A shame I have not found a faint name or intials anywhere.

Interesting to learn the patches are Italian made.

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1 hour ago, Blacksmith said:

Yep, I 100% understand how that works, but thanks.

 

My point is, and I mentioned it would require some “luck”, is that at least it is SOME information - which has born fruit in the past.  
 

Do you have a better approach (and I say this with profound respect) or were you merely looking to point out what wouldn’t work?  So, try nothing, versus something?  🤠

 

I also sometimes realize that what I find is much better than what I was looking for.  
 

Again, awesome jacket!

My point was simply that you advised the OP to look for an officer attribution on an enlisted data base and that they are apples and oranges. If he were to somehow get a number that matched, it would be the wrong attribution. In my book that is worse than no attribution at all...but that is just me.

 

Were this my jacket I would look here:

 

http://www.accident-report.com/officers/usa/usadir.html

 

A long tedious process, but if you search the lists there might be a match for the last name initial and last four of the ASN. As I said above, identifying an officer solely from a laundry number is very difficult because there is no comprehensive data base like there is for enlisted personnel (and the enlisted data base has omissions)

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Blacksmith
1 hour ago, Kadet said:

My point was simply that you advised the OP to look for an officer attribution on an enlisted data base and that they are apples and oranges. If he were to somehow get a number that matched, it would be the wrong attribution. In my book that is worse than no attribution at all...but that is just me.

 

Were this my jacket I would look here:

 

http://www.accident-report.com/officers/usa/usadir.html

 

A long tedious process, but if you search the lists there might be a match for the last name initial and last four of the ASN. As I said above, identifying an officer solely from a laundry number is very difficult because there is no comprehensive data base like there is for enlisted personnel (and the enlisted data base has omissions)

 

They are only apples and oranges if you assume that's an officer laundry number in it, which you clearly do.

 

Anyway, moving on.

 

Dragoon - good luck in your research, and thanks for sharing your jacket.

 

 

 

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It appears to have had 1st or 2nd Ltd bars removed from the epaulettes. Though some went through the depot and were reissued one has to ask if this was such a jacket. It does appear to have been redyed.

I think this was discussed on another forum here - did officers use their last initial and last four digits of their O-number as a laundry mark? I really haven't seen that to be honest. Guess it could have happened though.

If he was enlisted and then became an officer he would have received a new O-number, no? That's what my friend did and he could quote both his numbers. Interestingly he ended up in the 12th.

I think this was likely an officer's jacket, at some point obviously, but cannot explain the enlisted laundry number.

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Oh, cool. Would that have caused duplication though? Not that it would likely line up and cause an issue.

Dave

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phantomfixer

first off, I love the jackets, great hide and cool patch work...

 

 

the train of thought is that the jacket went from enlisted to officer ownership, maybe the reverse is true, a reissue jacket that belonged to a Lt. then reissued, or lost in a card game, to an enlisted troop...when encountering an A-2 with multiple owners, laundry marks or names of the previous owner are generally crossed out,   leading me to believe the enlisted mark is the last owner...

Just a thought

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At the risk of beating a dead horse…..nothing about the laundry number in the jacket makes it “enlisted”. Officers often used the same laundry number format as enlisted personnel. I’ve owned many officer uniforms marked this way. Here is one I had in front of me that I picked up at the SOS. It is a B10 named to an officer. The laundry number corresponds to his last name and the last four of his officer ASN. 

04E43020-3C83-4B3A-81D7-1FD3278300E4.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Blacksmith said:

Dragoon - awesome jacket, thanks again for sharing it.  

Yes I think it has real character. I like the fact it is an honest jacket that came from an owner that bought it to wear many years ago, the fact it is WW2 was irrelevant as it was just an everyday jacket.

I expect most of the damage to the patches was a result of it being used all those years later, but I am glad enough remains to identify them and that he never removed them.

 

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The patch damage appears to be red rot but it's difficult to tell. The incising also weakens them quite a bit.

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1 hour ago, dmar836 said:

The patch damage appears to be red rot but it's difficult to tell. The incising also weakens them quite a bit.

Yes being a cavalry collector I am familiar with red rot, it is a shame the leather patches are delicate but they are not quite at the stage where they are flaking or turning to powder, some stability remains, the incising and loss of most of the surface finish does not help with strength and appearance.

No denying they are certainly more fragile than the jacket itself so they have to be handled with care. Still when the jacket is displayed/supported they are okay, given how the jacket was used prior to my acquiring I am very pleased with what remains, given their condition it is also great the previous owner was not tempted to just remove the damaged insignia.

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