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New A2 find, rare maker SH Knopf-help with ID of flier


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I was lucky recently to source this fine A2 jacket. It is a size 42, and the tag is one of only four "no name" labels. This contract was let in May 1942 to SH Knopf. They made 10,000 A2's under this contract. The jacket is a plain Jane A2, much like our fliers wore during much of the conflict. There are no removed labels or patches, etc. In other words no stich holes. Also no patches or paint on the jacket. The jacket is in extremely nice condition, the horsehide is buttery soft and has great patina. The jacket is text book, with the M41 Talon no. 5 zipper, and all parts including knits original. Even the lining is in great shape, but you can tell it was worn in the period. It is named on the lining to a man named "Alston" with the number A-5807 under the name.


I would love to try to identify this vet, but my expertise in that lies solely with Marine Corps service members. I am not sure what the number A-5807 is, a service number or partial perhaps or laundry number? Any help getting me started to try to identify the original owner of this wonderful jacket would be greatly appreciated. Wish I could have taken pics on a dress form, but I am in the process of moving soon so waiting to buy another form until I am in a new house. I did take the photos outside so readers can get a sense for the great patina on the jacket. Thanks in advance for any assistance. Kevin







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Alex Boban

Beautiful jacket, thanks for sharing!

The 'A-5807' is indeed a laundry number (Initial of last name - last 4 digits of his officer serial number). 

I ran both together and found a match for a Captain William C ALSTON 0-485807 from Oklahoma on the document attached below. 




This came out of the 314th BG archives (Via Fold3.com). Captain Alston is listed as a passenger aboard a B-17G. Since his branch is listed as 'MC' (Medical Corps), I didn't think this could be a match, however, I also found a 'Dr. William Corder Alston Jr.' listed as the 34th BG Flight Surgeon on the following Findagrave memorial page:


Dr William Corder Alston Jr. (1913-2006) - Find a Grave Memorial


Note that Dr. Alston was a native of Arkansas, but moved to Checotah OK at a young age, this matches the address listed on the document listed above. 


Obit published in Tulsa World in 2006:







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Alex thank you very much, you are a rock star. I will explore further. This is exciting and looking forward to the journey. Kevin

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Incredible jacket and investigation work - what a nice story to look at ! Thanks for sharing

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