Product Description: This Japanese Leather Flight Cap is a great example of a rare and very desirable piece of WWII flight headgear. The exterior is made of leather that retains its original, attractive rich brown color. This is flight helmet was issued and worn, and shows light, honest wear to the leather surface, with some expected highlighting to edges and high wear areas. All of the buttons and snaps are intact and functional. The front closure strap shows honest wear from use, with some light age patination to the intact closure buckle. The interior of this Japanese leather flight cap shows nice wear that matches the exterior perfectly. It’s made of a dark brown fabric with a smooth, suedelike nap. There is a bit of soiling to the seams and in the forehead area, and some small wear holes and light fraying in a couple of small spots along the bottom edge. This hard-to-find piece is nice and complete, and has a great look. It’s in excellent plus condition.
Historical Description: During WWII, flight service was extremely demanding and required specialized uniforms and equipment to deal with harsh aerial environments. Among the various belligerent nations, an extremely wide array of gear was utilized. The various air forces issued specialized flight gear for use in aircraft, in addition to the standard service uniforms. There were wool jackets, electrically heated suits, shearling jackets, and the iconic leather flight jackets. Airmen in unheated WWII-era aircraft were also generally equipped with extreme cold weather items such as leather pants and gloves, and heated shoes or boots. Parachutes, headsets, and similar equipment items were intended to help the airmen perform their duties in the incredibly challenging environment of aerial combat. Aircraft were also equipped with specialized survival gear such as life vests, inflatable rafts, water bottles and machetes, to offer airmen a chance at survival in the event of a crash landing. Headgear worn by WWII aviators ranged from visor caps and standard service caps, to various flight helmets (leather or otherwise) and even the steel helmet. Air force ground crew members also had their own uniforms. Uniforms and equipment worn by WWII aviators are sought after by collectors today.
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