Product Description: We are pleased to be able to offer this fantastic painted A2 jacket, that could absolutely serve as a collection centerpiece. It is a wonderful example of the most iconic pieces of flight gear of WWII. The back of this jacket has hand painted art work of the nose art of the B-24 “Mister Completely,” with a pinup-style female flying through the air. The painted art shows some age and wear, but remains beautiful and mostly intact. The chest is adorned with a hand painted leather 825th bomb squadron patch featuring a vulture perched on a machine gun, with a bomb falling behind. On the shoulder, there is a beautiful and almost certainly theater made, hand tooled leather patch of the 485th Bombardment Group . This group deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) in March and April 1944, and entered combat with Fifteenth Air Force in May 1944, eventually participating in very long range strategic mobbing missions against targets in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. This beautiful painted A2 jacket is in very good condition overall, showing lots of honest wear, but retaining nearly all of the original finish to the supple leather. The knit cuffs and waist band show some small, pencil eraser sized holes and fraying, but are intact. The liner has very light soiling and wear that matches the exterior, with some areas around the collar worn through. The original tag is still present inside, and indicates this handsome jacket is a size 40, perfect for mannequin display.
Historical Description: Flight crew of the US Army Air Force wore a wide variety of uniforms and equipment, from standard Army dress and service uniforms, to specialized gear intended for the demands of their specific tasks. The service uniforms were the typical ones used by all Army soldiers, with distinctive unit insignia showing the specific Army Air Force unit to which the airman was assigned. Officers typically had to obtain their own uniforms, which were generally custom tailored. In their aircraft, airmen wore flight gear, which included a variety of uniform types including the wool ETO jacket, the F-1 “Blue Bunny” heated suit, the heavy leather shearling B-3 jacket, and the iconic A2 leather flight jacket that is what most people think of when they envision a WWII flight crew uniform. The airmen were also equipped with specialized gear such as the B-3 or B-4 life vests, leather pants and gloves, heated shoes, parachutes, headsets, and other equipment to help them perform their duties in the incredibly challenging environment of aerial combat. Headgear worn by Army Air Corps members ranged from the classic officer’s “crusher” visor cap, to the leather B-2 baseball cap, various flight helmets and even the steel helmet. Ground crew typically wore HBT coveralls. The achievements of the US Army Air Force in WWII are legendary, and the uniforms and equipment worn by the airmen are extremely sought after by collectors.
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