Memphis Belle 324th Bombardment Squadron 91st Bombardment Group original A-2 flight jacket A-2 Flight Jacket 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment World War II

LOST WORLDS COLLECTION

A-2 FLIGHT JACKET

ORIGINAL 513TH PARACHUTE INFANTRY REGIMENT
 

Original A-2 Flight Jacket, 513th Parachute Regiment, Lost Worlds Collection
 
Original A-2 513th Airborne Regiment, Airbone

513th Airborne Regiment A-2 Flight Jacket
 
Original A-2 Flight Jacket, 513th Airborne Regiment, Lost Worlds Collection

An original and rare WWII Airborne A-2. A-2s were sporadically issued to AB officers, but few survive. According to two AB veterans we spoke to, flight jackets were turned in at the end of the war. This beautiful example has an embroidered on twill 513th Parachute Regiment insignia sewn to a disc of leather and then to left breast below A.G. Wing's name tag. Faded captain's rank insignia on epaulet. Horsehide color is a Dark Russet. Note too how in contrast, for example, to the many original Aero Leather, Beacon. N.Y. examples in this Collection, there is much more consistent color here without any of the mottling and "antiquing" common to Aeros. This suggests strongly that different tanning among suppliers produced different coloration and wear characteristics. If pigment impregnators do not penetrate the grain, the top finish is thin and wears immediately. If the hides are not drummed long enough similar results can occur. The resultant premature "antiquing" may be attractive to some but represents shortcuts or deficiencies to those who understand the goal of correct military contract tanning: strength, not fashion, permanence, not instant wear. Chrome tanning systematically replaced vegetable tanning in the 1930s for these reasons. Another pilot once bemusedly explained that "some of the boys" would themselves try to age their new A-2s during WWII to make it look as if they were "tough old birds." An interesting but fully understandable historical sidelight: those whom we revere themselves "suffered" from idol worship and tried to conform both to the movie and actual images of the heroic, star-crossed AAF airman. What more logical psychological mechanism than to gird oneself in the face of often certain death by assuming the "been there" vestments of the survivors who went before?

What does this mean to the present context -- making fully accurate reproductions of classic American flight jackets? Well, you either do the research, immerse yourself, like the correct hides, or float on the surface of superficiality. A lesson in life, not just accurate clothing manufacture!
 

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