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 FLIGHT JACKET COLLECTION

A-2 FLIGHT JACKET

 83rd Bombardment Squadron
12th Bombardment Group,10th AF
 


 

A-2 Flight Jacket 83rd Bombardment Squadron 12th Bombardment Group CBI

 

Earthquakers A-2 Flight Jacket 83rd Bombardment Squadron 12th Bombardment Group CBI

F. Knapp A-2 Flight Jacket 83rd Bombardment Squadron 12th Bombardment Group CBI


A spectacular historic jacket that saw intensive combat both in the North African and CBI theaters in WWII as a member of the famed B-25 "Earthquakers" squadron. The jacket has a wealth of extraordinary details: 55 bombing and ground attack missions (respectively, the painted bombs and 75mm. shells); composite embroidered 83rd Bombardment Squadron chest patch; and 75 mm. fuse ring attached to the Talon zipper slider (unpictured). Below Lt. F. Knapp's English and Chinese name tag is partially visible Arabic lettering from earlier MTO deployment. Composite leather Blood Chits sewn to the back; composite leather AAF and CBI sleeve insignia. On the right chest an erased area indicates earlier artwork. Lt. Knapp retired from the AF with colonel rank. Unbelievable as it might seem, given all the combat this A-2's seen, it's in remarkable original condition.

If one examined this Aero Leather example he would see visible manufacturing flaws: waist tabs are misaligned, either from poor workmanship or pattern irregularities. Misaligned collar and snaps. As we say elsewhere on this site, perfection wasn't the goal of the AAF contractor. Making good jackets quickly and in great quantity was. As manufacturers we are more aware of technical errors in original jackets. Such errors, do not diminish these wonderful jackets a bit. (They do, however, diminish modern reproductions that duplicate such errors.)

We differ from many so-called collectors and would-be authorities, who routinely mistakenly infer historical and design data on the basis of a small number of jackets superficially examined. Knowing the many, many ways things can err from a production standpoint, we can readily look at an original A-2 and conclude why something was done a certain way. Technical criteria must be applied: materials used, operator skill, consistency of design, accuracy and condition of the patterns used to cut the hides and linings. Any failure of any of these components impacts the whole.

 

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