LOST WORLDS Collection original vintage flight and motorcycle jackets Original Type A-2 Horsehide Flight Jacket, 705th Bombardment

LOST WORLDS
 FLIGHT JACKET COLLECTION

A-2 FLIGHT JACKET

 "THE BIG DRIP"
 705th Bombardment Squadron, 446th Bombardment Group



 


 

 



 

 

A-2 Flight Jacket, 705 Bombardment Squadron, 446 Bombardment Group, copyright Lost Worlds Collection


 

THE BIG DRIP
Big Drip, #41-29524 - B-24 of the 839th Squadron
Part of original deployment, may have been briefly assigned to 493rd\BG before assignment in Aug 44 to 446th BG

A fine example of WWII comic caricature artwork. THE BIG DRIP was a B-24 from the 8th Air Force. The worried Gremlin-like character framed in a big oil drop appears either to be crying or his nose is running, either of which is wonderfully metaphorical as Penny Fields, niece of the pilot, informs us that THE BIG DRIP was so nicknamed because she was a leaker!  

B-24, tail # 41-29524, (nicknamed "The Big Drip") with the 705th BS, 446th BG (flying out of Flixton, England), was written off as salvage on January 1, 1945. The aircraft was involved in a fatal accident on take-off in which nine of the ten man crew died. Fortunately Penny Fields' uncle was not involved in the catastrophe.

Note the Collar Stand construction. The tag is gone but the maker is likely Perry Sportswear as the short, rounded collar configuration is typical of Perry -- the "Peter Pan" collar. The pockets as well are typically Perry and the very reddish hide coloration.  Condition is marvelous. Thick, supple Horsehide color is darkish Russet.

Note too the deep Horsehide grain furrows: this is how LOST WORLDS jackets look after use and how one can tell on a modern A-2 if the hides are really (a) Horsehide or (b) Good Horsehide. Some makers use Cowhide and mislabel it Horsehide. Others, a thin, substandard South American or Pakistani Horsehide crisscrossed with varicose-like veins and oversprayed to mask deficiencies, like a rust bucket at Honest Al's Used Car Lot. Others gull the novice by just making things up -- for instance, that Steerhide was used on original A-2s. We've owned well over a hundred, restored and examined hundreds more and have yet to see a confirmed Steerhide A-2. 

One thing that is true is that original WWII Horsehide varied in quality from contractor to contractor. Perry, J.A. Dubow, Bronco, United Sheeplined -- these were generally excellent.  Aero Leather and several either related or proximate companies (like Poughkeepsie Leather) were far less consistent. Section matching and durability on Aero (Beacon, NY) examples seem particularly bad, but the company's enormous production might be a partial explanation. Notwithstanding, irregular wear and both hide and lining fading are much more apparent on these. Bad tanning? The whole issue is interesting but unresolved.

 
     
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