A rare, pristine
example of a CBI B-15A Flight Jacket. The B-15A was the final development of the World War
II non-Winter AAF flight jacket, replacing the relatively short-lived but widely-used B-10
(which itself replaced the A-2) in 1944-45. Features include oversized Mouton Collar, full Alpaca
Lining (extending into the wind flap), biased Zipper, Oxygen Clip tabs, dual interior
This one belonged to
Lt. Ernest Trowbridge and is virtually unworn. In addition to the AAF printed insignia a
white stencil version remains fully intact on the left front facing. Note that Lt.
Trowbridge's name is stenciled on the wind flap. Inside the Jacket a beautiful composite
all-leather CBI Blood Chit, an identically made CBI shield on the right sleeve and over
the left pocket a striking 332nd Troop Carrier patch. The 332nd arose from the 11th Combat
Cargo Squadron, designated on September 29, 1945. Its mission was to ferry Nationalist
Chinese troops back into the cities and territories they evacuated during WWII. The 332nd
also transported General George Marshall on his futile diplomatic efforts in China to
resolve the enmity between Chinese Communists and Nationalists following the surrender of
The B-15, B-15A and
earlier B-10 Jackets are pretty hard to find in good shape today. The cotton sateen soiled
and wore quickly and the OD color conferred a more functional, more military look to the
Jacket so they weren't as coveted as the Horsehide and Goatskin A-2s. They were, however,
warmer, more comfortable, held much more and had usable, valuable front pockets, unlike
the A-2, which had looks to kill but was rather a leather sweater, all things considered.
Finding a gem like this
is therefore all the more remarkable and we thank Trina Antoniono in California for kindly
making this available to us.