View Full Version : Colonal Hogan's A-2

03-31-2007, 01:07 PM
Hopefully, this isn't a tired topic:

I got to wondering about the lineage of Colonal Hogan's A-2, after seeing a "Hogan's Heroes" video at Target. Obviously, it's a prop. But I got to wondering about why a lot of movie prop people seem to make all of their replica A-2's look really dark. Almost any movie you can name shows ALL crews wearing a very dark jacket - when most A-2's were actually russet. For example the movie "Memphis Belle". My theory is that they're judging the jacket color from black and white photos, which make the jacket appear to be nearly black. OK, I'm not sure where I'm going with this - just thought I'd vent.

BTW, I discovered this while searching Google (which knows all things):

In the 1960's and 1970's the A-2 would reappear in a new crop of big budget WWII films such as "The Great Escape" and "Patton," as well as being the wardrobe of choice for Bob Crane's character of Colonel Hogan in the popular TV series "Hogan's Heroes." This same jacket, manufactured by the studio's costume department, would later be worn by Frank Sinatra in the film "Von Ryan's Express."


03-31-2007, 02:09 PM
I think Hollywood is reflecting expectations. Most people today expect "bomber Jackets" to be dark brown. Even my grandmother said she remembers seeing soldiers wearing predominantly dark brown jackets during the war. Russet has been erased from the modern consciousness.

03-31-2007, 02:23 PM
It's been so long since anyone saw medium brown leather in a military (or even dressy equestrian) context that the color has probably come to seem quite "unsquared away." As a result it's harder to get these things in any color but black. Even police units with brown uniforms typically put black leather items with them. Also, the current issue Air Force A-2 is speced strictly for dark seal brown.

Furthermore, a lot of WW2 A-2s were refurbed at some point in the war. They were hard to get and everybody wanted one. The refurbs were typically redyed a dark brown to cover any wear to the finish.

One clue to the collective memory loss is the color of the bill and chinstrap on the popularly priced AAF service caps sold by vendors like US Wings (Cockpit used to have them too) - always dark seal!

03-31-2007, 04:04 PM
Most of the early contracts (prior to the war) were russet . I have two original A2s that were redyed seal (a Roughwear and a Doniger). My Monarch, a wartime issue jacket, was a dark russet color not seal but not as light as the pre-war models. It is hard to say why hollywood seems to go for the darker jackets. It could be a because the new A2 issued to the USAF is that color. I actually like both colors but then of course I really like A2s so it doesn't really count for much.

03-31-2007, 04:22 PM
Anyone flying Comair (Delta regional turbojets) will notice that their pilots have a black A-2 as part of their uniform in the cooler months. They have velcro'd on wings and nameplates and such, but still look way sharper than pilots of most other airlines.

Dixon Cannon
03-31-2007, 04:39 PM
Alaska Airlines does that black bomber jacket look as well. Get's cold in Prudoe Bay, ya know!

-dixon cannon

03-31-2007, 04:41 PM
Wonder if it's a black B-3, maybe with black fleece lining? That could be sorta cool...er warm and cool.


03-31-2007, 07:04 PM
The reason the jackets would appear Dark is probably a matter of contrast.
All my friends laugh at me because I like BW movies. I have to remind them BW
movies deal with light and dark not color to contrast. I heard they used to use
chocolate syrup for blood in BW movies. If one watches the real old silents the
actors wear a pancake white face makeup. The jackets you see later on in the
color flicks have probably been wardrobe since the 40s. Just a thought.

04-01-2007, 06:26 PM
I dug up some vintage color photos from WW2. Yes, I know that the color process back then left much to be desired. HOWEVER, you can use the pants color and skin color as a constant. Also, you can see the liner in the second photo below. It looks pretty close to the correct color for a liner. The second photo has a color close to the ELC Rough Wear 1401 replica (which I have ;-) )


Anyone know what kind of jacket the fellow below is wearing?



07-09-2007, 11:13 AM
Hi, A-2 Junkie, what do you think Col. Doolittle a-2 jacket was?


07-09-2007, 03:06 PM


07-09-2007, 06:16 PM
Pointy collar and pocket remind me of a Dubow.