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Cut Down WWII Colvinex leather jacket

Dinerman

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Just scored this WWII m465 Colvinex Jacket. I saw one of these in an antique store in 2006, but they were asking something like $600 for it. I've wanted one since then. I got this for $25, so even though it's rough and will need some work, the price was right.

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Dinerman

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Originally, these started out as full flight suits, but post-war, there wasn't as much demand for a full electrically heated suit, so it seems a fair number of them were un-wired and cut down to short jackets. Here are some pics, taken from around the internet, of what it would have looked like new.


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This second one's had some funny leather extension panels added to make it bigger.

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Dinerman

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There was a lot of variation in how they were cut down.

Short
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Longer. I particularly liked this guy's ebay listing.
It is horsehide, and muscrat fur.( PRECIDIO, SF, ARMY MUSEUM).

This coat has never been touched; cut; altered, or made from another Colvinex flight suit, as some CHEAP AMERICAN A**HOLES wish it to be. You cannot fake fine, original leather-work.
Goat, mouton, and yes it was.
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Knits Added
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Long with leather collar
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short, but with extension panel
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Snaps
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Dinerman

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It's showed up (in Maryland- I don't get back there for another week- so no pics until then). From the report on the homefront, the mouton looks better than it did in the pictures, and the leather doesn't look as dry, but it reeks to high heaven of cigarettes and age, and has some holes in the leather. I have some goatskin patch material that I used on a m-69 transport coat, so I should be able to at least make those areas sturdy enough to wear. Because I do plan to get some decent wear out of this one.
 
Excellent!

I always feel a little pang when I see things cut down. But that other part of me knows just how impractical these leather suits are for virtually anything other than their original purpose.

Am I alone in thinking that the quirky leather collar on this one makes it most appealing of all?

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Dinerman

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A better pic of it being worn. Still needs a lot of work, but I'm wearing it in the meantime. It's comfortable, it's got character, and it's not just another A-2.
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Edward

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Really interesting jacket. It's easy to have a knee-jerk reaction against the idea of cutting down something, I agree, but then I also have to wonder how many of these jackets would have survived at all in the form of a leather flightsuit for which no average person would have had much use... The non-mouton collar is interesting, I wonder how it ended up like that. Surely the very purpose of a collar that size is so that it can be folded up to keep the ears warm, which really requires the mouton, or equivalent... Perhaps that particular example was made at a time when the mouton was not available (wartime shortages, tight production deadlines...), or it was a cost cutting exercise to do without it, or maybe even a later repair job? Perhaps an alteration by someone who did not care for the mouton and had some spare goatskin to make a top-panel for the collar; if this was done at the time it was cut down into a jacket, that could easily have been provided by the leg panels.
 

Dinerman

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I had the background and lights set up for some other things tonight, and thought I'd get some shots of this jacket now that I've conditioned it a couple times.
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tacid blue

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Kansas
I am almost sure these were the type of flight suits my grandfather bought for his four sons after WWII to work on his dairy. My father talked about these suits a lot, I remember the electrical lines were still in them when they had them. My grandfather was convinced anything the Navy used was good stuff when he came home from the war. He also used a military issued Willys Jeep as a farm vehicle. His "varmint" guns were a Navy issued Winchester 12 gauge pump and a commercial Thompson 45.
 
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I saw one at the Rose Bowl flea mkt. Coffee. As well as the whole outfit, uncut. In decent shape, but way too small for me :)
You going this weekend?
 
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