Does Aero make the most `Period-Correct' B-3 Jacket?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by mattmiller1973, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. mattmiller1973

    mattmiller1973 New in Town

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    I'm looking for the most `period-correct' B-3 jacket that I can possibly find.

    Reason: my grandfather flew a B-24 in the second World War out of Horsham St. Faith (458th Bomb Group, 755th Bomb Squadron) and was shot down over Boppard, Germany before being transferred to Stalag Luft 3. I'd like to try and get something as close as I can to what he would have worn.

    This is the clearest picture I can find so far of the men in that squadron wearing their sheepskins:
    [​IMG]

    Also, I really like the USAAF insignias seen on the 50 cal and the cockpit 100 mission sleeves. It would be great if I could get his Bomb Squad insignia on the other shoulder, and I seem to remember having seen that option somewhere.
    [​IMG]

    (Note: I couldn't decide whether to post this here or in the WWII forum, maybe I'll try both? Can one post be in two forums?)

    Thanks for your help! Love this forum.
     
    seres likes this.
  2. John Lever

    John Lever One Too Many

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    Go with Aero....the skins are nice and soft easy wearing and jackets are beautifully made. The current version has better cuffs than previously.
     
  3. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

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    8,957
    This is a really fun looking patch! Anyway, if I remember correctly, Aero'd occasionally paint something on a leather jacket but not sure if that's actually a thing. Worth asking, in any case.
     
    mattmiller1973 likes this.
  4. Bfd70

    Bfd70 One Too Many

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    My first thought upon seeing the post was Mr. Lever is the one to ask. He’s the expert so to the OP my advice is case closed.....and stay away from the cans. He hates cans.
     
    John Lever and mattmiller1973 like this.
  5. mattmiller1973

    mattmiller1973 New in Town

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    Excellent, thanks! I'll call and ask.
     
  6. mattmiller1973

    mattmiller1973 New in Town

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    I was literally just singing ``I'm Picking Out a Thermos for You'' to my dog.
     
    Bfd70 likes this.
  7. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

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    There is only one - Eastman Leather Clothing. No other comes this close in fit, construction, appearance, and correct detailing. Period.

    If you want to truly honor your grandfather, please have a look here at post #736:

    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/thr...iates-official-affiliate-thread.75818/page-37

    I am about as serious-minded and dedicated as you will ever run into when it comes to researching and collecting WWII artifacts and I offer you the same advice I offer those just getting started in collecting who don't want to get burned on forgeries: Educate yourself and you won't need to ask others for opinions.
     
    Juanito likes this.
  8. John Lever

    John Lever One Too Many

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    Cans what cans ?
    I largely agree with Charles apart from the sheepskins which I don't like. Thats why I only usually buy very very old Eastman jackets, usually 25 years old. Just my taste,I don't claim to be an expert...I would also point out that Buzz Ricksons and Mccoys make excellent sheepskins. The old RMNZ are without parallel IMO. They were using Japanese hh decades ago and continued to use Fenland merino sheepskins right upto closure of the tannery.
    Just found a rare ELC merino D1 in Japan, a real rarity, never seen one before.
     
  9. Juanito

    Juanito One of the Regulars

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    I would agree with this if Eastman is still offering the polyacrylate lacquered finished sheepskin.
     
  10. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

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    Thanks, John, for the reply and acknowledging your take on this question was a subjective one vis-a-vis your love of specific sheepskin characteristics. The OP, however, asked a question that was clearly about authenticity (you can't get much more specific than his subject heading), and for authenticity in B-3 Flying Jackets Eastman is the last word, by any objective measure.

    One of the B-3's I own is a Buzz Rickson's merino and I am very fond of it for the price paid 15 years ago at my dealer cost, but it lacks some authentic detailing. BR B-3's have potential to be awesome, but even after pointing out what it would take to get there to the brand director while in a meeting at my place years ago, he elects to not remedy any of the less-than-authentic aspects of this style.

    I believe the B-3 is not much of a performer in the Japanese market due to the warmer climate and BR just can't justify the corrections for such an item that generates little revenue. They did make a respectable effort on a redskin B-6 for two seasons a few of years back, which I guess was because the B-6 weight was more appealing to their climate, but this was so expensive and still lacking in some details that it has been shelved. It does make me wonder if they corrected their B-3 deficiencies would it sell any better than it does. I think they have likely thought this question through and concluded it would not.

    I have not handled a RMJP B-3 recently, so what they offer currently is something I cannot comment on, but older versions still lacked some of the correct details I note in the my post link supplied in this thread. For a B-3 costing in the neighborhood of $3, 000.00 (depending on exchange rate), there should be nothing amiss, but that's the Japanese market.

    Good luck in your quest for old ELC merino!
     
  11. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

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    Yes, they indeed do still offer this finish and have never not offered it, except on the SFAD 1937 B-3 in merino, which, of course, correctly has no finish. This may be my fave B-3 to wear simply due to comfort, flexibility, and looks that are so dissimilar to just about anything available in public consumption.
     
    El Marro likes this.
  12. Juanito

    Juanito One of the Regulars

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    Odd...the B-3 I bought in 1990 which I had to wait on since it was one, if not the first to have the horsehide trim, did not have that finish which I though came out shortly after thereafter in 1991-92?
     
  13. John Lever

    John Lever One Too Many

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    FB_IMG_1447411685433.jpg
     
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  14. John Lever

    John Lever One Too Many

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    FB_IMG_1447411696749.jpg
     
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  15. Bfd70

    Bfd70 One Too Many

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    Sorry, it was meant in two parts. The cans thing was in reference to the OPs avatar.
     
  16. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

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    Yes, horse hide trim did come out about 1990-91 simply because customers in the USA were asking for it (and had no knowledge of goat and steer use on AAF jackets), but the finish on the sheepskin was polyacrylate lacquer. The old ELC color B-3 promo page from 1989 and before states this, I do believe (I'd have to hunt for one of these), and we took in our first ELC B-3's in 1989, which certainly appeared to have had the finish. I do not know what you have/had that makes you think it was not this finish, but if you still have the coat I'd love to see what you are describing.

    It is possible that ELC had the finish refined in the timeframe you reference, so maybe there is some noticeable difference from these early years, or maybe the finish just changed from a particular consignment. Now I'm curious ...
     
  17. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

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    I do recall these well, John, and seeing this brings back a lot of memories. I can't see the zipper, but the nickel Talon with wartime bell-shaped puller showed up in 1994, as I recall; brass with bell-shaped pullers would have been earlier, and in 1990 the brass Talon's didn't even have wartime-style pullers.

    Do you know when this one was made?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
    John Lever likes this.
  18. Juanito

    Juanito One of the Regulars

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    No, I no longer have the jacket. It went to James Garcia after a couple of years of ownership in 1993.

    The thing that make me think it was different were the samples of the new sheepskin I got when I got the russet horsehide A-2 from you about a year later .
     
  19. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

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    Ahhhh, ok. Thanks for the reply. It was likely just a shift in batches and nothing deliberate since ELC did not change sheepskin tanneries in the timeframe we're talking about, though the leather finishers they used may have changed then. I do recall some merino skins that John Lever loves and depicts here from this timeframe having a glossier finish than what was used earlier, so this may also explain what you saw as a difference.
     
  20. John Lever

    John Lever One Too Many

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    This jacket was made before Gary started using Talon zip tracks. The puller is a Talon but the track is brass. Gary told me the date of manufacturer is late 1980's.
     

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