WW II leather jackets

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Doublegun, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. Doublegun

    Doublegun Practically Family

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    Would someone please give me an overview of the various jackets (A-2, B-2, etc.). I have never understood who got what type of jacket and why and what are the various types of jackets.

    Sorry for the noob question. I appreciate your patience.

    Cheers,

    Doublegun
     
  2. Jaguar66

    Jaguar66 A-List Customer

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  3. Bomber1941

    Bomber1941 New in Town

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    A-2'S where generally worn as a Flight jacket and where built of horse hide but lighter weight alot of officers (pilots) wore them whereas the crew (NCO,enlisted)in a Bomber for exsample would have worn the B-3 jacket and trousers which was considerably heavier (Sheep shearling 3/4" as per spec.) cause they are well exposed to the outside sub-zero temps from a gunners position, however my grandfather had both, later on a lighter weight Bomber was introduced mid to late War which I think was the B-6 (sheep shearling 1/2" as per spec.) I dont know if there was a B-2 jacketed uniform, there is a B-2 gunners cap. Thats all I really know about them. Hope that helps alittle. I think the B-2 was an earlier model 1930's, google images. I guess if I where to interprate from WWII Vets is that a Bomber is a Bomber and a pilot is a pilot and they both wore different jackets B-3 (Bomber-3), A-2 (Army-Air-2) or Airpilot-2 maybe watch Memphis Belle good flick! lol!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  4. Hondo

    Hondo One Too Many

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    Thats a good if not fair description of B-2, B-3 and whatever else,
    always enjoy Memphis Belle, carry on!
     
  5. Doublegun

    Doublegun Practically Family

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    Thanks guys. That's what I was trying to understand. The A-2 vs B-2/3 makes sense - never thought of it that way. As for Memphis Bell, thanks for the suggestion. I haven't watched it in a while - it's about time I did.
     
  6. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

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    The Memphis Belle

    Forget about that 1990 peace of fiction, if you want to see exactly what the bomber crews of the 8th Air force wore, look no farther then The Memphis Belle 1942! No high priced actors in this film, and keep in mind, some of the film crews gave every thing in the making of this film! It also has some of the best ground crew footage. It was filmed on several missions not just the last, so lots of footage of what they wore on different missions. A real hodge podge of styles. No Eastmen's here. [video=youtube;UMDSFAYDV-Y]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMDSFAYDV-Y[/video]
     
  7. cco23i

    cco23i A-List Customer

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    I agree Strearmen, and as for only the officers wearing A-2's, nope, there are plenty of shots of other wearing them as well as pilots wearing ground crew D-1's!

    Scott
     
  8. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    The A2 was made from goatskin as well as hh. It was issued to officers and enlisted men, as was the B-3. Some USAAF aircrew were also issued with the AN-J4 shearling jacket from 1943 and you even see pictures of some wearing RAF Irvin jackets. The B-6, a thinner shearling jacket, was also issued to fighter pilots and some aircrew prior to 1943/4.
     
  9. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

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    Trade P38 For A2

    I had a friend who had to belly land his P-38, fortunately behind Allied lines. When he got out, a bunch of tankers ran up to get some souvenirs, my friend managed to salvage the 8 day clock. One of the tank crew traded a Walther P38 for his A2! So there was at least one tanker with an A2 in France!
     
  10. xt40

    xt40 Familiar Face

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    memphis belle is a good if far-fetched movie and the gear is fairly accurate except the b-3's which are completely wrong.
    i
     
  11. nicholasb

    nicholasb One of the Regulars

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    While not totally accurate, the 1990 film Memphis Belle is really good fun and I think fair to say enjoyable film. Its a better idea to watch it rather then something terrible like Pearl Harbor, even though the jacket repro's used are Eastman. Did Wested produce Memphis Belle's? I think so.

    Please feel free to correct me on these.

    USAAF Jackets
    A1 (Pre-A2)
    A2 (A1 replacement)
    B3 (US answer to the Irvin)
    B6 (lighter B3)
    D1 (Ground crew)
    ANJ-4 (B3 replacement)

    USN Navy Jackets
    M422a
    AN6552 (Replacement for M422a)
    G1
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  12. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I presume you are talking about the 1990 film where the jackets are far from accurate repros. The original Wartime film is of course entirely different and I would strongly recommend it if you have not seen it. There is a great range of different original A2s and B-3s.
     
  13. xt40

    xt40 Familiar Face

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    of course
     
  14. Phantomfixer

    Phantomfixer Practically Family

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    wasn't his name Oddball? :D
     
  15. too much coffee

    too much coffee Practically Family

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    "quit it with the negative vibes Moriority"
     
  16. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

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    A2s & Odd Ball Sherman

    Of course, Donald Sutherland's leather jacket wasn't even close to an A2, unless you were standing about a mile away! Incidently, next time you watch Kelly's Heros, notice the wondering speaker on Odd Balls Sherman, right side in one sean, left in another. Thats why Clint formed his own production company after the movie came out.
     
  17. Bomber1941

    Bomber1941 New in Town

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    I only brought up Memphis Belle only cause of the uniforms themselves and how they where worn and used, but nothing compares to visual, but Stearmen is correct, research and coversing with WWII vets as well as looking through books and actual footage is the best advice, as far as ground crew and others asolutley! there are pictures and film with some wearing B-3's. I always thought the enlisted/ Officers had specifics with the type of field gear in the air or on the ground in that time? but taking in account being a former Marine Officer I guess I didnt have anything that much different than from the the enlisted as far as issued field equipment, but getting back to the movie the B-3's they where wearing in the Warbird I thought where pretty accurate they did seam a bit loose and light looking, the ones I have are really heavy the old one and the new one, however not too bad for Hollywood. I am curiuos what you noticed XT40.
     
  18. Ponsenby

    Ponsenby Familiar Face

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  19. Philalethes

    Philalethes A-List Customer

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    I think this is right, although from what I have read on Wikipedia (for what that is worth), the G-1 description wasn't used until 2 years after the war.
     
  20. HackerF15E

    HackerF15E Familiar Face

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    The biggest "equipment" error in the 1990 Memphis Belle movie is that the "star" is a converted B-17G (instead of a B-17F).

    The second biggest error is this: P-51Ds instead of Bs or Cs:

    [​IMG]
     

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