A few questions pertaining to the A-2

Discussion in 'General Flight Jacket Discussion' started by jeremiah, May 15, 2018.

  1. jeremiah

    jeremiah Active Member

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    So, first off, why Horsehide? Back in the war years, wasn't it easier to obtain Cow hides?

    what was the purpose of the big pockets? I am assuming for just placing papers or documents in them as my hands in them are very uncomfortable and unnatural.
     
  2. MikeyB-17

    MikeyB-17 Well-Known Member

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    As we now know, they did use cow hide (those new to the hobby have no idea what battles have raged over the years about that one!). In the 30’s, the army had just given up on mounted cavalry, and there was no shortage of horses. The pockets of an A-2 were designed to prevent aircrew putting their hands in them, the top brass did not want aircrew putting their hands in their pockets like truck drivers-hence they did not give them handwarmer pockets. In later years they apparently changed their minds on this, as cloth jackets like the B-15 did have handwarmers. All this is my understanding of things, others may know better.
     
  3. jeremiah

    jeremiah Active Member

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    Ok makes perfect sense on both counts. Thanks for that.
     
  4. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

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    plenty of farm raised, and wild horses were available during the 1930s [there are still plenty of wild horses roaming the nw usa]. the govt buying horses during and right after the great depression was good business for the horse industry, and feeding the civilian work corps, us army, army af, navy was good business for the cattle industry. all of which helped to get the us economy up and rolling. war is good for business. always was, is, and will be. interesting though, the aaf and navy out sourced some of their goatskin purchases from india, as once again, it was good business to support an ally [uk]. the flapped pockets were well designed to hold butts, lighters, geegaws, maps, blood chits, chocolate bars, etc....but not hands. oh, and yes, as i posited so many years ago, and now accepted as fact, cow was used, and plenty of it for a-2s.
     
  5. jeremiah

    jeremiah Active Member

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    Yeah. Makes good sense now. Thanks.
     
  6. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    A lot of originals have imprints in the pockets from Zippo and Ronson lighters. When I still smoked (gave up 2 years ago) I carried my Zippo in mine when I wore it and the right hand pocket has a nice square Zippo indentation.
     
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  7. jeremiah

    jeremiah Active Member

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    nice. So another question then. When jackets were re-issued in the darker seal, were these jackets re-issued to the same original owners, or were they jackets recovered or reclaimed from the issued officers and then re-issued to a different officer?
     
  8. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

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    They were put into bins and the ones that could be repaired were stitched up and literally re-dyed , with a paint on seal re-dye coating. They were then re-issued to those in need of one. ( Short version of story);)
     
  9. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

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    zippers replaced like the redyes, crappy. knits replaced, liners replaced, squadron patches trashed along with name tags if the work was done at a usaf depot. if the jacket was sent back to the maker, and many were, the work done was of much higher caliber. in fact, early war russet issued a-2s were sometimes redyed russet at the original factory.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  10. jeremiah

    jeremiah Active Member

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    Ok. I love this history. I have learned a lot in Gary’s book, but some things aren’t mentioned or expounded on. Thanks.
     

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