Private Purchase Aero A2

Discussion in 'Vintage' started by Roughwear, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    I bought a "Civilian" Aero A2 in a size 44 from Paul Sanders on Ebay. The jacket is identical to an issued Aero apart from the spec label and the knits (they may in fact be replacements with the stitch holes on the lining). The leather has a great vintage patina. It was worn by Capt Omar Noles, who I have not had any success in tracing from the enlistment records. My question is when as it made? My guess is 1943-4.It is rare to find an Aero A2 with a civilian label in it. The jacket needs some work doing to, but the leather is sound with no holes.Here are some pics from Ebay.

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  2. greyhound52

    greyhound52 New Member

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    Very nice Andrew and it should fit you fine. Tough question about dating it as it looks just like the WW2 models Aero produced. Probably made after 1943 when the B-10 was coming in and one had to buy private purchase A2s. It would be neat to track the person as you tried and that might give you an idea as well.
     
  3. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Thanks,George. I did wonder whether it was post 1943 after the last Aero A2 contract was completed. I found Noles on Google, when he was an optician working in Portland, but nothing on his wartime career. I believe he graduated from college in 1939.
     
  4. deeb7

    deeb7 New Member

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    5,554
    Location:
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    Aero advertised their civilian version of the US Regulation Flying Jacket. It is reproduced in Full Gear from "Flying and Popular Aviation" August 1941.

    The same ad is shown on Acme Depot ...

    http://www.acmedepot.com/a2jacket/a2images/aero.jpg

    The Full Gear copy shows the price as $10.75, Acme Depot's version is $9.95 ... hard to say which came first.
     
  5. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Thanks David. So this jacket could be older than I first thought.
     
  6. jacketimp

    jacketimp New Member

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    shame they don't priced them like that anymore........ :(
     
  7. Burnsie

    Burnsie New Member

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    Location:
    Northern VA
    I think so too - I thought of that ad right away - guess anyone ordering the "US regulation flying jacket" would've gotten an A-2 with this label...cool!
    And the jacket looks stunningly bad-ass!
     
  8. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    I contacted the Captain Noles' son and here is part of the reply;

    My father was an aide to General Omar Bradley during World War II. He was not a USAAF pilot but flew all over Europe with General Bradley and as my father said many times to us kids, it got pretty cold in a lot of the Aircraft so the general had all his staff in flight jackets.

    So I guess Noles bought the A2 direct from Aero as he was not eligible for an issued A2.
     
  9. jacketimp

    jacketimp New Member

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    look at the positive...........you manage the provenance!
     
  10. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Gen Bradley must've also only selected staff with the same name.... :lol:

    Nice looking jacket, I have several 1940's "Flying" mags with that ad in them, recently I found a similar one for a civil version of a Perry which i'll scan and post soon.
     
  11. MikeyB-17

    MikeyB-17 Well-Known Member

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    1,653
    Location:
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    Maybe it's just the photo, but it doesn't look like they were over fussy about construction with their private purchase jackets back then either. Look at the pockets, one appears to be higher than the other, and the flap on the right one appears to be sewn on crooked too. Doesn't detract from a cool jacket, just an interesting observation.
     
  12. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    You are correct. The pocket flaps have been re-stitched through the lining and will need to be re-done using the original stitch holes.
     
  13. m444uk

    m444uk Member

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    Aero also sold B3's with the same tag in. Ken Calder (previous owner of Aero Scotland) had one in the original Aero cardboard box.
    Whether they were still doing private sales when the US actually entered the war I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if they started selling seconds this way.
     
  14. srivats

    srivats New Member

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    Andrew, do post some pics of you wearing the jacket!
     
  15. Peter Graham

    Peter Graham Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I remember a B-6 with that label being sold on ebay a few years back. I still regret not buying it.
     
  16. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    I remember it too Peter. It was your size too I believe.
     
  17. Peter Graham

    Peter Graham Well-Known Member

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    5,117
    Location:
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    Don't remind me, doh ! :(
     
  18. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    The Aero arrived today. The leather is in very good shape and is supple and strong. It appears to be analine dyed, rather than spray dyed. The knits are post war replacements and there are traces of the original berry knits. I shall replace them with berry knits, once I have repaired the stitching to the pockets. I will post pictures of the jacket when this work has been completed. It should be a decent wearer.
     
  19. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    I have now finished restoring the Aero. I have put on ELC Berry knits, fixed the pockets with 1940s thread and mended the lining. The jacket is very supple now after two light coats of Pecards. The HH is thin and quite similar to that used by Poughkeepsie. It has areas of pronounced grain. All in all its a very nice jacket and will get some wear when it warms up over here. It complements my dark seal W535ac21996 Aero which also has berry knits and is also a size 44.

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  20. Clyde from Carolina

    Clyde from Carolina New Member

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    Another great jacket, and the history of the original owner you've turned up is particularly fascinating.
     

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