Spec. 94-3040 Jackets, Flying Type A-2

Discussion in 'Vintage' started by 33-1729, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    Got it.

    Many have used a readily available Wright Field “Type Designation Sheet” (TDS) as a reference to the actual spec, 94-3040, but now that we have the actual US spec and many supporting papers it is clear the TDS contained a number of errors. (It is noted that the microfiche versions do not show the same detail as the paper copies, such as the “x’s” used to cross-out a word on a typewriter are clear on the paper copy but not always on microfiche, so that may have been a factor.)

    A-2 specification 94-3040 and supporting paperwork from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) highlights:

    Two new A-2 contracts that were procured by the US government are identified in the July 19, 1932, spec 94-3040 clearance document, and a complete table of contracts has been updated and posted below.

    The first A-2 contract, 31-1897, is for the P. Goldsmith Sons Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio and is for twenty five (25) jackets. The other newly identified contract, 32-6225, for Werber Leather Coat Co. for 600 jackets also appears to have no survivors.

    A previously known contract, 32-485, documented in the 1932 spec clearance document shows the US government procured a total of 1,666 jackets from Security Sportswear Co. This is much higher than common estimates of ~500 and would help explain why so many survivors exist (“so many” being a relative term).

    The A-2 Air Corp drawing is listed as 30-1415 (yes, 1930) versus the TDS listing it as 31-1415. A-2 jackets have a 30-1415 drawing reference following the actual spec. I’m tracking down a copy of the original A-2 Air Corps drawing and will post when able.

    Beginning with a May 9, 1931 signing of a 94-3040 spec, all subsequent versions and paperwork on the 94-3040 spec from the NARA show that a silk lining was NOT used in the A-2. All references to silk lining were removed or struck out on all paperwork held by the NAFA. This would explain why the earliest A-2 survivors, from contract 32-485, have never been confirmed to have an original silk lining.

    It is possible the A-2 prototypes for the Sept 20, 1930 military service test had a silk (or cotton) lining. I’m looking for a copy of the test report to confirm the existence of any silk lined A-2’s being produced (versus re-lined). Unless a very late payment, the 25 jackets from the 1931 dated contract with P. Goldsmiths Sons Co. were not used during the Sept 20, 1930 military service tests.

    I can't post the 94-3040 paperwork from the NARA as it is too large (14Mb). How may I upload it for all to see?

    upload_2017-9-4_7-12-38.png

    Notes:

    * GW has an order for an Aero 37-3061P (I'm aware of two survivors); delivery date tbd
    ** An I. Spiewak 42-18776P based A-2 is available as a GW "I. Chapman 42-18776P", as I. Spiewak still in business
    *** V505 repro not yet produced and legal issues with "Made in Australia" tag may limit to an Australian made repro
    **** It is not possible to accurately estimate the quantity produced for contracts 33-1729, 37-3061P or W33-038ac1761 as no paper trail has been located, though survivors do exist.

    Re-manufacturer identities are

    ALC - Aero Leather Clothing [Scotland] http://www.aeroleatherclothing.com/
    BKM - Bill Kelso Mfg. Co. [UK] http://www.billkelsomfg.com/
    BR - Buzz Ricksons [Japan] http://www.buzzricksons.jp/
    DC - Diamond Clothing Co., Inc. [USA] http://www.diamondclothingco.com/
    ELC - Eastman Leather Clothing [England] http://www.eastmanleather.com/
    GW - Good Wear Leather Coat Co. [USA] http://www.goodwearleather.com/
    LW - Lost Worlds, Inc. [USA] http://www.lostworldsinc.com/
    RMC - Real McCoy's [Japan] http://www.realmccoys.co.jp/
    TF - The Few [New Zealand] http://www.thefewmfg.com/
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
    SuinBruin, Edward, Roughwear and 3 others like this.
  2. Steve27752

    Steve27752 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Berkshire, U.K.
    A comprehensive list. Does "limited Standard Issue" mean extras after production had ceased?
     
  3. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    The A-2 was released as "Standard Issue" on May 9, 1931 and officially replaced by the newer AN-J-3 on Apr 23, 1943. A-2 jackets in stock were available as "Limited Standard Issue" beginning at that time as a newer replacement was available. Note the last three A-2 contracts were from Dec 1943 or after the switch to the newer AN-J-3.
     
    Steve27752 likes this.
  4. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    To show the possible detail difference between a paper copy and microfiche, below is an excerpt from the May 9, 1931 hand dated spec 94-3040, the same day the A-2 was released as "Standard Issue", and the words "silk lined" are slightly visible on the microfiche (note this isn't for "spun" silk).

    upload_2017-9-2_9-10-19.png

    On every paper copy all references to silk are crossed out by a typewriter or scratched out, as below. The silk reference is almost completely obscured.

    upload_2017-9-2_9-11-53.png

    Also note the A-2 Air Corps supporting drawing number in the A-2 spec. 94-3040 is 30-1415 and not 31-1415 as erroneously, and repeatedly copied, from the later Wright Field “Type Designation Sheet”.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
    Edward, Roughwear and Steve27752 like this.
  5. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Active Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Sussex
    Excellent news!

    With regards to online storage of the 94-3040 document, you could try contacting Marc at acmedepot and/or John
    at Goodwear. They might be willing to host the information on their websites.
     
  6. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    I sent it to Marc at the Acme Depot early this morning, so hopefully he'll post it. If not, I'll contact John at GW. Maybe there's a way to post it here?
     
  7. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    Here's a July 12, 1932 dated reference that shows two, previously unknown, A-2 contracts (31-1897 & 32-6225) and the quantities procured, including the quantity procured for the Security Sportswear Co. (Aviation Togs) contract 32-485.

    upload_2017-9-2_11-12-41.png
     
    Roughwear likes this.
  8. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,973
    whatta in depth hoot. i have to wonder if any of the "phantom" a-2s were actually made, and if so, do any exist today. man, i have jonesed for a first contract aero clothing and tanning a-2. if john is going to make this contract, i may just have to sign up for one.....now lets see, with the waiting list how long now, and my age at the time my order comes up, maybe i should be considering the waiting list for adult diapers, hahhahahaha. good info, really good. and, thanx for adding to the a-2 mysto.
     
  9. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Active Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Sussex
  10. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    Thank you, Marc, for posting this information on your Acme Depot site.

    I would like to point out this information was de-classified on August 1, 2017 and this forum was the first to hear of it. Yes, I like this forum. :)
     
    Cobblers161 likes this.
  11. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    This very exciting information. Thanks for posting here and sharing on Marc's website.
     
  12. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Active Member

    Messages:
    766
    Nice Work!!
     
  13. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Perhaps Gary Eastman will have to revise his A-2 jacket book now?
     
    Edward likes this.
  14. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    I'll buy one!

    Now that we know the first three contracts from the original A-2 paperwork (31-1897, 32-485, and 32-6225), with P. Goldsmith Sons Co. 31-1897 the first A-2 contract, there may be up to three contracts with buttoned pocket flaps. Maybe an eagle-eyed observer would notice the difference from the original photographs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  15. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    That is true. It would be amazing if a Goldsmith A2 turned up! I guess they had pocket buttons as per the early spec.
     
  16. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,973
    the plot thickens
     
  17. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    859
    Location:
    Norway
    I'm no A-2 expert by a long chalk but that is a remarkable amount of detective work and some truly explosive new findings. Well done!

    Be amazing if one of the 25 of the Goldsmith A-2s turns up. I just googled the company and they seem to have made a lot of baseball equipment including mitts and balls so they obviously had experience in working with leather. Now just imagine what an original of one of those jackets would be worth.
     
  18. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    859
    Location:
    Norway
    That actually might be a very good start. Might be worth getting all the photos of early button pocket A-2s that can be found in one thread so the A-2 experts here can study them and see if any differences can be ascertained. Sure it won't identify which are Goldsmith, Webers etc but it could actually highlight differences which would further confirm that there were these early contracts from different makers. I'd imagine that up until now whenever someone has seen a period photo of an A-2 with buttoned pockets they've automatically thought it's a Security Sportswear without really studying it. As I said above I'm no A-2 expert but a close study of period photos might just uncover something. At the least it can't hurt.
     
  19. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    Yes, and if we can confirm an A-2 picture is from 1931 that would most likely be a P. Goldsmith Sons Co. example (or pre-production one from the 1930 military service test). Later pictures are more likely a SAT 32-485 or Werber 32-6225, given their much larger production numbers than the 25 in the first A-2 contract.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
    Roughwear likes this.
  20. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Active Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Sussex
    Fascinating stuff about the early A2 contracts and a good idea about having a thread to try and ID the button A2's from original photo's.

    The only bits of the jigsaw missing are the original horsehde specification and the jacket drawing.

    US Army specification 9-77 Leather, Horsehide

    Air Corps drawing 30-1415 Flying Jacket, Type A-2

    If these could be found then that would be amazing.
     

Share This Page