Unissued B-1 Summer Flying Cap eBay Purchase

Discussion in 'Related Gear' started by Technonut2112, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    A couple of days ago, I managed what I thought to be a decent best offer price on an unissued B-1 cap. :) I have been wearing an inexpensive version from Pilotlights, which I purchased for $10.00 from their eBay listing instead of $14.95 from their site: https://www.pilotlights.net/army-ai...ap-100-cotton-b-1-ww2-reproduction-cap-pilots Good, comfortable cap, but not really authentic at all.. I also have a better quality B-1 from WWII Impressions, but it is not totally authentic either, and is kind of an odd cut, with peaks which form while worn, unlike other authentic wartime B-1's I've seen. http://www.wwiiimpressions.com/newusarmyafb1cap.html

    I was planning to upgrade to MASH's version, but put off the purchase. I'm glad that I did, now that I have what I think to be an unissued, pretty much mint condition B-1 in my size on the way for my best offer price of $80.00. I've researched, and seen pretty much every repro available, and this one does not match any of them. It supposedly was obtained from the same home which another issued B-1 was purchased from by the seller, and I'm looking for some confirmation from someone knowledgeable here that it's indeed authentic. Here's the listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/252797192430

    It has the 'AN' stamp, but no maker's tag. Full detailed pics are in the listing, but I'll go ahead and post some of them here. I appreciate any info one may have. :)

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    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
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  2. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,718
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    Nice. From my observation there was only one mfg that I have seen with a woven label. There might be the remnants of a paper/cheesecloth label under the sweatband in the rear.
    Dave
     
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  3. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    Thanks.. I was happy to find one in such good condition in my size. :) I'll look for remnants of a paper tag when it arrives. So, I assume you think it's authentic? All of the research I've done pointed me to that conclusion, and it would be great if I was correct. ;) I think I did well on the price, considering what MASH charges for their repro.

    I'm planning to stitch a nice bullion patch on, and wearing the hell out of it. :cool: Here's a pic of the patch I have:

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    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  4. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Active Member

    Messages:
    321
    Very nice patch! Not sure about the B-1 but it looks brand new and if it is original, wow what a find!!
     
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  5. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    While researching original B-1 caps, I indeed ran across one with a woven tag, stitched right through the back of the cap. I saved the pics, but don't remember where from now. Here's some of them:

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    Thanks! :) The original above is in similar condition to the one I purchased. From what I recall, it sold not too long ago... Makes me quite hopeful that mine is original as well. ;)
     
  6. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,718
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    It's your cap but they are not comfortable the way we wear them today(as in those last pics) and the brim will crack before it curls. Your choice.
    JMO,
    Dave
     
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  7. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    I appreciate your opinion, and noted. If it is somewhat similar to my WWII Impressions B-1, all will be good. :) The WWII Impressions B-1 has a flexible brim however, and I'll just have to see how the original (if it is) with the stiff brim feels when worn after it arrives. Here's a couple of pics I posted recently wearing the WWII Impressions cap (click to enlarge).. I've actually worn it with the brim snapped-up around town pretty often lately.. :D

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    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  8. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    Well, my B-1 arrived safely today, and it indeed looks unworn. Absolutely mint condition. :) No evidence of a paper, or any other type of label. I had forgotten that the eBay seller mentioned as much in the listing, as well as passing a black-light test.

    Actually, as one can see from the pics in my 1st post, the cap is pretty much a dead-ringer for this original Zip-A-Bag, which was sold here:

    https://www.historicflyingclothing....lying-summer-type-b-1/prod_10118#.WMHBnmfatZY

    There are many pics of it at the above link. I'll post a few of them:

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    The B-1 I received matches the original Zip-A-Bag color / weave, the color / grain of the leather sweatband, stitch-type, thread color, etc..(EDIT: See pics in my 1st post, and the linked eBay auction for comparison until I get some good ones of my own posted) I'm pretty convinced it's a Zip-A-Bag, minus the label. ;) The AN stamp shows it was inspected, but not actually issued to any service branch, given the absence of specific markings AFAIK.

    Now that I can actually see how nice the cap is, I'm hesitant to stitch a patch on, or even want to wear it much (fits me quite well). Also. the above linked Zip-A-Bag seller stated " Extremely rare to find in such good condition".. Seems I have something one does not run across everyday. I'll need to think carefully on what I want to do now. I'll get some pics posted of the cap, and wearing it soon.. :)

    EDIT: Again, if any members seeing this have any info, or just opinions regarding this cap, I would highly appreciate it... :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  9. PADDY_M

    PADDY_M Active Member

    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    I'd be reluctant to sew anything onto an original too. Nice lid!
     
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  10. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Active Member

    Messages:
    321
    Now there's a dilemma! You have finally found your dream B-1, but it is so mint that you can't wear it. This outta make you ponder for a while....

    I have had the same dilemma with minty flight jackets.

    Congrats! It looks outstanding!!
     
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  11. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    Thanks all! :) Yes, quite the dilemma. While well-constructed, and of good materials, the WWII Impressions B-1 has a 'peak' in the center, and sides when worn which I don't particularly care for. I figured a MASH, Japan B-1 would take care of that, then this one comes-along... When I purchased it, I was thinking more along the lines of the cost being similar to the MASH B-1, rather than any historical significance. It does not have the peaks when worn, but is more than likely an original Zip-A-Bag B-1, and in mint-condition... However, there's no maker's tag, or AAF stamps present... :confused:

    Round and round I go... makes my head hurt....:p

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  12. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,718
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    There are people who don't care for the peaks created on the originals either. You see it on many old pics but people want what they want based on perceived appearance on themselves. It just depends on the shape of one's head, size of the cap and how high you wear it. Can't do much to shape the brim so.....
    My advice? If you collect, keep and display it. If you wear, sell it and use that money for a Mash. It's hard to have both hobbies unless you can really separate them IMO.
    JMO,
    Dave
     
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  13. Technonut2112

    Technonut2112 Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    West "By Gawd" Virginia, USA
    You're right.. I am more a 'wearer', and like how this original looks with no peaks when worn. I assume that the MASH is a very good repro, and should be the same (no peaks) in a similar size. I don't mind the stiff brim. I won't have to wrestle with patching it, or worrying about wear on the leather sweatband. It will be 'my' cap, to break-in on my head. ;) This original is just so damn nice though... Oh well, at least I had the opportunity to handle an original, and it will feel 'right' to pass it on to someone who appreciates it for what it is. The cap is a larger size (fits my 7 3/8 noggin perfectly), and shouldn't be difficult to get my $80.00 back out of.. ;)
     
  14. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,718
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    Properly described, it should not especially in that larger size. They aren't particularly rare and why so many NOS caps hit the market I don't know. Most of mine have been like new as well. FYI, some have the "peak" appear on the back top rather than the sides. Some hate that look but you see it on Col. Tibbets and many others. Just depends. If the Mash cap does it, so would an original IMO. If it isn't too loose pull your new one up out of your display head's eyes as it's pretty snugged down. You might see the peak I'm talking about. Then again I have no hair so they are always hollow up there for me!
    Dave
     

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