What got you interested in A2 type Jackets

Discussion in 'General Flight Jacket Discussion' started by Bombing IP, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. chamboid

    chamboid Member

    Messages:
    547
    It's s utilitarian design classic, where style of the age meets design specs. Pocket design, collar shape and hide colour is always different. I got into A-2's from chancing upon a vintage G-1 in a vintage store in Brighton and being fascinated with the construction. The navy jacket is still my favourite, with more design and colour uniformity, but with subtle differences to catch the eye, the A-2 is the jacket that has become iconic. The simplicity and sheer style of something which has one purpose, as a uniform leather windcheater but the abundance of personalised artwork, attached stories and adventures which spans a vast period of time and history and historical interest which no other jacket quite does in the same way.
     
    PeterO and Bombing IP like this.
  2. thekiyote

    thekiyote New Member

    Messages:
    3
    A couple of things, the first is that when I was in middle/high school, my dad had an old civilian A-2 from the 80s that I would steal and wear. It was the first leather jacket that I wore, and still a style I like.

    The second is that I kind of came into the Americana style through a very roundabout way. I studied Japanese in college, and lived there for a while. I eventually got into the Japanese Americana style, with their attention to detail, via raw denim, and when I started looking for a leather jacket, I found they were already in the space. I also knew about Buzz Rickson through William Gibson, but only started connecting them with the A-2 design around this time.

    It's funny, I never owned a Japanese A-2, but that's what started me down the rabbit hole of learning about them.
     
  3. falcon_ib

    falcon_ib Member

    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    California
    I've been very interested in WW2 aviation for almost a decade but never forayed into the flight jacket world until recently.
    If they were still in shape, many WW2 vets I would meet would be wearing an A-2. The jacket is tied very closely to their identity, and the patches and artwork tell their story. Holding a jacket that endured dozens of missions over enemy territory is amazing, as is meeting the person that wore it. I find that representation of their identity to be really interesting, but also you can't beat the timeless style and looks!

    Evan
     
  4. 2jakes

    2jakes Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Elysian Fields

    [​IMG]
    Flying Tigers
     
    Smithy likes this.
  5. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    934
    Location:
    Norway
    That's such an iconic image, never get tired of seeing it.
     
    2jakes likes this.
  6. Steve27752

    Steve27752 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,201
    Location:
    Berkshire, U.K.
    There is only one A2 in the picture, the rest are M422/422a's..............But, the A2 does stand out.
     
  7. 2jakes

    2jakes Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Elysian Fields
    Regardless of whether there was only one A2 or a hundred....
    it was the spirit of these “cowboys of the sky” that first captivated my interest.
    The leather jacket cemented that feeling forever. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
    Smithy likes this.
  8. better duck

    better duck Active Member

    Messages:
    1,200
    Location:
    Groningen, Holland
    Same with me; I built my first plastic model airplanes when living in Brazil, near Rio de Janeiro, back in 1967- 1970. The very first one was - if I remember correctly - a Revell Focke Wulf 200, a B17E came next. Then reading about WW2, picking up an avid interest in the air warfare of the period in general, that slowly focused on the Eight Air Force. I bought my first A2 from Gary Eastman in 1990, having seen an ad in FlyPast Magazine, and was surprised they were brown: until then I had only seen b/w photos and thought they were black :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  9. Marv

    Marv Active Member

    Messages:
    986
    Location:
    England
    Got into A2's around 2005 after progressing on from my Indy jacket.

    My first A2 was a Cooper which I had ELC patch to which I then progressed onto an Eastman house A2 and then onto an ELC Star, RW 27752, Pearl Harbor then moved onto Goodwear with a RW 27752 and Dubow 20960.

    My Cooper -

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Smithy likes this.
  10. TGD

    TGD New Member

    Messages:
    1
    I have always been interested in WWII since my Dad was an army combat veteran in the Pacific. I really got interested in WWII aircraft when I was young and could give you all the performance specs of any of them. But what got me interested in flight jackets? If I am honest, Col. Robert E. Hogan.
     
  11. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Active Member

    Messages:
    855
    Welcome to the forum TGD.
    We have a Members section where new members can introduce themselves and tell us a little of their background. Please take a few moments and introduce yourself. Glad you found us!!
     
  12. Spitfireace

    Spitfireace Member

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Colonel Hogan did you say?
    "A-2 jackets can be seen in many movies, as they came to represent the American fighting man just as much as the P-51 Mustang and Colt .45 automatic. Seeing legendary actors such as Gregory Peck and John Wayne on the big screen wearing A-2's only reinforced their popularity. By the 1950s the A-2 was moving into the role of the motorcycle jacket, which would soon evolve into its own distinct style. The jacket worn by Henry Winkler in the role of "Fonzie" in the TV show Happy Days was a variation of the A-2 jacket. In the 1960s and 1970s the A-2 reappeared in a new crop of big budget World War II films such as The Great Escape and Patton, as well as being the wardrobe of choice for Bob Crane's character of Colonel Hogan in the popular TV series Hogan's Heroes. This same jacket, manufactured by the studio's costume department, would later be worn by Frank Sinatra in the film Von Ryan's Express. Dwight Schultz' character H. M. Murdock on 1980s TV show The A-Team wore an A-2 Jacket with a tiger printed on the back along with the words 'DA NANG 1970'. His character wore the jacket throughout the show's 5 seasons. Also, in the anime Hetalia: Axis Powers, the character America is most always seen wearing an A-2 jacket with the number '50' on the back in white. Arnold Schwarzenegger also appeared wearing A-2 with police badge in his new 2013 movie The Last Stand.

    In the 2000s (decade), the A-2 became a popular presidential garment: both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have worn them in photo ops at military installations. Both presidents are fit enough to wear the regulation jacket"
     
    Edward likes this.
  13. s4rmark

    s4rmark Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Biggin hill
    Yeah, I also went the Airfix model route when I were young. I vividly remember the amazing box art on the Airfix kits . I went to the Biggin Hill airshow every year from probably age 11 or so and always came back with a kit or two . Then one year I remember seeing the eastman tent had a look around and ended up buying a ELC roughwear B-10, this was probably around the year 2000 . That’s when the bug bit and I have several repro jackets now , mostly Eastman but also some others and much to my wife’s despair the addiction doesn’t look like stopping!
     
  14. Edward

    Edward Member

    Messages:
    93
    My affinity for pinup girls by George Petty and Alberto Vargas (The Hearst Corporation that owns Esquire magazine trade marked it the Varga Girl but thats another story altogether.) led me to nose art which led to the related artwork on the A-2. I thought it so cool that our boys went up in an F'ing leather jacket wearing a tie! :D typical 1940s; go to hell dressed well and looking sharp! LOL!
    I loved reading about the crews and what they endured in the B-17 and B-24, B-25 and B-26. There was something about a team going up in a fleet of bombers bristling with guns! I mean, how cool was the idea of the Ball Turret and Tail Gunner?! naturally I initially glamorized that idea but eventually came around to realize there wasn't a whole lot of glamour to it. just very dangerous, scary and cold.
    In November 1989 by pure chance and dumb luck I met a B-17 tail gunner in a shopping mall in Terre Haute, Indiana (he was a mall walker! LOL!) who appears in 3 photos and quoted often in the book Half A Wing, Three Engines and A Prayer. He told me about the book, I rushed to the bookstore and bought it, got him to sign it to me and sign all his photos! And boy you could tell it was him! same face.. just much older. He told me stories. Been so long now I barely recall the actual meeting but I am in process of re-reading the book since getting it 28 years ago.
    [ S/Sgt Merlin D. Miller Flew with 303rd August 16, 1943-February 20, 1944. Later volunteered for Pacific duty in B25s with another unit. On September 6, 43 mission to Stuttgart in B-17F #42-3002 The Old Squaw (427BS) The target was circled several times which consumed gasoline. Knowing that crashing in France or ditching was probable, the crew threw overboard all non-essential items. After passing the French coast and lagging behind the formation, all guns, ammunition and other items were discarded. The #1 & #2 engines had quit running because of no fuel. The radio operator was busy sending out SOS signals. Soon Lt Hullar ditched his B-17 near a boat he had seen. All men were rescued by an Air-Sea Rescue boat that soon arrived. The crew, with the exception of S/Sgt Marson, who had a ruptured eardrum and a wrenched knee, were transported back to Molesworth.]

    A year later the movie The Memphis Belle came out. While it wasn't an accurate depiction of the actual crew and final flight it had the right feel and mix of events that many crews actually endured. In fact, I recall seeing almost everything that Merlin Miller described having to endure being realized on screen. (other than the uncharacteristic portrayal of getting hammered the night before a mission.) Still one of my favorite movies and I own an original theater one-sheet. Anyway, I digress... After meeting Mr. Miller I wanted an A-2! Always had it in back of my mind to get one but never did until since this past August when I turned 50... I now own 3! LOL! 2 ELC and one Chapman GW. Turns out they are just as cool to wear and own as I thought they would be!

    By the way just got around to watching Unbroken. Amazing film! The opening scenes of the B-24 crews on a mission over Japanese islands was really amazing. such a heart breaking story though. Those POWs went through such hell.

    IMG_8081-1.JPG IMG_8082-1.jpg IMG_8083.JPG IMG_8084.JPG
     
    PeterO, Smithy and B-Man2 like this.

Share This Page