Named first contract A-4 Flight Suit

Discussion in 'Related Gear' started by Roughwear, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Production of the A-4 flight suit began in the 1931 fiscal year and ended in 1943. This A-4 suit is from the first order in 1930 (1931 fiscal year) made by H D. Lee Inc under the 31-297P order. I don't have any information on the quantities ordered, but as the Air Corps was small then perhaps no more than 2,000. It is tagged a size 44.

    It has features not seen on later versions, such as two knee pockets, a leather hanging strap and a separated fly. The zips are size 5 Talons with Hookless stamped on the puller in smaller letters. The zips have a 1925 patent on the other side of the pullers.

    It is in remarkable condition for its age, having a couple of repairs and evidence of paint splashes.

    Written on the name strip is D.L. Hutchins. I have researched him and discovered he was born in 1895/6 and died in 1972 at the age of 77. He most likely joined the AC after WW1, probably sometime in the 192os and was a major in 1937 when he undertook a year's course at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. In November 1944 he was appointed Commanding Officer for Base Air Depot No. 2 at Warton, England, holding the rank of full bird colonel. The suit still retains his colonel rank insignia. If anyone knows anymore about Hutchins please let me know.

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  2. Steve27752

    Steve27752 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Berkshire, U.K.
    Very nice Andrew.
     
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  3. Steve27752

    Steve27752 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,629
    Location:
    Berkshire, U.K.
    Something for DX 2019?
     
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  4. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Quite possibly Steve.
     
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  5. Carl

    Carl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    603
    :eek:
     
  6. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    The suit is very robust and would stand up to wearing from time to time just as my original A-2s and irvins do. I can see no point in simply leaving such items to spend the rest of their years in a storage!
     
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  7. Carl

    Carl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    603
    Id be petrified if i split it !
     
  8. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    It is lucky it is not your suit then!;)
     
  9. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    2,217
    Location:
    Norway
    Cracking A-4 Andrew and the condition looks to be mint, better than the few we have at the museum here languishing in acid free paper ;)
     
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  10. Officer Dibley

    Officer Dibley Active Member

    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    East Anglia, UK
    That the one that hung around on ebay for ages ?
    Nice to know it went to a good home.
     
  11. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Not as far as I know. It was sold by a friend of mine and only listed once.
     
  12. Edward

    Edward Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    224
    I just acquired a mint Unissued NOS A-4 Flight Suit sized 44 dated 1942 (crown zipper with leather pull) for $175 ...which is what the modern repros at WPG are going for! so I feel I made a decent score. not as cool as a named theater used or that 1930 hookless above though! wow!

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  13. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    But still a great score! Well done.
     
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  14. Edward

    Edward Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    224
    thanks! I thought so! just added pics to my post.
     
  15. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Thank you for adding the photos. It is interesting to see some of the differences between this 1942 order and the first order from 1930, such a the one leg pocket and single breast pocket and chain hanger.
     
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