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1943 Australian "V505" Flight Jacket

33-1729

Well-Known Member
We are making progress on the records search at the National Archives of Australia for the flying jackets contract reference located by dinomartino1, though a bit slower than originally expected. To quote a recent note from the researcher I hired "I thought the search would be fairly straightforward but have found that the papers are arranged in order of when they were considered by the Board." We don’t have the slightest idea [yet] what the reference 10,776 Req. 18669 meant in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette of 24/6/43 that dinomartino1 found, but the actual supply reference seems to be in Business Paper 8605 of 19/5/43. I asked the researcher to find the related contract documents for the Business Paper reference and will let you know when I hear back. The search may take a few more weeks, as the documents aren't ordered.
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the update. Definitely interested in this topic and looking forward to hearing more about your work.
Cheers
 

33-1729

Well-Known Member
The researcher has been quite busy and here is a quick peek showing Simpson’s Gloves Pty. Ltd., Melbourne, would supply 3,231 flying jackets to the U.S.A. Air Corps, including all materials for construction except for the cotton material supplied in lieu of Simpson’s art silk lining. Two items stand out: (1) All American A-2 contracts used materials supplied by the U.S.A.A.F. Materiel Division, but for the Australian contract the materials for construction were locally sourced except for the cotton lining, so the Australian jacket cost structure is different than what we’re used to seeing on U.S. based contracts and (2) Neither a drawing number nor jacket type is specifically referenced, so that still needs to be confirmed. More to follow as it becomes available.

20190802_114605.jpg
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
The researcher has been quite busy and here is a quick peek showing Simpson’s Gloves Pty. Ltd., Melbourne, would supply 3,231 flying jackets to the U.S.A. Air Corps, including all materials for construction except for the cotton material supplied in lieu of Simpson’s art silk lining. Two items stand out: (1) All American A-2 contracts used materials supplied by the U.S.A.A.F. Materiel Division, but for the Australian contract the materials for construction were locally sourced except for the cotton lining, so the Australian jacket cost structure is different than what we’re used to seeing on U.S. based contracts and (2) Neither a drawing number nor jacket type is specifically referenced, so that still needs to be confirmed. More to follow as it becomes available.

View attachment 22635
So if 3,231 Flying jackets were contracted by the USAAF, shouldn’t one or two of them have turned up somewhere with a Simpsons Glove LTD contract label similar to a Rough Wear , DuBow or Monarch? Not disagreeing with you on your research, just asking the question . The photograph shows that this took place on 19/5/43 which is 2 years prior to the end of the war in Europe. I would think that a few of those whatever type of flying jackets they were, would still be around somewhere.
 

2BM2K

Well-Known Member
shouldn’t one or two of them have turned up somewhere with a Simpsons Glove LTD contract label similar to a Rough Wear , DuBow or Monarch? N
The only label type that has been found so far is the V505 label.

22644


There should be more surviving jackets but people don't seem to interested in this jacket, perhaps because of the lack of a "proper" contract label? If there is no interest then jackets are unlikely to be saved.
 

2BM2K

Well-Known Member
The broad arrow of the War Department can be seen in some photo's.

22645


It seems to me that it is the lining material to which WD arrow applies. Maybe the USAAF sourced the lining from the WD.
 

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
The Victorian contractor would have provided the complete garment. Australian broad arrow stamps were D^D and not W^D.
 

33-1729

Well-Known Member
So if 3,231 Flying jackets were contracted by the USAAF, shouldn’t one or two of them have turned up somewhere with a Simpsons Glove LTD contract label similar to a Rough Wear , DuBow or Monarch? Not disagreeing with you on your research, just asking the question . The photograph shows that this took place on 19/5/43 which is 2 years prior to the end of the war in Europe. I would think that a few of those whatever type of flying jackets they were, would still be around somewhere.
Australia used wartime codes in place of vendor or contract labels, i.e., V505, S146, N138, Q136, etc., beginning in 1942. I would guess they didn’t want to identify possible military supply targets during the war. I haven’t found any reference correlating the Australian wartime codes to each actual vendor. I'm looking forward to what else we find!
 

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
The letter corresponded to the state. V505 was a Victorian, N138 from New South Wales, Q136 from Queensland. There SHOULD be stuff out there as to who made what. I have some Aussie Battle Dress. I THINK I have a label on it's own from an Aussie BattleDress jacket. I snaffled it to put on my bespoke USMC/USN WWII impression.
 

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
"Tell him he's dreamin".

Classic Australian line, more applicable to sourcing one of these. In two decades I think I have seen around four. All little uns.
 

33-1729

Well-Known Member
The researcher has been really busy and found a few more items. Using the original contract value from Business Paper/Agenda No. 8605 and File No./Schedule 68340 (both below) and the cost savings addendum posted in Business Paper No. 9032 (above in post #23), this is the same flying jacket contract listed in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, though we still don’t know what “10,776 Req. 18669” means.

Two items: (1) The original Business Paper No. 8605 states that Simpson's Gloves was a previous supplier of this "Jackets, Flying" item so more contracts can be found and (2) either 3,132 or 3,231 jackets were produced in this contract (I suspect 3,132 as that was used across a few documents while the 3,231 was seen in only one, but we need to confirm to be certain). As Australia used wartime codes, e.g. V505, we don't know how to identify one contract from another [yet].

The researcher has been doing great work. Thank you!

20190807_143206.jpg


Note skin samples were supplied by the competing firms for evaluation and Simpson's Gloves had the fastest delivery rate.
20190807_143320.jpg
 

33-1729

Well-Known Member
Anyone here in Melbourne? From our wonderful researcher in Canberra this is where we are now…

It seems that files relating to wartime contracts and tenders for the Victorian companies are held by the National Archives Victorian branch. If you have any contacts in Melbourne who could do research for you it may be worth following up.

My research provided the following:

Series MP1045/8 Box 5 – Nominal Index Private contractors, Victoria P-SN (company initials). The barcode for easy reference to the Archives is 10516012. If this index contains a reference card for Simpsons, it will provide a link to a file of papers. This is not available online, hence the need for a person to do the search.

Additionally, I found that the University of Melbourne - University Library, has a website. It shows that the Library holds business records for Simpsons Gloves Pty Ltd and lists in the holdings Minute Books 1924-1969; Cash Books; Ledgers 1922 – 1980; and catalogues and pictures. They note that they hold 5 archives boxes. Again this would require an on the spot person to do the research.


P.S. There was an Australian B-3 contract and the Business Paper reference is in the National Archives reading room in Canberra for anyone interested.

 

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
Wow! Has anybody ever seen an Aussie B-3? Can't say that I have. Had an Aussie made M-41 for a while. Sold it off to pay for an ATF repro M-41?? :(
 
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