A-2 Biker Vest

Discussion in 'Vintage' started by Stony, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. Stony

    Stony Well-Known Member

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    1,393
    Location:
    WA, USA
    This vest is for sale in a local vintage clothing store and I thought it might be of interest to the members. No label in it, but you can clearly see 35 mission bombs and the name "Swede" above those. Pretty cool IMO.

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  2. Cocker

    Cocker Well-Known Member

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    564
    Location:
    Belgium
    Both painful to watch and utterly badass!! Imagine if this guy was a bomber crew in WW2, then went on to become a member of an MC club, using is old faithful A-2 as a vest?
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  3. MeachamLake

    MeachamLake Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    North West, United Kingdom
    What's up with the Luftwaffe patch? Swastikas in the big head patch on the rear? Err...
     
  4. Grant

    Grant Well-Known Member

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    1,376
    Looks like a sleeveless Perry Sportswear, sans the sleeves and a replaced zip.
    As far as vets and motorcycles go, I think there's definitely something to it. Here's a pic of my pop shortly after returning from Korea and Southeast Asia.

    dad.JPG
     
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  5. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

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    2,569
    perry, for sure. hey, dr.. g, i didnt know your old man was a biker. the nut dot fall too far from the tree, eh?
     
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  6. stanier

    stanier Well-Known Member

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    730
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    Bedfordshire, UK
    I wonder if that could be restored? It might look impossible, but I’ve thought that about things before and someone does it!
     
  7. Stony

    Stony Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    WA, USA
    Those are the biker's "colors". Very typical of motorcycle clubs.
     
  8. Juanito

    Juanito Active Member

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    232
    Curious...what are they asking for it?
     
  9. EmergencyIan

    EmergencyIan Active Member

    A white supremisist bike club, probably. If they weren’t, I doubt that the swastika would be part of their symbol.

    - Ian
     
  10. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,307
    We restored a couple of similar "remains" in the 70s/80s, they didn't have stitch holes (other than USAAF ones) to contend with however, so this one would take some very clever positioning of (suitably aged or original) insignia/blood chits but could be done
     
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  11. Southoftheborder

    Southoftheborder Member

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    98
    Depends how old it is. Most of those motorcycle gangs were formed by young returning servicemen just after the war. They had been exposed to motorcycles in Europe particularly when they were stationed in Britain where bikes were very much more common than in the US pre war.

    When they went home they took souvenirs with them like German helmets and swastika insignia, and they incorporated them into their club colours and paraphernalia mainly to shock.

    Over time those insignia took on a life of their own as did the motorcycle gangs. They became more and more criminal organisations. They moved into drug dealing and extortion, and were less and less young men out to have a good time and to cock a snook at the US post war public who they saw as complacent and smug.
     
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  12. falcon_ib

    falcon_ib Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    California
    In Hunter S. Thompson's 1965 essay, "The Motorcycle Gangs," he describes the Nazi symbols used by the Hell's Angels as "purely for decorative and shock effect. The Hell’s Angels are apolitical and no more racist than other ignorant young thugs."
    That being said, they certainly wanted to be noticed, despised, and feared, and knew that Nazi insignia was a good way to achieve that. The Devil's Disciples, to which this vest belongs, were formed in Southern California in 1967.

    The vest is a really cool piece of history, and I'm sure a collector of outlaw motorcycle club paraphernalia or someone who collects items of 60s counterculture would give it a good home.
     
  13. EmergencyIan

    EmergencyIan Active Member

    Im not saying that the vest isn’t interesting and doesn’t deserve to be preserved, at least, for the sake of history. But here’s a little bit of push back as, after WWII, they were fully aware that the Nazi Swastika was a symbol of hate. They knew better, but didn’t care. What reason they stated/expressed for their use of the symbol is irrelevant. On top of that, I’d bet that the majority of motorcycle clubs had no members who were black, Hispanic, Jewish, Muslim or any other minority and wanted it that way.

    That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

    - Ian
     
  14. zoomer

    zoomer Well-Known Member

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    I have a plain unmarked A-2 "vest" - actually a jacket from which the sleeves have been unstitched. It's one of Good Wear's early test beds, a United Sheeplined 42-18777 in steer hide. The back and shoulders were unusually narrow, restricting movement severely, so I considered having gussets or new sleeves installed. I detached the sleeves myself but never followed thru with the project.

    I still have the sleeves as well as the "vest" but I doubt it would fit anyone without major modification. It's a 44 but you'd have to be very lightly built to be comfortable in it, and then the body would be flapping on you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  15. Stony

    Stony Well-Known Member

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    1,393
    Location:
    WA, USA
    I talked to them this weekend and he wants $1,800 for it, mainly because of the biker affiliation, not a military one.
     
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  16. Southoftheborder

    Southoftheborder Member

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    98
    "They may say I'm a dreamer;
    But I'm not the only one...."
     
  17. stanier

    stanier Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    :eek:o_O
     
  18. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,307
    As we say in these parts "Aye, That'll be right"
     
  19. Juanito

    Juanito Active Member

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    232
    The thing that caught my eye was the spelling of Disciple. Like A-2 art there are things that make or break a particular artifact. The gang in California spelled the word "diciple" and I find it odd that this jacket has an "s" in the word, not because there isn't another gang that started in Massachusetts called the Devil's Desciples, but the mix with the Southwest indicating the Fontana, California originated group, but with the Massachusetts gang spelling and logo with the swastika on the helmet.

    Like the unofficial military artwork world, I am not saying that it isn't authentic, but it is a rather odd combination.

    Yes, I collect motorcycle jackets too, ranging from Bates, Vanson, and Langlitz Leathers, to Buco, to the biker gang related stuff if it isn't overtly offensive. The funny thing is that while I have ridden motorcycles (off-road) since I was nine years old starting out in 1975, I got interested in the biker gang thing as a social concept after a trip to look at a 1955 Chevy Pickup for sale that was at a Free Souls biker gang hideout in the 1980s. It is one of the more surreal experiences I have ever had.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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  20. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    3,429
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    My wife and I always joke about the Mongols. We watched a doc about them once and on the back of a jacket or two we saw, “MONGOL’S”. Either bikers ain’t good at grammar or they are just a possessive bunch!
    Dave
     
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