I don't know so this is merely opinion but you'd imagine that it would be on a bell curve. Most things involving distribution and especially dealing with groups of people or populations use it.
Somewhere there is something in a book...I believe a wartime US Army Quartermaster publication, that discusses procurement, and sizes. That applies to more than flight jackets, and was a guide to help the QMD understand how to configure a contract. I recall a graph of the size ranges, that is bell shaped, with the roughly 38 to 42 size range being the majority of the hump in in the center. That corresponds to the average size and weight of a WW II American soldier...which could I could look up, but ball parking it from memory, hovers roughly in that 5' 7" to 5' 9" and 140 to 160 pound range.Returning to this thread after some while, I've often wondered (and think I've raised this point previously but don't recall where or if there was a response!) but for instance on say Dubow's 27798 contract for 50,000 jackets, how would the sizes be divided? As you comment, prob most would have been smaller as were guys back in the day and I guessing 38" would have been the average/ most common whereas from what I read on this very forum I would reckon 42"/44" more the norm today?
You are 100% correct, back then this really intrigued us especially when we were getiing such a wide range of sizes in US Civvy jackets from the same era, plenty big sizes. That ruled out bigger guys wrecking their jackets quicker than smaller folkSNIP recall many moons ago at Ken Calder's Thrift Shop only ever seeing smaller sized originals, it's something that's always intrigued me!!
A quick comment about military vs civilian jackets...you also have to consider the age of these guys in WW II....most were in the 18 to 25 range, and many hovering around 22. Plus with the AAF & A2s, they were often selecting smaller or more average sized guys to fit in particular aircrew positions.You are 100% correct, back then this really intrigued us especially when we were getiing such a wide range of sizes in US Civvy jackets from the same era, plenty big sizes.
Imteresting .This, I believe, is the most up-to-date A-2 contract list. The paperwork hasn't been found for three contracts, so it is not possible to make an accurate production estimate (the production numbers are listed as "unknown"). The three estimated production numbers are from Gary Eastman's excellent "Type A-2 Flight Jacket Identification Manual" reference book and knowing the value of the contract the production estimates ought to be reasonably close.
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The A-2 was released as "Standard Issue" on May 9, 1931 and officially replaced by the newer AN-J-3 on Apr 23, 1943. A-2 jackets in stock were available as "Limited Standard Issue" beginning at that time as a newer replacement was available. Note the last three A-2 contracts were from Dec 1943 or after the switch to the newer AN-J-3.What is War “Limited Standard Issue” ?
It was was the largest according to Gary Eastman's book. I have seem more last contract Cable Raincoat A2s come up for sale over the years than jackets from other contracts.So, the '42 Bronco 29191 contract was more than likely the largest WW2 A-2 contract with 59000 jackets.
Cant see the 'unknowns' to have more than this, especially being pre-war and late war...
Based on the numbers, would anyone like to comment about surviving A-2s, which contract 'appears' to have survived the most?