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Buttoned Pocket Flaps A-2 Jackets

SuinBruin

Well-Known Member
If you can button the epaulets, sure. I have a harder time seeing it with fixed epaulets like on the A-2. Are there any contemporary photos of wartime A-2s being used to hold anything other than rank insignia?
 

herk115

Active Member
I'm betting that the fellow on the right definitely looks like he sanded his jacket. Very uniformed wear down into the leather . The tanning surface has been removed from the leather. A close zoom in on the enhanced photo gives it away. Besides this jacket would had to have seen years of hard use to get it to that stage of wear. He probably only had a few years on it at the point this picture was taken.
Two questions: Is one of these guys Tibbets? I can't read the name strips.

Second question: Why would somebody sand their jacket? I understand a collector wanting to put a patina on a cheapie repro, but someone on active duty with their issue jacket?
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Two questions: Is one of these guys Tibbets? I can't read the name strips.

Second question: Why would somebody sand their jacket? I understand a collector wanting to put a patina on a cheapie repro, but someone on active duty with their issue jacket?
There’s no way that jacket could have received that type of wear in the time that he owned it. Impossible. I’m sure some guys did things like that to be perceived as “Salty Old Warriors’ as a badge of a seasoned warrior., much in the same way as guys washed their fatigues a bunch of times before they wore them so they wouldn’t look new in the field or guys in the Ranger Units and SF groups used to wash and shave their berets with an electric razor to trim down the thickness to better form it on their heads and give the beret that “been there” look. Things like that are done often by troopers .
 
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B-Man2

Well-Known Member
CEAF2140-FB0A-469D-A652-0355E1C887B2.jpeg
I dunno Burt. Image was such a different thing then...
Zoomer
Agree , but take a look at that jacket . I’ve seen hundreds , maybe thousands of photos of A2 jackets over the years but never one with that much of the finish removed, but let’s not agree on that point alone . Even if his A2 was one of the earliest contracts made it would have been issued in the 1936 to 1938 time frame possibly.
That photo was taken sometime between 1936 to 1945. If we can agree on those points then that means the jacket would have to sustained that extreme wear in approximately a 9 year period.
An astonishing amount of wear to an officers jacket for that period of time. I’ve seen photos of enlisted men wearing A2 jackets who worked on aircraft everyday climbing in and out of them , working on them , but I’ve never seen an A2 with that much surface wear. So let’s suppose that jacket was a re-issue A2 to him. I’ve still never seen another like it. We’ve all owned original A2 jackets and seen original A2 jackets. We’ve all worn A2 jackets some as long as 20 years but never with that much wear . Lastly the thing that makes me even more suspicious that this was intentionally done is look at the photos of his buddies next to him. Their jackets don’t have much wear compared to his and they look like a SAT in the middle and a SAT or a Werber on the end with the Carmel knits, which
would make them earlier issued contracts. It’s just my opinion and I’m sure others will disagree but hey it’s fun to discuss this kind of stuff. Back to you Zoomer:)
 
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zoomer

Well-Known Member
What do you bet he met up with an oil leak, a rigger tried to take it off and ended up de-finishing the jacket entirely.
 

robrinay

Active Member
Given that shoe polish existed in those days in a variety of colours, I suspect that the ‘wear’ was deliberate and may have involved sand paper or solvent in order to give the impression of lots of flying hours.
 

asiamiles

Well-Known Member
One things for sure, there are no rivets on the zip. In 1931 there was not many options for zippers and I believe they all had rivets until sometime in 1933. The only company I have seen to install Hookless Zippers without setting the rivets is A&G Spalding. They were a well known US Army Air Corps (US Air Service) supplier and made prototype jackets for the A-1 test program. They also had a very similar jacket in their product line in the early 30's. For me the evidence points to Spalding having made this jacket.

The Spalding model 722 from the early 1930's. An A-2 without epaulets or collar snaps or a wind flap. Very similar to the A-2 test jacket.
View attachment 11773
This picture reminds me of my Buzz SAT, which was produced as a Junky Special exclusive in a limited issue of 30. It wasn't a repro of the issued SAT so it was either a civilian repro or a Buzz invention. The pockets are different - the Buzz has regular shaped A2 pockets with stud fasteners - and the Buzz also has a riveted Hookless zipper and studs under the collar, but the basic look with no epaulettes or windflap and even the colour is very close...it's possible that Buzz modeled their jacket on the Spalding but made a couple of changes.
 
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