Complete Newbie - Could I find a wearable WW2 jacket?

Discussion in 'General Flight Jacket Discussion' started by Boydie, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. Boydie

    Boydie New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Hi All

    I am completely new to the forum and flight jackets

    I have recently been watching a lot of WW2 documentaries, which has prompted me to research my grandparent's contributions (one was a PoW after Dunkirk and was in the same prison as Douglas Bader and the other was at Dunkirk, then Italy and Greece - I am still researching)

    There is no family flying link but I nearly joined the RAF as a fast jet pilot and have always been an aviation enthusiast

    I am in my 40s and live in Kent (UK)

    I would LOVE to own a genuine WW2 RAF flying jacket that I could occasionally wear out as a jacket

    I would not mind a "worn" / "beaten up" looking jacket (in fact that would probably be preferable) but I have no idea where to start or what kind of prices I would be looking at? As a newbie I am nervous of eBay as I presume there are fakes around

    Can anyone point me in the right direction and/or confirm whether original WW2 jackets would be wearable?

    Are there shops that I could visit?

    Thanks in advance

    Boydie
     
  2. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

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    2,476
    welcome to the abusement park, boydie. lets see if andrew can set ya right.
     
  3. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,031
    Boydie
    Welcome to the forum.
    Take a minute and introduce yourself in the “Members Bio’s”section .
    Regarding finding a WWII RAF jacket, many of the members here are experts in finding them and several including myself have originals.
    You are in the right place my friend!!
     
  4. Boydie

    Boydie New Member

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    5
    Thanks - I looked for an "introductions" section and didn't think I "qualified" for a bio yet - hopefully soon though if I find the right jacket :D

    I noticed some Kent based members so hopefully I will get a good steer...
     
  5. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,031
    Just as a clarification you don’t need to own a jacket to be part of this forum. You just need to have an interest in them. So welcome, you are now a forum member. ;)
     
    ButteMT61 likes this.
  6. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Welcome to VLJ Boydie. I wear original Irvins and A-2s and if they are worn with care then there should be no serious issues. Here a couple of shots from last year. The A-2 dates to 1942 and the Irvin to 1939.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Boydie

    Boydie New Member

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    5
    They look great Andrew (is that Headcorn?)

    So how do I find one? and which should I go for?

    I like the sheepskin ones - I am trying not to fixate on a particular type to keep my options open should one come up
     
  8. dujardin

    dujardin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,409
    Location:
    Belgium
    welcome aboard



    for sure you will find
     
  9. Juanito

    Juanito Active Member

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    187
  10. Boydie

    Boydie New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks JUANITO, that jacket looks great

    I am just starting to get my head around the jacket types - in my head I was thinking of the sheepskin lined jackets but I am trying to keep an open mind so will definitely give your one some thought

    As for sizing - I also need to get my head around this I am thinking 42 or 44 - I would ideally like to find somewhere in Kent or the UK where I could actually try one on
     
  11. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    They were taken at Duxford last year. My sources are the other collectors, on line auction sites and dealers. Decent examples are becoming much harder to find in my size which is a 44 in original A-2s and a size 5 upwards in Irvins.
     
  12. johnwayne

    johnwayne Well-Known Member

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    1,345
    Welcome Boydie, to echo others yes this is a good place and with patience you may well find what you want. The general rule of thumb is whatever size you are in a modern jacket then you'd want at least one size larger in an original but even then there are variances in the same sizes to confuse matters! Andrew/Roughwear here is your 'go to' expert regarding Irvins, of which there were several types made throughout WWII but, to the man on street all look pretty much the same as the archetypal English flying jacket! Bear in mind that with sheepskin/shearling jackets you'll probably only get to wear them during the coldest months of the year unless you wish to become a re-enactor at airshows etc., otherwise the A2 or G1 (Both US jackets, being airforce and navy jackets respectively) are better for let's say everyday wear which if that's what you want a repro may be your best bet. Whatever jacket you decide on then maybe budget will dictate your choice but realistically you ought to aim around the £350-500 mark albeit your size is a popular one!! Keep your eyes open in the 'buy/sell' section here, don't rush into anything and maybe think about visiting Duxford airshow in July or as you're in Kent then War &Peace show (also July I think) is good too. A few of us get together at Duxford too so I'm sure you'd be welcome to pick a few brains there!!!
     
  13. Boydie

    Boydie New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Thank you sooooo much - that is really good advice and a great little guide to the WW2 jacket types

    The "patience" bit may be the challenge for me :cool:
     
  14. johnwayne

    johnwayne Well-Known Member

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    1,345
    Meant to add, good place to initially look is Aeroleather, Scotland - very easy website to navigate and great team up there. They make repros of all types plus have a good stock of both used repros and some originals. Ken and the team are very helpful and I'm sure you can return/exchange if not right - they currently got an early war model (repro though) Irvin at £525 but it is a 46" so may be a tad big. Plenty of other jackets too. Lastly, maybe take some measurements of a current jacket as a guide, flight jackets in particular look best when they fit right and, feel right!
     
  15. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,324
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    Welcome!
    Dave
     

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