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Lots of TANKER JACKETS, 416th Bomb Group, 9th AF

Brettafett

Well-Known Member
Fantastic photos and resource. Thank you very much for sharing... Not enough out there regs the 9th...!
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
There were probably more guys wearing tanker jackets toward the end of the war than we realize. Didn’t they stop making A2’s in 1943? Probably a lot of guys went to them before they could get there hands on a B-10.
 
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Grant

Well-Known Member
Having had a close friend who flew P-47's with the 9th, I think it had more to do with the fact the 9th AF in Europe was formed specifically to support ground forces, so they probably shared more with the Army when it came to logistics and gear. Because they were a tactical outfit, they moved with the front lines and were closely tied to the Army. Just my opinion.
 

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
Your point makes a lot of sense Grant. There are a lot of M-41s in the group pic of, predominantly, enlisted personnel. Maybe they don't have the influence at the supply desk?
 

CBI

Well-Known Member
yes, much use of Tankers as flight jackets in the 9th. Grants post is correct with the ground forces connection. IMO, the Tnker was the best jacket of the war and makes a much better flight jacket than an A-2!
 

269sqnhudson

Active Member
Some groups had them, some not. Osprey books are a great source of flight crew Tanker shots. Aside from some 9th AF bomb groups the 78th FG and 56th FG (8th AF) photos show many pilots in them from late 1943. Ditto the P38 groups 20th, 55th 364th (8th) and the 367th (9th). The 354th (pioneer mustang group) had them too.

Two of the more famous wearers were Bud Mahurin (56th FG) and Jim Howard (354th).

For me the most interesting are the Spitfire pilots of the 31st Fighter Group who were all issued them in early 1944 to combat the cold in Italy.
The fantastic tome on the group “In a Now Forgotten Sky” has a great group shot of pilots in their newly issued Tanker jackets in February 1944.
 

269sqnhudson

Active Member
Having had a close friend who flew P-47's with the 9th, I think it had more to do with the fact the 9th AF in Europe was formed specifically to support ground forces, so they probably shared more with the Army when it came to logistics and gear. Because they were a tactical outfit, they moved with the front lines and were closely tied to the Army. Just my opinion.
The only problem with this theory is they all but disappear in the 9th with the advent of the B10 and that was before the groups started to follow the ground troops over to France.
 

Grant

Well-Known Member
Wasn't a theory, just an opinion based on conversations with my friend who flew P-47's with the 404th FG. Elton always talked about how he and his buds preferred the tanker as they moved from England to France, Belgium and Germany.
 

269sqnhudson

Active Member
Wasn't a theory, just an opinion based on conversations with my friend who flew P-47's with the 404th FG. Elton always talked about how he and his buds preferred the tanker as they moved from England to France, Belgium and Germany.
Ahh well that's good intel, thanks.
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
Who would willingly trade their A-2 for a tanker jacket ? :confused::eek: Was there that much difference in warmth ? The tanker was hardly windproof
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
I have to admit i’m not a huge fan of the massive long bi-swing back - though i see its’s practicality.
I’d have thought swapping something as iconic as an A-2 that probably (?) cost more to produce than a cloth jacket would be a step down.
My point was who on this forum would trade an A-2 for a tanker jacket ? I’ll happily spend £85 on a tanker if anyone is up for swapping their ELC or GW :)
 
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